Euro hits new high after Fed chief comments

TOKYO, Nov 9, 2007 (AFP) – The euro hit a fresh record high against the dollar Friday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke painted a gloomy picture of the US economy, dealers said. It declined to 42.78 Philippine pesos from 43.37 and to 9,126.50 Indonesian rupiah from 9,155.50 but remained unchanged at 31.54 Thai baht. His cautious comments were seen as raising the odds of another Fed interest rate cut next month, they said.

The single European currency was trading at 1.4715 against the greenback in late Tokyo trade after earlier touching an all-time high of 1.4738.

The dollar edged down to 112.52 yen from 112.56, while the euro rose to 165.52 yen from 165.30.

“The Fed chief’s bleak picture of the US economy weighed on the dollar,” said Hiroshi Sakurai, currency analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities.

In his testimony to Congress Thursday, Bernanke focused on the downside risks to growth and expectations of a significant slowdown in the fourth quarter and into 2008.

“Further sharp increases in crude oil prices have put renewed upward pressure on inflation and may impose further restraint on economic activity,” Bernanke told lawmakers.

He said that con