The euro advanced for a fourth day after Greece pledged to make a payment to the International Monetary Fund this week.
The shared currency climbed versus most of its major counterparts after Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis reiterated that the country will make the payment of about 450 million euros ($ 494 million) due April 9. The dollar slumped as Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said the pace of interest-rate increases is likely to be “shallow” once the central bank starts tightening.
“We’ve had Greek headlines for three months now and I think it’s contributed to intraday volatility,” Vassili Serebriakov, a New York-based foreign-exchange strategist at BNP Paribas SA, said in a phone interview. “The most interesting question for me this session is whether the euro can hold above $ 1.10. This is a level where we’ve failed repeatedly and, in our view, it suggests an underlying demand from European investors to sell the euro.”
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The euro advanced 0.5 percent to $ 1.1025 at 9:20 a.m. in New York, extending its longest streak of gains in 11 months.
The common currency rose 0.5 percent to 131.156 yen. The yen was little changed at 118.96 per dollar, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropped 0.3 percent to 1,179.24.
Greece and euro-area authorities are in negotiations about a package of measures proposed by the government to repair its economy, a condition for the release of bailout funds.
Varoufakis met IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Washington and is scheduled to meet U.S. officials on Monday. “The country will pay the IMF on April 9,” Greece’s Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said in an interview on Mega TV on April 4.
“The market’s pretty much siding with the view that Greece will make that payment,” said Prashant Newnaha, a rates strategist at TD Securities Inc. in Singapore. “If they do make that payment, that’s also going to be a positive for the euro.”
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The euro has tumbled 5.5 percent this year, the worse performer among a basket of 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The dollar has gained 4.9 percent and the yen advanced 5.7 percent in the period, the indexes show.
Net bearish positions on the euro rose to 226,560 contracts in the week to March 31, the most since the currency’s inception, according to data from the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
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The common currency has slumped amid unprecedented easing from the European Central Bank as the U.S. moves toward raising borrowing costs for the first time since 2006.
The timing of interest-rate increases is still uncertain and will depend on data, New York Fed President Dudley said in a speech Monday in Newark, New Jersey. Jobs data trailed forecasts on April 3, casting doubt on the strength of the U.S. recovery.
“It will be important to monitor developments to determine whether the softness in the March labor market report evident on Friday foreshadows a more substantial slowing in the labor market than I currently anticipate,” he said.
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