Dollar falls vs. euro and yen after GDP data

Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:26am EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar fell to multi-week lows against the euro and the yen on Friday after a report showed U.S. economic growth cooled in the first quarter, raising the prospect of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

The weaker-than-expected growth showed businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace at a time when investors are worried that lack of job creation will stem consumer spending.

The euro was already higher after a smooth Italian bond auction eased concerns over peripheral euro-zone debt markets and offset jitters sparked by a downgrade of Spain's sovereign debt and dismal Spanish economic data.

The U.S. economic data added to the dollar's woes, sending it to its lowest since mid-April against the yen.

"GDP was worse-than-expected, and that increases the chances of Fed launching QE3," said Daniel Hwang, senior currency strategist at in New York. "Markets shrugged off the Spanish rating action, and we could see risk assets continue upward momentum on expectations of a Fed move. This is negative for the dollar as it increases QE3 chances."

The euro rose to a three week high of $1.3270 and last traded at $1.3259 up 0.4 percent, well off the session low of $1.3155, according to Reuters data. The dollar was last down 0.5 percent against the yen at 80.62 yen.

The euro was already bid as the New York session began after Italy sold 5.95 billion euros of bonds, in an auction which analysts said went well.

That overcame a slew of bad news in the last 24 hours for the euro zone. Standard & Poor's cut Spain's credit rating to BBB-plus from A late on Thursday and gave it a negative outlook, warning it expects the government's budget deficit to deteriorate even more than previously thought due to economic contraction.

Spanish data released Friday highlighted the extent of economic weakness in the highly indebted country, with nearly a quarter of the nation's workforce unemployed and retail sales falling for the 21st consecutive month.   Continued...