October 23, 2015 / 12:37 AM / 4 years ago

Euro hits two-month low vs dollar as ECB weighs

New 20 Euro banknotes are presented at the Austrian national bank in Vienna February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro on Friday continued its downward trend against the dollar following European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s comments a day earlier that signaled further monetary easing could be on deck for the euro zone.

Europe’s common currency checked in below $1.10, hitting a low against the dollar not seen since early August, and was down 3.05 percent versus the greenback for the week. It was the euro’s worst weekly fall since May.

The euro also fell to a one-month low against the yen, down 1.4 percent for the week, its largest weekly percentage fall in six weeks.

ECB President Draghi on Thursday said the bank could accelerate its bond purchases, extend its asset-buying program, and further cut its deposit rate, currently at -0.2 percent.

“Draghi not only delivered, but he exceeded many dovish expectations,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. “The risk of more monetary stimulus in the euro zone is broadly negative for the euro.”

China’s surprise announcement that it would cut interest rates for the fourth time this year spurred equity market surges around the globe, but traders retreated from China-linked currencies like the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollar that typically trend up on stock market rallies.

The loonie and kiwi both fell against the dollar after gaining in early trading. The Aussie tempered early gains, up 0.11 percent to $0.7210, after rising nearly 1 percent to a session high of $0.7296.

“There’s a possibility that market participants look at (China’s rate cut) as less a positive sign and more a sign that growth is weakening more than is currently expected,” said Brian Daingerfield, currency strategist for RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut. “There may be some (sense of) good news is bad news where markets look at the easing in China not as a good sign, but as a sign that growth today may be weaker than we currently see.”

The muted gains in China-linked currencies also reflected the U.S. dollar's strength through the day. The greenback was up 0.6 percent versus the yen at 121.40 yen JPY=. It was up 0.8 percent against a currency basket at 97.172 .DXY, boosted by continuing gains against the euro.

Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James Dalgleish and Meredith Mazzilli

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