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On Monday the euro dropped to its lowest level in almost four months against the dollar as a leadership vacuum in Greece prompted European officials to weigh prospects for the currency union’s first Alexis Tsipras, who heads Greece’s anti-bailout Syriza party, wouldn’t attend a meeting called by President Karolos Papoulias today, the Athens-based party said in a statement. Syriza rejected a unity government last week following inconclusive elections on May 6. Greece may face another vote unless leaders can agree on a new coalition.
On Tuesday the euro fell to the lowest in almost four months versus the dollar as talks to form a Greek government failed, fueling concern the nation may leave the shared currency and boosting investor demand for safety. Greek President Karolos Papoulias’ meeting in Athens with political leaders failed to produce a government after an inconclusive May 6 vote. He called for a meeting to form a caretaker government to lead the country until the vote. A second election threatened to extend the country’s political gridlock and reignited speculation Greece will renege on its pledges to cut spending, required by the terms of its 240 billion euros ($306 billion) in bailouts. It added to bets Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will worsen.
On Wednesday the euro fell to a four-month low against the dollar after the European Central Bank said it will temporarily stop lending to some Greek banks and as the nation’s leaders prepare for a second election.
The euro dropped for a fourth day versus the greenback as the ECB said it will push the responsibility for lending onto Greece’s central bank until the banks have sufficiently boosted their capital.
The pound fell the most in a month against the dollar as the Bank of England said U.K. growth will stay “subdued” in the near term.
On Thursday the yen extended its gain against the dollar after data showed U.S. jobless claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week and another report showed Philadelphia- area manufacturing decreased in May. The euro fell to a four-month low as Spain’s borrowing costs rose at an auction, stoking concern that the region’s financial contagion is spreading from Greece. Europe’s shared currency declined against most of its major counterparts as the European Central Bank said it will temporarily stop lending to some Greek banks.
On Friday the euro touched a four-month low against the dollar as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said financial-market turmoil may last another two years, adding to concern Europe’s crisis is worsening. The 17-nation currency reversed its losses as a technical indicator signaled its recent decline came too fast. The euro was headed for a fourth weekly decline versus the yen before a meeting of Group of Eight nations’ leaders beginning. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and fellow European leaders will face pressure from their G-8 counterparts to do more to quell the turmoil after speculation Greece will exit the euro wiped almost $4 trillion from global stock markets this month. Fitch lowered Greece’s ranking to CCC from B-, saying the strong showing of “anti-austerity” parties in elections on May 6 and subsequent failure to form a government underscored the lack of public and political support for the country’s bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Moody’s yesterday lowered the credit ratings of Spain’s biggest banks including Banco Santander SA (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, citing economic weakness and the government’s mounting budget strain.
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