Euro Steady Above $1.21 To Finish The Year
The euro was steady at $1.2156 at 9:30 GMT on Wednesday morning as speculation about the European Central Bank’s next steps continued and worries over Greece’s political instability weighed. The common currency has been under pressure recently as snap elections at the end of January in Greece loom.
Greece’s parliament was unable to elect a new head of state, something which forced the nation to schedule snap elections for the end of January. The elections have made their way into the spotlight as many worry that they will result in the country’s eventual exit from the eurozone. Current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his party could lose control of the government to the leftist Syriza party, which has been leading in the polls. The Syriza party wants to exit the nation’s bailout program early, something which could lead the country to default on its loans and eventually exit the euro.
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Meanwhile, the region’s struggling economy has continued to put pressure on the European Central Bank to ease further in the coming months. The Wall Street Journal reported that although private sector lending data showed a modest improvement in November, it wasn't enough to put off another round of easing.
Eurozone data showed that private sector lending increased from October to November, but declined 0.9 percent annually. The figure indicates that the ECB’s previous easing measures have boosted the flow of credit incrementally, but probably not enough to combat falling inflation. Many are expecting the bank to roll out a wide scale easing program in the early months of 2014.
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