File photo: Lee Jae-Won
File photo: Lee Jae-Won

Euro under pressure

By AFP Time of article published May 11, 2015

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Singapore - The euro slipped in Asia on 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 on a strong US jobs report.

In Tokyo, the single currency bought $1.1154 and 133.74 yen, down from $1.1208 and 134.25 yen in New York on Friday.

The dollar changed hands at 119.90 yen, against 119.77 yen in US trade.

The euro was under pressure as investors await the Greece meeting in Brussels later in the day, with 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 Labour 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.

While the growth was not as much as expected, analysts say it was strong enough to suggest the economy was picking up though not enough that the Federal Reserve would feel comfortable raising interest rates soon.

The pound slipped to $1.5410 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.


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