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Wednesday October 15, 2014 - 00:27:20 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX-Dollar prevails as euro, sterling come under pressure

6:40pm EDT

* Euro and sterling fall after disappointing local data

* German ZEW index falls below zero; UK inflation slows sharply

* Canadian dollar hits five-year lows

* China inflation data takes centre stage in Asia

By Ian Chua

SYDNEY, Oct 15 (Reuters) - The euro and sterling nursed losses early on Wednesday after disappointing data out of Germany and Britain took a heavy toll on both currencies, helping send the dollar index higher.

The common currency fell to $1.2640 from a near one-week high of $1.2770 after a closely watched ZEW survey showed German analyst and investor morale fell below zero for the first time in nearly two years in October.

Adding to the gloom, the German government cut its growth forecasts, euro zone industrial production fell, and Fitch warned it may cut France's credit ratings, saying the outlook for the country's economy had deteriorated.

Those factors added to worries about global growth at a time when the U.S. Federal Reserve is unwinding its massive stimulus program.

The euro also lost ground against the yen and the Swiss franc. It traded at 135.60 yen, having earlier plumbed an 11-month low of 135.04. On the Swiss franc, it dipped to a two-week low of 1.2062 francs.

"ECB President Mario Draghi will have more opportunities to convince markets of the ECB's resolve when he delivers remarks at two different conferences Wednesday," analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a note to clients.

"Euro zone 5y5y inflation expectations fell to a new low of 1.8 percent, suggesting the ECB has an uphill battle ahead. We continue to expect further easing measures in Q1, and would look for ECB officials to continue to stress willingness to do more if necessary."

Sterling also came in the cross hairs of sellers after British inflation slowed in September to its lowest level in five years, prompting markets to push out the likely timing of an interest rate hike by the Bank of England.

Sterling fell as far as $1.5895, reaching lows not seen since November 2013 and bringing in focus the November trough of $1.5852.

The lack of inflationary pressure across many developed economies, helped in part by a 26 percent slide in oil prices since June, has knocked government bond yields lower.

So even with the Fed on track to wind up its bond-buying program soon, the 10-year Treasury yield has dropped back below 2.2 percent, reaching 16-month lows.

Normally, that would dampen the allure of the greenback against the yen, but not this time with the euro and sterling under even more pressure.

As a result, the dollar managed to rebound to 107.05 yen from a one-month low of 106.68.

It also climbed against the dollar-bloc currencies, pushing to its highest level in more than five years on its Canadian peer. It traded as high as C$1.1313, before edging back to C$1.1287.

The Australian dollar slipped toward 87 U.S. cents and could retest a four-year trough of $0.8642 set early this month if a raft of Chinese data were to disappoint.

China, Australia's biggest trading partner, will release inflation data around 0130 GMT, followed next week by industrial output and third-quarter gross domestic product. (Editing by Leslie Adler)

Thomson Reuters 2014. All rights reserved.



 

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