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Euro holds steady in Asian trade on EU summit news

TOKYO--The euro held steady in Asian trade Friday after news that European Union leaders had clinched a deal on setting up a banking union despite differences between heavyweights France and Germany.

The unit bought US$1.3072 and 103.69 yen in Tokyo early afternoon trade, compared with US$1.3067 and 103.60 yen in New York late Thursday.

The dollar was at 79.33 yen against 79.28 yen.

The dollar gained against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It rose to 41.41 Philippine pesos from 41.30 pesos, to 53.63 Indian rupees from 53.08 rupees and to 9,653.00 Indonesian rupiah from 9,609.00 rupiah.

The greenback also rose to SG$1.2196 from SG$1.2180, to 1,105.85 South Korean won from 1,105.00 won and to 30.68 Thai baht from 30.62 baht.

The Australian dollar bought US$1.0365, compared with US$1.0381, while China's yuan changed hands at 12.69 yen against 12.65 yen.

EU leaders began two-day talks in Brussels Thursday on hopes for progress in fighting the debt crisis.

By the early hours of Friday they had an agreement, of sorts, on bringing banks under bloc-wide supervision next year, but failed to pin down an exact date — dashing hopes of a quick move towards a full banking union.

European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said there had been an “agreement on a political framework for the end of 2012 and a gradual implementation in 2013.”

France has been pushing for a quick start to the supervision, but Germany is reluctant to rush in.

The talks had begun with markets appearing less jittery, but also against a backdrop of fresh violence in Greece, the origin of the three-year debt crisis, where a man died during a general strike and anti-austerity protests.

Eurozone leaders hailed Greece's achievements in carrying out reforms aimed at getting its economy back on track and urged Athens to keep up efforts to stay in the eurozone.

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