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Monday November 29, 2010 - 12:27:19 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro near 2-mth low, focus on Portugal, Spain

4:25am EST

* Euro slips below $1.3200 to lowest in 2 months

* Market looking beyond Ireland package

* Euro/dlr vols show bias towards weakness

(Adds quotes, detail, previous TOKYO)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The euro hovered near two-month lows against the dollar on Monday as investors looked past a rescue package for Ireland to debt problems in other peripheral euro zone economies and sold the currency on any bounce.

European Union finance ministers endorsed an 85 billion euro package to help Dublin cover bad bank debts and bridge its budget deficit, and approved outlines of a permanent crisis- resolution system which could make private bond holders share the burden of restructuring sovereign debt after 2013. [ID:nLDE6AR0MC]

A key question is whether the EU has done enough to stem contagion to other euro zone members such as Portugal and Spain, a problem left unresolved after Greece was bailed out in May.

"The euro remains a sell on rallies and any relief is temporary," said Ankita Dudani, G-10 currency strategist at RBS Global Banking. "Ireland is taken care of but now the question is whether Portugal needs help this year or the first thing next year. And then you have Spain."

The euro was up marginally at $1.3255, having fallen as far as $1.3182 EUR= earlier in Asia. It fell through its 100-day moving average on Friday, a bearish signal, and the next target is its 200-day moving average currently at $1.3131.

Euro/dollar implied volatilities maintained their recent ascent, reflecting nervousness about the single currency. One-month EUR1MO= inched up to 14.35 percent from 13.60 on Friday, while risk-reversals increasingly bid for the downside. The one-month 25-delta EUR1MRR=ICAP was trading around 1.95 for euro puts versus 1.85 on Friday.

Many traders think the European Financial Stability Facility, a joint EU-IMF fund created in May, may not have enough funds to support Spain if it needs help. [ID:nLDE6AR09R]

"The difficulty for the market is to allow itself the luxury of letting these developments get traction in a currency market where buying the euro is still akin to catching the falling knife," Daragh Maher, deputy head of global foreign exchange research at CIB wrote. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Euro zone crisis timeline: Multimedia coverage: Graphic on sovereign debt woes: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>


Ireland said the emergency loans would run for an average of 7.5 years, and EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the final interest rate was likely to be about 6 percent, slightly lower than some had expected. [ID:nWEA2085]

Another source of uncertainty is a lack of details on a Franco-German proposal to make private bondholders share the burden of losses on sovereign debt restructuring.

European Central Bank policymaker Christian Noyer brushed aside the possibility of investors taking losses or "haircuts" on sovereign bonds. The market showed a muted response. [ID:nTOE6AS00Y]

Analysts said the market would be on the lookout for whether ECB policymakers, meeting on Thursday, would go ahead and remove some of the emergency measures put in place earlier this year.

While some analysts think the Irish package would reduce Irish banks' need for ECB funding, RBS's Dudani said euro zone banks were still grappling with funding problems and the emergency measures were needed.

The euro's uptick saw the dollar index .DXY dip to 80.256. It rose to its highest level in two months against a basket of major currencies at 80.652 earlier in the session.

The dollar briefly hit a two-month high of 84.20 yen JPY=, but retreated to 83.95 yen, down 0.2 percent for the day.

The Swedish crown rose to a one-month high versus the euro after Swedish third-quarter growth came in much stronger than forecast. The euro EURSEK=D4 fell to 9.2180 crowns, its lowest since Oct. 26, compared to around 9.25 before the data.

(Additional reporting by Charlotte Cooper and Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo)

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