Euro fights back

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The Euro did recover slightly from its 9month low on the back of U.S Federal Reserve action. The Fed is prepared to take further steps to help an economy that is close to faltering citing anaemic employment, depressed confidence and financial risk from Europe. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was testifying on Capitol Hill, urged law makers not to cut spending too quickly. He made it clear the U.S Central Bank’s policy committee considers inflationary pressure well under control and given the high unemployment would be ready to ease monetary conditions further. Naturally he was noncommittal when directly quizzed on whether QE3 was in the pipeline. Dollar weakness helped Euro gains.

Speaking at a meeting of the EU Finance Ministers, Chancellor Osborne stressed that action is needed now to strengthen the Euro zone banks- citing the Franco-Belgium bank Dexia as a prime example. France and Belgium promised to support Dexia via guarantees for a ‘bad bank’ holding its worst assets. More worryingly Dexia has heavy exposure to Greek debt.

Yesterday there was more bad news for GBP as UK Construction PMI figure came in at a 10 month low of 50.1. While the British Retail Consortium head Stephen Robertson said UK consumer morale was heading towards levels not seen since the collapse of the Lehman brothers and warned of 18 months of hard times ahead for the British high street. This was evident as Tesco posted one of its biggest ever falls in underlining sales.

This morning Moody lowered its rating on Italy’s bonds by three months. Putting this in perspective, Italy’s downgrade from AA2 to A2 is a lower rating than the economic giant that is Estonia. Moody have also seen a ‘material increase’ in funding risks for Eurozone countries with high levels of debt and warned of further down grades.

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