May 9, 2012 / 3:48 AM / 6 years ago

Greek drama pressures euro, commodities

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro sank to near 15-week lows on Wednesday and commodity prices fell as political disarray in Greece deepened worries that the country may fail to stick to the terms of its EU/IMF bailout deal and could be forced to leave the common currency.

A man takes a photo of displays showing market prices at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

But European shares had a mixed start after hitting a four-month closing low on Tuesday due to the Greek crisis and as the change in the French presidency raised the possibility of an easing in fiscal discipline across the whole debt-laden region.

“Even if markets across Europe are managing to stabilize, they are expected to remain vulnerable in the near term and any comments out of Greece, related to not adhering to agreed austerity measures and a possible default, could easily rattle markets and send them lower once again,” Markus Huber, head of German Trading at ETX Capital said.

The euro fell 0.15 percent to $1.2980 <EUR=, below the $1.30 to $1.35 range it has traded within for most of the year, while Brent crude LCOc1 slipped towards $112 a barrel, maintaining its downtrend for a sixth straight session.

The FTSE Eurofirst .FTEU3 index of top European shares opened fractionally higher but soon softened to be down 0.13 at 1,015.95 points.

German Bund futures also fell at the open, despite strong demand for safe assets due to all the political uncertainty in Europe, as investors awaited a sale of five-year German bonds which could struggle given the ultra-low yields on offer.

German asset markets received a boost from news that exports and imports both rose to record monthly levels in March, in another signal that Europe’s largest economy is fending off the euro zone debt crisis far better than others.

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Reporting by Richard Hubbard; editing by David Stamp

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