Categorized | Forex

FOREX-Euro down for 3rd day vs dlr as Europe woes deepen

FOREX-Euro down for 3rd day vs dlr as Europe woes deepen

* Euro falls vs dollar as euro manufacturing slides

* Figures contrast with strong U.S. factory data

* U.S. ADP report shows weaker-than-expected jobs creation

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) – The euro fell for a third straight session against the dollar on Wednesday after soft data rekindled fears about a deep and broader slowdown in the euro zone, which seemed vulnerable ahead of key elections in France and Greece.

The euro, however, briefly trimmed losses after a report showed the U.S. economy created fewer private-sector jobs than expected last month.

The fact that Wednesday’s readings in the euro zone were weak not just in indebted smaller regional economies but in core nations too raised speculation over possible policy signals at Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting.

Italy’s manufacturing sector shrank far more than expected, with new orders tumbling at their fastest rate in three years, while data out of Germany, Spain and France also showed factory activity falling significantly.

“The deterioration in the euro area data will increase the focus on tomorrow’s ECB meeting as market participants focus on policymakers’ outlooks and weigh the probability of a policy response,” said Eric Theoret, currency strategist, at Scotia capital in Toronto.

The euro fell to $1.3121, its lowest in more than a week, though volumes were thin after the May Day holiday in Europe and traders said this could cause exaggerated moves. The euro last traded at $1.3138, down 0.7 percent.

The ECB meets on Thursday in Spain, with pressure back on the bank to use bond buying and other measures to shield weaker euro members from additional pain. While it is widely forecast to keep interest rates unchanged, expectations it may soon cut borrowing costs are rising, eroding the euro’s interest rate advantage.

With elections looming in Europe, political uncertainty has the potential to push the euro below $1.30 in coming weeks.

It hit a two-week low against the safe-haven yen, dropping to 105.43 yen, and a 22-month low against the British pound .

The euro was also hurt by data that showed the euro zone labor market continued to worsen as unemployment rose to match its record high of 10.9 percent last seen 15 years ago.

The data in the euro zone contrasted with better U.S. factory numbers a day earlier, although Wednesday’s weaker-than-expected U.S. private sector jobs data did temper some optimism about the world’s largest economy. The ADP, however, is not necessarily the most accurate forecaster of the broader U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday.

“After Tuesday’s ISM manufacturing data, the market was primed for an upside surprise, so this definitely takes the wind out of the sails,” said Boris Schlossberg, director of FX Research, GFT, Jersey City.

“But ADP is always a big question mark and tomorrow’s ISM services will be critical as that tends to be a much better forecaster of the nonfarm payrolls number.

The ADP report, however, had a bigger impact on dollar/yen, which gave up some of its gains after the data’s release. The dollar was last at 80.150 yen, slightly up on the day and off a 2-1/2-month low of 79.640 yen hit on Tuesday.

Pressure on the yen increased after a Moody’s ratings agency official said Japan’s delay in implementing a sales tax increase could bring forward “the day of reckoning” in the Japanese government bond market.

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