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Yesterday the euro weakened to a more than three-month low after Francois Hollande was elected president of France and as Greek voters flocked to anti-bailout parties, stoking concern austerity efforts in Europe may be derailed. The 17-nation currency slid for a sixth day, its longest series of declines since September, dropping as much as 1 percent before paring losses. Hollande, who becomes the first Socialist in 17 years to control Europe’s second-biggest economy, pledged to push for less austerity and more growth in the region.
Hollande’s platform calls for policies German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes, including increased spending and delayed deficit cuts. He used his campaign to call for an activist European Central Bank, defying Germany. Merkel telephoned Hollande to congratulate him and to invite him for talks in Berlin “as soon as possible,” according to a statement from her government.
Greek elections left the two biggest parties short of the clear majority to keep bailout efforts on track. With the nation dependent on rescue funds to stay in the euro, the next government will need to find cuts worth 5.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 and 2014.
Australia’s currency was on track for its longest stretch of losses in nine months even after domestic reports showed gains in retail sales and building approvals. Australia’s retail sales climbed 0.9 percent in March after a revised 0.3 percent gain in the previous month, the country’s statistics office said in Sydney. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 0.2 percent advance. A separate report showed the number of permits granted to build or renovate houses and apartments rose 7.4 percent in March from February, when they dropped a revised 8.8 percent.
EUR/USD: yesterday the pair was restored, fixed above $1.3000.
GBP/USD: yesterday the pair gain to Friday’s high.
USD/JPY: yesterday the pair holds in range Y79.65-Y80.00.
Main core-European data is limited to the 1000GMT release of Germany industrial output data, while at the same time, ECB Governing Council member Patrick Honohan is due to participate in a panel discussion entitled "The Return of the Surprise in Central Banking", in London. At 1230GMT, ECB President Mario Draghi is due to give an address at the Signing of the T2S Framework Agreement between the Eurosystem and the Central Securities Depositories, in Frankfurt. US data continues at 1255GMT with the Johnson Redbook weekly chain store sales data. At 1345GMT, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker holds a roundtable discussion with Guilfod Technical Community College students, in Greensboro, N.C. Finally, at 1745GMT, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks to a business audience at the "Growth DFW" event sponsored by the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
and the Dallas Regional Chamber.
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