Euro over 1.17

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Yesterday markets were relatively subdued; there is sensitivity to European headlines which has helped us trade over 1.17 today.

German factory orders were much better than expected at 5.2% this helped to stop downside Euro movement as well as the Euroland’s provisional 0.2% GDP growth. Meanwhile Asian markets were down by 1% on the back of S&P’s announcement of risk potential downgrade of Euro countries. S&P have cited the risk for potential instability as their reason for putting the rest of Euroland on ‘credit watch negative’.

Angela Merkel help to prop up the Euro by dropping her demand that private investors should share the pain by writing down the value of their government bond holdings. The idea is to avoid discouraging investors from buying the bonds. If private investors are to be indemnified against losses on Euroland sovereign bonds the EFSF in the first instance, then Germany and France will have to underwrite that protection. If this goes ahead, Euroland government bonds will have the French and German support we have been waiting for.

In response to the credit crunch last week George Osborne announced a £40billion programme to ensure flowing liquidity to small businesses as a way of supporting the economy. Following this, Glenn Stevens (RBA governor) for the first time yesterday acknowledged the threat of a slowdown in China. He said “China’s growth has been slowing trade in Asia.” We are now seeing the effect of significant slowing in economic activity in Europe; further proof there is a slowdown in economic growth.

In the absence of significant data it will be the flow of information and rumour from Berlin, Brussels and Paris that exerts the most influence on exchange rates.

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