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Euro rebounds after drop on hair-raising Greek stock plunge

The single currency edged up to US$1.0966 and 135.95 yen Tuesday afternoon from US$1.0954 and 135.82 yen in New York.

[TOKYO] The euro modestly rebounded Tuesday following a drop in New York as a plunge on the Greek stock market revived worries about Athens' future in the eurozone.

The single currency edged up to US$1.0966 and 135.95 yen Tuesday afternoon from US$1.0954 and 135.82 yen in New York.

The dollar lost earlier gains to sit at 123.98 yen from 123.99 yen, with the unit held back by weak US and Chinese manufacturing data.

Traders were also cautious ahead of a key US jobs report later this week.

On Monday, Greece's stock exchange, resuming trade after a five-week shutdown, plunged around 20 per cent at the open before finishing down 16.23 per cent in its biggest single-day drop ever.

Adding to broader regional concerns, the 19-nation eurozone's inflation and jobless rate came in flat in July, according to data published on Friday, suggesting only modest growth.

Standard & Poor's also lowered its outlook for the EU from stable to negative on Monday after the bloc's support for Greece and following Britain's decision to vote on leaving the EU.

"Concerns about the prospects for the EU economy are putting pressure on the euro," said Shinya Harui, a Nomura Securities forex analyst.

"But a further gain in the dollar has been capped by negative US economic indicators." Data on Monday showed slightly weaker US manufacturing activity and a modest gain in consumer spending.

The focus is now on Friday's jobs reports as investors look for the latest clues about the timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike - a plus for the dollar.

Markets are expecting a rise as early as September, but the policymakers have said any move depends on signs of strengthening in the world's top economy.

Separately, a key gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity plunged to a two-year low in July, according to figures published Monday, suggesting the world's second-largest economy is struggling.

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

It rose to S$1.3795 from S$1.3747 on Monday, to 45.73 Philippine pesos from 45.70 pesos, to Tw$31.65 from Tw$31.64 and to 1,169.45 South Korean won from 1,165.85 won.

It also firmed to 35.12 Thai baht from 35.03 baht and to 63.98 Indian rupees from 63.95 rupees.

But the greenback slipped to 13,495 Indonesian rupiah from 13,502 rupiah.

The Australian dollar firmed to 73.28 US cents from 72.97 cents, while the Chinese yuan fetched 19.97 yen against 19.98 yen.