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Monday May 3, 2010 - 11:05:32 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro falls as concerns grow on Greek aid plan

6:56am EDT

* Euro down 0.4 pct at $1.3232 <EUR=>

* Holidays in Japan, UK keep volume light

* Aussie bounces after being hit by China tightening, levy

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Tamawa Desai

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) - The euro fell, erasing initial gains on Monday made after European countries agreed to a 110 billion euro aid package to Greece at the weekend, on concerns about the plan and fiscal problems in the euro zone.

Trade in Europe was extremely subdued as markets in London were closed for a holiday, with the euro staying within ranges seen during Asian hours.

While the aid plan would reduce the possibility of default, markets were wary of possible obstacles as countries such as Germany seek parliamentary approval of the plan, as well as the impact of severe austerity measures on Greece.

"The market is worried about the ability for Greece to implement draconian measures and is waiting for the plan to be approved by each country," said Roberto Mialich, currency strategist at Unicredit.

"The plan was not well received, but we have to wait until tomorrow when activity resumes in London for a clearer picture."

By 1040 GMT, the euro <EUR=> was at $1.3232, down 0.4 percent from late U.S. trade on Friday. It fell as low as $1.3207 in Asian trade, after rising to around $1.3359 earlier.

"Most of the news was already priced in, and expectations were fulfilled. However, it didn't resolve any structural problems and I would suspect the euro would be 'sell on rallies'," said Geoffrey Yu, currency strategist at UBS.

Traders said stop-loss sales were below $1.3220, with more stops lined up around $1.3200. Further downside support was seen at the 1-year low of around $1.3112 hit last week.

Options with strike price of $1.3250 and $1.3200 were set to expire later in the day.

Latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed speculators had run up record short positions against the euro in the week to April 27 as uncertainty over the Greek debt crisis mounted. [IMM/FX].


In exchange for aid, Greece has promised to carry out spending cuts and tax hikes worth 30 billion euros over three years, on top of belt-tightening measures already taken.

The European Central Bank announced on Monday a suspension of collateral rules for Greek sovereign debt, indicating it would continue accepting Greek debt regardless of its rating. [ID:nLDE6420A9]

That helped ease spreads between Greek and German government bond yields. Spreads on Portuguese and Spanish bonds also narrowed. [GVD/EUR]

But France said it would have to increase its debt issue plans for the coming years to finance its loan for Greece. [ID:nPAB008336]

Commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar <AUD=D4> recouped earlier losses made after China's move to tighten monetary policy.

China's central bank said on Sunday it was lifting lenders' reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points, effective May 10, its third increase of that magnitude this year. [ID:nSGE64200J]

The Australian dollar <AUD=D4> recovered from an early low of $0.9210 to trade at $0.9262, up 0.2 percent on the day. The Aussie was also hurt by the Australian government's plan to levy a supertax on resource companies of 40 percent [ID:nAUTAX].

The U.S. dollar rose 0.2 percent against the yen to 94.00 yen <JPY=>. Markets in Tokyo are closed through Wednesday for the "Golden Week" holidays.

U.S. manufacturing ISM index for April due out later in the day is expected to show a further pick-up.

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