* Euro broadly lower as ECB officials sing from same dovish
* Dollar higher, ignores downgrade to Q1 GDP
* Aussie also better bid as ex-PM returns to top job
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, June 27 The euro nursed broad losses in
early Asian trade on Thursday as investors turned on the common
currency after European Central Bank officials made clear any
policy tightening remained a very distant prospect.
ECB President Mario Draghi, Executive Board member Yves
Mersch and policymaker Christian Noyer, were all out in force on
Wednesday stressing the ECB was not preparing to start winding
down stimulus, in contrast to the Federal Reserve.
The euro plumbed a near four-week low near $1.2984,
taking total losses since June 19 to more than 3 percent. It was
last at $1.3008, little changed from late New York levels.
Against the yen, the common currency was at 127.30
, having skidded 0.7 percent to a one-week low of
126.57. It fell more than 1 percent on the New Zealand dollar to
a near two-week low of NZ$1.6574.
"The euro has shifted from being a relative outperformer to
relative underperformer this week," BNP Paribas analysts wrote
in a client note.
"A number of ECB officials have been 'on message' in
stressing that policy will remain accommodative, apparently
eager to draw an implicit contrast between its stance and the
Fed's tapering message."
Not helping the euro, two newspapers on Wednesday warned
Italy faced 8 billion euros in losses on derivative contracts
restructured at the height of the euro zone crisis, prompting
the country's economy minister to deny the reports.
Pressure on the euro helped the dollar index climb
0.4 percent to 83.025, a high not seen since the start of the
month. The index, which tracks the greenback against a currency
basket, has now retraced 61.8 percent of its May-June fall.
Traders said month and quarter-end buying further supported
the U.S. dollar, which largely shrugged off a surprisingly sharp
downgrade to first quarter U.S. economic growth.
The Commerce Department said gross domestic product expanded
at a 1.8 percent annual pace in the quarter, compared with a
previously reported 2.4 percent pace.
Traders said the data was historical and a recent batch of
encouraging reports indicated that the economy was on a gradual
The Australian dollar managed to outperform the greenback,
partly helped by development in local politics, of all things.
A leadership change in the Labor Party saw Kevin Rudd
return as Australian prime minister. Ousted Julia Gillard had
struggled to win public support with opinion polls suggesting
her minority government was headed for a massive defeat at this
year's general election.
With Rudd back at the helm, the hope is there would be more
stability in the Labor Party, although local politics rarely
have a lasting impact on markets because the major parties are
considered very middle of the road in economic policy.
The Aussie dollar rose to a one-week high of $0.9345
, before relinquishing a bit of ground to last stand at
$0.9290, up 0.1 percent on the day.
"While some bounce in the polls and possibly confidence is
expected, the political games will be largely a sideshow to
deeper issues in the Australian economy. As such we expect no
real change to policies or markets for the time being," said
Martin Whetton, analyst at Nomura.
The Aussie also rose smartly on the kiwi after Reserve Bank
of New Zealand's Deputy Governor, Grant Spencer, said raising
interest rates to tackle an overheated housing market is not an
It hit a session high of NZ$1.1952, but has since
moderated those gains to last stand at NZ$1.1931.
There is little in the way of major economic data in Asia,
while Europe has a slew of reports including euro zone economic
sentiment, consumer sentiment, German employment and import