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Euro slips ahead of ECB meeting

Reported by AAP
Thursday, February 7, 2013
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The euro slipped against the dollar on Wednesday ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting, expected to keep monetary policy on hold.

Meanwhile, the Japanese currency pulled higher after hitting three-year lows on Tuesday.

The euro fell to $1.3519 at ,2200 GMT (0900 AEDT Thursday) from $1.3582 late Tuesday, nearly two cents below its 14-month high of $1.3710 hit on Friday.

The slip came a day before ECB policymakers were to meet, with most analysts saying they will not undertake any more easing of monetary conditions despite worries about slow growth and the strengthening euro.

On Tuesday French President Francois Hollande urged a more managed euro, saying it should not be allowed to "fluctuate depending on the markets' mood."

"A single currency zone must have a foreign exchange policy, otherwise it will see an exchange rate imposed on it (by the markets) which is out of line with its real competitive position," he told the European parliament.

Also weighing on the euro was concerns about political instability in Spain, where the government is under attack over corruption allegations, and Italy, where former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, much distrusted by markets and Europe's technocrats, was gaining in election polls.

"There is enough uncertainty around Spanish and Italian politics to ensure that the next leg higher for the euro is delayed," said Kit Juckes of Societe Generale.

Hollande's plea came amid increased worries from around the world over a global currency war.

A key target of those worries, the Japanese yen, pulled higher Wednesday a day after hitting three-year lows.

The yen sagged further on Tuesday following the announcement by Bank of Japan chief Masaaki Shirakawa that he would step down three weeks before his term ends, after butting heads with the new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over monetary policy.

Abe wants the central bank to undertake more easing to reinflate the slumping economy.

But the yen edged higher Wednesday, with a dollar buying 93.57 yen, compared with 93.61 yen a day earlier.

The euro slipped to 126.46 yen from 127.13 yen.

The British pound was virtually unchanged at $1.5658; the dollar rose to 0.9101 Swiss francs from 0.9077 francs.

23/10/2014 18:55Sydney, Australia. 23 October,2014
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