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Euro drops below US$1.18 to hit 9-year low

[LONDON] The euro extended losses on Thursday to hit a 9-year low against the dollar, as investors ramped up bets the European Central Bank was getting closer to adopting a large scale quantitative easing programme to ward off deflation.

A slump in German industrial orders in November reinforced bearish views of the single currency.

The euro fell past reported option barriers at US$1.18 to hit a low of US$1.17915 on trading platform EBS. It was the single currency's lowest level since late December 2005.

Data on Wednesday showed consumer prices in the euro zone fell in December from a year earlier, marking the first annual decline since 2009. That cemented expectations the ECB will probably announce a bond buying programme at its policy meeting on Jan 22


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