Euro recovers in Asia after Greek vote

The euro rose in Asian trade Monday after Greece’s parliament agreed to a fresh batch of austerity measures needed in order to receive crucial bailout cash and help the country avoid bankruptcy.

The common currency rose to $1.3216, from $1.3181 late Friday in New York, and to 102.76 yen from 102.47 yen.

The dollar bought 77.77 yen, edging up from 77.59 yen, after Japan said its economy shrank by an annualised 2.3 percent in the October-December quarter due to falling exports, a strong yen and flooding in Thailand.

Greek lawmakers approved the drastic measures late Sunday amid mounting pressure from leaders in the eurozone core countries.

The deputies defied angry protests by around 100,000 people in Athens and Thessaloniki to approve the stringent measures that Greece’s international creditors are demanding in return for a second multi-billion-dollar rescue.

However, Barclays Capital chief Japan strategist Masafumi Yamamoto told Dow Jones Newswires: “While the Greek parliament passed the austerity measures, the short-term risk for the euro is skewed to the downside as investor doubts still remain over whether Athens will be able to get the second bailout promptly.”

Some policymakers in Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economy, are doubtful about Greece’s ability to implement the approved austerity deal and may still deny Greece the much-needed bailout money, he added. (AFP)