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Thursday April 15, 2010 - 10:14:14 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro slides broadly, weighed by Greece concerns

6:05am EDT

* Euro suffers on Greek CDS rise, bond yield spreads widen

* Euro falls 1 pct on day vs yen, hits week's low vs dollar

* Dollar recovers from early losses on strong China GDP (Adds comment, updates throughout)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - The euro fell against the dollar and the yen on Thursday as higher costs to insure against a Greek default highlighted persistent concerns about Greece's debt problems and cut demand for risky assets.

"Greek/German spreads are pushing around 400 basis points," said Jeremy Stretch, strategist at Rabobank in London. "Investors may be shy of taking on risk, and so we're seeing selling in euro/dollar."

Five-year Greek credit default swap prices rose to 455 basis points, exceeding a record closing high of 444 basis points hit a week ago, before euro zone members agreed a standby aid package to help Athens service its mounting debt.

The yield spread between Greek and German government bonds also widened to around 406 basis points, with investors demanding a higher premium on Greek debt as they clamour for clarity about how the financial assistance would be implemented.

By 0949 GMT, the euro <EUR=> had fallen nearly a full percent on the day to $1.3520, its lowest of the week. The single currency traded more than a full U.S. cent below the day's high of $1.3666.

Against the yen, the euro <EURJPY=R> fell more than 1 percent to 125.84 yen, with traders citing selling by U.S. investment banks.

Some in the market said selling by Middle Eastern names was helping to push the euro lower against the dollar, and that breakthrough stop-loss orders around $1.3575 and below had exacerbated losses.

Thursday's slide further narrowed a gap to $1.3500, last Friday's closing level, according to Reuters charts, which had been providing support to the euro earlier in the week.

The euro pulled further away from a three-week high around $1.3691 hit early this week after the Greek aid agreement was announced, and analysts said any rise in the euro would be seen as a chance to sell, given ongoing concerns about Greece.

"Were it not for Greece, the global growth/commodity story would probably have seen EUR/USD pushing up to $1.38/40," analysts at ING said in a research note.

"However, Greece remains a genuine concern for investors in euro debt and any recovery in EUR/USD to $1.37/38 looks a sell." The dollar <.DXY> rose 0.6 percent against a currency basket to 80.700, recovering from a four-week low of 80.031 hit on Wednesday.

It was slightly lower against the yen <JPY=> at 93.08 yen.


The dollar recovered from earlier losses triggered after strong Chinese economic data ramped up speculation of a yuan revaluation, which is seen as negative for the dollar.

Data earlier on Thursday showed China's economic growth accelerated in the first quarter to 11.9 percent, the fastest annual pace in nearly three years, and consumer price inflation in March decelerated. [ID:nBJL002018]

The overall reaction to the Chinese data was subdued as the jump in growth had matched indications released by sources.

Still, analysts said improvement in the Chinese economy would bolster the argument for a strong yuan, and that the exchange rate may soon be freed up to some extent. Such a move is seen boosting Asian currencies to the detriment of the dollar.

"The data was another piece of the revaluation puzzle," said Sven Schubert, currency analyst at Credit Suisse in Zurich.

"Our expectations are for a revaluation around mid-year, but now we see a risk of this happening earlier in the second quarter."

He added that the dollar may also struggle in coming months if the Federal Reserve sticks to its position that U.S. interest rates will stay low for an extended period, a view reiterated by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday. [nFEDAHEAD] (Editing by Susan Fenton)

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