Euro eases amid Greek debt stand­off

The China Post - - MARKETS -

The euro lost ground against the dol­lar and the yen in Asian trade Fri­day as hopes for a Greek debt deal be­gan to re­cede.

Greece’s emer­gency ne­go­ti­a­tions with its cred­i­tors ended abruptly Thurs­day, push­ing the cri­sis to­ward a crit­i­cal week­end meet­ing in a bid to avoid a de­fault by Athens and its po­ten­tial exit from the eu­ro­zone.

Talks will re­sume on Satur­day, just days be­fore the June 30 dead­line for cash-strapped Greece to make a 1.5 bil­lion euro pay­ment to the IMF and the day its huge EU bailout will ex­pire.

With­out a deal with its cred­i­tors — the EU, ECB and IMF — to un­lock the re­main­ing 7.2 bil­lion eu­ros of Greece’s bailout, the coun­try risks crash­ing out of the sin­gle cur­rency and even the EU.

The news rat­tled the sin­gle cur­rency, which fetched US$1.1184 and 137.89 yen in af­ter­noon Tokyo, down from US$1.1206 and 138.53 yen in New York.

The dol­lar was chang­ing hands at 123.30 yen against 123.62 yen in U.S. trade.

The Greek debt cri­sis “con­tin­ues to be the fo­cus (for in­vestors) through this week­end,” Shinichiro Kadota, a Ja­pan-based forex an­a­lyst at Bar­clays Bank, said in a note to clients.

As the cri­sis in Europe dragged on, traders barely re­acted to Ja­panese eco­nomic data is­sued on Fri­day.

Ja­panese con­sumer prices grew a tepid 0.1 per­cent year-on-year in May, while house­hold spend­ing rose for the first time in more than a year, of­fi­cial data showed.

Sep­a­rate data from the in­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry showed house­hold spend­ing rose 4.8 per­cent on-year in May, the first rise since Ja­pan hiked sales taxes in April last year to help pay down a huge na­tional debt.

The job­less rate was un­changed at an 18-year low of 3.3 per­cent in May.

The dol­lar was mixed against other Asia-Pa­cific cur­ren­cies.

It eased to 13,315 In­done­sian ru­piah from 13,328 ru­piah and 33.77 Thai baht from 33.78 Thai baht.

It also de­clined to 63.62 In­dian ru­pees against 63.63 ru­pees but rose to Sg$1.3443 from Sg$1.3432 and to 1,114.99 South Korean won against 1,109.55 won, while stay­ing un­changed 45.12 Philip­pine pe­sos.

The Aus­tralian bought 77.23 US cents against 77.36 cents, while the Chi­nese yuan eased to 19.89 yen from 19.87 yen.

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