FOREX-Euro edges higher on expectations of Greek support
* Euro up 0.3 pct at $1.3772 EUR=
* Risk appetite buoyed as Aussie jobless falls
* Moderation in China CPI inflation supports risk appetite
* EU summit start delayed by snow (Adds quotes, changes dateline prvs TOKYO)
By Tamawa Desai
LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The euro edged higher against the dollar on Thursday, underpinned by expectations European countries will come to the aid of debt-burdened Greece.
A meeting in Brussels of the European Union's 27 leaders, along with economic advisers, the head of the European Central Bank and other officials, is expected to reach a political agreement on helping Greece.
The financial details will be hammered out at Monday's meeting of finance ministers in Brussels, a senior EU source told Reuters on Tuesday. [ID:nLDE61927A].
Elsewhere, Australia's jobless rate hit a 11-month low and Chinese inflation moderated, prompting the Australian dollar to rise more than one percent on the day and supporting risk-taking sentiment.
Financial markets in Tokyo were closed on Thursday for a public holiday.
Concern over how Athens will service its debt has hammered the euro in recent weeks but it has found a firmer footing as expectations of an aid package have firmed.
For a graphic of the euro/dollar rate and Greek bond spread, clock on
By 0844 GMT, the euro rose 0.3 percent from late U.S. trading on Wednesday to $1.3772 EUR=, pulling away from an 8 1/2-month low of $1.3585 hit on trading platform EBS last week.
It hovered near resistance at $1.3801, which is a 50 percent retracement of its rise to its November 2009 peak of $1.5145 from its March 2009 low of $1.2457 .
Against the yen, the single European currency rose 0.3 percent to 123.86 yen EURJPY=R, after slumping to a one-year low of 120.70 yen last week.
"Perhaps the cheapest and easiest option may be to provide a credit line for Greece," said Stuart Bennett, currency analyst at Credit Agricole CIB.
"Such insurance ... may be enough to calm the market's misplaced worries about default risks and provide a few months for Greece to push ahead with fiscal changes and convince the market that it will be able to reduce its budget deficit."
But analysts said any support plan for Greece would not solve all of Europe's problems. Concerns about the fiscal positions of similarly debt-impaired euro zone countries such as Portugal and Spain have made investors wary.
Heavy snowfall in Brussels delayed the EU meeting, and official said it would start at 1100 GMT instead of 0930 GMT. A news conference is scheduled at the meeting's close.
The Australian dollar rose more than 1 percent against the dollar and the yen, buoyed by data showing a bigger-than- expected rise in Australian employment in January and a fall in the jobless rate to an 11-month low. [ID:nSGE6190O9]
The Aussie dollar later extended its gains after an unexpected slowdown in Chinese consumer inflation in January soothed some concerns about the need for quick monetary tightening by Chinese authorities. [ID:nTOE61706J]
The jump in the Aussie sparked a broad slide in the lower-yielding yen and the dollar and helped the euro.
"It's all consistent with the surprise, the massive surprise, in the Aussie unemployment numbers," said Gareth Berry, an analyst at UBS Investment Bank in Singapore.
"It came out and basically risk appetite surged across the board on the back of it," he said.
The Australian dollar climbed 1.5 percent to $0.8906 AUD=D4 and rose 1.6 percent to 80.08 yen AUDJPY=R.
The dollar was flat on the day against the yen a 89.94 yen JPY=.
The dollar index, which measures the dollar's value against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1 percent to 79.901 .DXY.
(Additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano in Tokyo)
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