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Euro eases in Asia after Moody's Spain decision

TOKYO--The euro eased in Asian afternoon trade on Wednesday after getting a boost from a decision by Moody's not to downgrade Spain's credit rating and rising hopes Madrid will seek a bailout.

The currency bought US$1.3103 and 103.17 yen, compared with US$1.3096 and 103.31 yen in New York late Tuesday. The dollar was at 78.73 yen compared with 78.89 yen.

Ratings agency Moody's offered critical breathing room Tuesday for Spain to fix its fiscal woes, holding the nation's debt rating unchanged at Baa3, one notch above “junk” grade, although a negative outlook means a downgrade is still a possibility.

“It was a factor we've been worried about since June, so with this news, it's likely that optimism toward the debt problem outlook will spread fast,” said a senior dealer at a major bank in Tokyo.

The dollar was mostly lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It fell to SG$1.2190 from SG$1.2214 on Tuesday, to 30.62 Thai baht from 30.68 baht, and to 52.76 Indian rupees from 52.89 rupees.

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