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Euro turns down ahead of Greece debt meeting

AFP , Monday 11 May 2015
U.S. Dollar and Euro
A picture illustration shows U.S. Dollar and Euro banknotes in Sofia March 12, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 790
Views: 790

The euro slipped Monday ahead of a crucial eurozone meeting that Greece hopes will pave the way for a long-awaited bailout deal, while the dollar picked up after a strong US jobs report.

In Tokyo, the single currency bought $1.1144 and 133.57 yen, down from $1.1208 and 134.25 yen in New York on Friday.

The dollar changed hands at 119.85 yen, against 119.77 yen in US trade.

The euro was under pressure as investors await the meeting in Brussels later in the day, with Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saying he was hoping for a positive statement on the country's progress in negotiating a debt reform deal.

Athens needs at least a portion of its 7.2 billion euros in remaining bailout loans so it can service its debts and avert a default that would likely see it crash out of the eurozone.

"The to-ing and fro-ing on Greece" is weighing on the euro, said Joseph Capurso, a strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

He warned of further uncertainty, saying the talks will probably be "kicking the can down the road for a while longer".

Dollar buying was supported by a US Labor Department report Friday that showed the world's top economy added 223,000 jobs in April and unemployment fell to a seven-year low 5.4 percent.

Analysts say the growth was strong enough to suggest the economy was picking up though not enough that the Federal Reserve would feel comfortable raising interest rates soon.

In other trade, the pound slipped to $1.5418 from 1.5446 on Friday, after it surged in reaction to the surprise election victory in Britain of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It strengthened to Sg$1.3348 from Sg$1.3298 on Friday, to 33.58 Thai baht from 33.50 baht, and to 1,092.47 South Korean won from 1,088.85 won.

The greenback also inched up to Tw$30.72 from Tw$30.70, while it was unchanged at 44.64 Philippine pesos.

The US unit eased to 63.82 Indian rupees from 63.95 rupees and to 13,122.00 Indonesian rupiah from 13,205.10 rupiah.

The Australian dollar weakened to 78.92 US cents from 79.15 cents. The Chinese yuan was unchanged at 19.31 yen despite a weekend rate cut announcement by the country's central bank.

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