FOREX-Greek debt concerns keep euro under pressure

* Euro slips vs dollar due to revived Greek debt worries

* Traders eye EU summit next week to see if Greece gets aid

* Euro/Swissie hovers near 17-month low

(Adds comment, updates throughout; pvs TOKYO)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, March 19 (BestGrowthStock) – The euro slipped on Friday,
pressured by nagging concerns about Greece’s deficit problems as
traders waited to see if Athens can secure aid from euro zone
members at a summit next week.

It hovered near a one-week low hit against the dollar on
Thursday after a media report that Athens saw limited prospects
for euro zone assistance highlighted uncertainty about whether
the country will be able to service its debts.
“Greece is not off the radar yet. It will continue to
dominate headlines, and weigh on the euro,” said Sverre Holbek,
currency strategist at Danske in Copenhagen.

Greece on Thursday said it could not achieve promised
deficit cuts if borrowing costs remain high, and may have to
turn to the International Monetary Fund. [ID:nLDE62H0LL]

But it dismissed a report it was planning to turn to the
global lender as soon as early April if EU leaders do not agree
on a rescue plan next week.

By 0848 GMT, the euro (EUR=: ) had slipped 0.1 percent on the
day to $1.3586, matching its lowest in more than a week, and is
on track to end the week roughly 1 percent lower, its worst
performance since early February.

Concerns about Greece stubbed out a rally fuelled by
improving risk appetite earlier in the week, which had pushed
the common European currency to a five-week high against the
dollar.

SWISSIE GAINS

The euro (EURCHF=: ) slipped 0.2 percent against the Swiss
franc to 1.4353 on electronic trading platform EBS, its weakest
since October 2008, in the aftermath of hawkish comments from a
Swiss National Bank official.

SNB board member Jean-Pierre Danthine said on Thursday Swiss
firms and consumers should prepare for rising borrowing costs
and exchange rates determined by the market as interest rates
could not stay low forever. [ID:nLDE62H2EE]

The SNB’s statement last week made no change to its pledge
to counter excessive gains in the franc as it continues to
appreciate against the euro. The euro has fallen roughly 1.5
percent since then.

The dollar was broadly supported, edging up 0.3 percent
against a currency basket to 80.478, and traded at 90.50 yen
against the Japanese currency (JPY=: ), little changed on the day.

It rose 0.4 percent against the Canadian dollar to C$1.0185
(CAD=D4: ), staying off a 20-month low of C$1.0071.

Traders anticipated Canadian inflation and retail sales data
due later in the day, with some in the market seeing a
possibility that more evidence of an improving Canadian economy
may push the currency to parity versus the U.S. dollar. (ECON: )

Stock Market Investing

(Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

FOREX-Greek debt concerns keep euro under pressure