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13.02.2012 08:40

Forex: Weekly’s review

On Monday the euro rose, offsetting previously incurred losses against the background of EU President Van Rompuy and EU Commissioner for Greece of possible progress in talks on Greek debt. EU President said that "the crisis is not yet complete, but the worst part is over," adding that "the problem of U.S. debt on average more serious than in the euro area and euro area deficit is not dramatic". Previously, the single currency fell against major currencies of the partner, after it became known that the Prime Minister of Greece Lucas Papademos appealed to the Ministry of Finance to prepare a report on options for action in case of default in the country.

 

On Tuesday the euro rose to the highest in eight weeks against the dollar as Greek officials and creditors worked on the final draft of an agreement on budget and structural measures needed to free up a second aid package. The 17-nation currency strengthened as Prime Minister Lucas Papademos prepared to meet with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to put the final touches to the document. The yen fell against all its major counterparts as implied volatility of three-month options for Group of Seven currencies fell to almost a 10-month low, according to the JPMorgan G7 Volatility Index. A decrease makes investments in currencies with higher benchmark lending rates more attractive as the risk in such trades is that market moves will erase profits.

On Wednesday the euro fluctuated against the dollar amid speculation Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and coalition party leaders will fail to agree on terms required for a bailout. Greece’s Papademos negotiated with political leaders in Athens after delaying the gathering for a second time in as many days. He met officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to put the final touches on terms required for a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) bailout. The yen fell against the majority of its major peers as Japan’s current-account surplus slid to a 15- year low in 2011. The yen dropped after the Finance Ministry in Tokyo said Japan’s current-account surplus shrank 44 percent in 2011 from the previous year to 9.63 trillion yen ($125 billion), the lowest since 1996. Japan’s trade surplus makes the currency attractive as a haven because it means the nation doesn’t have to rely on overseas lenders.

On Thursday the euro reached a two-month high against the dollar and the yen after Greek political leaders said they had reached an agreement on austerity measures needed to obtain a bailout. The 17-nation currency strengthened against all but one of its most-traded counterparts after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said it would lower the collateral requirements to access the next three-year loan auction later this month. The pound rose against the dollar after the Bank of England said it would increase its bond-buying program by less than some economists forecast. The Monetary Policy Committee raised the target for bond purchases by 50 billion pounds ($79.3 billion) to 325 billion pounds, more than a quarter of current outstanding gilts.

On Friday the euro fell from a two-month high against the dollar as European finance ministers withheld an aid package necessary to prevent the Greek economy from collapsing. The shared European currency slid from the highest since December against the yen after the leader of one of the Greek government’s supporting parties said he couldn’t back an austerity accord needed to secure the bailout. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said his euro- area counterparts refused to approve a 130 billion-euro ($171 billion) aid package because the government fell short of austerity demands. George Karatzaferis, the leader of Greece’s Laos party, said he couldn’t support an accord on cuts in its present form. The Swiss franc rose in a while in January, consumer price inflation registered a fourth consecutive decline, which became at the same time the highest since October 2009, as the high rate of the franc caused the fall in the value of goods imported into the country. The cost of imported consumer goods to Switzerland fell by 1.8% m/m and 3.2% y/y.

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