Euro Hits New 11-Year Low on Dollar before ECB Meets


The euro hit a new 11-year low on the dollar Thursday as investors waited for the European Central Bank (ECB) to announce details of its bond-purchase program.

The single currency bought $1.1055 in Tokyo against $1.1080 late Wednesday in New York, its lowest level since September 2003.

With the ECB’s decision-making council meeting on Thursday, President Mario Draghi is set to unveil details of the bank’s 1.1 trillion euro quantitative-easing plan, due to be launched this month to ward off deflation.

The ECB’s stance is in stark contrast to the Federal Reserve’s plan to exit crisis support, having ended its asset-purchasing plan in October. It is now planning to raise interest rates this year.

The dollar was at 119.85 yen against 119.70 yen in New York late Wednesday.

“Clearly there looks to be an element of currency-market positioning ahead of the ECB decision,” Philip Borkin, a senior economist at ANZ Bank New Zealand wrote in a client note, according to Bloomberg News. “Beyond that, the global economy needs more than one engine, the U.S., to give it sustainability.”

On Thursday China lowered its 2015 economic growth target to “around seven percent” as authorities attempt to set the world’s second-largest economy on a more sustainable expansion path.

The goal announced by Premier Li Keqiang comes after China’s economy expanded 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest pace in 24 years. Last year’s target was “about 7.5 percent”.

The Chinese yuan edged up to 6.2681 against the dollar Thursday from 6.2719 Wednesday.

China’s central bank cut interest rates for the second time in three months on Saturday.

The Chinese currency earlier this week dropped to the 6.28 range against the dollar, levels not seen in more than two years.

The dollar was higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It rose to 1,100.05 South Korean won from 1,097.19 won on Wednesday,  to 32.42 Thai baht from 32.36 baht and to 13,026.50 Indonesian rupiah from 12,973.00 rupiah.

It also climbed to Tw$31.45 from Tw$31.39, to Sg$1.3694 from Sg$1.3638, to 44.15 Philippine pesos from 44.07 pesos, and 62.24 Indian rupees from 61.85 rupees.

The Chinese yuan fetched 19.12 yen against 19.09 yen.


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