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FOREX-Euro extends rebound as bears trim bets ahead of G7 call
June 5, 2012 / 3:51 AM / 5 years ago

FOREX-Euro extends rebound as bears trim bets ahead of G7 call

* Euro hits 1-week high vs USD, above tenkan line

* Euro rebound may lose steam if no concrete steps from G7

* Some speculate ECB might act on Wed

* Asian traders watch RBA, expectations vary from no action to 50 bp cut

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, June 5 (Reuters) - The euro extended gains to a one-week high on Tuesday as some sellers pared back their huge bets against the currency ahead of a conference call by the Group of Seven financial policy makers.

Although market players remain sceptical of a major breakthrough given a lack of consensus within Europe on how to save Spanish banks among other things, there was caution in case the meeting does lead to some kind of agreement between policymakers, given the record short positions on the euro.

“It will take a long time to resolve the debt crisis. I don’t expect European policy makers to come to an agreement soon. I am ready to sell the euro around $1.2550,” said a trader at a Japanese bank.

The euro rose to as high as $1.25429, its highest in a week, extending its rebound from a two-year low of $1.2288 reached on Friday. It last stood at $1.2530, up 0.3 percent from late U.S. levels.

On the daily Ichimoku chart, the euro rose substantially above tenkan line, for the first time in about a month and if it closes above that level, at $1.24565, on Tuesday, it could herald further recovery in the battered currency.

The immediate hurdle for the euro is resistance at $1.2545, a 76.4 percent Fibonacci retracement of its decline last week while another resistance is looming at $1.2570, a 23.6 percent retracement of its longer term decline from February high of $1.34869.

“If nothing comes out of the G7, then we could well see the euro slipping again,” said another trader at a Japanese brokerage.

Against the yen, the single currency also rose 0.3 percent to 98.22 yen, bouncing off Friday’s 11-year low of 95.59 yen.

Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven leading industrialised powers will hold emergency talks on the euro zone debt crisis on Tuesday in a sign of heightened global alarm about strains in the 17-nation European currency area.

The news was enough to prompt some euro bears to take profits as the market is extremely short on the euro. The data from U.S. financial watchdog showed speculators’ net euro short position stood at a record high last week.

HEAT ON ECB

France and the European Commission also signaled their support on Monday for an ambitious plan to directly use the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund to rescue stricken banks.

But Germany, the euro zone’s biggest economy and the biggest contributor to the European Stability Mechanism, has so far opposed any use of bailout funds without a country having to submit to a politically humiliating austerity programme imposed by international lenders.

As any agreements on a rescue deal on Spanish banks are likely to need more time, some market players see an outside chance of quicker action from the European Central Bank to support growth at its policy meeting on Wednesday, such as a rate cut or a massive injection of funds.

“It’s interesting to see what the G7 will discuss ahead of the ECB (European Central Bank) meeting tomorrow. They may put pressure on the ECB to do something,” said Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

Some market players speculate that ECB President Mario Draghi may try to take pre-emptive moves to surprise markets, as he did last year just after he took over the helm at the bank.

DON‘T FORGET RBA

Ahead of the ECB, the market will be watching the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate announcement 02:30 p.m. (0430 GMT) on Tuesday, where market expectations vary wildly from no action to a 50 basis point cut, with a 25 point cut being the most popular call.

Local money markets are pricing in a rate cut of at least 25 basis points on top of last month’s surprise half-percentage point easing.

A 50 basis point cut would hurt the Aussie as it erodes the currency’s yield advantage over other major currencies, a magnet for foreign investment in the Aussie.

But some traders think a deeper cut should help the Australian economy weather the global storm and support the Aussie.

“While many countries do not have much room to stimulate the economy (through monetary policy), Australia still can do that,” said Junya Tanase, chief currency strategist at JPMorgan Chase.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.9763, up 0.45 percent so far on the day in line with short-covering in the euro and risk assets and above an eight-month trough of $0.9581 hit on Friday.

The Japanese yen moved little against the U.S. dollar at 78.33 yen, off Friday’s 3 1/2-month low of 77.652 yen. (Additional reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Ramya Venugopal & Kim Coghill)

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