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Thursday March 18, 2010 - 09:32:46 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Euro falls after report Greece pessimistic on aid

5:11am EDT

* Euro down 0.5 percent vs dollar at $1.3670

* Single currency hit by reported Greek comments

* Uncertainty undermines confidence

(Adds quote, detail; changes dateline previous TOKYO)

By Neal Armstrong

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - The euro fell broadly on Thursday after a newswire report saying Greece is not hopeful of receiving aid from euro zone members added to uncertainty over a resolution to its debt problems.

A Greek official quoted in the report said Greece was growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospect of help at a March 25 European Union summit and may seek International Monetary Fund aid during the April 2-4 Easter weekend.

Greece, battling to deal with crippling debts, has said it is counting on EU leaders to approve a mechanism to help the country at next week's meeting.

But some countries -- especially Germany, the EU's biggest paymaster -- are wary of making concrete promises, and market participants said the Dow Jones Newswires report suggested a rift between Greece and Germany may be deepening. [ID:nSGE62H08W]

"This just highlights the uncertainty surrounding the Greece issue. There seems to be no consensus in the euro zone, which is undermining confidence and that is what is weighing on the euro today," said Antje Praefcke, currency strategist at Commerzbank.

Comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said on Wednesday the Greek crisis had landed the euro with its biggest challenge, were also putting pressure on the single currency. [ID:nLDE62G16Q]

At 0845 GMT, the euro was trading down around 0.5 percent on the day versus the dollar <EUR=> at $1.3670. It hit a five-week high of $1.3819 on Wednesday as the greenback came under broad selling pressure.

The euro is down more than 5 percent against the dollar from its January highs, primarily on concerns over the fiscal position of Greece and other highly-indebted euro zone members.

Analysts said uncertainty regarding Greece's threats to go the IMF was simply adding to the confused picture.

"It is hard to know whether this is posturing for a better deal or in fact the truth. Uncertainty requires a higher risk premium in the euro," said ING strategists in a note.

The dollar traded with gains of around 0.3 percent against a basket of currencies <.DXY>, recovering some losses made on Wednesday versus higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar.

The Canadian dollar <CAD=D4> hit a 20-month high against the greenback of C$1.0071 on Wednesday, aided by rising oil prices. It was trading around C$1.0100 in early European dealing.

The greenback fell on Wednesday after a benign reading on U.S. producer prices supported the Federal Reserve's renewed pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a few more months.

Investors awaited the latest U.S. consumer inflation data, due at 1230 GMT. U.S. initial jobless claims and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Activity survey were also due.

The dollar was unable to make gains versus the low-yielding Japanese yen <JPY=>, trading with losses of around 0.2 percent to stand at 90.10. Traders reported good bids in the 90.00 area.

The Japanese currency was also in favour versus the euro <EURJPY=R>, which traded down roughly 0.7 percent at 123.14 yen.

(Additional reporting by Satomi Noguchi; Editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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