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Euro up in Asia ahead of finance ministers' meeting

euro-new-noteTOKYO: The euro rose against the dollar and yen in Asian trade on Monday as dealers look to a eurozone finance ministers' meeting later in the day after Greek lawmakers approved a new austerity budget.


The single currency bought $1.2727 in Tokyo trade, up from $1.2709 in New York late Friday and snapping a three-session losing streak, while it also edged to 101.14 yen from 100.99 in US trade.


The dollar was flat at 79.47 yen, as investors keep a close eye on a simmering battle in Washington over the "fiscal cliff".


Athens agreed a slashed 2013 budget that the government vowed will secure the release of foreign aid vital to save debt-ridden Greece from insolvency.


Attention now turns to a eurozone finance ministers' meeting later Monday to see whether the new measures are enough to release the much-needed 31.5 billion euros that will help Greece avoid bankruptcy.


"Since the market has already priced in negative factors over the euro, it may recover somewhat after the meeting," a senior dealer at a Japanese bank told Dow Jones Newswires.


The yen was almost unmoved against the dollar after data Monday showed Japan's economy contracted 0.9 percent in the July-September quarter from the previous three months, reversing two earlier quarters of growth.


Despite worries over a stall in the country's post quake-tsunami recovery, traders have turned to the safe-haven yen as security against the turmoil in Europe and fears about the US economy.


Of particular concern is the upcoming US fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax hikes slated to come into effect on January 1 unless Congress -- which is bitterly divided along Republican and Democratic lines -- agrees a new spending deal.


The current package is expected send the US economy into recession, dealing a huge blow to the global economy.


The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.


It rose to 54.68 Indian rupees from 54.31 rupees on Friday and to 9,639 Indonesian rupiah from 9,629 rupiah.


It edged down to Tw$28.97 from Tw$29.03, to 30.63 Thai baht from 30.65 baht, and to 1,087.85 South Korean won from 1,088.35 won while holding steady at Sg$1.2227 and at 41.08 Philippine pesos.


The Australian dollar was flat at $1.0420 while China's yuan inched down to 12.71 yen from 12.73 yen.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012


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