FOREX-Dollar falls before Fed minutes, euro stays weak

Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:50am EDT

Related Topics

* Euro weak, prospect of quick German court ESM ruling dim
    * Dollar under pressure ahead of FOMC minutes
    * Euro at record low vs Aussie dlr, 3-1/2 yr low vs pound
    * Seen vulnerable to rising peripheral yields


    NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - The dollar fell on Wednesday
ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's
June meeting, with investors cautious there may be hints of
another round of asset buying in the coming months to stoke
growth in the U.S. economy.
    The euro rose against the dollar but weakened against other
major currencies on unease over how policymakers will tackle the
debt crisis after it appeared there would be no quick judgment
from a German court on the euro zone's bailout fund.
    It held above a two-year low against the dollar but remained
vulnerable, dropping to a three and a half year low against the
UK pound and a record low versus the higher-yielding Australian
dollar. 
    Alongside doubts fed by the debt crisis, the single currency
remained under pressure after the European Central Bank's
decision to cut interest rates last week, bringing the deposit
rate to zero. 
    The FOMC minutes "will be eagerly awaited by market
participants for clues regarding the outlook for monetary
policy," said Eric Theoret, currency strategist at Scotiabank in
Toronto. "Clues regarding the outlook will arise from the
discussion of other, more active measures that some of the more
dovish activist policymakers may have sought to pursue." 
    The euro was up 0.1 percent against the dollar at
$1.2260, albeit still not far from Monday's two-year low
    A break below Monday's low would open the door to a test of
the June 2010 trough of $1.1875.
    The Fed minutes, due for release at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT),
will throw more light on the central bank's plans after U.S.
policymakers expressed different opinions on the need for more
easing.
    "If we do get some announcement of more QE (quantitative
easing) in the U.S. then it will provide support for euro/dollar
and we could see a squeeze of short euro positions," said Paul
Robson, currency strategist at RBS in London.
    "But the euro will stay weak on low yield, weak growth and
debt uncertainty."
    Analysts said any renewed rise in Spanish and Italian
government debt yields could push the euro down further as
concerns about political hurdles and scepticism over the euro
zone's decision-making process grow.
    The ECB's rate cut removed a pillar of support for the euro,
raising chances it could become a funding currency of choice for
buying higher-yielding assets. 
    The euro fell to its weakest against sterling 
since late 2008, while it hit an all-time low against the
Australian dollar.
    The Australian currency also gained against the U.S. dollar
, backed by its higher Australian yields. It was last up
0.7 percent at $1.0252. 
    
    UNCERTAIN ROAD AHEAD
    Some market players had been hoping for a quick ruling from
Germany's Constitutional Court on whether the European Stability
Mechanism (ESM) and planned changes to the euro zone's budget
rules were compatible with German law. 
    But the decision looks likely to take several weeks, with
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble saying he hoped a judgment
would be passed before the autumn.    
    "People will be aware the non-decision we have got (from the
court) might be a severe problem if yields really pick up and
then euro/dollar will come under pressure," said Lutz Karpowitz,
currency strategist at Commerzbank in London.    
    There were also concerns about Italy, whose Prime Minister
Mario Monti said on Tuesday the country could be interested in
tapping the euro zone's rescue fund to ease its borrowing costs.
 
    The euro earlier fell to a five-week low against the yen 
. It was last down 0.2 percent at 97.05. 
    The dollar fell 0.3 percent against the yen to 79.18 yen
 but held above chart support at its 200-day simple moving
average at 78.98, as investors awaited the outcome of the Bank
of Japan's two-day policy meeting beginning on Wednesday.
    The BoJ is expected to hold off on easing monetary policy
despite moves in that direction last week by the central banks
of Europe, Britain and China.
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