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Monday April 26, 2010 - 11:18:01 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Euro dips on Greek concerns, aid details awaited

 

6:10am EDT

* Euro dips to day's low as Greek/German bond spreads widen

* Euro down 0.6 pct at $1.3303 <EUR=>

* Yen crosses extend gains, Aussie hits 19-mth high

(Adds quote, updates prices)

By Tamawa Desai

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - The euro fell on Monday as uncertainty persisted over how and when Greece would get financial aid sought last week to avert a potential sovereign debt default.

The spread between Greek and German 10-year government bond yields hit a new 12-year high of 670 basis points on Monday, indicating market concern over the implementation of the aid package and the conditions attached to it. [ID:nLDE63P0IV]

The spread widening also prompted Greek bank stocks to tumble 4.0 percent <.FTATBNK>.

Comments from Germany, Europe's biggest economy and potentially the biggest contributor to any aid package, helped keep markets nervous.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the Bild newspaper on Sunday Greece must agree to tough new austerity measures before it received any European Union financial aid and failure to do so would endanger such support. [ID:nLDE63O048]

Greece's finance minister said on Sunday emergency aid would arrive in time to prevent it defaulting. It is in talks with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund on additional steps to get the aid flowing in time to meet a May 19 deadline, when it needs to roll over a bond. [ID:nLDE63O07E]

"The market is looking for any fresh news in regards to Greece; we will only get a positive reaction if we get some firm details but that may take some time," said Christian Lawrence, currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets, whose firm sees the euro around $1.27 by year end.

Data on Friday showed currency speculators had boosted net short euro positions in the week ended April 20. [IMM/FX] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

For a graphic on euro positioning, click

here ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

By 1030 GMT, the euro was down 0.6 percent at $1.3303 <EUR=>, off a low of $1.3291, according to Reuters data. It hit $1.3199 on Friday, its lowest since early April last year.

"There is still a lot of uncertainty until Greece actually gets those funds, and whether its request will be accepted," one London-based trader said.

Traders said offers were lined up around $1.3400, but there was also talk of stop-loss buy orders above that level.

Asian central bank bids supposedly near $1.3300 and $1.3280 were seen supporting the downside.

The euro fell 1 percent on the day against sterling <EURGBP=D4>, while the single currency also fell 0.4 percent against the yen at 125.14 yen <EURJPY=R>.

Japan's Canon Inc <7751.T>, the world's top maker of digital cameras, said it lowered its forecast for euro/yen to 125.01 yen for the end of this year, down from 130.00 yen previously.

RISK-TAKING

The yen faltered against commodity-linked and higher-yielding currencies on expectations for global recovery.

The Canadian dollar hit 94.51 yen <CADJPY=R>, its highest since October 2008, and the Australian dollar rose to a 19-month high of 87.59 yen <AUDJPY=R>. Australian markets were closed.

There was also market talk of some yen selling in relation to Japanese mutual funds investing in foreign high-yield bonds launched on Friday, a trader at a Japanese trust bank said.

The U.S. dollar was little changed at 94.08 yen <JPY=> after hitting a 3-week high above 94.00 yen on Friday.

Near-term, a barrier for the dollar would be 95.10 yen, which is a 61.8 percent retracement from 2009's high at 101.45 yen in April down to a low of 84.82 yen in November.

The dollar index <.DXY>, a gauge of its performance against six major currencies, was up 0.3 percent at 81.646 after touching a one-month high of 82.074 on Friday.

Investors will probably refrain from taking aggressive positions before key events this week including monetary policy meetings at the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

(Graphic by Scott Barber)

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