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Currencies: Dollar Continues to Slip in Quiet Pre-Yuletide Action

The dollar is falling further against the euro in another thin trading day.

On the last trading day before the


holiday, it's visions of slowing U.S. and Japanese economies rather than sugar plum fairies dancing in the heads of currency traders. While the U.S. equity markets closed in the green yesterday, prevailing fears about the diminishing growth of the U.S. economy are not helping its currency.

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"There's continued demand for the euro in quite a thin market," said John McCarthy, senior vice president at

ING Barings

. "We're reaching values that are fully valuing everything going on in the data," he said.

The euro continues its uphill push against the dollar, having broken through the $0.92 barrier this morning for the first time since August, and testing new five-month highs. The euro was recently trading at $0.9241, up steadily from its close yesterday of $0.9160.

While the markets are thinning amidst the holiday season, McCarthy said that he sees the euro trading "between $0.88 to $0.93 after the new year." He also said there is a need for more data confirming the "divergence of growth paths," between the slowing U.S. economy and the growing European economy.

"What we've seen is a nice rally for the euro," McCarthy said. He added that, "talk of parity at this stage of the game is a bit premature."

The Japanese economy is facing slowdown woes alongside the U.S. The Japanese yen is feeling the detriment of the downturn somewhat harder than the dollar, as it continues to make slight gains on the yen. The dollar/yen cross was recently at 112.39, up from yesterday's close of 112.31.

The euro also hit a new nine-month high versus the yen this morning. The euro/yen cross was recently at 103.81, up strong from yesterday's closing price of 102.76.

Elsewhere across the board, the dollar is losing more value. The British pound is moving strong on the dollar, recently at $1.4795, up from $1.4726 at yesterday's market close. The Australian dollar is also making gains, up slightly at $0.5566 from yesterday's close of $0.5552.

The Canadian dollar is just marginally lower on the U.S. currency today, as the U.S. currency is trading for C$1.5204, up from a close yesterday of C$1.5200.

And across the globe, a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.