Euro continues push against dollar, topping $1.32

The euro pushed higher against the dollar Tuesday, helped by improvements in Greece's financial status and a Spanish debt sale, and as Washington continued to battle over the looming fiscal cliff.

Meanwhile the yen slipped to its lowest level since April 2011 as Japan's incoming prime minister pressed the central bank for more stimulus.

The euro reached its best level since the beginning of May, ending at $1.3225 at 2300 GMT, up from $1.3161 late Monday.

The seven-month high for the euro came "on the back of successful sales of Greek and Spanish bills," said Benjamin Spier of Daily FX.

"Spain sold 3-month and 6-month bills for 3.52 billion euros, better than the maximum target of 3.5 billion euros. Greece sold 13-week treasury bills for 1.3 billion euros at a 4.11 percent yield," he said.

Shortly afterward, Greece's credit rating was upgraded by Standard & Poor's from "selective default" to B-, with a stable outlook, following Athens' debt buyback that earned it fiscal breathing space and new bailout funds releases from the eurozone.

The upgrade "reflects our view of the strong determination of European Economic and Monetary Union (eurozone) member states to preserve Greek membership in the eurozone," S&P said.

Meanwhile, the dollar got no help from Washington politicians, who have not yet reached a deal on a long-term deficit reduction plan that would also help the country avoid crunching tax hikes and spending cuts slated for January 1.

The yen continued to fall, setting 20-month lows against the dollar and euro, two days after the Liberal Democratic Party swept to a general election victory that is returning Shinzo Abe to the premiership.

Abe met with Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa at his party's headquarters Tuesday and told the central banker he wanted to set a two percent inflation target, in the opening salvo of his battle to kickstart the economy.

"I told him I want to reach a policy accord with the BoJ for the two percent inflation target that I promoted throughout the election campaign," Abe told reporters.

The dollar rose to 84.28 yen from 83.87 yen Monday, while the euro hit 111.47 yen from 110.40

In other currencies, the dollar slipped to 0.9134 Swiss francs, while the pound gained to $1.6247.

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