Euro loses more ground in Asian trade as Greek crisis reveals instability
The euro struggled at around more than two-year lows against the dollar in Asia on Tuesday as a brewing Greek political crisis fuels fears for the wider eurozone.
In Tokyo, the euro slipped to US$1.2139 from US$1.2153 in New York. Earlier in the day, the single currency dropped as low as US$1.2131, its lowest since July 2012.
It also fell to 146.19 yen from 146.65 yen, while the dollar weakened to 120.41 yen from 120.66 yen.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday called for a snap poll next month that could bring the anti-austerity Syriza party to power after parliament failed for a third time to elect a president, leaving the government in turmoil.
The election expected on January 25 is likely to further rattle global financial markets after Greece’s dire finances rattled the eurozone between 2010 and 2012.
The moves sparked concerns that the far-left Syriza could win and roll back tough austerity measures required under the country’s IMF-EU bailout, dealing another blow to an already weak eurozone economy.
sce- nario,” Jan Techau, director of the Carnegie Europe think-tank based in Brussels, told AFP.
Syriza, which declined to vote in the presidential ballot in order to force snap legislative polls, wants to raise salaries and pensions, halt layoffs and freeze the privatisation of state assets — key elements of reforms demanded by Greece’s international creditors.
Traders were also watching a series of economic data due this week.
Among them are a set of U.S. indicators including the U. S. Chicago manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) on Wednesday, as well as Chinese and eurozone manufacturing figures.
The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It rose to SG$ 1.3247 from SG$1.3223 on Monday, to 32.97 Thai baht from 32.93 baht, to 63.74 Indian rupees from 63.69 rupees and to 1,099.16 South Korean won from 1,097.60 won.
The greenback weakened to 44.71 Philippine pesos from 44.77 pesos, and to 12,456.80 Indonesian rupiah from 12,465.00 rupiah
The Australian dollar bought 81.30 U.S. cents against 81.32 cents, while the Chinese yuan was unchanged at 19.33 yen.