The European Single Currency, euro hovered near five-month low on Thursday, May 17, as investors remained agitated about the demands of Italian populist parties and as a fresh rise in U.S. government bond yields underpinned demand for the dollar.
The euro labored close to the $1.18 mark at $1.1795 and down 0.1 percent on the day, slightly above the $1.1763 2018 low it hit on Wednesday.
The euro has slumped from more than $1.24 in April after a blistering dollar rally in which investors have bet that U.S. interest rates will need to rise further to curb inflation while other central banks postpone tightening.
That has forced investors with big positions against the dollar, which had been predicted to fall in 2018, to rush to unwind and cover their positions, pushing the greenback even higher.
Some analysts say the market is still complacent about the possibility of the dollar rising.
“This sense of a market that is not particularly well prepared for a euro decline is supported by the benign valuations still evident in the pricing of six-month and 12-month implied volatility,” said BNY Mellon in a note, referring to the six and 12 month price of a gauge of expected volatility in the euro.
The euro is also suffering after reports Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the anti-immigrant League may ask the European Central Bank to forgive 250 billion euros of debt as the parties worked to draft a coalition programme.
“The euro looks on track for further losses as market participants still appear to have more long positions on the euro to liquidate,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, while predicting that the fallout from Italy could we well contained.
The Australian dollar added 0.2 percent to $0.7529 after gaining 0.6 percent overnight, buoyed by a rise in prices of commodities such as copper. Other commodity-linked currencies like the Canadian dollar also advanced.