Euro Slides With Aid Deal on Greece Still Wanting; Yen Advances

Updated on
European Leaders And Finance Ministers Attend Emergency Greek Summit

European Leaders And Finance Ministers Attend Emergency Greek Summit

Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The euro fell after Greece was told it must pass legislation on austerity measures within three days before detailed negotiations with creditors on aid can begin.

The shared currency slid and the yen rose amid demand for havens after European finance ministers meeting in Brussels demanded Greece enact the reforms to keep alive the country’s chances of staying in the euro. The European Union previously set a Sunday deadline to reach a deal on an aid package of at least 74 billion euros ($83 billion).

The ebb and flow of Greek bailout talks has already shaken the resilience of the common currency. While it added 3.9 percent in the second quarter, it fell for two weeks through July 3. Renewed hope that a deal could be reached enabled it to eke out a 0.4 percent gain last week. It jumped 2.3 percent that day to 136.92 yen.

“Market reaction in the euro is surprisingly muted,’’ said Steven Englander, global head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at New York-based Citigroup Inc., in an e-mail. ‘‘The absence of agreement and toughness of terms are eye-catching, but investors are waiting for the outcome more than trying to anticipate it.’’

The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.1117 as of 5:44 a.m. in Sydney, and reached as low as $1.1096. It dropped 0.8 percent to 135.86 yen. Japan’s currency advanced 0.5 percent to 122.21 per U.S. dollar.

The Aussie dollar slid 0.3 percent to 74.28 U.S. cents and New Zealand’s currency declined 0.2 percent to 67.12 U.S. cents.

While Greece accounts for less than 2 percent of the euro zone’s output, its exit would risk setting a precedent for other nations that would call into question the integrity of the currency union. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was given three days to push new austerity measures through parliament.

Athens Given 72 Hours to Regain Trust or Leave Euro

Political Turmoil

Passage of the reforms through Greece’s parliament is far from certain, heightening the risks for further declines in the euro, according to Richard Cochinos, a strategist at Citigroup.

‘‘Cracks in Syriza appeared already over the proposal sent to Brussels, what is coming back is even more stringent than the rejected referendum,” Cochinos wrote in a note to clients. “There is a decent chance the Greek government will reshuffle next week, possibly fold on reforms.”

Angst over the Greek negotiations helped drive three-month implied volatility, a gauge of anticipated price swings, in the euro-dollar exchange rate to the highest since 2012 on June 29. It fell by the most since February on Friday as investors speculated a deal would be done, underscoring how trading and weekend news has been dominated by Greek twists and turns.

“It’s basically a re-run of what we’ve seen in the last weeks, but I am of the view that they are getting closer to an agreement,” said Peter Kinsella, a senior currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in London. “The downside for the euro seems limited in the short term.”


Read this next:

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE