EU Finance Ministers Refuse To Reach Consensus

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Even after a weekend of negotiations in corridors and reams and reams of newspaper coverage it seems the EU is no closer to putting together a plan to deal with the Greek debt crisis. Before the weekend there had been hope that a meeting between EU finance ministers yesterday would come to some kind of resolution but the calling and subsequent cancellation of a press conference last night put paid to that. Instead, according to a statement published early this morning, they will decide on when and how the next portion of Greek debt will be doled out sometime in mid-July.

The euro is weaker this morning as a result of the statement having put on 0.8% on Friday after Angela Merkel was seen to soften her stance on haircuts on Greek debt. Previously an advocate for compulsory losses for private bond holders she is now more in favour of a voluntary scheme to rollover the debt and allow Greece an extra 7 years to repay it. Members of the German parliament are said to be unhappy with this development and as some columns over the weekend mentioned, the economic crisis is now becoming more of a political crisis.

Moody’s late on Friday placed Italy’s Aa2 credit rating on review for possible downgrade.

The dollar has of course been the main beneficiary of the sell-off in risky assets with the greenback 0.70% and 0.47% stronger against the euro and pound respectively. The run of poor data from the US continued on Friday as well with Michigan consumer confidence disappointing at 71.8 vs. consensus of 74.3. This is still above the 6 month average but shows what we all know, the US consumer is not a happy bunny.

The structured data calendar is quiet today but eyes will remain on the meeting of EU finance ministers taking place in Luxembourg. This comes before the key vote of confidence in George Papandreou late tomorrow and the Greek parliament vote on the austerity measures. Without the vote thee will be no money and with no money we see little euro upside.

Indicative Rates Sell Buy
GBPEUR 1.1336 1.1364
GBPUSD 1.6123 1.6147
EURUSD 1.4202 1.4215
GBPJPY 129.17 129.44
GBPAUD 1.5333 1.5359
GBPNZD 2.0007 2.0040
GBPCAD 1.5862 1.5891
NZDUSD 0.8049 0.8068
GBPZAR 10.96 11.02
USDZAR 6.7966 6.8261
GBPPLN 4.5225 4.5496
EURJPY 113.82 114.14

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