ECONOMY

Euro weakens as Greek debt talks fail to find deal

The euro weakened Thursday after talks between Greece and its European creditors on restructuring the country’s bailout broke up without an agreement, with talks set to go down to the wire next week.

In Tokyo, the common currency bought $1.1311 and 136.05 yen, down from $1.1332 and 136.37 yen in New York where it had strengthened on hopes for a breakthrough in Europe.

In other trading, the dollar fetched 120.28 yen, slightly down from 120.35 yen.

Currency markets were largely focused on the meeting where eurozone finance ministers were unable to hammer out a renegotiation of Greeces bailout terms.

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said six hours of talks produced no deal on an extension of Athens’ 240 billion euro EU-IMF rescue programme.

Greeces bailout is due to expire at the end of this month and failure to agree on an extension would see Greece default on its giant debts, almost inevitably meaning that it would crash out of the eurozone.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras led the hard-left SYRIZA party to victory in elections last month vowing to bring an end to austerity measures imposed under the bailout.

Germany, the eurozone’s main paymaster, has so far resisted Greece’s bid to change the terms of its international rescue.

“Everyone is waiting to see whether the high line stance from Germany and Greece waivers, and who waivers the most,” Evan Lucas, a markets strategist at IG Ltd. in Melbourne, told Bloomberg News.

The talks are set to resume on Monday.

[AFP]