The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3710 level and was supported around the $1.3620 level. Dealers lifted the common currency during the North American session but the pair remains on a downward trajectory, having traded on Friday at its lowest level since May 2009. PIMCO's El-Erian today reported the global bond giant prefers German government bonds over U.S. Treasuries. This statement highlights the drastic reassessment of sovereign risk the markets are currently undertaking. Eurozone debt remains highly volatile and Greek 10-year paper is currently trading more than 400 bps wider than German 10-year paper. The debt situations in Portugal, Spain, and Ireland are also causing the euro some weakness. Dealers are currently focusing on the likelihood the International Monetary Fund will need to bail out Greece and perhaps some other European countries if they cannot manage their debt crises themselves. Group of Seven officials finance ministers and central bankers convened in Canada this weekend and indicated they would continue their fiscal stimuli to prop the slumping global economy. Some central banks, however, are unwinding their stimulus programs at the same time. Many G7-watchers were unimpressed with the meeting as it failed to provide any significant new details about the level of international support Greece and other aggrieved countries can expect if bailouts are required. Spain today announced it will reduce net debt issuance by 34% in 2010 in a bid to remove public debt. Deutsche Bank today revised its forecast for official European Central Bank interest rates hikes and now sees the main refinancing rate at 1.5% by the end of the year, down from the previous forecast of 2.0%. ECB's Nowotny said every eurozone country needs to respect the bloc's fiscal rules and said new financial regulations must not harm economic growth. Data released in the eurozone today saw the Bank of France January business sentiment index print at 104, up from 102 in December. Also, EMU-16 Sentix investor confidence fell to -8.2 in January from -3.7 in December, the first decline in seven months. European Union officials will are convening this week to discuss a long-term economic strategy. In U.S. news, traders are still evaluating Friday's mixed January non-farm payrolls report and assessing U.S. economic data for clues as to when the U.S. labour market may improve. St. Louis Fed President Bullard said the U.S. economic recovery is on track and reported Maybe you get in the second half of 2010 or something like that, if things are going pretty weell, maybe then you'd sell a little bit (of assets from the Fed's balance sheet) at that point and you'd try to see how the market reacts. Former Fed Chairman Greenspan said he anticipates unemployment will remain in the 9% - 10% range in 2010. Data to be released in the U.S. tomorrow include December wholesale inventories. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3530 level.
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