FOREX-Euro hits 2-week highs as Draghi vows to preserve the currency
* Draghi says ECB ready to implement bond-buy plan * ECB leaves rates unchanged at 0.75 pct, Spain in focus By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The euro hit two-week highs against the dollar and yen on Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi affirmed his commitment to preserve the region's monetary system and its currency. In a news conference, Draghi said "the euro is irreversible", adding that he remains firmly committed to keeping the "singleness" of monetary policy in the euro zone. This was not the first time that Draghi came out in defense of the euro. In July, he vowed to do whatever it takes to keep the single currency in place, fuelling a euro recovery that lifted it from two-year lows. Draghi on Thursday also said the ECB was prepared to implement a bond purchase plan that would lower borrowing costs for the region's indebted countries. "What strikes me was Draghi reiterating his commitment to preserve the euro and that has eased break-up concerns," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst, at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington. "His commitment to the bond-buying plan was a positive for the euro as well." Players expected few surprises from Draghi's news conference after the central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 0.75 percent. In early New York trading, the euro rose to $1.2996, its highest since Sept. 21. It was last at $1.2975, up 0.7 percent. Against the yen, the euro climbed 0.7 percent to 102.01 yen. Anticipation that Spain will ask for a bailout and trigger the ECB's bond-buying plan has made investors wary of selling the euro although uncertainty about when such a request could come has limited the currency's gains. Analysts believed, however, Spain's budget proposal seemed designed with a bailout request in mind. Also in focus on Thursday was a debt auction at which Spain raised 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) selling tranches of bonds maturing in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Yields fell from the previous auction. The euro rose to a two-week high against the Swiss franc at 1.2136 and a two-week peak against the pound at 80.51 pence. The pound rose against the dollar to $1.6149 after the Bank of England kept rates and its quantitative easing total on hold as expected.
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