May 24, 2018 / 12:22 PM / a month ago

FOREX-Euro edges up as dollar surge loses steam on Fed minutes

* Euro hurt by euro zone growth slowdown, Italian politics

* Fed minutes show no haste in rate hikes

* Dollar falls more than 1 pct vs yen over last 2 days

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh (Adds context, quotes. Updates figures)

By Tom Finn

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - The euro rose off a six-month low on Thursday as the dollar faltered but concerns over an economic slowdown in Europe and political risks in Italy continued to act as a brake.

The euro is set to be down for a sixth consecutive week against the dollar -- the longest weekly losing streak since January 2015 -- hobbled by the surging U.S. currency and worries over a deepening economic slowdown in the currency bloc.

The single currency rose to $1.1746, off the low of $1.1676 hit on Wednesday, and was heading for its biggest daily gain in two weeks.

But that was largely because the recent dollar rally lost some momentum following dovish-looking minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting and the threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on imported cars.

"For now this is a dollar story; a pause in the greenback which is quite technical in fact. There is this widespread feeling that the dollar has stalled as profits are taken following a very decent run," said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of FX strategy at Commerzbank.

The euro's gains were also capped by economic and political worries in Europe. The leader of the far-right League, a partner in Italy's planned coalition government, insisted on Thursday that eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona should be named economy minister.

The euro has unwound all of its rally against the Swiss franc since the Italian elections as the prospect of a spendthrift coalition government taking shape in Rome unnerves investors.

It fell to near three-month lows against the franc on Wednesday as fresh data indicated a slowdown in European business activity.

The euro currency was soft against the yen, hitting a nine-month low of 128.01 yen.

The European Central Bank's chief economist said on Thursday there are "clouds" on the horizon, including plans by Italy's would-be government to loosen fiscal policy and roll back a pension reform, and international trade tension.

"In the absence of eurozone economic data finding another gear this side of summer, the chances of a hawkish ECB-led rally in the single currency look pretty bleak," said ING FX analyst Viraj Patel, in a note.

The dollar's fall appeared to accelerate after the minutes of the Fed meeting.

While most policymakers thought it likely another U.S. interest rate increase would be warranted - in line with market expectations - the minutes showed the Fed would tolerate inflation rising above its goal for a time.

Trump opened a front in the trade war on Wednesday by considering new tariffs, this time on cars, just days after Washington agreed with Beijing to put "on hold" its plan to impose tariffs on $150 billion worth Chinese goods.

Against the yen, the dollar shed 0.7 percent to 109.3 yen , a day after it experienced its biggest fall in nearly three months.

The safe-haven Swiss franc also ticked up 0.2 percent to 0.9914 franc to the dollar. It hit a three-week high of 0.9894 per dollar on Wednesday. ( Editing by Keith Weir and David Stamp)

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