The euro appreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3665 level and was supported around the US$ 1.3530 level. The common currency moved to intraday highs late in the North American session and was supported right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.2880 to $1.3720. U.S. equity markets were bid higher for modest gains during most of the trading day despite the release of a U.S. April housing starts data that saw activity decline to a 458,000 annualized rate from a 530,000 annualized rate in March. Similarly, building permits declined to an annualized 495,000 rate in April from an annualized 516,000 level in March. Overall housing starts were off 54.2% y/y. Traders are closely monitoring a report that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase have made an application to the U.S. Treasury to return US$ 45 billion in TARP funds that were borrowed from the U.S. Treasury last year. An announcement from the Federal Reserve is expected on 8 June. In eurozone news, the German economics ministry warned German companies will face a tough time this summer with credit and liquidity. Data released in Germany today saw the ZEW May economic expectation index improve for a seventh consecutive month, rising to 31.1 from 13.0 in April. These data suggest the worst could be over in the German economy while other economsits believe more difficult times are ahead for the German economy. European Central Bank member Tumpel-Gugerell reported the ECB is prepared to administer banking supervision duties in tandem with national central banks, the European Commission, and supervisory bodies. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level.
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