Euro Drops to 11-Year Low on Greek Vote After QE; Aussie Falls

LONDON (Bloomberg News/TNS) -

The euro fell to the lowest in more than 11 years as polls showing an anti-austerity party will win Greek elections exacerbated the currency’s drop after the European Central Bank widened its stimulus program.

The shared currency headed for a sixth weekly decline before the Sunday vote that may oust Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. The ECB said Jan. 22 it would buy 60 billion euros ($68 billion) a month of debt. The dollar headed for its highest close on record before the Federal Reserve meets later week. The yen rose as the Bank of Japan governor signaled the central bank will look at fresh stimulus options. Australia’s dollar declined to the lowest since 2009.

“Greek elections do add some uncertainty and weigh on the currency somewhat, but the more relevant and important thing is the economic and monetary policy trends in the euro zone,” Eric Viloria, a strategist at Wells Fargo & Co. in New York, said in a phone interview. “They’re likely to maintain an easy policy stance for quite some time.”

The euro fell 1.4 percent to $1.1204 at 5 p.m. New York time after touching $1.1115, the weakest since September 2003. It plunged 2.1 percent Thursday and recorded a 3.1 percent weekly loss. The euro declined 2 percent to 131.95 yen and slid for a fourth week. Japan’s currency rose 0.6 percent to 117.78 per dollar to trim its weekly drop to 0.2 percent.