* Euro a hair above last week's low vs dollar
* Rising speculation euro's rally has run its course
* Uncertainty on Spain, Greece hindering euro
* Yen helped by repatriation ahead of Sept 30
* Aussie, kiwi fall as precious metal, Asian shares fall
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Sept 24 The euro tested last week's low
against the dollar on Monday, while the growth-linked Aussie and
kiwi slid on profit-taking as their rally sparked by stimulus
moves made by the world's central banks earlier this month ran
out of steam.
Uncertainty over Spain and Greece also hampered the euro
while the yen was helped by Japanese repatriation ahead of
half-year book-closing at the end of this month, though wariness
about Japan's possible intervention kept its advance in check.
The euro fell 0.3 percent to $1.2931, within striking
distance of Thursday's trough of $1.29195, having fallen 1.8
percent from a four-month peak of $1.3173 three days earlier.
An initial support is seen at $1.2905, the 23.6 percent
retracement of the July to September rally, followed by its
200-day moving average, which comes in around $1.2828.
Traders say a rally in the euro since late July, mainly
driven by hopes of an economic boost from the European Central
Bank's bond buying plan and the U.S. Federal Reserve's
additional easing, may have had run its course.
Data from U.S. derivatives watchdog CFTC showed Friday that
speculators' net euro short positions shrank to their lowest
level since November, having fallen to just above one-third of
the record peak, reached in June.
"I think the euro's rally has come to an end. Speculators
will now be able to build fresh short positions from here rather
than going long in the euro," said Teppei Ino, currency analyst
at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Also casting a shadow on the euro was uncertainty over when
Spain will seek external aid, a condition for the European
Central Bank to start buying Spanish debt.
Later this week, Madrid is expected to present its draft
budget plan for 2013 and new structural reforms as well as the
results of stress tests on its wobbly banking sector. These
could set the stage for a full-scale bailout.
But Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Saturday Spain
will not rush to seek external aid to finance its debt, and EU
officials said they did not expect Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
to seek an assistance programme before a regional election in
his native Galicia on Oct. 21.
Adding pressure for Spain to seek aid is a credit review by
ratings agency Moody's expected this week, as well as a 27.5
billion euro refinancing hump at the end of next month.
Moody's could downgrade Spanish debt to junk status,
although the agency has said it would welcome a Spanish aid
"What makes today's markets difficult is that a downgrade
could actually prompt Spain to seek aid, which would be positive
for the euro," said Katsunori Kitakura, associate general
manager of market making at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
On the other hand, Greece is still yet to secure a deal with
its international lenders, who left Athens this weekend before
they resume talks in a week.
An EU-IMF report into whether Greece's debt is manageable,
originally expected next month, now looks set to be delayed
until after Nov. 6 because policymakers want to avoid any shock
to the global economy before the U.S. election, EU officials and
Against the yen, the euro slipped to as low as 101.06 yen
, its lowest level in 10 days and 0.3 percent below
last week's closing levels.
The dollar also dipped 0.1 percent to 78.10 yen, with
traders citing Japanese repatriation as supporting the yen.
Yet the dollar has support at 78 yen as traders are wary
Japan might intervene in the market should the yen gain further,
with last week's easing by the Bank of Japan perceived as paving
the way for such a move.
In recent years, Tokyo's intervention came after, or at the
same time as BOJ's easing steps.
The Australian dollar fell 0.4 percent to $1.0413,
nearer to the bottom of last week's low of $1.0367 than the
six-month high of $1.0625 set on Sept 14.
"The short term outlook for the Aussie dollar is somewhat
messy. U.S. QE3, foreign central bank buying and prospects for
improved global growth and higher commodity prices into next
year are positive," said Shane Oliver, head of investment
strategy at AMP Capital.
"But against this, uncertainties regarding China, soft bulk
commodity prices and the likelihood of RBA (Reserve Bank of
Australia) rate cuts are negatives," he said.
The Aussie fell as both spot gold and silver
dropped more than 1 percent and Shanghai shares touched a fresh
3 1/2-year low.
The New Zealand dollar was also battered, falling 0.6
percent to $0.8245.
With no major economic reports out of Asia on Monday,
investors are looking to the latest reading of an influential
barometer of economic health in Germany, the Ifo business