Investing.com – The euro traded weaker in Asia on Wednesday as crunch-time comes for Greece in less than a week while the yen gained on stronger than expected current account data.
EUR/USD traded at 1.1006, down 0.07%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 122.48, down 0.06%. AUD/USD was down 0.03% at 0.7450.
Greece has a five-day deadline to submit a detailed package of reforms to international creditors in return for a bailout or risk the “bankruptcy” of both the country and its financial system, European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Tuesday.
In a high-stakes atmosphere that followed a meeting of euro zone leaders in Brussels after Greece’s Sunday austerity referendum, Tusk and Juncker did not mince words.
“The stark reality is that we have only five days left to find an ultimate agreement,” Tusk said. “Until now I’ve avoided talking about deadlines, but tonight I have to say it loud and clear: the final deadline ends this week.”
“If there’s no deal, it will mean all the possible consequences, including the worst-case scenario, where all of us will lose,” Tusk continued. “Failure to find an agreement will lead to the bankruptcy of Greece and the insolvency of its banking system.”
A Eurogroup meeting would be arranged for Saturday, Tusk said, followed by an extraordinary meeting of all twenty-eight European Union leaders on Sunday.
A visibly angry Juncker then rounded on recent comments from the Syriza government in Greece and, in particular, its former finance minister Yannis Varoufakis, who referred to European creditors as “terrorists” in the run-up to Sunday’s plebiscite.
“With respect to the dignity of Greek people, I must say that I strongly object the accusations thrown to the Greek public in the referendum campaign that we are terrorists,” Juncker said “Who are they and who do you think I am?”
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, told reporters that his country’s rescue plan includes “credible reforms that aim for social justice” that will be met by creditors with “medium term financing commitments, a strong investment plan to combat unemployment and to start a meaningful talk for the debt restructuring.”
“The procedure is quick in order to reach a deal by the end of the week,” he said. “Everyone understands that this is not a Greek problem but a European one.”
In Japan, bank lending in June rose 2.5% year-on-year, a slight dip from a 2.6% gain in May, while the current account reached a surplus of ¥1.881 trillion, better than the ¥1.542 trillion seen.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.05% at 96.93.
Overnight, the dollar remained broafly higher against a basket of other major currencies on Tuesday, after data showed that the U.S. trade deficit widened less than expected in May and as demand for the safe-haven greenback remained supported amid ongoing Greek debt worries.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Tuesday that the U.S. trade deficit rose to $41.87 billion in May from $40.7 billion in April, whose figure was revised from a previously reported deficit of $40.88 billion.
Analysts had expected the U.S. trade deficit to widen to $42.6 billion in May.
[“source – investing.com”]