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The yen and the Swiss franc slid versus most major counterparts, with Japan’s currency dropping against the euro for the first time in six days, as stocks and commodities advanced, damping demand for safer assets.
The euro fluctuated versus the dollar after a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a restructuring of Greece’s debt isn’t being considered, while a European Union official said the nation’s fiscal progress is being studied.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said in Zurich today the EU will keep up its efforts to aid Greece after bailing out the country a year ago.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt reported Euro-area countries are readying a further “two-digit” billion-euro loan for Greece, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified “euro- zone sources” in Brussels. The exact figure is still to be decided, the newspaper said, adding that a figure of some 60 billion euros is being discussed in Brussels.
The Athens newspaper Kathimerini said, without citing its sources, that the IMF also is arranging new aid for Greece, an 80 billion-euro ($115 billion) to 100 billion-euro plan
Speculation about new financial assistance from Europe and the IMF came after S&P yesterday downgraded Greece’s credit rating for the fourth time since April 2010, rekindling concern that the region’s debt crisis is escalating. The Swiss franc dropped after data showed inflation slowed in April.
“You have firmer equity and commodity prices, putting the safe-haven currencies, yen and Swiss, in offer,” said Mark McCormick, a New York-based currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. “It’s hard to get a sense of where European politicians headed and what the outcome will be for Greece as a whole.”
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