The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.1820 level and was capped around the $1.3010 level. Traders will pay close attention to remarks from U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner who will today unveil a plan to remove US$ 500 billion in bad assets from the balance sheets of struggling financial institutions and expand a Federal Reserve program to provide support to up to US$ 1 trillion in asset-backed securities under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Lending Facility. Likewise, Fed Chairman Bernanke will testify later today about steps the central bank is taking to provide liquidity to the financial markets. The Obama administration is trying to orchestrate program where government and private capital are jointly utilized to provide solutions to the ongoing financial crisis. Geithner is also expected to announce a program to allocate up to US$ 100 billion of remaining bailout funds to prevent housing foreclosures. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be utilized to underwrite failing loans. In eurozone news, European Central Bank member Weber reported We should not at this point avoid to lower rates aggressively, because we understand at the current juncture all indicators look like the economy is in free-fall. When you are in a strong downturn like we are now, I am not advocating that we should not respond adequately to this crisis and lower rates dramatically if needed to give a boost to the economy when inflation ceases to be a short- to medium-term phenomenon. What we have to understand is that the way we inflate our balance sheets as central banks does have medium- to long-term implications which in my view are much more on the inflation side than on the deflation side. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2475 level.
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