The Euro opened the session at 1.4074 and fell over 60 pips against the Dollar to a low of 1.4013 as anxiety rises ahead of the EU emergency summit on Thursday where Euro zone debt issues will be discussed, especially Greece’s second bailout package. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Sunday for private investors to make a major contribution to bailing out Greece. However, debt ratings agencies warned that this would constitute a default according to their criteria, creating a vicious circle and damping investor confidence that a viable solution will be reached. Euro’s further slide was prevented by an also weakening Dollar which has been affected by concerns over the US debt ceiling.
Sterling was stronger against the Euro, as EURGBP touched its lowest level since May at 0.8704 early in the European session, before rebounding to 0.8744. GBPUSD followed the direction of the Euro against the Dollar, since Sterling is considered a risk currency versus the US Dollar which is deemed to be more liquid. Investors have more faith in a U.S. recovery than a British recovery, since a recent series of weak UK economic data paint a gloomier picture and slower economic recovery than in the US. GBPUSD touched session low of 1.6060 from a high of 1.6127.
The Swiss Franc reached a new record level against the Euro. Recently demand for the safe haven Swiss currency increased as the debt situation in the EU peripheral economies increased fears of debt contagion to the rest of the Euro zone. U.S. Congress deadlock over the government’s debt ceiling added to investor concerns, turning to the more liquid Swiss Franc. EURCHF touched an all-time low of 1.1403 before rebounding to 1.1502, lifted by investors taking profits.
The Yen traded flat against the Dollar all session. USDJJPY has been range bound since Thursday when the Yen reached its strongest levels since the March earthquake. Japan has been trying to keep the Yen from appreciating too much because a strong Yen is detrimental to export competitiveness. Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihido Noda has been using “verbal” intervention while speculation grows that the Bank of Japan could intervene at anytime to weaken the Yen. USDJPY traded between 78.94 and 79.12.
Note: Daylight Saving Time in effect for GMT