In early European deals on Monday, the euro declined against other major currencies ahead of the European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels today.
The euro remained under selling pressure since last week, weighed down by renewed jitters about the euro zone debt crisis and reduced expectations that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates soon.
Euro zone debt markets became increasingly unsettled in recent days as Portuguese 10-year bond yields reached record highs, sparking fresh concerns about funding costs in peripheral euro zone economies.
The euro weakened against the US dollar in early European deals on Monday. The euro-dollar pair is currently trading at more than a 3-week low of 1.3465, compared to Friday’s close of 1.3548. On the downside, 1.310 is seen as the next target level for the euro.
During early European deals on Monday, the euro slipped against the yen. As of now, the euro-yen pair is trading at a 5-day low of 112.13 and the next downside target level for the European currency is seen at 111.5. At Friday’s close, the pair was quoted at 113.05.
Gross domestic product in Japan was down 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the previous three months, the Cabinet Office said today. That was better than expectations for a 0.5 percent quarterly fall following the downwardly revised 0.8 percent increase in Q3.
On an annualized basis, GDP was down 1.1 percent – again topping forecasts for a 2.0 percent contraction following the downwardly revised 3.3 percent increase in the third quarter.
The euro fell against the pound in early European deals on Monday. The euro-pound pair that closed Friday’s trading at 0.8466 is now worth 0.8408. This set a 1-week low for the European currency. If the euro weakens further, it may likely target the 0.835 level.
The euro dropped against the Swiss franc after reaching a high of 1.3205 by about 2:35 am ET Monday. At present, the euro-franc pair is trading at a 4-day low of 1.3103 with 1.285 seen as the next downside target level. The pair closed Friday’s trading at 1.3186.
The franc advanced after Credit Suisse revised up Switzerland’s economic outlook for 2011 to 1.9% from an earlier prediction of 1.2%.
In early European deals on Monday, the euro edged down against the Australian dollar. As of now, the euro-aussie pair is trading at a 6-day low of 1.3420, compared to last week’s close of 1.3519. The next downside target level for the European currency is seen at 1.335.
The number of new home loans for owner-occupiers rose by a better-than-expected 2.1 per cent in December, to a seasonally adjusted 51,706, according to a release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The bureau said total housing finance by value rose by 2.5 per cent in December, seasonally adjusted, to A$21.587 billion.
The euro, which closed Friday’s trading at 1.3392 against the Canadian dollar declined to near a 4-week low of 1.3307 in early European deals on Monday. If the euro slips further, it may likely target the 1.320 level.
During early European deals on Monday, the euro dropped against the New Zealand dollar. Presently, the euro-kiwi pair is worth 1.7770, down from Friday’s close of 1.7820. If the European currency falls further, 1.765 is seen as the next target level.
Retail Sales in New Zealand were down 1.1 percent in December compared to the previous month, Statistics New Zealand said today – sharply lower than forecasts for a 0.4 percent decline following the 1.5 percent monthly increase in November.
For the fourth quarter of 2010, retail sales were down 0.4 percent compared to the previous three months. That was better than forecasts for 0.5 percent contraction following the 0.7 percent increase in the third quarter.
Looking ahead, the Eurozone industrial production for December is expected at 5:00 am ET.