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Euro up after Greece agreement, Shanghai surges again

The euro pushed higher Friday after Greece’s promise to provide new plans to reform its bailout, while Shanghai stocks continued their latest rally towards a seven-year high.

Traders moved into the single currency after Greece’s deal with its key European partners, who agreed to finish work “as fast as possible” on completing its EU-IMF rescue programme.

But while the dollar’s rally against the euro and yen fizzled out, analysts said they expect the currency to resume its advance as the US Federal Reserve prepares for a rate hike while the Japanese and European central banks print more cash.

In equities trade, Tokyo swung from initial losses to end 0.43 percent higher, adding 83.66 points to 19,560.22, while Sydney added 0.40 percent, or 24.7 points, to close at 5,975.5.

Seoul was flat by the close, edging down 0.65 points to 2,037.24, and Hong Kong lost 0.38 percent, or 93.65 points to 24,375.24.

Shanghai rallied 0.98 percent, or 35.05 points, to 3,617.32. The market has climbed more than nine percent following an eight-session winning streak and is now at its highest level since mid 2008.

Investors welcomed news that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had agreed to hand over a fresh package of reforms to its paymasters as his anti-austerity government tries to overhaul the terms of its bailout.

The left-wing Greek leader made the announcement after emergency talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and the European Union’s top officials on the sidelines of a European summit in Brussels. He said the bailout was “back on track”.

While the crisis is not yet over, the news will come as a relief to markets as an ongoing standoff over Athens’ bailout has raised fears it will crash out of the eurozone.

In afternoon Asian trade, the euro bought $ 1.0680 and 129.02 yen against $ 1.0660 and 128.77 yen in New York Thursday.

The dollar was at 120.73 yen, compared with 120.80 yen in US trade.

– Oil prices push lower –

The greenback has been on a rollercoaster ride this week after sinking in reaction to the Federal Reserve’s lowered expectations for interest rates and economic growth.

That cooled talk of a rate rise in early summer, sending the dollar tumbling and stocks rising. At one point in New York Wednesday, after the announcement, it fell to 119.57 yen while the euro was at $ 1.1010.

The US currency has since recovered, notching up gains over the past two days.

On Thursday the Dow eased 0.65 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.49 percent, but the Nasdaq added 0.19 percent.

“We’re seeing a bit of profit-taking here,” Hartmut Issel, the Singapore-based head of equity, credit and macro for the Asia-Pacific chief investment office at UBS Wealth Management, told Bloomberg TV.

“I wouldn’t recommend to lose sight of the bigger picture. Yes, the Fed is currently a bit more dovish than we thought going into the meeting, but we are still talking about a very strong US economy, with a strong labour market.”

Oil prices fell further owing to lingering concerns about a global supply glut. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for April delivery fell 47 cents to $ 43.49 and Brent crude for May slipped 23 cents to $ 54.20 in afternoon trade.

Gold fetched $ 1,172.01 against $ 1,164.38 late Thursday.

In other markets:

— Mumbai fell 0.73 percent, or 208.59 points, to end at 28,261.08.

National Thermal Power Corporation fell 6.25 percent to 145.50 rupees, while IT major Wipro rose 2.92 percent to 651.85 rupees.

–Bangkok closed down 0.14 percent, or 2.17 points, to 1,529.96.

Oil company PTT dropped 1.53 percent to 322.00 baht, while Bank of Ayudhya fell 4.15 percent to 46.25 baht.

— Taipei rose 0.13 percent, or 12.96 points, to 9,749,69.

— Wellington rose 0.20 percent, or 11.97 points, to 5,871.38.

Air New Zealand was up 1.06 percent at NZ$ 2.85 while market heavyweight Fletcher Building was unchanged at NZ$ 8.93.

— Manila ended flat, inching up 3.83 points to 7,818.38.

Universal Robina added 2.23 percent to 220.00 pesos, San Miguel Corp. fell 3.34 percent to 67.95 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone dropped 1.40 percent to 2,810.00 pesos.

— Jakarta closed flat, dipping 0.75 points to 5,453.10.

Cigarette maker Gudang Garam lost one percent to 51,950 rupiah, while palm oil producer Astra Agro Lestari rose 0.49 percent to 25,750 rupiah.

— Kuala Lumpur closed down 0.30 percent, or 5.48 points, at 1,803.65.

Public Bank dropped 0.21 percent to 18.60 ringgit, Sime Darby lost 0.43 percent to 9.26 ringgit, while Tenaga Nasional gained 0.14 percent to 14.60 ringgit.

— Singapore rose 0.78 percent, or 26.28 points, to 3,412.44.

DBS Bank gained 0.50 percent to Sg$ 20.06 while real estate developer Capitaland was up 1.15 percent to Sg$ 3.52.

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