Dollar slides on Greece budget package

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- The dollar slipped against other major currencies Wednesday after Greece announced measures to reduce its deficit by four percentage points this year.

What prices are doing: The dollar fell 0.6% against the euro to $1.3694, and dropped 0.8% against the pound to $1.5131. The greenback edged 0.4% lower against the yen to ¥88.47.

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The dollar was first higher Tuesday but then lost steam and ended lower, as the euro rose on hopes that debt-choked Greece would make decisions about its deficit.

What's moving the market: Greece announced plans to make steep cuts in civil servant salaries and raise taxes to save the debt-challenged country more than $6.5 billion this year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal's online edition.

Greek officials expect the cuts to lower Greece's budget deficit to 8.7% of the country's gross domestic product from its current level of 12.7%, according to the report.

Investors also digested some U.S. economic data ahead of Friday's all-important February jobs release. Traders took in labor market reports from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas and payroll data firm Automatic Data Processing, which showed job losses continue to slow.

The employment component of the Institute of Supply Management's report on the service sector also rose to its highest level since April 2008 as the service sector expanded.

What analysts are saying: "The dollar is trading lower today as Greece's austerity package lifts demand for European currencies," said Kathy Lien, director of currency research at Global Forex Trading, in a research note.

But the rally in the euro may be limited because there is still a lot of back and forth on whether Germany and other strong European countries will offer aid to Greece, she added. To top of page

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