Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The euro may decline to $1.28 in 12 months, the lowest since November, as weak economic growth erodes optimism in Europe’s 17-nation currency bloc, according to Wells Fargo & Co.
The San Francisco-based bank revised its forecast from $1.24 per euro, saying that the improving bond market in Italy and Spain and less dovish language from the European Central Bank put the shared currency on a stronger footing versus the dollar than previously expected. Still, the euro represents a selling opportunity, wrote Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo, in a report to clients.
“The continued underperformance of the European economy would be the main reason that the euro would weaken,” Bennenbroek said in a telephone interview from New York. “At some point, you’d expect a step back from positive economic reports and the ECB moving a little bit more in a dovish direction.”
The euro dropped 0.9 percent to $1.3513 at 4:32 p.m. in New York after falling 1 percent, the biggest decline since Jan. 3. The common currency reached $1.3711 on Feb. 1, the highest level since Nov. 14, 2011. It last touched $1.28 on Nov. 21.
The ECB, which has held its main refinancing rate at 0.75 percent since July, will make no change at its next policy decision on Feb. 7, according to the median forecast of 58 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Central-bank President Mario Draghi may make more dovish remarks at the meeting without the central bank altering policy, according to analysts.
The ECB meeting comes as corruption allegations have led to calls for Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy to resign and as Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi narrowed the front-runner’s lead as elections loom even as he stands trial on charges he paid a minor for sex and appeals a four-year prison sentence for tax fraud.
Wells Fargo was the second-most accurate foreign-exchange forecaster, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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