Ailing dollar sees no relief; sterling hits 26-year high

NEW YORK, April 18, 2007 (AFP) – The struggling dollar faced renewed selling pressure Wednesday as sterling jumped to a 26-year high and the euro topped 1.36 dollars amid fresh concerns about US economic prospects.

The euro reached as high as 1.3616 dollars before falling back to 1.3607 at 2100 GMT against 1.3564 late Tuesday in New York.

The single currency neared its all-time high of 1.3666 dollars hit on December 30, 2004
The pound struck 2.0133 dollars to reach its highest reading since June 1981. It later traded at 2.083 dollars against 2.0063 on Tuesday.

Sterling’s all-time high against the dollar is 2.4546 dollars, reached in 1980.

In late New York trade, the dollar stood at 118.66 yen after 118.90 on Monday and at 1.2036 Swiss francs from 1.2086.

The weakened dollar “reflects a combination both of concerns about the US economy … and at the same time the contrasting strength of the European economy which is growing much more rapidly,” Capital Economics analyst Jonathan Loynes said in London.

“Those concerns have been reflected in expectations for interest rates,” he added.

Camilla Sutton, currency strategist at Scotiabank, said the market is expecting rate cuts in th