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Monday April 12, 2010 - 10:43:30 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro up after Greek aid but caution sets in

FOREX-Euro up after Greek aid but caution sets in

Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:21am EDT

Stocks

 
Alcoa Inc.
AA.N
$14.39
-0.48-3.23%
12:00am EDT
 
JPMorgan Chase & Co
JPM.N
$45.98
+0.22+0.48%
12:00am EDT
 
General Electric Company
GE.N
$18.52
-0.04-0.22%
12:00am EDT

* Greek package triggers broad buying in euro

* Higher-yielding Aussie, kiwi also rally briefly

* Euro still faces hurdles medium term

(Updates with fresh prices, adds quotes)

By Natsuko Waki

LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - The euro hit its highest in nearly a month against the dollar on Monday after euro zone finance ministers agreed a rescue package for Greece, but further gains were limited on cautionary comments from Germany.

The ministers approved a 30 billion euro ($40.5 billion) aid package of loans, which Greece could tap if needed, with at least 10 billion euros also expected from the International Monetary Fund. [ID:nLDE63A0BO]

The massive financial safety net boosted investor appetite for riskier assets, helping the Australian dollar to its highest in five months and the New Zealand dollar to its strongest since late January earlier in the day.

However, comments from the German finance ministry injected some uncertainty. A spokesman said a summit of European leaders would be needed to activate aid for Greece.

"They highlight exactly the uncertainties. We still don't know what the trigger is for an aid being released. It would appear that we haven't reached that yet. It doesn't completely set out the framework the market wants to see," said Adam Cole, global head of FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

"Uncertainty associated with the euro still exists. There's still risk premium in the euro."

The euro rose as high as $1.3691 EUR=, its highest since mid-March, before trimming gains to the session low of $1.3589 by 1015 GMT. It had risen more than 1 percent to 127.45 yen EURJPY=R earlier.

Greek borrowing costs eased, driving the premium investors pay to hold 10-year benchmark Greek debt rather than German paper to 334 basis points from Friday's 409 bps [nLDE63B087]. The yield on 12-month Greek T-bills fell about 268 basis points to 5.28 percent.

Greece will test market appetite for its debt further on Tuesday with an auction of 1.2 billion euros of Treasury bills on Tuesday [ID:nLDE6380B3].

The single currency is still down more than 4 percent against the dollar and yen since January, making it one of the biggest underperformers among major currencies this year.

"The EU deal should get Greece past the April and May refunding hump but beyond that the outlook still looks grim as the economy sets course for a sharp contraction. Participants still have good reason to tread cautiously versus the euro," Lloyds TSB said in a note to clients.

Greece needs to roll over 3.85 billion euros of maturing bills this month and refinance 8.2 billion euros of a five-year bond maturing later in April.

HIGH-YIELDERS RALLY

The Australian dollar rose as high as $0.9382 AUD= before trimming gains to $0.9292 in Europe while the New Zealand dollar hit a peak of $0.7194 NZD=.

The dollar fell 0.7 percent against a basket of major currencies .DXY as a week of first-quarter earnings, from companies including Alcoa (AA.N), JPMorgan (JPM.N), General Electric (GE.N) and Intel (INTC.O), kicked off.

The yen fell 0.4 percent to 93.57 per dollar JPY= with a possible revaluation in China's yuan currency in focus.

Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Washington this week for a nuclear security summit and is expected to hold a one-on-one meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday

 

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