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Old 03-24-2010, 07:04 AM
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Default Euro hits 10-month low against dollar over Greek debt

OKYO: The euro extended its losses to a 10-month low against the dollar on Wednesday as investors doubted that euro zone leaders would come upwith a quick rescue package for debt-laden Greece at a summit this week, with stop-loss selling triggered.

Germany pegged its support to several conditions, including the need for the International Monetary Fund to make a "substantial contribution" to any rescue.

Analysts said uncertainty over a quick resolution for Greece, combined with lacklustre euro zone economic growth, could prevent the European Central Bank from raising interest rates until well into next year, adding to selling pressure.

"Be it the EU or the IMF, how either of them would rescue Greece remains uncertain. The euro looks set to trade defensively in the near term," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Barclays Capital in Tokyo.

The euro fell as far as $1.3403 on trading platform EBS, the lowest since May 2009, before trading at $1.3413, down 0.6 percent on the day.

The Swiss National Bank has been intervening in forex markets over the past year as part of its efforts to protect the Swiss economy, and traders are watching for indications of just how much the central bank will allow the currency to climb.

The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.3475 after sliding as low as $1.3458, its lowest in three weeks and in sight of this year's low around $1.3430 struck earlier this month.

A rally in U.S. stocks to 18-month highs kept investor appetite for risk intact and provided mild support to higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars.
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