TOKYO: The euro drifted lower in Asia on Tuesday with investors following talks between debt-hit Greece and its international creditors as Athens looks to reform its bailout obligations.
In Tokyo, the single currency slipped to $1.0813 and 129.92 yen, from $1.0825 and 130.10 yen in New York, while the dollar was at 120.16 yen against 120.18 yen.
Experts from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union are scrutinising a list of reforms that Athens has proposed in its bid to get the creditors to release 7.2-billion euros in much-needed loans that will help it avoid a default.
Greece’s government says the reforms would help raise an extra three billion euros for its coffers without resorting to wage and pension cuts.
But European authorities warned Monday that there was still no deal.
“We’re not there yet,” European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters. “This is why the talks should benefit from further fact-finding in Athens that should continue.”
A defiant Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers late on Monday that he wanted a deal but would not submit to creditors unconditionally.
“We seek an honest compromise with our partners, but do not expect us to sign an unconditional surrender,” he said during a parliamentary grilling on the negotiations.
Tsipras swept to power on a pledge to end the austerity measures imposed as part of a bailout by Greece’s creditors, which Athens blames for hammering the economy.
“There are still differences between what Greece is apparently prepared to offer in the way of further reform and what the Brussels group… is seeking before the… funds are made available,” National Australia Bank said in a note.
“This is sounding like a well and truly broken record, but it is what it is. More meetings are planned… to work through their differences.”
Investors were given some confidence by news that China’s central bank on Monday cut minimum down payments on second homes from 60-70 percent to 40 percent in a bid to boost the slowing economy.
That decision fuelled hopes for further stimulus measures down the road.
The euro won a measure of support from news that inflation in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, crept higher in March, driven by rebounding energy prices, slightly easing fears about the eurozone slipping into deflation.
In the United States, a mixed batch of data showed personal incomes grew at a solid pace in February, while consumer spending only rose marginally.