The European Central Bank, ECB’s, bleak outlook for the euro zone presented at a press conference yesterday, created turbulence in the currencies markets. The euro/USD fell to its lowest level in one week at 1.2969, down 150 basis points from its high on Wednesday. The fall in the Euro has worsened by the political development in Italy where Silvio Berlusconi’s Freedom Party withdrew its support for the technocrat government of Prime Minister Mario Monti. This immediately put pressure also on Italian bonds.
The main trigger for the sharply negative euro reaction was the mention of a “wide discussion over rate cuts. ECB President Mario Draghi said policymakers had considered cutting its main 0,75 % policy rate before deciding to leave it on hold. Draghi added that the ECB also “operationally was ready for negative rates”. This caused the euro to tumble and led biggest one-day loss in the single currency in one month.
The Euro fell steeply also against yen and other currencies. USD/JPY is urging up at 82,48. The slid in the Euro helped push the dollar index, DXY, up to 80,236 rebounding from a six week low of 79,58. Investors’ eyes are now on US non-farm payrolls report to be published later today. A sharp slowdown in employment growth IS expected due to the disruptions caused by super storm Sandy.
Asian shares touched fresh 16-months on Friday following modest gains in global equities as investors watched progress in US budget talks. Recent indicators suggesting stabilized growth in China has helped improve sentiments in Asia. The MSCI index for Asia-Pacific shares rose 0,6 percent and has gained 17 percent during 2012. Hong Kong shares reached a 16-month high. In the US a rebound in Apple helped boost technology shares on quiet exchanges.
Oil prices fell heavily yesterday. Brent crude tipped below USD 107 a barrel, but has recovered somewhat. Gold is again trading above USD 1700 an ounce.
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