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On Monday 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.
On Tuesday the euro weakened for a seventh day against the dollar as Greek politicians struggled to form a new government after elections on the weekend raised the prospect of the country withdrawing from the currency bloc. The pound dropped against the dollar as a report showed U.K. house prices fell in April. The pound declined from within two U.S. cents of an eight- month high against the dollar after an industry report showed a gauge of house prices declined.
On Wednesday the euro weakened for an eighth day against the dollar as Greek politicians struggled to form a new government, fueling concern the nation will leave Europe’s currency union. The 17-nation currency extended its run of losses to the longest since September 2008 as Spain’s 10-year bond yields climbed back above 6 percent. Euro area leaders from the European Central Bank’s Joerg Asmussen to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have begun to raise doubts that Greece can stay in the monetary union. Growth in German exports slowed to 0.9 percent in March from 1.5 percent in February, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said.
On Thursday the euro rose from a three-month low as Europe’s bailout fund confirmed that aid to Greece had been received and officials said progress was made forming a government, easing concern the nation will leave the monetary union. Greece’s socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos said he saw the first “good omen” in four days of attempts to form a coalition government and avert a new election. Greece “can continue to function with the disbursement,” commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told reporters in Brussels after yesterday’s European Financial Stability Facility decision to disburse immediately only 4.2 billion euros ($5.4 billion) of a 5.2 billion-euro loan tranche. The remaining 1 billion euros will be “disbursed in due time to cover future needs.”
On Friday the euro weakened for a second week, touching a three-month low versus the dollar, as concern builds that Greece may be forced to withdraw from the currency union with the nation’s politicians unable to form a government. The 17-nation currency rose earlier after the leader of Greece’s New Democracy Party said four parties have vowed to remain in the euro if they form part of the next administration. Gross domestic product in the euro area will drop 0.3 percent this year, the European Commission said, reiterating a February forecast. Greece will have the deepest contraction, with GDP shrinking 4.7 percent, while the economies of Spain and Italy are seen falling 1.8 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
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