The euro weakened against most of its peers, falling to a two-week low against the greenback after inflation slowed more than expected and unemployment in the eurozone rose to a record.

The weak data added to speculation the European Central Bank will lower its key interest rate from a record low 0.5 per cent to underpin economic growth in the region.

Annual inflation slowed to 0.7 per cent in October, the lowest rate since November 2009. The pace was expected to remain unchanged at September's 1.1 per cent rate, according to a Bloomberg survey. The jobless rate climbed to a record 12.2 per cent.

The data "should strengthen the case for more policy easing," Neville Hill, an economist at Credit Suisse Group AG in London, told Bloomberg. ECB president Mario Draghi "may want to leave the door open to the possibility of a rate cut at the December meeting" at his scheduled media conference next week.


The euro fell 1 per cent to $1.3594 and weakened more than 1 per cent to 133.66 yen.

European stocks, though, rallied, pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up 0.5 per cent to 322.37, the highest in more than five years as company earnings beat estimates.

BNP Paribas rose 3.4 per cent after posting a 2.3 per cent gain in third quarter profit to 1.36 billion euros, against expectations of a decline in earnings at France's largest lender. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's biggest brewer, rose 2.8 per cent after posting pretax earnings growth of about 11 per cent.

Alcatel-Lucent jumped 19 per cent after reporting a smaller-than-expected third-quarter loss. By contrast, Royal Dutch Shell dropped 3.5 per cent after profit dropped by about a third.

US stocks rose. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.3 per cent to 1768.36, led by a 19 per cent jump in Expedia after the online travel agency's earnings beat estimates. Avon Products tumbled 23 per cent after reporting a third-quarter loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.1 per cent to 15635.75, led by a 1.9 per cent gain for Exxon Mobil and a 1.4 per cent advance for Boeing.

After a week of tepid economic data and the Federal Reserve statement that kept its massive stimulus programme in place, a measure of business activity suggested manufacturing in the world's biggest economy is picking up pace.

The MNI Chicago Report business barometer rose to 65.9 in October from 55.7 in September on a scale where 50 marks the difference between expansion and contraction. That was the biggest gain in more than 30 years.