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FOREX-Dollar falls vs euro on Swiss bank speculation, optimism on Greece
February 5, 2015 / 4:13 PM / 3 years ago

FOREX-Dollar falls vs euro on Swiss bank speculation, optimism on Greece

* Traders speculate Swiss National Bank buying euros

* Traders shrug off concerns over Greece funding

* Swiss franc at weakest vs euro since SNB scrapped cap (Recasts throughout; changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON)

By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar slipped against the euro while the euro rose against the Swiss franc on Thursday on speculation the Swiss National Bank was buying euros and as traders took a sanguine view on developments surrounding Greece.

The view that the Swiss central bank was buying euros to weaken the franc boosted the euro broadly and helped it recover from losses on Wednesday after the European Central Bank said it would no longer accept Greek bonds in return for funding.

“An actively intervening SNB will support the euro, not only against the Swiss franc, but against the dollar as well,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. The Swiss central bank is “going to be a massive buyer of euros, and that’s supportive for the euro,” he added.

The euro was up 0.78 percent against the dollar at $1.14340 after earlier hitting a low of $1.13040. The euro hit 1.06425 franc, its highest against the franc since Jan. 15, when the Swiss central bank stunned markets by scrapping the three-year-old cap on its currency.

Analysts said traders brushed off Wednesday’s announcement from the ECB regarding Greek funding and took the view the consequences may not be dramatic in the near term.

“With no major repercussions for the broader European markets, and with risk sentiment appearing to recover, the euro just kind of retraced those losses,” said Vassili Serebriakov, currency strategist at BNP Paribas in New York.

The greenback was hurt after data showed the U.S. trade deficit in December widened to its most since 2012 as the dollar’s recent strength appeared to suck in imports and weigh on exports, while a report showing a surge in German industrial orders for December helped the euro.

The dollar was last up slightly against the safe-haven Japanese yen, with analysts citing greater risk appetite in response to a rebound in oil prices and strength in U.S. equities.

The dollar was up 0.17 percent against the yen at 117.46 yen . The dollar was last down 0.1 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.9247 franc.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.2 percent at 93.793.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 stock index was last up 0.8 percent. (Additional reporting by Jemima Kelly in London; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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