Euro holds on to gains, awaits Greece
The euro held on to gains on Thursday as market players waited for fresh news from marathon talks over a bailout deal for Greece.
The single European currency fetched US$1.1200 and 138.81 yen in Tokyo, marginally down from US$1.1208 and 138.86 yen in New York but still up from US$1.1184 and 138.73 yen in Asian trade on Wednesday.
The dollar was changing hands at 123.94 yen against 123.89 yen in U.S. trade.
“There’s a sense Greek negotiations will extend through the end of the month and markets appear to believe there’ll eventually be an accord,” said Yasuhiro Kaizaki, vice president for global markets at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in New York.
“An agreement may spur buying momentarily, but the euro will probably be sold as focus shifts to the dollar,” he told Bloomberg News.
The dollar has recently attracted funds as the Federal Reserve is expected to raise key interest rates as early as in September.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will continue marathon talks with creditors in Brussels Thursday to thrash out a debt deal to save Athens from default, despite having lashed out at lenders for rejecting his reform plans.
Tsipras held a late-night meeting with the heads of the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, Greece’s main bailout monitors, after seven hours of discussions earlier Wednesday failed to produce a breakthrough.
They were hoping to finalize a deal in time to present it at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers later Thursday in the runup to a European Union summit meeting.
Time is running out, with Athens needing the extra bailout cash to avoid defaulting on a huge IMF payment on June 30, which could send it crashing out of the eurozone.