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Euro falls in Asian trade
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TOKYO: The euro fell against other major currencies on stop-loss sales in Asian trade on Monday, while China's decision to widen the range at which its currency trades against the dollar had little impact.
 
The euro bought $1.3018 and 105.36 yen in Tokyo morning trade, down from $1.3078 and 105.83 yen in New York late Friday. The dollar was changing hands at 80.93 yen against 80.91 yen.
 
The euro's decline came after the single currency also fell on Friday amid investor worries over eurozone debt and slowing growth in China as its economy grew less than expected in the first quarter.
 
The common currency sank further on Monday as stop-loss sell orders were triggered at around $1.3050, said a senior trader at a major Japanese trust bank. The move also dragged the euro down against the yen, traders said.
 
Renewed concerns about the eurozone's fiscal problems resurfaced after Spanish bank borrowing from the European Central Bank surged to new highs in March.
 
"The euro is on its knees thanks to renewed funding pressures for Spain and Italy. Until that gets resolved the euro will remain under the pump," said David Scutt, senior trader at Arab Bank Australia.
 
On Monday, Japan's finance minister declined to confirm a weekend report that Tokyo was considering a $60.0 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund to help boost a global firewall against financial turmoil.
 
IMF funding will be a key topic at talks Friday in Washington of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers, with IMF chief Christine Lagarde saying last week the fund may need less rescue-funding than previously thought.
 
"It is likely to be a policy-focused week this week," National Australia Bank said in a note.
 
France also holds the first round of presidential elections at the weekend, where Socialist challenger Francois Hollande is seen as a possibly destabilising force for the euro, the bank said.
 
Currency trading was barely affected by China's weekend decision to widen the yuan's trading band against the dollar.
 
Western critics, led by the United States, have kept up pressure on Beijing over its foreign-exchange policies, saying it keeps the yuan artificially low to boost the country's exports.
 
A senior official at the Japanese finance ministry said Monday that China's move was "a step in a positive direction." (AFP)

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