Euro Holds On To Strength
The euro maintained its strength on Monday even as tension in Ukraine continued. The common currency traded at $1.3882 at 5:43 GMT, while Western officials condemned Russia's decision to take over the Crimean peninsula.
Reuters reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions so far, and called Russia's influence over Crimea's referendum an illegal violation to Ukraine's constitution. Although Russian leaders claimed their presence in Crimea was intended to be peaceful, the region's citizens are becoming more and more restless.
Russian forces seized another port as well as a military airfield in Crimea over the weekend, causing thousands of Ukrainians to step up their protests in Crimea. Violence broke out in Sevastopol as Russian supporters attacked a group of Ukrainians.
The incident pushed China's president to step in, urging the region's protesters to remain calm while the world works to find a diplomatic solution to the region's troubles.
Meanwhile, the euro continued to trade near $1.39 despite the crisis. Many are worried that the common currency's strength will have a negative impact on eurozone companies' competitiveness. However, over the weekend French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said that is not the only factor weighing down businesses.
He said that although the euro's strength is hurting French companies, reform remains as the block's most powerful tool. Calls for the European Central Bank to bring down the euro's value have overshadowed some of the region's main concerns like debt restructuring and an overhaul of the bloc's financial system.
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