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Forex - Euro Extends Losses in Risk-Off Trade

The euro extended early losses against the dollar on Monday, as a row between Italy’s populist government and the European Commission over Italy’s budget plans soured market sentiment. EUR/USD was down 0.36% to 1.1480 by 05:18 AM ET (09:18 AM GMT), falling back towards last week’s one-and-a-half month lows of 1.1463. The euro extended losses after Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici are the real enemies of Europe. Brussels and Rome have been at odds over the country's budget deficit plans for the next three years, which breach EC rules on running excessive deficits and high debt. But Italy insisted on Saturday it would "not retreat" from its spending plans. The row has seen Italian borrowing costs rise and raised fears that it could trigger another round of the country’s debt crisis. Sentiment on the single currency was also hit by some disappointing euro zone economic data. Investor morale in the euro area fell more than expected in October, according to a survey released on Monday. Another report showed that German industrial output unexpectedly declined in August, for a third consecutive month. Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned as a recent solid run of U.S. economic data underpinned expectations for further gradual rate hikes by the Federal Reserve through the end of this year and beyond. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.29% to 95.59, after hitting a six-week high of 95.78 last week. The Labor Department reported Friday that while the rate of jobs growth slowed sharply in September, likely due to the effects of Hurricane Florence, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in almost 50 years. Expectations for tighter monetary policy spurred a sell-off in Treasuries last week, propelling the yield on 10-year Treasury notes to a seven-year peak on Friday. The higher U.S. Treasury yields helped the dollar gain against most of its major peers last week. Moves remained subdued on Monday amid thin liquidity with financial markets in Japan and U.S. bond markets closed for holidays.

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