* Euro hits near two-month low versus firmer dollar
* Concerns before Greek austerity vote dent euro
* U.S. election uncertainty helps safe-haven dollar
* Euro well below support at 200-day moving average
By Jessica Mortimer
LONDON, Nov 5 The euro fell to a near two-month
low against a broadly firmer dollar on Monday on uncertainty
over a Greek vote on austerity and before this week's U.S.
Greece's government will present an unpopular austerity
package to parliament on Monday and must win approval in a vote
expected on Wednesday to secure more international aid.
The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.2778, breaking below
a reported options barrier at $1.2800 and stop loss sell orders
at $1.2780 to mark its lowest since Sept. 11. It was last at
Having broken below the 200-day moving average around
$1.2836, chartists said the euro could face further losses,
although it has support at the Sept. 11 low of $1.2753.
Euro weakness helped the dollar to a two-month high against
a basket of currencies. Uncertainty about the U.S. election, in
which incumbent Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are neck
and neck in the polls, encouraged safe-haven flows into the U.S.
"With the euro there is concern about what's going on in
Greece, that they might not might not get the austerity vote
through, and with the dollar the fiscal cliff is really getting
some attention before the elections," said Arne Lohmann
Rasmussen, head of currency research at Danske Bank in
He said the dollar was also helped by Friday's
better-than-expected U.S. jobs data.
The dollar index hit 80.79, its highest since early
September as it surpassed resistance at the 200-day moving
average at 80.672.
With the Republicans seen retaining control of the House of
Representatives, victory for Obama would be seen as raising the
risk of policy paralysis when it comes to dealing with the
so-called 'fiscal cliff'.
If Congress cannot agree new arrangements, about $600
billion in government spending cuts and higher taxes will kick
in early next year.
If the euro closes below its 200-day moving average it would
be the first time this has happened since September. This could
signal a departure from its recent $1.28-$1.32 trading range,
although it has support at the Oct. 1 low of $1.28035, while
traders cited demand from Asian central banks to buy the euro.
Against the yen, the dollar fell on profit-taking, easing
0.2 percent to 80.28 yen, having hit a four-month high of
80.68 yen on Friday after the jobs data.
The dollar faces chart resistance at 80.65 yen, a 50 percent
retracement of its decline from March to September, but many
analysts expect it to rise in the near term.
"After the dollar/yen has tested a key Fibonacci level, it
needs a bit of consolidation in the very near term," said Teppei
Ino, currency analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in
"But the dollar looks likely to maintain its uptrend. The
dollar charts look bullish and better economic fundamentals in
the U.S. compared to Japan's also favour the dollar," he said.
Danske's Rasmussen said he favoured buying the dollar on any
dips against the yen, given that the Bank of Japan "has really
shown it is ready to be more aggressive and we see Japanese
Japan's industrial production, a leading indicator of the
manufacturing-driven economy, has been falling sharply,
prompting the Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy for two
months in a row - something it had not done for nearly a decade.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was up 0.2 percent
at $1.0346, after a pick-up in retail sales left the
market still guessing whether or not the Reserve Bank of
Australia will cut rates on Tuesday.