Euro eases amid Greek debt standoff
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.