The outlook for German industry is settling, according to a new business survey, bringing the euro down as an interest rate rise now becomes less likely on the continent.

At the start of the day, the euro stood at a 15-month low against sterling at £0.66965 and at $1.26825 and 148.440 yen.

The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany stood largely unchanged - against speculation that it would fall.

"The surveyed firms were clearly more satisfied with their current business situation but no longer so confident regarding the six-month business outlook," said Gebhard Flaig, of the University of Munich's Ifo Institute for Economic Research.

"These survey results indicate a continuation of the robust economic expansion overall, but a weakening is anticipated for early next year."

The dollar made gains yesterday on high than expected consumer confidence. Figures form the US Conference Board showed consumer confidence rose more sharply than expected.

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said: "A more favourable assessment of current conditions coupled with a less pessimistic short-term outlook boosted consumer confidence this month.

"However, even though consumers' concerns have eased, there is little to suggest a significant change in economic activity as we enter the final quarter of 2006."