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20.02.2012 08:41

Forex: Weekly’s review


On Monday the euro pared gains after approaching a two-month high against the dollar. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won approval from parliament for austerity measures needed to receive a second aid package, which euro-area finance ministers must decide whether to release when they meet Feb. 15. The yen fell against most of its major peers as Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized 2.3 percent pace in the fourth quarter amid slumping exports that undermined a recovery from last year’s record earthquake. The report underscores pressure on Bank of Japan officials meeting to consider more monetary easing as gains in the yen worsen losses for exporting companies such as Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp.

On Tuesday the euro fell against the dollar amid concerns of investors regarding the provision of Greece second package of financial assistance. Previously, support for the single currency had data on economic expectations in the euro area and in Germany, as well as successful placement of debt securities of the Governments of Italy and Spain. In particular, the index of economic expectations of the Center for European economy (ZEW) in the euro zone rose in February compared with January, by 24.4 points - down to minus 8.1 points. This indicator of investor confidence in the economy of Germany in February rose by 27.0 points to 5.4 points. The indicator was plus first time since May 2011.

On Wednesday the euro declined after reaching a two-month high versus the yen as Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos accused some euro-area nations of wanting the Greece to leave the union. The 17-nation currency fell against the dollar after European policy makers delayed a decision on the nation’s bailout scheduled for today. The euro earlier advanced after China said it will help tackle Europe’s debt crisis. Venizelos leveled the accusation after a decision slated for tonight on aid totaling 130 billion euros ($170 billion) was postponed until Feb. 20 at the earliest.

On Thursday the euro rose after German newspaper Die Welt reported that the European Central Bank is exchanging Greek bonds for new securities, bolstering speculation Greece will get its second bailout. The ECB is swapping its 50 billion-euro ($66 billion) Greek government bond holdings for new Greek bonds, Die Welt reported, citing unidentified central bank officials. The swap will be completed by Feb. 20, it said. An ECB spokesman declined to comment on the report.

The dollar erased gains against a majority of its most- traded counterparts after a report showed manufacturing in the Philadelphia area expanded by the fastest in four months and initial jobless claims fell to the lowest in four years.

On Friday The euro strengthened against most of its major counterparts on optimism European leaders will agree to release bailout funds for Greece on Feb. 20. The euro pared gains against the dollar as the Greek government drew up legislation that could be used to impose losses on investors who don’t support a debt swap. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos expressed optimism that an “agreement on Greece” can be reached at a Brussels meeting of euro-area finance ministers on Feb. 20. The pound gained 0.2 percent to $1.5829, extending its weekly advance to 0.4 percent. Sterling rose 0.8 percent to 125.77 yen after reaching 125.90, the strongest since Nov. 7. Sales including fuel climbed 0.9 percent from December, when they rose 0.6 percent, the Office for National Statistics said today, spurring speculation the U.K. economy will avoid a recession.

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