* Euro dives to lowest against dollar since September 2003
* Sweden’s crown falls vs dollar on Swedish QE speculation
* Euro sinks to seven-year low vs sterling
* Greek election on Sunday adding to euro weakness (New throughout, updates prices; changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON)
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The euro fell to fresh 11-year lows against the dollar on Friday following the European Central Bank’s announcement on Thursday that it would pump a trillion euros into the euro zone economy to revive sagging growth and ward off deflation.
The euro lost over 2 percent against the greenback and fell below $ 1.12 to $ 1.1115 for the first time since September 2003 after the ECB unveiled a bond-buying program. The euro also hit a 16-month trough against the yen at 130.91 yen on Friday.
After a similar tumble on Thursday, the euro was down over 7 percent since the start of the year and on track for its biggest monthly fall since the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009.
“We are in an avalanche of euro selling,” said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of currency strategy at BK Asset Management in New York.
The euro is set for yet another trial as global markets await snap Greek elections on Sunday. A win for the leftist Syriza party could trigger a standoff with Greece’s EU/IMF lenders. Analysts said the uncertainty added to the euro’s weakness.
The euro also set a fresh seven-year low versus sterling of 74.295 pence.
The dollar appeared to be headed higher given the Federal Reserve’s path toward tighter monetary policy in contrast with the looser policies of other central banks such as the ECB and the Bank of Japan, analysts said.
“The name of the game is that the dollar will continue to appreciate against currencies of central banks that are easing,” said Mark McCormick, currency strategist at Credit Agricole in New York. He said that volatility would, however, keep the dollar from reaching parity with the euro until mid-2016.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, hit fresh more than 11-year highs and was last up 0.68 percent at 94.717.
The dollar was last down 0.68 percent against the safe-haven yen at 117.7 yen, with analysts citing weakness in U.S. stocks and lingering disappointment that the Bank of Japan held off from expanding its bond-buying program.
The Swedish crown tumbled 1.2 percent against the dollar to an almost six-year low of 8.3697 crowns after a Riksbank official said the bank was technically ready to launch its own quantitative easing program if necessary.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by Jemima Kelly in London; Editing by James Dalgleish)
- Banking & Budgeting
- European Central Bank