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After a bumpy week of trading, the euro could post gains before the year is out, say analysts, who are increasing wondering when, rather than if, the European Central Bank (ECB) will launch a sovereign bond-buying program.
"The risk is that over the next couple of weeks we could get a correction higher," Derek Halpenny, a global market strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, told CNBC on Friday.
The single currency, which is used by the 18 countries that make up the euro zone, has steadily declined against the U.S. dollar since May. However, it spiked on Thursday after ECB President Mario Draghi held back from announcing U.S.-style quantitative easing (QE) measures at his regular news conference. The euro stabilized around $1.236 on Friday.
"European corporates are watching euro-dollar fall then start to stabilize. Then they realize they have got some hedging to do before year-end. Those sort of flows could see the euro moving higher at the end of the year," Halpenny told CNBC.
The euro spiked 1.2 percent to $1.246 as Draghi spoke on Thursday, but remained well-below the highs of around $1.39 of May 214. The ECB chief dropped heavy hints about possible future monetary easing action, and specified that the bank's policy stance would be reviewed "early next year".
Shortly after Draghi's conference, rumors circulated that the ECB might launch a broad-based QE program as soon as next month. A source confirmed to CNBC that the bank would consider such a package at its January policy meeting.
"The impression I got yesterday is QE is just a matter of form and time," Simon Smith, chief economist at FxPro, told CNBC on Friday. Following an eventual announcement of euro zone QE, he forecast that the euro might fall to $1.20—but not much further.
"I don't see the euro completely fall out of bed to become $1.15 or $1.10," he told CNBC.