Euro, euro zone bank shares rise as ECB's Lagarde notes economic recovery

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(Reuters) – The euro firmed and shares in euro zone banks rose on Thursday as European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said the bloc was headed for a slow and steady economic recovery over the coming year.

She said that while risks were skewed to the downside, due to geopolitics, protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets, they were less severe than before.

The euro () rose to a new five-week high of $1.11540, while against the pound it firmed to an eight-day high of 84.89 pence (). Banking shares () were up half a percent.

Euro zone bond yields remained lower on the day, with German Bund yields briefly touching a new one-week low at -0.34% ().

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