Euro hits 2-month low on Greece

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The Euro dipped to a two-month low against the dollar. Euro/USD is trading at 1.2680 after Euro zone leaders and the International Monetary Fund, IMF, yesterday failed to agree on a long-term plan to reduce Greece’s debt. This has further delayed the disbursement of immediate aid to Athens. The Greek government is said to be running out of funds during this month. In an effort to secure new emergency funding the Greek parliament last Thursday approved new extensive austerity measures. On Sunday the Greek parliament adopted a strict austerity budget for 2013 seemingly to no avail.
Uncertainty over as well short-term financing and long term debt reduction has made the Euro tumble. After stabilizing inside a corridor between 1.28 and 1.30 for weeks, the Euro seems again in free fall. There is little chance that the Euro zone will desert Greece, but investors are frustrated by the lack of clarity. With no emergency funding in place, Greece plans to sell treasury bills during this week to refinance a 5 billion Euro issue maturing on Friday. The outcome of this auction is in the blue. Concerns on Greece’s ability to refinance would for sure put the Euro under new pressure. The Euro has been constantly falling since it peaked at 1.3140 in mid-October as the euphoria over the European Central Bank scheme to buy government bonds to help support Spain’s debt burden faded.
The European ministers agreed yesterday to grant Greece two more years to reach its budget target, but disagreed over who should shoulder the additional 33 billion Euro cost. Both Germany and Finland have to go back to their parliaments for final approval. The dollar index a measure of the dollar against six major currencies rose to its highest level since early September. Uncertainties on how US lawmakers shall tackle the “fiscal cliff” of spending cuts and higher tax rates may, however, come back and haunt the dollar. With the dollar also under pressure, JPY will again appear as a “safe haven” among currencies. USD/JPY is trading at 79,285.
Oil prices are under new downward pressure. Brent crude is tipping below USD 109 a barrel. New forecasts from IEA, The international Energy agency, IEA, is predicting that the United States would pass Saudi Arabia as an oil exporter by 2015 and become a net exporter of energy by 2020. Precious metals fell back yesterday consolidating heavy gains from last week-lows. Gold is at USD 1725 and Silver trades at 32.40.
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