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Euro edges up in Asia as concerns ease over Greece

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The euro firmed in Asian trade on Friday on easing concerns about the Greek debt crisis, while the dollar ticked higher against the yen as another batch of upbeat data reinforced expectations for a US interest rate hike.

[TOKYO] The euro firmed in Asian trade on Friday on easing concerns about the Greek debt crisis, while the dollar ticked higher against the yen as another batch of upbeat data reinforced expectations for a US interest rate hike.

In Tokyo, the single currency fetched US$1.0990 and 136.26 yen, up from US$1.0985 and 136.10 yen in New York late Thursday.

The dollar was trading at 123.99 yen, up from 123.90 yen in US trade, following a positive note from the latest US jobless claims data.

Greece's creditors are due in Athens Friday to begin talks on a new bailout after lawmakers in Athens approved this week a second round of austerity measures demanded to unlock 86 billion euros in much-needed support.

However, Barclays Bank's Shinichiro Kadota said that while the euro is enjoying some buying, dollar is expected to reach parity with the currency early next year.

The greenback continues to tick up against other currencies following a string of healthy economic indicators.

The latest showed initial claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell to their lowest level in nearly 42 years last week, the Labour Department said, in another sign of tightening in the country's jobs market.

"Dollar buying has been advancing on expectations of a Fed rate hike while the risk of a stronger dollar conversely delaying rate hikes has also weighed on it," Shinji Kureda, Tokyo-based head of FX trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, told Bloomberg News.

With the world's top economy getting back on track the Federal Reserve has said it will likely raise rates before the end of the year - in either September or December.

AFP