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01:00 Japan BOJ Governor Shirakawa Speaks -
The euro fell, snapping a five-day gain, after pro-independence parties in Catalonia won a regional vote, strengthening a drive for a referendum on secession in defiance of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The 17-nation euro declined against most of its 16 major peers amid concern Spain may postpone asking for a bailout amid political uncertainty. Catalan President Artur Mas, who called early elections to force the debate on independence, won 50 of the 135 seats in the regional assembly for his Convergencia i Unio party, down from 62, with 99 percent of the vote counted. The separatist Catalan Republican Left, known as the ERC, more than doubled its seats to 21 from 10. Two smaller parties that also back a plebiscite secured 16 seats. Mas has pledged a referendum within four years. In contrast, the ERC would be willing to declare independence unilaterally in 2014.
Finance ministers from the bloc will reconvene in Brussels today to decide on aid for Greece. Elsewhere in Europe, finance chiefs from the 17-member single currency return to Brussels today, less than a week after an all-night meeting failed to yield agreement and days after a European Union summit broke up without a proposed seven-year budget. At stake at the euro meeting is the continuation of a three-year mission to return Greece to financial health.
The yen rebounded from a seven-month low as a technical indicator signaled the currency may be oversold. The 14-day relative strength index for the yen against the dollar was below 30 for a sixth day today, the level that some traders see as a sign an asset’s decline has been too rapid and is about to change direction. Gains in the yen were limited after the minutes of last month’s Bank of Japan policy meeting showed members called for monetary easing.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to $1.2950.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $1.6020-40.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to the Friday's low.
Once again, the meeting of the Eurogroup will be the main focus for investors, as finance ministers gather to attempt to bridge an agreement in order to disburse the next tranche of loan aid to Greece. At 0630GMT, ECB Governing Council members Erkki Liikanen and Ewald Nowotny are slated to speak at the European Economic Integration Conference in Helsinki. At 0710GMT, German GfK Dec consumer confidence data is scheduled for release, with Italian Nov ISTAT consumer confidence survey due for release at 0900GMT. Back in Helsinki, at 1000GMT, ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot to speak at the Conference on European Economic Integration. Further ECB speakers are expected at 1400GMT, when Vice-President Vitor Constancio is slated to speak, in Berlin.On the other side of the Atlantic, the data will give an early pointer to the consumer, albeit ahead of the key Holiday shopping period. At 1530GMT, the November Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook Survey is released.
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