Euro drifts lower on un­re­solved Greek debt talks

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

The euro lost ground Fri­day on un­cer­tainty about Greece’s fu­ture in the eu­ro­zone as it struck a last-minute deal to de­lay a debt re­pay­ment, but still faced sev­eral stum­bling blocks to reach­ing a bailout re­form agree­ment.

In Tokyo trad­ing, the sin­gle cur­rency weak­ened to US$1.1220 and 139.63 yen from US$1.1239 and 139.79 yen in New York.

Fac­ing a Fri­day dead­line, Greece bought time in debt cri­sis ne­go­ti­a­tions when it moved to bun­dle four In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund loan pay­ments into one.

The move gives Athens un­til the end of June to ham­mer out a deal to un­lock bil­lions of eu­ros needed to ser­vice its debts. There is a fear that if it de­faults it could even­tu­ally be forced out of the eu­ro­zone.

De­spite eas­ing the im­me­di­ate pres­sure on Athens, a Greek gov­ern­ment source said there were still key dif­fer­ences be­tween the two sides.

The Amer­i­can dollar rose to 124.45 yen, from 124.37 yen, as in­vestors looked to Fri­day’s U.S. jobs data for the lat­est clues on the state of the world’s top econ­omy.

A strong la­bor re­port would boost the chances for a Fed­eral Re­serve in­ter­est rate hike this year, which is a plus for the U.S. dollar.

The Fed has said any rate hike would be de­pen­dent on more up­beat eco­nomic data, but on Thurs­day the IMF warned against an in­crease be­fore 2016, say­ing con­di­tions were not sup­port­ive of a move this year.

The calls came as the IMF slashed its fore­casts for U.S. growth this year to 2.5 per­cent, from a pre­vi­ous es­ti­mate of 3.1 per­cent, cit­ing a ports strike, bad win­ter weather, a strong dollar and the oil-price down­turn.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pa­cific cur­ren­cies.

It strength­ened to SG$1.3481 from SG$1.3468 on Thurs­day, to 13,290.00 In­done­sian ru­piah from 13,248 ru­piah, and to 44.92 Philip­pine pe­sos from 44.86 pe­sos.

The green­back slipped to 63.94 In­dian ru­pees from 64.17 ru­pees, NT$ 30.86 from NT$ 30.88, to 1,111.10 South Korean won from 1,112.13 won, and to 33.74 Thai baht from 33.75 baht.

The Aus­tralian dollar weak­ened to 77.03 U.S. cents from 77.25 cents while the Chi­nese yuan bought 20.03 yen against 20.02 yen.

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