* Euro zone yields hit record lows two days after QE starts
* Euro weakness helps dollar index test 11-year highs
* Australian dollar dips to 6-year low against greenback
By Jemima Kelly
LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – The euro plumbed another 12-year low against the dollar on Wednesday, extending a broad decline since the European Central Bank kicked off its 1.1 trillion euro asset-buying programme at the start of the week.
The ECB began creating new money to buy sovereign bonds on Monday in an effort to support growth and lift euro zone inflation from below zero.
That sent yields on the debt of nearly all euro zone countries to record lows on Wednesday, with the yield on 10-year German bonds, which set the standard for euro area borrowing costs, falling below 0.2 percent for the first time ever.
The euro lost half a percent against the dollar to trade at $ 1.0638, its weakest since April 2003. It has fallen 12 percent so far in 2015 and almost 25 percent since last May.
Against sterling, the euro fell half a percent to 70.62 pence, its weakest since November 2007. The single currency also fell against the yen, hitting an 18-month low of 129.120 against the Japanese currency.
“It’s the euro versus everything,” said Stephen Gallo, European head of FX strategy at BMO Capital Markets in London. “The way these moves look is it’s not just speculators piling into euro shorts, it’s actually net flow of capital out of the euro.”
The common currency has also been pressured by persistent uncertainty about cash-strapped Greece as it gears up to resume talks with creditors in Brussels later in the day. Many fear the possibility Greece could exit from the euro zone, and Italy’s economy minister warned this outcome should be avoided.
Gains against the euro helped the dollar reach an 11-1/2-year high against a basket of major currencies of 99.018, extending an almost 25 percent rally since July 2014.
While the euro zone is flooded with liquidity, upbeat U.S. employment data on Friday heightened market speculation the Federal Reserve could lift interest rates as soon as the middle of this year.
But some investors are concerned the dollar might have gained too much too quickly.
“With key dollar pairs rapidly overtaking many forecasts once viewed as aggressive and hitting established trading targets, many market participants are unsurprisingly questioning whether moves have been excessive and could be prone to correction,” analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a note.
Among commodity currencies, the Australian dollar slumped to a six-year trough of $ 0.7588, still suffering from Tuesday’s data showing a slide in Chinese producer prices.
(Additional reporting by Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo and Ian Chua in Sydney; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
- Currency Exchange
- Australian dollar
- European Central Bank