SINGAPORE: The euro touched a four-month low, extending declines to a third-straight week, amid concern Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis is worsening.
The 17-nation currency was 0.2 % from a three-month low versus the yen after Fitch Ratings downgraded Greece’s long- term credit rating to CCC from B-, citing heightened risk that the nation may not be able to sustain membership in the monetary union. The euro also fell as rising borrowing costs in Spain spurred speculation the crisis is spreading from Greece. Japan’s currency rose against all of its most-traded peers this week as Asian stocks extended a global equity rout.
The euro touched $1.2666, the weakest since Jan. 17, before trading at $1.2695 at 9:31 a.m. in Tokyo, little changed from yesterday’s close. The shared currency bought 100.80 yen from 100.68 yen yesterday, when it fell to 100.56, the lowest since Feb. 7. The yen fetched 79.39 per U.S. dollar from 79.28.
The euro has fallen 1.7% since May 11, set for its third weekly loss, the longest string of declines since Jan. 13. Against the yen, it has dropped 2.4%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares slumped 1.6%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 1.5% to a four-month low yesterday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.1 %. (Bloomberg/T05)