The euro was under renewed pressure on Friday, amid reports suggesting that ratings agency S&P will downgrade a number of euro zone nations, including France and Germany.
Multiple sources say that the ratings agency will make the move later today, ahead of the three-day weekend in the U.S.
In December, S&P put 15 countries in the single currency bloc on negative creditwatch, citing concerns about “deepening political, financial and monetary problems with the European economic and monetary union.”
In the meantime, Italy successfully sold EUR 4.75 billion of debt in its first bond auction of the year on Friday, meeting the maximum target set for the sale and at a lower cost.
The euro slipped below $1.27 versus the buck, nearing Tuesday’s 16-month low of $1.2661.
Reversing a drop in October, the U.S. trade deficit saw a notable increase in November, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department.
U.S. exports fell by 0.9 percent to a level of $177.8 billion, while imports rose by 1.3 percent to a level of $225.6 billion, according to the report.
That put the trade deficit at $47.8 billion, a 10.4 percent increase from October’s revised level of $43.3 billion.
The euro slid back below GBP 0.83 versus the sterling, and dropped to Y97.80 from near Y99 versus the yen.
Eurozone’s merchandise trade surplus increased significantly in November, data released by statistical office Eurostat showed Friday.
The trade surplus increased to EUR6.9 billion in November from EUR1 billion in October. In November 2010, the trade balance was a deficit of EUR2.3 billion.