The euro plumbed record lows on Wednesday as investors remained skeptical about a solution for Greece's fiscal woes, while Asian stocks tracked Wall Street's rally overnight to push toward two-month highs.
Concerns around Greece's fiscal problems made a comeback despite Germany saying overnight for the first time it may support a euro-zone financial aid package for Athens.
Some analysts said Germany's support, which was pegged to tough terms including help from the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) made it unlikely EU leaders would agree on a deal for Greece at a two-day summit starting on Thursday.
A hybrid solution involving both EU members and the IMF may create more uncertainty due to potentially larger coordination problems between parties contributing to a bailout package, Barclays said in a note.
The beleaguered euro fell to a record low of 1.4232 francs on trading platform EBS. Strength in the Swiss franc fueled talk among traders the Swiss National Bank may intervene in the market again to weaken its currency.
Against the Australian dollar, it hit an all-time low of A$1.4654. Versus the U.S. dollar, the euro struggled at $1.3459, within sight of a ten-month low of $1.3432.
But uncertainty over Greece did not appear to cause much of a ripple beyond the currency market. Gold edged up, while oil prices were a touch softer.
Asian equities also shrugged off the gloom around Greece with investors, encouraged by an overnight rally on Wall Street, buying modestly across regional markets.
U.S. stocks had leapt to 18-month highs overnight after stocks in the tech, industrial and materials sectors rose on signs of improving demand and an upbeat brokerage comment.
In Japan, the Nikkei average <.N225> hit a two-month high, with tech stocks following on Wall Street's lead.
Canon <7751.T> rose and Nintendo <7974.OS> soared 9 percent on the back of its plans to sell a new model of its DS handheld game gear that allows users to play 3D games without requiring the use of special glasses.
The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> rose 0.4 percent, within sight of a two-month high hit earlier this month.
But it remains to be seen whether the buoyancy in Asian stocks can be sustained, with some traders saying optimism was tempered by the prospect of China possibly tightening its policy this year.
People will maintain their cautious stance so the upside will be limited, said Alex Wong, director at Ample Finance Group. The major concern remains the tightening in liquidity in China.
Indeed, charts show the MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks ex-Japan faces resistance around the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of its October 2997-November 2008 drop.
The index rose in January to be within sight of the 61.8 retracement level of 439.6 points, but quickly fell back as investors paused to take profits, and as worries around Greece rattled demand for riskier assets.
(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)