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Monday July 23, 2007 - 10:33:56 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar hits new low vs euro but recovers in Europe

FOREX-Dollar hits new low vs euro but recovers in Europe
Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:18AM EDT

(Changes byline, updates prices, adds quotes and comment)

By Jamie McGeever

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - The dollar broadly steadied on Monday, recovering from earlier losses after continuing to take the brunt of concerns that weakness in U.S. high-risk credit markets could spill over to the broader U.S. economy.

The dollar had earlier slipped to a record low against the euro, fresh multi-year lows against higher yielding currencies like sterling and the New Zealand dollar and a six-week low against the ultra-low yielding yen.

But while trading was choppy in Asia following the sharp decline in global equities and bond yields on Friday, activity was calmer in Europe as the slide in bond yields slowed, stocks stabilised and traders pared back their bets against the dollar.

"The dollar's performance (in Europe) has been a little more mixed. It's more of a mixed bag today but I'd say that's more down to positioning - the euro and sterling go to new highs then we get a little bit of a pullback," said Frida Gjorstrup, currency strategist at JP Morgan in London.

"There's no shift in the fundamentals. The market will remain nervous in the near term," she added.

At 0945 GMT the euro was 0.1 percent down on the day against the dollar at $1.3813, having hit an all-time high earlier in the session of $1.3844 <EUR=>.

Sterling hit a fresh 26-year high versus the dollar above $2.06, before paring those gains to trade flat on the day at $2.0565 <GBP=>.

The New Zealand dollar rose above $0.80 for the first time since the currency was floated in 1985 <NZD=>, and at 0945 GMT was still up 0.4 percent on the day at $0.8010.

The dollar was flat against the yen at 121.30 yen <JPY=>, having hit a six-week low of 120.82 yen earlier in the day, according to Reuters data <JPY=>, while the euro was also flat against the Japanese currency at 167.57 yen <EURJPY=>.


The dollar was up 0.3 percent against the Swiss franc at 1.2040 francs <CHF=>, while the dollar index against six major currencies was steady at 80.30 (.DXY: Quote, Profile, Research), albeit anchored near Friday's 12-year low of 80.117.

There are no major economic data releases from the United States, UK or the euro zone on Monday, leaving FX investors to focus on equity, credit and bond markets for direction.

The dominant theme is still likely to be the nervousness pervading credit sentiment after the problems with debt linked to risky subprime mortages.

"In the short term, we continue to see the subprime and credit concerns as a U.S., rather than global, issue. As such, we expect broader dollar weakness to remain the key theme in FX markets this week," Barclays Capital strategists wrote in a research note on Monday.

"There is likely to be considerable volatility in the carry trade as the anxiety in the U.S. credit market continues this week amid the CDO (collateralized debt obligation) crisis, further ratings downgrades and contagion to other credit markets."

The currency matching system of news and information provider Reuters Group Plc (RTR.L: Quote, Profile, Research) suffered a temporary outage on Monday, forcing some traders to switch to alternative venues or trade over the phone. [ID:nSP176161]

The outage hobbled trading in currencies primarily traded over the Reuters platform for much of the Asian session, affecting trades in sterling <GBP=D4>, and the Australian <AUD=D4>, New Zealand <NZD=D4> and Canadian dollars <CAD=D4>.

© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.


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