European debt woes drive euro to 13-month low

European debt woes drive euro to 13-month low
# 05 May 2010 09:10 (UTC +04:00)
The dollar rose broadly as stocks and commodity prices tumbled, Associated Press reported.

The euro sank as low as $1.2994, its weakest point since April 2009. In late New York trading, the euro bought $1.3004, compared with $1.3212 late Monday. Last November, before markets realized the extent of Greece’s debt problems, the euro bought more than $1.51.

The euro has lost favor as European governments have scrambled to find a solution to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debts. An aid package of 110 billion euros, or $144 billion, is now in the works.

Germany, which will bear a lion’s share of the load, is expected approve the plan in its parliament by the end of the week. The 15 other euro countries and the International Monetary Fund scrambled to bail out Greece as borrowing costs soared for indebted European countries.

But investors remain worried about Europe’s ability to shoulder aid for other countries that may need help, such as Portugal. Borrowing costs for other indebted countries also remain high, said Brown Brothers Harriman currency analyst Win Thin.

Analysts don’t see an end to the euro’s fall. UBS AG, which had a three-month price target of $1.30, says its euro forecast is under review. Morgan Stanley, which has a euro forecast of $1.24 by the end of the year, is considering lowering its target.

"There’s no easy way to fix the debt problem in Europe," said Morgan Stanley currency strategist Ron Leven. "It’s very difficult to see how Greece can dig itself out of its debt problem." There may have to be a restructuring of Greece’s debt beyond the bailout, he said. European banks, which are big holders of Greek bonds, would take a big hit.
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