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Euro holds firm on Greek aid hopes

euro-TOKYO: The euro held firm against other currencies in Asia on Wednesday as concerns over emergency aid to debt-ridden Greece eased.


The euro, which fell to a two-month low of $1.2662 briefly on Tuesday, edged up to $1.2708 in Tokyo trade against $1.2703 in New York late Tuesday.


The European single unit also firmed to 100.95 yen from 100.85 yen in US trade while the dollar was at 79.43 yen compared with 79.38 yen.


One support factor for the euro was reports, which German Finance Minister Schaeuble appeared to support, that Greece could get delayed loans in one go, National Australian Bank (NAB) said.


Eurozone ministers failed Monday to clear the aid payment for Athens worth 31 billion euros, which has been held up for months, deciding instead to hold another meeting next Tuesday on the issue.


The Wall Street Journal said Greece's international lenders were considering grouping several delayed loans into one payout of about 44 billion euros.


Any decision to bundle the disbursement of funds depends on details still being worked out with Athens, the paper quoted German government officials as saying.


Schaeuble said in Brussels it was "logical" to combine payments to Greece that were due at the end of the past two quarters with one at year end, should issues with the bailout programme be resolved.


"Positive news on Greece is likely to transcend negative incoming economic news in terms of euro impact," NAB said in a note.


But the bank added "concerns that Spain will continue to resist requesting assistance unless or until the bond market forces it next year, is waiting in the wings as the next bogeyman that could block a euro revival."


Market players were also eyeing eurozone industrial production due later Wednesday and the preliminary estimate of July-September gross domestic product on Thursday.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2010


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