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EUR/USD slips below 1.07 in spite of Greek repayment to IMF

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Shutterstock photo - -- Although Greece fulfilled an obligation to repay a EUR 450 million loan to the International Monetary Fund on Thursday, the euro continued its descent against the dollar as IMF head Christine Lagarde sidestepped questions on whether she believes Athens will default on its next series of payments.

EUR/USD fell 0.0117 or more than 1% in U.S. afternoon trading to slip under 1.07 at 1.0664. The pair reached a session high of 1.0790 in European morning trading, before falling steadily throughout the session.

On Monday, EUR/USD moved above 1.10 following a disappointing U.S. monthly jobs report.

Speaking with CNBC on Thursday afternoon, Lagarde did not say definitively if she thinks Greece will default on a repayment of more than EUR 769 early next month. The loan is due to the international financial organization on May 11, as part of its first bailout program for Greece in 2010.

Greece is continuing talks with its troika of creditors, the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission in an effort to receive a stimulus package that could help the beleaguered European nation stave off bankruptcy.

"I think what really matters is for the Greek authorities and the three institutions to get to work and to really see together how we can identify the measures we will take to get Greece out of the bad economic situation it could be in if those measures are not taken," Lagarde told CNBC. "At the end of the day it's about making sure Greece has full sovereignty over its economic fate."

While Lagarde warned against the consequences of a potential Greek departure from the European Union, she reiterated that the area is better shape to guard against a default than it was during the IMF's initial bailout.

"I think it would be a terrible situation for the Greek people, equally I think that the firewalls, the banking union and the strengthened fiscal union have put the euro zone in a much stronger position than where it was four years ago."

GBP/USD dropped 0.0154 or 1.04% to 1.4713, following optimistic employment data in the U.S. In a weekly report, the U.S. Department of Labor said initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 14,000 last week to a seasonally-adjusted amount of 281,000 for the week ending April 4. The four-week moving average, which is viewed as a more accurate approximation of labor market trends, dropped 3,000 to 282,250 last week, the lowest level since June, 2000.

Also on Thursday, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose from 46.2 to 47.9 last week, the highest level since May, 2007.

The pair was able to pare some losses on Thursday, after the Bank of England decided to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.50%. The rate has remained at its current record-low since March, 2009.

Elsewhere, there was soft demand at Thursday's $13 billion U.S. 30-Year note auction. Yields on U.S. 30-year Treasuries rose 0.078 to 2.598, while yields on U.S. 10-Year Treasuries gained 0.068 to 1.963.

Yields on the German 10-Year bunds stood firm at 0.16. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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