Market news
22.12.2010, 10:52

EU focus: Euro pauses after lows vs Swiss franc, Aussie

The euro won a reprieve after plumbing new lows on the Swiss franc and Australian dollar on Wednesday but the single currency is seen stuck in a slow descent as a steady drip of grim ratings news erodes confidence in it.

The latest blows came from Moody's, which warned it might cut Portugal's rating, and Fitch, which said the same about Greece.
"Though one might suppose the market had become somewhat desensitized to such news, evidence suggests otherwise as periphery-bund spreads widen again and EUR remains under pressure," David Watt, a senior currency strategist at RBC Dominion, said.
A dearth of liquidity and talk of bids by Asian central banks helped limit the euro's fall against the dollar for now.
But it fared less well against the safe-haven Swiss franc and high-yielding Australian dollar.
"EUR/CHF is going deeper into uncharted territory having broken 1.26, and continuing to dig deeper," said Watt.
The Australian currency was underpinned by further gains in equities and commodities, suggesting improving risk appetite as analysts revise up forecasts for global growth in 2011.
The United States is due to release their latest estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter. U.S. growth is seen likely to be revised up to an annualised 2.8%, from 2.5% previously.
More importantly, recent upbeat data on consumer spending has led analysts to sharply lift their forecasts for growth this quarter, while the surprisingly aggressive package of tax cuts agreed this month has boosted estimates for all of 2011.

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