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Swiss Count Cost of Franc Tsunami Damage as Market Tide Recedes
(Bloomberg) -- Thomas Jordan is about to reveal the damage from Switzerland's biggest single-day currency shock this century.
Two months after the Swiss National Bank abolished its cap on the franc, its officials are preparing their first economic forecasts to assess the impact of that move. President Jordan will give that outlook on March 19 at a policy assessment at which economists predict the central bank will keep its negative deposit rate at a record low.
"The strong appreciation of the franc after the cap was given up should significantly hit the Swiss economy," said Martin Gueth, economist at LBBW in Stuttgart, Germany. "We expect the SNB to remain in a wait-and-see mode, but should the franc appreciate, it will wage fresh currency interventions or even cut rates again."
The decision on Thursday gives the three-member SNB board an opportunity to jointly address the public after the denouement of the franc ceiling of 1.20 per euro on Jan. 15, a shock described as a "tsunami" by Swatch Group AG Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Hayek. SNB policy makers will hold a press conference in Zurich, breaking normal practice that would dictate waiting until June for the next such encounter.
Oil Slumps to Six-Year Low as U.S. Production Seen Filling Tanks
(Bloomberg) -- Oil extended its collapse to the lowest intraday price since March 2009 on speculation that record U.S. supply may start to strain the country's storage capacity.
Crude tanks in the U.S. may fill up as drilling-rig cuts fail to slow production this year, the International Energy Agency predicted. Speculators have cut bullish bets on oil to the lowest level in more than two years while short wagers rise to a record, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Futures lost as much as 2.8 percent to $43.57 a barrel in New York on Monday, falling a fifth day.
Oil slumped for a fourth week on Friday after government data showed U.S. output and stockpiles expanded to the highest levels in more than three decades, exacerbating a glut that drove prices almost 50 percent lower last year. The market hasn't bottomed yet because of the surplus, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Bloomberg Television.
Greek PM Tsipras says there is no going back to austerity
(Reuters) - Greece will not accept any return to austerity, leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday, adding that he was convinced he would strike a deal with international partners to keep finances afloat.
"The key for an honorable compromise (with the EU/IMF creditors) is to recognize that the previous policy of extreme austerity has failed, not only in Greece, but in the whole of Europe," Tsipras told daily Ethnos in an interview.
Greece's left-wing government won elections in January on a pledge to roll back budget rigor and renegotiate the terms of a 240 billion euro bailout. But it has faced resistance fromeuro zone partners who are unwilling to offer major compromises.
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