U.S. Dollar Firms as Greek Debt Crisis Weighs

The dollar started the day on a firm tone on Tuesday, as anxiety over Greece’s debt crisis helped push the euro toward a one-week low.  The euro was down about 0.1 percent on the day at $1.1145 EUR=, moving back toward Monday’s trough of $1.1131 and well away from a two-month high of $1.1392 touched last week.

Two Greek finance ministry officials told Reuters that Athens paid about 750 million euros to the International Monetary Fund a day before it was due, but this was not enough to alleviate anxieties that the country will be able to make future payments.  As euro zone finance ministers met in Brussels to discuss a cash-for-reforms deal with Athens, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Monday that a referendum on Greece’s bailout is not planned for the time being, and that capital controls have not been considered for the country.

Traders see the chances that of Greece will leave the eurozone at slightly less than one in four, a Reuters poll found.  “Barring an unforeseen shock, Greece should be able to carry on negotiations into June, but cash positions are low. Based on our expectations debts will have significant trouble being met beyond mid-June,” Richard Cochinos, head of Americas Group of 10 currency strategy at Citigroup, wrote in a note to clients.