Talks on ending a deadlock between Greece and its international creditors broke up in failure on Sunday, with European leaders venting their frustration as Athens stumbled closer towards a debt default that threatens its future with the euro. European Union officials blamed the collapse on Athens, saying it had failed to offer anything new to secure the funding it needs to repay 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the International Monetary Fund by the end of this month. Even if this short-term hump can be overcome, Greece still faces the daunting prospect of eventually repaying the bailout loans, something that will hang over its enfeebled economy for decades unless a relief deal is achieved.
The common currency fell 0.3% to $1.1227, retreating further from last week's peak of $1.1387. Against the yen, the euro slid 0.5% to 138.33, well off a recent high of 141.02. The greenback was subdued against the yen, slipping a mere 0.1% to 123.29.
South Africa's rand recovered some losses against the dollar on Friday after ratings firm Standard and Poor's affirmed a BBB- credit rating along with a stable outlook for Africa's most developed economy. By 16:20 GMT the rand was down 0.3% to 12.3950 per dollar, off the crucial 12.50 level touched on its way to 13.5-year lows earlier in the week.
A slowdown in U.S. oil drilling trudged along in its seventh month as more rigs were pulled than in the previous week, denying the market a sign that producers have started ramping up production. U.S. drillers have eliminated thousands of jobs and idled more than half of the country's active rigs since they peaked at 1,609 in October. U.S. crude futures collapsed 60% from over $107 a barrel last June to a six-year low near $42 in March on oversupply concerns.