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Tuesday April 6, 2010 - 11:25:14 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Euro pressured by Greece worries, Aussie rallies

6:42am EDT

* Euro struggles on report Greece wants to amend EU deal

* Aussie rallies after RBA raises rates, signals more hikes

* Canadian dollar hovers near parity with U.S. counterpart

(Adds comment, details)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - The euro fell broadly on Tuesday after reports Greece wants to amend a European Union aid deal highlighted Athens's deficit problems, prompting traders to dump the European currency.

The Australian dollar rallied to a 2-1/2 month high against the U.S. dollar after the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates. Its climb boosted the Canadian dollar, a fellow commodity currency, to near parity versus the U.S. dollar.

Media reports said Greece wanted to amend an EU deal struck last month to bypass an International Monetary Fund financial contribution and that Greek banks were being hit as big depositors move cash to overseas institutions. [ID:nSGE635017]

"There's speculation that the financial situation in Greece will become increasingly difficult," said Lutz Karpowitz, currency strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "Negative news about Greece will continue to pressure the euro."

By 1035 GMT, the euro <EUR=> had fallen 0.6 percent to $1.3403, and bumped down a full percent against the yen to 125.76 yen, its lowest in nearly a week, Reuters data showed.

European traders sold the euro on their return from Easter holidays, helping to nudge the dollar 0.3 percent higher against a currency basket <.DXY> to 81.351.


Market News International reported Greece is trying to amend the details of last month's EU aid agreement, including the conditions by which the IMF would require for a bailout.

Greece's debt problems have triggered political fallout in the euro zone, particularly between Athens and the bloc's most financially stable member Germany, whose population is opposed to funding assistance to Greece.

Greece needs to sell more bonds to meet its funding needs. It has raised about 23 billion euros of a projected 2010 requirement of 53.2 billion euros.

Athens announced late last month plans to sell a dollar bond at the end of April.

For an analysis of euro zone dollar issuance, see [ID:nLDE6300AA]

Analysts said growing tensions would keep investors away from the euro.

"All that wrangling is not doing any favours for the euro," said Kenneth Broux, market economist at Lloyds' in London.

The Australian dollar <AUD=D4> rose 0.3 percent to $0.9258, its highest since late January, after the RBA lifted its key cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.25 percent and suggested more tightening was to come. [ID:nSGE6340JG]

The Canadian dollar <CAD=D4> edged up to C$1.0002, holding close to parity with the U.S. dollar. A break beyond that level would mark its highest since July 2008.

Still, the U.S. currency was supported after strong readings from the U.S. services sector and housing market on Monday -- hard on the heels of a solid jobs report late last week -- bolstered the view that the U.S. economy is improving.

Sterling fell nearly 1 percent to $1.5143 <GBP=D4>, stung by political uncertainty as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Tuesday called a general election on May 6.

Analysts said the market was also watching the yuan after China on Tuesday defended its currency policy, saying it would continue to refine it however and whenever it suited Beijing. [ID:nTOE63505A]

The comments from a Foreign Ministry spokesman came after the United States last week said it would delay the release of its bi-annual currency review, which markets had been speculating may single out China as a currency manipulator.

(Editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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