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June 23, 2017

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Euro weakens in Asia as eyes turn to EU summit

TOKYO -- The euro weakened in Asia on Monday with focus turning to a European summit to be held later in the week.

The unit dipped to US$1.2909 and 101.46 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from US$1.2958 and 101.60 yen in New York late Friday.

The dollar firmed to 78.59 yen against 78.39 yen.

There was little fresh news to drive markets, with a euro fall likely stemming from sell orders caused by weakness in other risk-sensitive currencies including the Australian dollar on concerns over China's economy, traders said.

"The fall was not driven by news but flows, possibly from overseas players," a senior trader at a Japanese bank told Dow Jones Newswires.

On Monday, Beijing said inflation slowed in September to 1.9 percent year-on-year, while Saturday it said exports surged almost 10 percent in the same month, much better than expectations.

But eyes are on the release Thursday of growth data for the three months to the end of September, with investors hoping trying to gauge the state of the world's second-biggest economy.

China's economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter through the end of June for its weakest performance in three years and the sixth-straight quarter of slowing expansion.

"Any evidence of the China growth slowdown having reached a nadir during the third quarter is likely to provide a layer of support under the Australian dollar," National Australia Bank said in a note.

European leaders are expected later this week to discuss the next tranche of bailout money for Greece, while markets are still also waiting for under-pressure Spain to request help from the eurozone's new rescue fund.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It rose to 9,625 Indonesian rupiah from 9,604 rupiah on Friday, to 30.76 Thai baht from 30.65 baht, to SG$1.2229 from SG$1.2214, to 53.06 Indian rupees from 52.82 rupees and to 1,111.45 South Korean won from 1,110.55 won.

The greenback edged down to 41.49 Philippine pesos from 41.51 pesos.

The Australian dollar bought US$1.0215 from US$1.0276 and China's yuan changed hands at 12.51 yen against 12.50 yen.

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