FOREX-Euro bounces off 2-month low, seen still shaky

Fri Nov 9, 2012 1:59am EST

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By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The euro came off a two-month low on short-covering on Friday, though it remained dogged by worsening growth prospects in the euro zone, uncertainty over Greece's aid deal and a lack of direction on when Spain will ask for financial aid.

A small rebound in U.S. stock futures in Asia and upbeat factory output data from China prompted a renewed interest in risk assets, including the euro, ahead of a long U.S. weekend but sentiment on the common currency remained shaky.

The euro rose 0.2 percent in Asia to $1.2775, rebounding from a two-month low of $1.2717 hit on Thursday and managing to hold above a key support from a 38.2 percent retracement of the currency's gain from July to September at $1.2741.

Weighing on the currency were remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that the euro zone economy showed little sign of recovering before the year-end, despite easing financial market conditions.

Figures out on Thursday showed German exports slid at their fastest pace since late last year, adding to evidence that the euro zone's economic malaise has now begun to take its toll on the zone's powerhouse.

CRISIS HITTING CORE?

"Germany has benefited from the euro zone debt crisis in a way because a weaker euro helped its exports. But Germany appears to be starting to suffer from deterioration in the euro zone economy," said Mitsuru Saito, chief economist at Tokai Tokyo Securities.

If Germany is not strong enough to support ailing countries in Europe, or it feels it can no longer afford to help others, that would raise longer-term risk of a break-up in the euro zone, Saito said.

Uncertainty over measures to support Greece and Spain also dampened investor sentiment.

"The euro zone policymakers are just trying to buy time, which is what they have been doing all along. So the euro faces downside risks. I think it could test $1.25," said a trader at a European bank.

Immediate support levels for the euro include its 90-day average at $1.2653 and a 50 percent retracement of the same rally at $1.26075.

The euro is notably weak against other currencies, hitting a one-month low against the yen and the British pound and 10-week low against the Australian dollar on Thursday.

Against the yen, it last stood at 101.63 yen, up 0.5 percent after having hit a one-month low of 101.025 yen on Thursday.

It also inched lower to a two-month low against the Swiss franc to 1.20545 franc.

As the euro wilted, the dollar's index against a basket of currencies stood not far from Thursday's two-month high of 81.001. It last stood at 80.692, down 0.1 percent..

The dollar fetched 79.55 yen, up slightly on dthe ay after having fallen to 79.32 yen on Thursday, its lowest in more than a week as financial markets turned risk-averse.

But its decline stopped at the kijun line on the Ichimoku charts at 79.31 yen, making it an important support level for now and traders see limited room for further falls given Japan's economy is also seen contracting.

The Australian dollar, often used as a proxy for China because of China's huge impact on the Australian economy, rose 0.2 percent to $1.0425, edging closer to Wednesday's 1 1/2-month high of $1.0480.

China's industrial output growth quickened more than expected in October and fixed asset investment also ticked higher, cementing investors' expectations of a modest rebound in the final three months of 2012.

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