Euro steady after bond auctions, but remains vulnerable

Forexpros - The euro held steady against its major counterparts on Tuesday, supported by a well received Dutch government auction, but investors remained wary after Spain and Italy saw borrowing costs increase following government bond sales.

During European late morning trade, the euro was almost unchanged against the U.S. dollar, with EUR/USD dipping 0.01% to hit 1.3155.

Spain sold EUR725 million of three-month bonds at a yield of 0.63%, up from 0.38% in March and EUR1.2 billion of six-month bonds at a yield of 1.58%, up from 0.83% last month.

The auction came one day after the Bank of Spain confirmed that country's economy entered a recession in the first quarter, with gross domestic product contracting by 0.4% in the three months to March, following a contraction of 0.3% in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Italy auctioned EUR3.34 billion of government bonds at the highest costs since January.

Market sentiment remained supported after The Netherlands successfully auctioned EUR1.99 billion of two and 25-year government bonds.

The results of the auction were closely watched amid fears that the country could lose its triple-A credit rating following the collapse of the government on Monday after talks on the 2013 austerity budget failed.

The single currency was hovering just above to a 20-month low against the broadly stronger pound, with EUR/GBP slipping 0.09% to hit 0.8148.

In the U.K., official data showed that public sector borrowing rose more-than-expected last month, while the country's debt-to-GDP ratio rose to a record high 8.3%.

The Office for National Statistics said public borrowing rose to GBP18.17 billion in March, from GBP17.95 billion a year ago, higher than expectations for an increase to GBP14.4 billion.

Sterling remained supported by diminished expectations for another round of monetary easing by the Bank of England.

The euro was little changed against the yen and the Swiss franc, with EUR/JPY inching up 0.03% to hit 106.82 and EUR/CHF dipping 0.01% to hit 1.2019.

Earlier Tuesday, official data showed that Switzerland's trade surplus narrowed to CHF1.69 billion last month from CHF2.61 billion in February, as imports rebounded from the previous month's steep drop.

The shared currency was broadly higher against the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars, with EUR/CAD inching down 0.06% to hit 1.3034, EUR/AUD rising 0.38% to hit 1.2797 and EUR/NZD adding 0.12% to hit 1.6190.

The Australian dollar was hit after official data showed that consumer prices rose 0.1% in the first quarter, below expectations for a 0.7% rise, fuelling expectations for a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia at next week's policy meeting.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release an industry data on house price inflation, as well a report on consumer confidence and government data on new home sales.



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