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The euro inched higher on Tuesday but stalled just below resistance level near the $1.4350 - $1.4360 area, as investors awaited to see if Greece's parliament will approve austerity steps that are critical for international aid that the country needs to avoid a default.
A focal point this week is a Greek parliamentary vote on austerity measures expected on Wednesday and Thursday. Without approval for the austerity measures, the European Union and International Monetary Fund say they will not disburse the fifth tranche of Greece's 110 billion-euro bailout programme.
Athens needs the aid to pay its bills next month and avert the euro zone's first sovereign default.
However, euro zone sources told that European Union officials are working on a contingency plan for Greece in case its parliament rejects the austerity programme and the country cannot receive the next instalment of EU/IMF emergency loans.
"The market seems to be taking its cues not so much from whether Greece's problems will be solved or not, but on whether or not there might be a default in the very near future," said Makoto Noji, senior bond and currency strategist for SMBC Nikko Securities. Even if Greece averts a default in the near term, its fiscal problems are unlikely to be resolved, Noji said. "But if there is no near-term default, hedge funds that trimmed positions in risky assets could put them back on," Noji said.
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