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Wednesday July 7, 2010 - 11:27:24 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro slips from 7-week high, stress tests eyed

 

5:50am EDT

* Euro takes breather after rally, resistance near $1.2675

* Ichimoku chart suggests possible rise to $1.28 near term

* Aussie edges lower after Tuesday's 1.5 pct jump

(Adds details, updates prices)

By Lin Noueihed

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) - The euro slipped off seven-week highs on Wednesday on renewed concerns about the strength of the global economic recovery and as investors awaited details of plans to test the health of European banks.

A European committee of bank supervisors will outline on Wednesday the methodology for stress tests of about 100 banks in the euro zone and beyond, sources told Reuters. [ID:nLDE6651ZQ]

Analysts said the euro gained support after a solid Spanish syndicated debt sale on Tuesday eased fears over euro zone sovereign debt but that markets would remain cautious until the bank stress test results are released later this month.

The euro EUR= eased 0.4 percent to $1.2574 at 0904 GMT, having risen to $1.2663 on trading platform EBS on Tuesday, its highest level in about seven weeks.

It was unchanged after confirmation that the euro zone economy grew 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter. [ID:nBRQ009910]

"There's still an awful lot of uncertainty in Europe and the stress tests are the next big event... If growth concerns return then Europe will be worse hit than the U.S.," said Derek Halpenny, European head of global currency research at BTM-UFJ.

"We're not forecasting a double dip recession but the uncertainty over growth will persist in the next six months and if that happens defensive currencies like the dollar will still do well at the expense of euro."

While the euro finished U.S. trading above resistance at the bottom of the daily Ichimoku cloud, a signal that its entrenched downtrend may be over, analysts said many market players were still refraining from taking long positions in the euro.

However, some traders said the single currency could still rise further as euro zone debt fears recede and worries about the U.S. recovery hit the dollar.

The euro in mid-December slid beneath the Ichimoku cloud, a Japanese chart pattern closely followed across markets, and has mostly traded below it since then. But its rise back into the cloud suggests it has entered a consolidation phase.

"The euro is in a retracement phase in the wake of its drop to below $1.2 and could rise back towards the top of the cloud," said Tokichi Ito, deputy general manager for Trust & Custody Services Bank's forex team.

DOLLAR FALLS

The dollar fell 0.6 percent to 87.02 yen JPY=, not far from a seven-month low of 86.96 yen hit on EBS last week.

The greenback lost ground on Tuesday after a lacklustre report on the U.S. service sector [ID:nN06274234] added to other recent data suggesting consumer spending, housing and factory activity in the world's largest economy was moderating.

Sentiment was hurt by the Institute for Supply Management's reading on Tuesday that showed the service sector grew in June at its slowest pace since February, heightening concerns about a sluggish economic recovery and deterring investment in riskier assets such as shares, which gave up Tuesday's gains.

"The story in the U.S. is that the Federal Reserve may return to quantitative easing. I would not rule it out but they won't do it unless markets are very stressed," Halpenny said.

The dollar index .DXY edged up 0.2 percent to 84.294, staying near a two-month low of 83.825 hit this week.

Traders said the world's other major central banks may also need to ease policies further in the event of a U.S. double-dip and that the implications for currencies were far from clear.

The Australian dollar, which has had a strong correlation with Asian shares, fell 0.86 percent to $0.8455 AUD=D4.

(Additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano and Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tamawa Desai in London; Editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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