Euro at 2-month low vs dollar with bailout fears abound

By Julie Haviv

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – The euro hit a two-month low against the dollar on Monday and may face further losses after Ireland’s rescue did little to erase investors’ fears that another euro-zone economy may require a bailout.

At one point, the euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) as low as $1.3065, its worst showing against the dollar since September. It last changed hands down 0.9 percent at $1.3121.

Analysts said uncertainty surrounding the fiscal outlook of the euro zone’s peripheral countries could push the euro as low as $1.30. The euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) below the 200-day moving average around $1.3130. The currency’s drop below $1.3080 — the 50 percent retracement from its June low to its November high — was another bearish indicator.

“There is a real possibility the euro could hit $1.30 by the end of the week,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington D.C. “Given the momentum already in place, the euro will likely be between $1.29 and $1.32 at the end of the year.”

European Union finance ministers endorsed an 85-billion-euro rescue package for Dublin and approved outlines of a permanent crisis-resolution system that could make private bondholders share the burden of restructuring sovereign debt after 2013.

Matthew Strauss, currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said neither the agreement nor the official announcement was able to turn sentiment around.

Many analysts say markets are still likely to turn on Portugal and Spain, seen as the euro zone’s next weakest links.

The negative euro backdrop is now being reinforced by an increasingly bearish technical backdrop and levels of below $1.30 seem plausible in the near future, he wrote.

Sentiment remained fragile, with a sale of Italian bonds meeting lukewarm demand and highlighting investors’ unease about euro-zone debt. Also, the cost of ensuring Portuguese and Spanish debt against default rose to a record high on Monday.

Many traders said the European Financial Stability Facility, a joint EU-International Monetary Fund reserve created in May, may not have enough funds to support Spain if it needs help.

U.S. Commodity and Futures Trading Commission data on Monday showed speculators were betting against the euro in the latest week for the first time since mid-September.

Elsewhere, the euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) 0.7 percent to 110.58 yen while the dollar rose 0.2 percent to 84.24 yen, off a two-month high of 84.41 yen hit earlier.

There is plenty of U.S. economic data this week that has the potential to sway market sentiment, culminating with Friday’s November payrolls report.

Esiner said if data surprises to the upside, it will bode well for the dollar,

“The dollar had suffered from an overly pessimistic view of the U.S. recovery, so if there is good news about the U.S. economy, we should see additional unwinding of short dollar positions into the year-end,” he said.

“That suggests the broader fiscal backdrop in the euro zone could remain troubled for longer, particularly if other, larger countries also require bailout programs,” wrote Bob Lynch, currency strategist at HSBC in New York.

(Reporting by Julie Haviv; Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Jan Paschal)

Euro at 2-month low vs dollar with bailout fears abound