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Tuesday May 4, 2010 - 11:39:15 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro at 1 yr low vs dlr on Greece, contagion worries

7:20am EDT

 * Euro matches last week's 1-yr low vs dlr on Greece worries
 * Dollar index rises to near 1-year high
 * Aussie slides after RBA hikes but signals pause ahead
 (Adds quote, detail, updates prices)
 By Jessica Mortimer
 LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - The euro on Tuesday matched the 
one-year low against the dollar hit last week on concerns about
Greek debt problems and fears of possible contagion to other
vulnerable euro zone countries.
 The euro's weakness helped propel the U.S. dollar to a near
one-year high on a trade weighted basis.
 At the weekend European finance ministers agreed a 110
billion euro bailout package for Greece, but analysts said
doubts remained about whether the country could make the steep
budget cuts necessary, with unions planning more strikes.
 At 1105 GMT the euro <EUR=> was down 0.5 percent at $1.3126
after matching a one-year low of $1.3112 hit last Wednesday,
with traders saying option barriers at $1.3100 were helping to
cushion losses.
 "There is disappointment on the Greek package and so many
obstacles ahead still. Worries over the peripherals will
continue to weigh on the euro," said Tom Levinson, currency
strategist at ING, referring to other vulnerable euro zone
countries such as Spain and Portugal.
 Worries grew that debt problems could spread to other
countries such as Spain and Portugal, with the IBEX 35 index
<.IBEX> of key Spanish shares losing 3 percent.
 The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the
greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies <.DXY>
rose to 82.781, its highest since mid-May 2009.
 "Today's moves suggest the dollar uptrend will continue,"
said Lauren Rosborough, currency strategist at Westpac. 
 Sentiment towards the U.S. dollar was buoyed by data on
Monday showing U.S. manufacturing registered its fastest pace of
growth in nearly six years in April, while consumer spending
rose in March for a sixth straight month. [ID:nN03207244]
 Against the yen, the dollar was up 0.1 percent at 94.63
<JPY=>, having earlier risen as high as 94.98 yen, its strongest
since Aug. 24.
 Traders saw key technical resistance for the dollar against
the yen near 95.10, which is the 61.8 percent retracement of the
dollar's decline from 101.5 to 84.70 yen in 2009.
 Monday's U.S. data showed the U.S. economy continues to
recover, which analysts said may allow the Federal Reserve to
start raising interest rates later this year, contrasting with
expectations of a prolonged period of low rates in Japan.
 A senior IMF official warned on Monday that Japan may face
bond sales problems if it failed to work out a credible
medium-term fiscal reform programme. [ID:nSGE64301L]
 A knock to investor risk appetite, however, reflected by a
more than 1 percent fall in European equities <.FTEU3>, pushed
the euro 0.4 percent lower against the Japanese currency
<EURJPY=R> to 124.22 yen.
 The Aussie dollar <AUD=D4> slid 1 percent to $0.9175
<AUD=D4> after the Reserve Bank of Australia raised its key rate
by 25 basis points to 4.5 percent but also signalled the first
stage of its tightening cycle was over. [ID:nSGE6420LX]
 "Sentiment for Aussie has turned a little sour, though it's
likely we'll see a short market have a squeeze before making the
next leg down to $0.9000," added one London-based trader.
 Traders also cited China's monetary tightening announced
over the weekend adding to pressure on the Aussie.
(Additional reporting by Neal Armstrong)

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