Euro loses more ground in Asian trade as Greek cri­sis re­veals in­sta­bil­ity

The China Post - - MARKETS -

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.

“This is

the

worst-case

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.

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