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March 31, 2006

Euro strengthens on week

Permalink: Euro strengthens on week by Elaine Frei

The euro gained strength over the week as what little new data there was seemed to be euro-positive. The European Commission’s economic sentiment reading was at a five-year peak in March. The Ifo German business sentiment survey was at a 15-year high. Money supply growth was at 8 percent for the year to February. Inflation in the eurozone was down a bit, to 2.2 percent, but as this was still above the European Central Bank’s target level, talk continued that the ECB would raise interest rates in May rather than waiting until June.

Consequently, the shared currency added 0.6 percent on the week in relation to the US dollar, to $1.2108. The euro was also up by 0.9 percent versus sterling, to an eight-month high of £0.6970. It was also up 0.8 percent against the Japanese yen to ¥142.62 and it added 0.2 percent to SFr1.5808 versus the Swiss franc.

The US dollar saw little movement over the week, adding 0.2 percent against the yen to ¥117.70 and 0.3 percent versus sterling to $1.7378.

The Australian dollar was up 0.6 percent to $0.7148 in relation to the US dollar as domestic economic conditions got a bit better and on comments from ING Financial Markets that the Aussie has suffered for the problems of its neighbor currency, the New Zealand dollar.

The Icelandic krona was up 2.1 percent on the week, to Ikr71.60 to the US dollar after a hike in interest rates by the central bank.

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