Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Euro edges higher against dollar on Greece aid hopes

NEW YORK: The euro edged higher against the dollar in thin pre-holiday trade Wednesday as traders appeared optimistic a long-sought Greek aid deal was in reach.

The euro fetched $1.2826 at 2200 GMT, up from $1.2818 at the same time Tuesday.

Against the Japanese currency, the euro rose to 105.84 yen from 104.70 yen late Tuesday, while the dollar also climbed, to 82.51 yen from 81.67 yen.

"Despite the bumbling and fumbling of expected deadlines on Greece, the market continues to rally as if everything is on the up and up," said Neal Gilbert at GFT.

"It seems that nothing can keep the euro down at the moment as the French downgrade failed to do it earlier this week," he said, referring to Moody's removal of France's triple-A credit rating Monday.

European leaders insisted Wednesday that their imminent third attempt in as many weeks to unblock bailout funds for debt-stricken Greece will likely succeed, as Athens warned that the stability of the entire eurozone depended on it.

The eurozone is a "whisker" away from a deal to unblock the money aimed at keeping Greece from going bankrupt, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said just hours after marathon talks on the aid package collapsed in Brussels.

Trading volume was weak as many traders left New York early to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, when all US markets are closed. Markets will reopen Friday for shortened sessions.

The dollar slipped to 0.9389 Swiss francs from 0.9398 francs late Tuesday and dipped a bit against the British pound, which bought $1.5949 compared with $1.5924 the prior day.

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