International Business Times
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March 7, 2012 7:28 AM IST

(Reuters) - Commodity currencies like the Australian dollar nursed heavy losses for a second session in Asia Wednesday, while the euro also looked wobbly as renewed worries about Greece hit a market already fretting over China's slower growth target.

The euro stood at $1.3112, having plumbed a three-week low at $1.3101 as fears grew that Greece may not secure a deal with private creditors (PSI) to cut its mountainous debt by the Thursday deadline.

"The temptation will be to continue squeezing long risk position going into the Asian, and potentially, the European session. But that is very much tactical as the PSI is just an excuse for profit taking," said Sebastien Galy, strategist at Societe Generale.

A clutch of Greek pension funds and some foreign investors are still holding back on the bond swap deal, prompting Athens to warn it will force losses on those who do not sign up.

There are other risk events ahead, not least closely-watched Chinese inflation and U.S. jobs data on Friday.

All that led investors to unwind some of the recent bearish positions placed on the Japanese currency, helping the yen firm across the board.

The dollar fell to 80.70 yen, well down from a nine-month peak of 81.86 set on Monday, while the euro pulled further away from a recent high near 110.00 yen to 105.80.

Traders said a break of 81.60 is now needed to reset the upwards momentum for dollar/yen and put 82.20 back in focus.

Renewed pressure on the single currency saw the dollar rise 0.7 percent against a basket of major currencies to its highest since Feb 16.

Among the biggest casualties, the Aussie has dropped some 3 U.S. cents from a seven-month high set just last week. It was last at $1.0544.

Major support is seen at the overnight low of $1.0525, followed by the 55-day moving average at $1.0515. But a clean break of $1.0525 could pave the way for a move to the $1.0370-00 major pivot, traders said.

Early in the session, the deputy governor of Australia's central bank said the strong local currency was fundamentally near the right levels, adding the hurdle was quite high for it intervene to weaken the currency.

The next focus is Australia fourth quarter economic growth data due at 0030 GMT. Forecasts centered on a quarterly 0.8 pct rise.

"A strong Q4 Australian GDP print this morning could prove at least temporarily supportive," BNP Paribas strategists wrote in a note.

"This of course does not mean that we are not going see further weakness in AUD, as well as NZD and other high beta currencies, if Tuesday's risk-off mood extends as we head towards the Thursday evening deadline for acceptances of the Greek PSI bond swap."

(Additional reporting by Reuters FX analyst Krishna Kumar; Editing by Wayne Cole)

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