Euro mixed on Greece fearsAdmin
Agence France-Presse . Tokyo
The euro was mixed in Asia on Thursday as positive sentiment sparked by this week’s bailout agreement for Greece gave way to caution on fears over Athens’ ability to carry out much-needed cuts.
Adding to trader unease was Fitch’s announcement that it expected Greece to default on its debt repayments while cutting its debt rating even further.
The common currency was trading at $1.3259 and 106.30 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, compared with $1.3252 and 106.41 late Wednesday in New York.
‘Greece has disappointed the world so many times on this issue,’ said Osao Iizuka, senior dealer at Sumitomo Trust and Banking.
‘So we remain very concerned on whether the recently-agreed rescue package will be implemented smoothly,’ he told Dow Jones Newswires.
The European unit jumped more than a US cent Tuesday morning, minutes after the announcement that eurozone leaders had approved a 237-billion-euro rescue for Greece, before it eased back over the course of the day.
But on Wednesday Fitch said it was ‘highly likely’ Greece would default on its debts and cut its long-term sovereign debt rating by two notches from ‘CCC’ to ‘C’, which meant it was now at the bottom of the speculative grades and just one step above formal default.
In addition, eurozone private-sector activity fell back in February, after returning to growth in January, a survey showed, adding to concerns the region is flirting with recession.
Investors may pay attention to German business climate data to be released later, but any impact will be short-lived as ‘our focus remains on Athens,’ Iizuka added.