The euro traded within 0.3 percent of a four-month low versus the dollar as concerns that debt-crisis contagion will spread threatened to sap confidence in the 17-nation currency bloc.
The shared currency remained lower for a second day after dropping 1.1 percent on March 25 as Italy prepared to auction as much as 7 billion euros ($9 billion) of bonds, and ahead of data forecast to show continued weakness in euro-area consumer sentiment.
“You’ve still got outstanding issues that need to be dealt with” in the currency bloc, said Joseph Capurso, a Sydney-based foreign-exchange strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest lender. “You’ve still got an economy that is in recession. That’s likely to keep the euro heavy.”
The euro was little changed at $1.2862 as of 8:12 a.m. in Tokyo from yesterday, when it touched $1.2829, the lowest since Nov. 22. It rose 0.2 percent to 121.75 yen. Japan’s currency fell 0.2 percent to 94.66 per dollar.
Italy auctions as much as 4 billion euros of notes maturing in 2018 today, and up to 3 billion euros of 10-year bonds. The euro area’s fourth-biggest economy auctioned 2.8 billion euros of 2014 zero-coupon bonds this week at a yield of 1.746 percent, the highest since Dec. 27.