FOREX-Euro falls; hurdles seen in Greek debt deal
* Greece far-right leader says cannot back bailout deal * Euro zone ministers seek more commitments from Greece * Aussie falls, dovish RBA statement weighs NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The euro fell on Friday after the leader of the far-right party in Greece's coalition declined to back a bailout agreement, again raising concerns about the risk of a chaotic default and pushing market sentiment from recent optimism to pessimism. The comments caused the euro to extend earlier losses after euro zone finance ministers sought further measures from Greece before signing off on a 130-billion-euro bailout package. Political parties in Athens on Thursday struck a long-awaited deal on harsh austerity steps necessary for a second rescue package and a debt swap deal with Greece's private bondholders is thought to be close. But George Karatzaferis, head of the LAOS party, said on Friday he cannot vote for the loan agreement. While his party, with only 15 deputies in the 300-seat Greek parliament, will not prevent the agreement being passed in a vote, his comments soured the taste for risk appetite seen earlier. Reports of resignations by government ministers in protest against the bailout agreement added to concerns. . "It's not entirely surprising to see negative news overnight trigger a pretty sharp unwinding of risk," said Omer Esiner, chief market strategist at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. "A lot of the uncertainty that has hung over markets for the better part of last year remains largely in place. This is a dose of reality for people." The euro lost 0.8 percent on the day to $1.3183, pulling well below a two-month high touched on Thursday, a level just short of its 100-day simple moving average, currently at $1.3328, using Reuters data. The euro had seen strong gains since hitting a 17-month low in January as the market bet Greece would hammer out its second bailout deal with international lenders. But Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said a further 325 million euros of spending cuts needed to be found and, with Greek elections looming, political assurances were needed that the plan would be implemented. The Eurogroup includes the finance ministers of the countries in the euro zone. "It feels like the euro is reaching the end of its recovery run here, even if a Greek deal gets done," said Boris Schlossberg, head of research at GFT Forex in Jersey City. For the week the euro eked out a 0.5 percent gain against the dollar. AUSSIE SLIDES The Australian dollar has underperformed, pressured by euro zone concerns as well as a dovish quarterly statement from the Reserve Bank of Australia and data showing a slump in Chinese imports. The Aussie was last down 1.1 percent to $1.0674, after falling to a more than one-week low and well below a six-month high reached this week. "We see risk of potentially strong pullbacks on a three-month view given risk that the euro zone crisis could undermine risk appetite, but would view these as AUD/USD buying opportunities," said Rabobank in a note. Against the yen, the euro was down around 0.9 percent on the day at 102.32 yen, off a two-month high hit on Thursday. The dollar rose to its highest against the yen in two weeks before surrendering gains. It was last at 77.62 yen, down 0.1 percent. Japan Finance Minister Jun Azumi said the exchange rate remained out of sync with economic reality and repeated he was ready to counter excessive speculation. For the week, the dollar gained 1.5 percent against the yen, the best week since Nov. 6.
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