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Euro rebounds from more than 2-year low

New York

THE euro fell to more than two-year lows against the US dollar on Friday as a weak growth outlook weighed on the single currency, though it rebounded after testing technical support levels.

Dismal business activity data from the euro area, especially powerhouse economy Germany, has pushed European bond yields lower across the board during the week, with further pressure coming from concern over economic weakness in Britain.

"We have had a steady drip of weak data from the eurozone and that is highlighting the differences between the US and Europe," said Commerzbank analyst Thu Lan Nguyen, adding that the US is still showing signs of strength.

Negative interest rates, quantitative easing and other attempts by the European Central Bank (ECB) to stimulate the eurozone economy are also making investment in US government debt more attractive and boosting the greenback against the euro.

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"The more recent drift lower in the euro seems to be perpetuated by the continued grind lower in growth expectations, and certainly in realised growth in the eurozone," said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities in New York. Further ECB stimulus, negative rates and bond buying are also exerting a pull on the euro, he added.

The euro dropped as low as US$1.0903, its lowest since May 2017, in overnight trading before rising back to US$1.0938. The single currency has technical support around US$1.0925, which could provide a floor for the time being.

"We did break below that briefly yesterday, but that was late trading in New York, and so I think there is going to be quite a bit of hesitance to try to push it below that on a sustainable basis," Mr Issa said, noting that quarter-end rebalancing is also limiting risk taking.

Sterling also fell, weakening to a two-week low of US$1.2269 after Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders hinted at looser monetary policy if Brexit uncertainty remained prolonged against a backdrop of disappointing global growth. The currency later rose back to US$1.2291.

The Chinese yuan weakened after Bloomberg reported that White House officials are discussing ways to limit US portfolio flows into China.

The greenback gained 0.31 per cent on the day to 7.1451 yuan. REUTERS

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