Euro remains steady against greenback


TOKYO–The euro resisted falls against the U.S. dollar in Asia Tuesday with hopes that a eurozone finance ministers meeting later in the day will pave the way for a plan to contain the bloc’s sovereign debt crisis. The euro bought US$1.3344 in Tokyo afternoon trade, slightly up from US$1.3318 in New York late Monday. The common currency rose to 104.19 yen from 103.83 yen. The unit was buoyed by optimism over the meeting, but the talks alone were unlikely to produce concrete results, said Barclays Capital chief currency strategist Masafumi Yamamoto. “There is a high chance that the current market optimism towards the meeting will turn to disappointment soon,” he told Dow Jones Newswires. Yamamoto added that investors would keep an eye on surging borrowing costs in Europe after Italy and Belgium were forced to pay higher interest rates at bond sales Monday. The dollar was trading at 78.08 yen compared with 77.97 yen in New York late Monday, with the greenback briefly rising to 78.28 yen, its highest level since Nov. 4.

The rise came after ratings agency Fitch on Monday reaffirmed the United States’ top credit rating, but downgraded its outlook to negative on concerns about slowing growth, political gridlock in Washington and rising debt.