The euro surged above $1.32 against the dollar, lifted by upbeat German Ifo data and a IMF-G20 funding pledge. This gave relief to the single currency which earlier this week came under pressure as peripheral euro-zone bond yields rose on fears of Spain’s debt. There are reports that the pledge is to increase the IMF resources by more than $400 billion to fight the European debt crisis.
Markets were also relieved today when the euro zone’ largest economy, Germany, showed business-confidence rose for the sixth straight month in March, according to Munich-based Ifo Institute. EURUSD hit a two-week high of 1.3223, rising over 90 pips on the day. For the week, the euro was up over 1 percent , its largest weekly gain since February.
GBPUSD gained over 100 pips on the day to hit a five-month high of 1.6118 after being boosted by better than expected UK retail sales data, which rose 1.8 percent in March. This firmed the view that the Bank of England will less likely expand quantitative easing in its next policy meeting, and this further supported the pound.
EURJPY rose on a broadly stronger euro, hitting a high of 107.99, the highest level in two weeks. Euro gained over 3 percent this week against the Japanese currency which has been under pressure due to speculation that the Bank of Japan will ease policy next week. USDJPY rose 1.8 percent this week, peaking at 81.76. During the US session, the pair fell on a broadly weaker dollar to 81.52.