Sun, Feb 05, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Euro falls against most currencies on Greek debt concern


The euro fell against the yen, dropping from a one-month high, as an unresolved Greek debt-swap agreement with bondholders added to concern that the region’s fiscal crisis is far from over.

The 17-nation currency dropped against all of its most-traded counterparts this week except for the Swiss franc, which declined after touching the highest level since the central bank acted in September to stem gains.

The European Central Bank is forecast to keep rates unchanged when it meets this week.

“The market is short euros and is likely to become increasingly short euros as the final decision about Greece is contemplated,” said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon Corp, the world’s largest custodial bank.

A short position is a bet that a currency will depreciate.

The euro dropped 0.6 percent to ¥100.79 after touching ¥102.21 on Jan. 26, the highest level since Dec. 23. The shared currency fell 0.5 percent to US$1.3158. The yen appreciated 0.1 percent to 76.60 per US dollar.

The euro dropped as leaders failed to reach an agreement with Greek bondholders on a restructuring of the nation’s debt. The deal is part of a second bailout that Greece and European officials have been attempting to finalize since July last year.

Futures traders decreased bets that the euro would fall against the US dollar, so-called net shorts, after increasing them for five straight weeks to a record last week. The difference between wagers that the shared currency would weaken against those that it would rise narrowed to 157,546 on Tuesday, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

The pound strengthened for a third week against the US dollar, the longest run of gains against the greenback since October.

Sterling also appreciated against the euro as data showed that consumer confidence rose to the highest in seven months.

The Swiss franc reached 1.02319 against the euro on Tuesday, the strongest level since September last year.

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