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Wednesday July 14, 2010 - 10:04:45 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Euro holds near 2-mth high, more upside seen

5:53am EDT

* Euro near 2-month highs, little changed at $1.2709 EUR=

* U.S. earnings underpin stocks

* Eyes on FOMC minutes, U.S. retail sales

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Tamawa Desai

LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - The euro held near a two-month high against the dollar on Wednesday, supported by strong U.S. corporate earnings and easing concerns about euro zone sovereign debt, which also helped push equities higher.

Traders said funds were increasingly moving out of cash and low-yielding U.S. Treasuries to buy euro and growth-related currencies.

Earnings from Intel Corp (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) beat expectations and the technology gaint gave an upbeat sales outlook, pushing S&P futures higher SPv1.SPX. [ID:nN12197658]

Investors were also encouraged after a smooth auction of Greek government paper on Tuesday. [ID:nATH005574].

"Investors are breathing a sigh of relief for now as the Q2 earnings season has begun well and euro zone peripheral problems appear more stable," said Geoffrey Yu, currency strategist at UBS.

By 0923 GMT, the euro EUR= eased slightly from late U.S. trade on Tuesday to $1.2709, not far from a two-month peak of $1.2739 EUR=EBS hit the previous day.

Movements could be limited by options with a strike price of $1.2700 set to expire later in the day.

The next target for euro/dollar is the $1.30 area, in a head-and-shoulders configuration starting from the low below $1.20 struck last month, said Roberto Mialich, currency strategist at Unicredit in Milan.

Intermediate resistance could emerge around $1.28, he said, adding: "We could see a new trading band of $1.25 - $1.30."

Others said the next target would come in at $1.2780, which is a 50 percent retracement of the euro's fall from mid-April to the June low.

Data showing slower euro zone inflation as expected, and a slightly lower-than-expected reading in industrial production [ID:nBRLEIE63T] had little impact on the market.

YEN LOWER

The euro also hit a three-week high of 113.29 yen EURJPY=R before paring gains to trade around 112.90 yen.

Good absorption of the Greek debt overrode concerns about Portugal's sovereign rating being downgraded by Moody's on Tuesday. It had a stable outlook, which some said had helped limit fears about the country's debt.

The yen JPY= remained pressured and fell 0.1 percent against the dollar at 88.80 yen, with talk of stop-loss bids above 89.25 yen.

Options with strike prices of 88.50 yen and 89.00 yen were set to expire, which may cap movements, traders said.

The dollar index .DXY was down slightly to 83.56, having broken trendline support. New support is seen around 83.15, the 38.2 percent retracement of the index's November to June rally.

The Australian dollar hovered near $0.8828 after hitting a three-week high of $0.8851 AUD=D4.

Other major U.S. corporates to report quarterly earnings this week include JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). [ID:nN07172590]

The market will look to the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's June 22-23 policy meeting, due at 1800 GMT, on speculation policymakers may have discussed further easing measures.

U.S. June retail sales, due at 1230 GMT, will also be in focus with the market expecting sales fell 0.2 percent. (Editing by Susan Fenton)

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