Euro drifts lower over Greek debt de­fault wor­ries

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

The euro drifted lower Wed­nes­day on fears about a Greek debt de­fault as may­ors across the coun­try lashed out at a gov­ern­ment de­cree order­ing them to hand over their cash re­serves to help Athens pay its bills.

In Tokyo, the sin­gle cur­rency edged down US$1.0734 and 128.35 yen from US$1.0735 and 128.42 yen in New York late Tues­day.

Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras will meet Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel this week on the side­lines of a Euro­pean Union sum­mit, as Athens wran­gles with cred­i­tors over a new res­cue pack­age.

Af­ter the euro ap­peared last month to be on its way to hit­ting par­ity with the dollar for the first time since 2002, the em­bat­tled unit staged a rally, partly due to hopes for a Greek deal.

Adding to down­ward pres­sure on the euro, a lead­ing sur­vey showed Ger­man in­vestor sen­ti­ment un­ex­pect­edly fell for the first time in six months in April as weak global growth hit con­fi­dence in Europe’s largest econ­omy.

The widely watched in­vestor con­fi­dence in­dex cal­cu­lated by the ZEW eco­nomic in­sti­tute slipped by 1.5 points to 53.3 points in April, dis­ap­point­ing an­a­lysts’ ex­pec­ta­tions for a fur­ther in­crease this month.

The U.S. dollar, which rose in morn­ing Asian trade, slipped back to 119.54 yen from 119.63 yen in New York, af­ter Ja­pan posted its first monthly trade sur­plus in nearly three years in March.

But “the over­all trend is cer­tainly grav­i­tat­ing to­wards want­ing to own U.S. as­sets,” Dean Pop­plewell, vice pres­i­dent of cur­rency anal­y­sis and re­search at Oanda Corp, told Bloomberg News.

The dollar weak­ened against other Asia-Pa­cific cur­ren­cies.

It slipped to SG$1.3475 from SG$1.3505 on Tues­day, to 1,080.20 South Korean won from 1,082.10 won, and to 32.36 Thai baht from 32.41 baht. The green­back also weak­ened to 44.21 Philip­pine pe­sos from 44.28 pe­sos, to 62.77 In­dian ru­pees from 63.03 ru­pees, and to 12,896.20 In­done­sian ru­piah from 12,954.50 ru­piah.

The Aus­tralian dollar rose to 77.69 U.S. cents from 76.97 cents, while the Chi­nese yuan edged up to 19.27 yen from 19.25 yen.

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