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The euro is only headed down: Goldman Sachs

Amid Greece's Sisyphean drama, the euro has been like a brick—you can throw it, just not very far. But that's only temporary, Goldman Sachs says, sticking with its call for near-parity with the dollar.

"This week's jump in the euro on news of the Greek referendum made no sense to us," the bank's analysts said in a note Tuesday. "We continue to see mounting tensions over Greece as a catalyst for the euro-dollar to go near parity, if contagion to other peripherals causes the European Central Bank (ECB) to accelerate quantitative easing."

In one year's time, the euro will be fetching just 95 cents, Goldman said.

Read More Greece gets little sympathy from poorer neighbors

Greece missed a repayment worth about 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) that was due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tuesday, making it the first advanced nation to ever default on a debt to the global financial stability agency. That followed months of contentious negotiations with its creditors over exchanging reforms for another bailout.

Those talks came to a standstill after a surprise move by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to call for a referendum on whether to accept the creditors' proposals, even though those proposals may no longer be on the table. The country is now subject to capital controls, meaning funds can no longer be transferred outside the country and ATM withdrawals are limited to just 60 euros a day.

But despite all the drama, the euro only slipped as low as around $1.096 on Monday from around $1.12 Friday.

It fell slightly further on Wednesday, down to $1.1086, having peaked near $1.115 during the day.

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"After years of cliff-hangers, the market continues to expect a deal at the last minute, including in the aftermath of the referendum announcement. As a result, few are willing to put on euro downside, even as the odds of a deflationary shock to the Euro zone are rising," Goldman said.

But the bank noted: "We fail to see how mounting tensions around Greece do anything other than reinforce U.S. outperformance over the euro zone, i.e., we see this price action as a fade."

To be sure, some think markets will continue to see the Greek mountain as a molehill.

Read More Greece's creditors need a wake-up call

"Sovereign debt and currency markets are trading exactly the way they have for the past several months," noted David Goldman, managing director at Reorient Group, in a Wednesday note headlined "Greece is a One-off Comedy, Not a Contagious Tragedy."

He's looking at the spread between the current Italian 10-year bond and the 10-year U.S. Treasury as an indicator of whether Greece is having a contagion effect across other European countries.

"The Italian sovereign spread tended to lead the euro. The European common currency, that is, rose along with European bond yields and vice versa. That's the opposite of what one would expect in the case of contagion," he said. "A deterioration of Italy's credit would have led to a fall in the euro if the market believed that the euro zone economy was threatened by the Greek events."


—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1