Euro dives to nine-year low as U.S. dollar surges

By Reuters

Jan 04, 2015 08:54 PM EST

The euro tumbled to its lowest since early 2006 in Asia on Monday as a wave of stop-loss sales were tripped on the break of major chart support, sending the U.S. dollar flying higher against a range of competitors.

The euro was quoted as low as $1.18605 on trading platform EBS and at $1.1883 on Reuters, compared to a trough of $1.2002 on Friday.

A thin market greatly exaggerated the move when support at $1.2000 gave way and triggered automatic sales, said dealers. The dive briefly took the euro under the 2010 trough around $1.1875. 

The single currency was last quoted at $1.1940, but pricing was very erratic.

The dollar also surged against the Swiss franc and sterling, extending a recent bull run as markets wagered a relatively healthy U.S. economy will lead the Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner than other major central banks.

The dollar was quoted as high as 1.0087 francs, from 1.0000 franc late in New York on Friday. Sterling sank as low as $1.5211, levels last seen in mid-2013.

Traders said the move on Monday was mostly related to positioning, though euro sentiment was hardly helped by continued speculation about the possible exit of Greece from the single currency.

Reports over the weekend suggested that Germany now believed the euro zone would be able to cope with a Greek exit, or "Grexit", if necessary.

Other currency pairs were relatively calm, with the dollar steady at 120.53 yen on Monday. The dollar index was up 0.4 percent at 91.473.

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