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07.05.2012 08:24

Forex: Week’s review


On Monday the euro weakened against the yen after a report showed Spain’s economy entered its second recession since 2009, adding to concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening.

The common currency extended its monthly decline versus the dollar as Spain’s government struggled to convince investors it can narrow its budget deficit in an economy that’s grappling with almost 25 percent unemployment.

On Tuesday the dollar rose from a four-week low versus the euro after a U.S. factory gauge unexpectedly advanced in April, easing concern the economic recovery is flagging and damping bets the Federal Reserve will introduce more stimulus. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. manufacturing rose to 54.8 in April from 53.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed.

On Wednesday the euro weakened for a third day against the dollar, the longest losing streak in almost a month, after data showed European manufacturing shrank and unemployment rose in Germany, adding to concern the debt crisis will worsen. The euro dropped against most of its 16 major peers as London-based Markit Economics said its purchasing-manager index of euro-region manufacturing shrank for a ninth month, falling to a 34-month low of 45.9 in April from 47.7 in March. A reading below 50 shows contraction. The number of people out of work in Germany increased a seasonally adjusted 19,000 last month to 2.87 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a decline of 10,000. Yields on Germany’s two-, five-, 10-, and 30-year bonds dropped to record lows.

On Thursday the euro strengthened versus the yen after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers didn’t discuss cutting interest rates at their meeting this week. The 17-nation currency fluctuated against the dollar after Draghi said at a press conference in Barcelona there has been “significant progress” on the fiscal front. The ECB kept its main refinancing rate at a record low 1 percent, as predicted. While the ECB still expects a gradual economic recovery this year, “downside risks” prevail and the outlook has become “more uncertain,” Draghi said.

On Friday the yen gained versus all of its major counterparts as investors sought safety after U.S. payrolls increased less than forecast in April and before elections in Europe that may result in leadership changes. France and Greece hold elections this weekend, with French voters casting ballots in the final round of the country’s presidential race and Greeks set to decide on a new parliament. The euro fell for a fifth day versus the dollar, the longest stretch since September, as France and Greece prepared for elections May 6, spurring bets their commitment to austerity may flag.

07.05.2012 08:00

Stocks: Week’s review

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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