Euro hit by concerns over Greece

The euro slipped on Monday ahead of more talks aimed at solving Greece’s debt crisis, while investors also eye a slate of speeches by Federal Reserve officials for further clues about the timing of an interest rate hike.

The single currency eased to $1.0787 and 129.55 yen on Monday from $1.0821 and 129.98 yen in New York on Friday.

The decline comes before the leaders of Greece and economic powerhouse Germany meet in Berlin on Monday to discuss Athens’ debt woes and economic reforms necessary to unlock its bailout.

Spain’s economy minister, Luis de Guindos, turned the screw on Athens another notch on Sunday by insisting that it will not receive any money until it implements all its proposed reforms.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also insists that if it wants more bailout loans, of which Germany stumps up the biggest share, Greece must accept the bitter medicine of cuts and reforms.

In other Tokyo trading on Monday, the dollar edged down to 120.09 yen from 120.11 yen in New York and well off the 120.71 yen in Tokyo earlier on Friday.

“We are watching Fed officials this week,” said Toshiya Yamauchi, a senior analyst in Tokyo at Ueda Harlow.

“The market is weighed down by the dollar’s weakness and the currency is unlikely to trade actively ahead of their remarks,” he wrote in a note to clients.

Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer is to speak on Monday with chair Janet Yellen is giving a lecture on Friday.

Other officials scheduled to speak on Monday include Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester, a non-voting member, and San Francisco Fed president John Williams, who does vote on policy.

A dovish statement from the Fed last week sent the dollar tumbling as it dampened expectations for an early summer interest rate rise. [AFP]

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