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LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Barclays became on Wednesday the latest big bank to back off its forecast for the euro to fall below parity with the dollar this year, saying it sees the single currency falling to as low as $1.03 this year before recovering.
Currency analysts at the world's sixth biggest foreign exchange trading bank say the political risk from a series of elections in Europe has ebbed, and that the European Central Bank will move to normalise its ultra-loose monetary policy quicker than previously anticipated.
"Politics will be less of a downward force than we initially thought, and the ECB is a bit more comfortable in normalising policy," said Hamish Pepper, an FX strategist at Barclays.
He and his colleagues had previously pencilled in a decline to $0.99 by the end of this year. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Nigel Stephenson)