Sun, May 27, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Euro posts biggest loss versus dollar this year


The euro had its biggest weekly loss since December against the US dollar as Greece’s anti-bailout party gained in the polls and amid a deepening crisis in Spain.

The shared currency fell for a fifth week versus the yen, the longest stretch since October, as German manufacturing shrank and the Bank of Japan refrained from adding stimulus to the economy. Brazil’s real was the only winner against the US dollar as the central bank sold currency-swap contracts.

“Uncertainty is high, growth is poor and a Greek exit is a wild card,” said Aroop Chatterjee, a currency strategist at Barclays PLC’s Barclays Capital unit in New York. “It’s unlikely that the euro finds a bottom for a while even in a good state of the world.”

The euro declined 2.1 percent on the week to US$1.2517, touching US$1.2496, the weakest since July 2010. The 17-nation currency declined 1.2 percent to ¥99.75, falling below ¥100 for the first time since February.

The Japanese currency fell 0.8 percent to ¥79.68 per US dollar.

Hedge funds and other large speculators increased wagers the euro would decline versus the greenback to a record high for a second consecutive week. So-called net shorts increased for a third week, totaling 195,361 in the period ended Tuesday compared with 173,869 for the week before, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The euro weakened 1.2 percent against nine developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes, the worst performance along with the Swiss franc. The dollar gained 1.1 percent and the yen rose 0.2 percent.

The shared currency fell below US$1.25 for the first time in 22 months after the president of Catalonia, one of 17 semi- autonomous regions in Spain, repeated his call for the Spanish central government to help regions access funding, Standard & Poor’s cut the credit ratings of five Spanish banks and the Bankia group said it needed 19 billion euros (US$23.8 billion) of government money.

A German index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing industry declined to 45 this month from 46.2 last month, Markit Economics said on Thursday.

“It’s unwelcome development with German manufacturing, because typically that’s where you go looking for a silver lining in the euro,” Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York, said on Thursday. “The second quarter had delivered a shock to growth expectations globally.”

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