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Posted September 22nd, 2008 by Charles Purdy

Weekly € rates and comments – week commencing 22nd September 2008

In a roller-coaster week, sterling rallied late and closed on Friday stronger against both the euro and the US$. Developments globally as well as domestically within the financial sector made for extremely volatile market conditions and an uncertain business climate. The FSA even having to introduce new restrictions on profiting from plummeting shares known as ‘short-selling’. Lloyds and HBOS merged last week which may bring the loss of thousands of jobs but a necessary life-line to a lender with a huge share of the UK mortgage market. The Bank of England had voted 8 to 1 to keep rates on hold earlier in the month. The usual dissenter, Blanchflower, voting for a cut from the current 5%. The inflation and business growth balancing act is still on.

 

Mixed European market data and the events elsewhere made for an up-and-down week for the euro as it currently sits at 1.263/£1. Speculation of a cut in interest rates increased with the European Central Bank (ECB) confirming that its main focus remains on controlling inflation. But how well the Eurozone avoids the fall-out of the global credit crisis and maintains some of its momentum over the last year will be evident over the coming weeks. As only in the past few has it actually shown signs of faltering and that it is not immune to the credit-crunch.

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