Euro falls as IMF walks out of Greek bailout talks


AFP

TOKYO — The euro fell on Friday as hopes for a Greek bailout deal took a hit after the International Monetary Fund pulled out of crunch talks between Athens and its creditors. In Tokyo, the single currency was at US$1.1229 and 138.63 yen, against US$1.1260 and 139.00 yen in New York. The U.S. dollar bought 123.47 yen against 123.45 yen. The IMF piled pressure on Athens Thursday when it walked away from the talks saying the ��ball is very much in Greece’s court right now,�� adding key disagreements were on pensions, taxes and financing. Greece must reach a compromise with its creditors �X the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank �X before the end of the month to unlock much-needed cash to service its debts. Failure to do so will lead it to default and possibly exit the eurozone. ��The fact the IMF walked out of talks overnight and flew straight back to the States doesn’t help sentiment or give you confidence a deal will be done … This will get messy,�� Evan Lucas, an IG markets strategist in Melbourne, wrote in a client note. The dollar was slightly higher after data showed U.S. retail sales in May rose 1.2 percent, better than the 1.1 percent gain forecast by analysts. The figures are the latest to indicate the world’s number one economy is back on the road to recovery after a wobbly few months at the start of the year. They also increased the likelihood the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates this year. However, Yasuhiro Kaizaki, vice president for global markets at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, told Bloomberg News: ��It seems like there’s a deep-rooted concern about a strong dollar. ��We’re in a situation now where further upside in the dollar is going to continue to be hard to come by.�� The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies, firming to SG$1.3464 from SG$1.3438 on Thursday, to 1,114.29 South Korean won from 1,107.75 won, and to 33.71 Thai baht from 33.64 baht. The greenback also gained to 64.03 Indian rupees from 63.78 rupees, to 13,323 Indonesian rupiah from 13,290 rupiah, to 45.30 Philippine pesos from 44.98 pesos. The Australian dollar weakened to 77.28 U.S. cents from 77.67 cents while the Chinese yuan bought 19.86 yen against 19.82 yen.