The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3095 level and was supported around the $1.2870 level. Traders will pay close attention to President Obama’s news conference tonight in which he will discuss his administrations plans to spend the US$ 800+ fiscal stimulus that could be passed by the U.S. Senate as early as tomorrow. Critics believe the Obama plan does little to stimulate the real economy in the short-term and is long on politically-expedient pork. Dealers are also awaiting remarks from Treasury Secretary Geithner tomorrow regarding the bailout program for distressed U.S. mortgage holders. It was also reported that the Conference Board’s January employment trends index was off 1.0% to 96.6. In eurozone news, the European Union announced it will hold a summit in late February to coordinate action on the global economic crisis. In December, EU officials agreed on an aggregate €200 billion economic stimulus without mentioning specifics. Significant tensions remain between the U.K., French, and German governments on economic recovery policies. German finance minister applauded efforts to develop a bad bank to purchase and hold toxic assets but said the European Central Bank and European Commission should give the European Union flexibility on how to proceed. Eurogroup Chairman Juncker said he is concerned about the lack of cohesion among member countries regarding plans to coordinate economic policies. German data released today saw the December trade surplus narrow to €10.7 billion. Bank of France reported Q1 GDP was off 0.6% q/q. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2475 level.
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