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Euro eases as Greece musters local funds in debt crisis

21 april 2015, 14:35

 The euro fell against the dollar Monday as Greece ordered all public agencies to pony up their financial reserves to help the debt-riddled government meet urgent payments, AFP reports.

The euro had rallied last week as the dollar dropped amid a batch of weaker-than-expected US economic data that encouraged investors to book profits from the greenback's long run higher.

"The negotiations with Greece remain at a standstill and although Eurogroup officials are trying to reassure the markets that Greece will be able to service its debt in May the situation clearly remains dire," said Boris Schlossberg at BK Asset Management.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's cash-strapped government had launched an appeal in March for public agencies to turn over their reserves on a voluntary basis. But the call issued Monday now looks set to become compulsory, and will also affect local authorities.

"With this act, the government hopes to cover urgent needs of the state amounting to three billion euros for the next 15 days," said the decree, which still needs adoption by the parliament.

Greece is struggling to unlock some 7.2 billion euros in bailout funds as Athens and its international creditors have so far been unable to find an agreement on the reforms that need to be undertaken in exchange for the rescue package.

The euro weakened to $1.0741 around 2100 GMT Monday from $1.0810 at the same time Friday.

"A heightened focus on Greece this week will leave the euro vulnerable and subject to potentially intense volatility," said Nawaz Ali of Western Union Business Solutions.

"Greece needs to soon strike a deal for more cash with its lenders or risk an imminent default on its debts, a scenario that could turn global financial markets upside-down and hasten the country's exit from the euro."

Ali noted that the dollar had scored broad gains Monday, rebounding somewhat from its worst week in a month.

2100 GMT Monday Friday

EUR/USD 1.0741 1.0810

EUR/JPY 128.05 128.49

EUR/CHF 1.0272 1.0285

EUR/GBP 0.7203 0.7223

USD/JPY 119.22 118.86

USD/CHF 0.9563 0.9515

GBP/USD 1.4911 1.4964

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