Germany has set the ball in motion – with France’s backing, for a stronger fiscal integration among the EU members. Angela Markel is surely thinking long-term and seems determined to ensure that countries with loose monetary policy get a taste of reality. Germany’s original plan was to secure agreement among all the 27 EU countries that would enable tighter budget controls over the 17 member common currency zone – a measure that will help in shoring up the defence against any future crisis.
However, EU sources reveal that Chancellor Markel and President Sarkozy have realised that getting all the 27 members on board may not be possible and are exploring possibilities to get the euro zone countries to agree to the proposal. A separate agreement outside the EU treaty involving only 8-10 countries is also being explored. The recent market attack on Italy, Spain and France suggests some bold measures are required within weeks.
CURRENCY RATES OVERVIEW
GBP/EURO – 1.1637
GBP/US$ – 1.5546
GBP/CHF – 1.4332
GBP/CAN$ – 1.6101
GBP/AUS$ – 1.5732
GBP/ZAR – 12.9532
GBP/JPY – 120.71
GBP/HKD – 12.1055
GBP/NZD – 2.0628
GBP/SEK – 10.7824
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EURO: Euro weakened further on Friday across the board after it became known that Italy’s 10-year note auction didn’t generate much interest and yields have touched the unsustainable 7.3 per cent. The situation worsened after rating’s agency S&P cut Belgium by one notch to AA. The Finn’s continued opposition to Eurobonds and ECB’s Mersch saying there’s no proposal to expand ECB’s mandate to become the lender of last resort didn’t help the euro either. The GBP/EUR pair ended the day on modest gains. Focus today will remain on tomorrow’s European finance minister’s meet. The GBP/EUR pair opens at 1.1627 today morning.
USD: Sterling suffered losses against the greenback on Friday, making it the fifth day in a row, and ended the day at about 1.5440. The USD gained against both the CHF and the JPY on Friday, reinforcing the greenback’s reputation as the ultimate safe haven. The cable may continue to suffer this week as tomorrow Chancellor Osborne’s Autumn Statement outlining the euro’s effect on UK economy is expected tomorrow. The GBP/USD pair opens at 1.5508 this morning.
Elsewhere, the Swiss franc gained against the common currency on Friday while the antipodean currencies traded in a narrow range against the USD, mirroring the overall risk sentiment.
Elsewhere, the antipodean currencies remained weak against the greenback yesterday. Both the GBP/AUD and GBP/NZD pairs opened steady against the cable at 1.5945 and 2.0870 today morning.
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