FOREX-Euro hits another low vs Swiss franc; more seen

* Euro at all-time low vs Swiss franc, more losses seen

* China will buy Portuguese debt – report

* U.S. Q3 growth revised higher, but below forecast
(Updates prices, adds background)

By Julie Haviv

NEW YORK, Dec 22 (BestGrowthStock) – The euro slid to its lowest
level against the Swiss franc for a sixth straight day on
Wednesday, with losses expected to steepen in 2011 as the euro
zone debt crisis weighs.

The euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) below 1.25 Swiss francs, down about 16
percent so far this year, as debt troubles in Portugal, Spain
and Greece and fears of contagion enhanced the safe-haven
status of the Swiss currency.

Uncertainty surrounding these countries has hurt the euro
as investors seek safety. At the session low, the euro was
below its 200-day moving average, reaching $1.3095, a bearish
sign.

“If you look at what is going on with the euro it shows
there is negative sentiment due to the lack of resolve in the
euro zone,” said Jessica Hoversen, currency strategist at MF
Global in Chicago. “I do not see the major downturn trend of
the euro being threatened before end of year.”

In late New York trading, the euro (EURCHF=EBS: ) was down
0.7 percent at 1.2469 Swiss francs. It hit as low as 1.2448 on
trading platform EBS after taking out option barriers at
1.2500, traders said.

However, the euro (EUR=EBS: ) gained against the dollar,
rising 0.05 percent to $1.3100, which was below the session’s
high of $1.3181 but bouncing off its near three-week trough of
$1.3073 set on Tuesday.

Hoversen said the euro versus the Swiss franc will likely
test the 1.20 level, but she sees that level as a bottom and it
should climb above it next year.

The options market signaled further downside for the pair
and speculative positioning data showed an increase in bets in
favor of the Swiss franc. Morgan Stanley said this week it
expects the euro to fall to 1.20 Swiss francs in 2011.

“We view the surging Swiss franc heading into year end as
an ominous warning sign for further trouble ahead in the euro
zone in early 2011,” said Lee Hardman, currency economist at
the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London.

“It appears that smart money investors are preemptively
bailing funds out of the euro zone with Switzerland providing a
safe port to ride out the euro zone sovereign debt storm that
appears to loom on the horizon,” Hardman said.

The Jornal de Negocios daily newspaper reported China is
looking to buy between 4 billion euros ($5.26 billion) and 5
billion euros of Portuguese sovereign debt to help the country
ward off pressure in debt markets, though it gave no details of
its sources. [ID:nLDE6BL0MW]. China’s central bank declined to
comment on the report.

EURO DOWNSIDE

Euro/Swiss franc risk reversals moved further in favor of
euro downside this week as the spot rate repeatedly hit
all-time lows.

One-month 25-delta euro/Swiss (EURCHF1MRR=GFI: ) risk
reversals last traded at around 2.10, with a bias toward puts,
suggesting more investors are betting the euro will fall
against the Swiss franc than rise. In mid-December, one-month
risk reversals were around $1.90.

The latest IMM data from the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission showed speculators boosted long positions in the
Swiss franc in the week ending Dec. 14. The number likely
increased further this week given the rally in the franc.

Goldman Sachs said its implied IMM EUR/CHF positioning
score stands at -4.5, the same level as in August and
consistent with a relatively stretched short positioning that
has been exceeded only rarely in the past.

Against the yen, the euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) 0.3 percent to 109.42
(EURJPY=: ).

The dollar lost 0.3 percent to 83.54 yen (JPY=EBS: ) after
data showed U.S. economic growth was a touch higher than
previously estimated in the third quarter, but below
expectations. [ID:nN21260995]

In the near term, dealers expect range-bound trade, with
one-month implied volatility on dollar/yen falling below 9.5
percent (JPY1MO=: ), the lowest since late 2007.

Looking ahead, U.S. economic data will be at the forefront
on Thursday, with the Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims
report and the Commerce Department’s November new home sales
data slated to in the morning.

If the data comes in better than expected, it would bode
well for the dollar but weigh on the euro.

“Growth in the U.S. should keep the dollar firm for the
time being, with the euro at risk of hitting $1.20 to $1.25 in
the second half of next year before reaching a bottom,”
Hoversen said.
(Additional reporting by Wanfeng Zhou in New York)

FOREX-Euro hits another low vs Swiss franc; more seen