Euro Rises To 2-month High Vs Dollar On Greek Deal

Published February 10, 2012 1:00AM (EST)

NEW YORK (AP) — The euro jumped to a 2-month high against the dollar Thursday after Greek leaders agreed on a cost-cutting plan that should prevent the country from defaulting on its debt.

The deal was the first of two steps needed in order for Greece to receive $170 billion from its lenders. Greece is also close to reaching an agreement to sharply reduce what it owes private investors.

Finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro are meeting in Brussels Thursday to discuss the plan and decide whether to release the bailout funds. Germany's finance minister warned that the deal may not be enough for the money to be released.

Without the cash, Greece could default on its debt next month. A default would cause losses for European banks and disrupt financial markets.

The euro rose to $1.3290 in late trading Thursday from $1.3254 late Wednesday. The euro rose as high as $1.3321 Thursday, its highest point since Dec. 12.

Traders also bought euros after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said the economies in the euro area are stabilizing. He also said the central bank will keep its key interest rate at a record low as it waits to see if the euro zone needs more help to stay out of a recession.

The dollar was mixed against other currencies.

The British pound rose to $1.5824 from $1.5814. The dollar fell to 0.9120 Swiss franc from 0.9131 Swiss franc and to 99.50 Canadian cents from 99.60 Canadian cents.

But the dollar rose to 77.66 Japanese yen from 77.01 yen.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------