Movement in Greek Debt & Currency Transactions

  • 12 years ago
  • Uncategorized

The Greek economic situation remains the focus of
economic news this week. However, in contrast to previous weeks, the
news was comparatively positive. The key event has been the debt swap,
the largest restructuring of a Government’s debt in history. This
debt-swap was one of the key conditions for the latest bailout, and
analysts believe that if Greece had been unable to secure the debt swap,
it could have been disastrous for the Greek economy, as the bailout
would have been refused. As it stands, however, the bailout is set to be
agreed in a meeting next week. Because of this, we have seen slight
weakness for sterling against the euro over the past few days. However,
concerns over the total state of the Greek economy, and the Eurozone in
total, prevented the Euro making any major gains, meaning the rates for
transferring sterling to euros remain comparatively strong.

French
President Nicolas Sarkozy has gone so far as to claim that the Greek
debt crisis is ‘over’, although this is more than likely an attempt to
gain support at home. The Greek economy itself contracted by 7.5% at the
end of 2011, up from the 7% predicted, furthering the Eurozone woes,
and preventing the currency from making any truly major gains against
sterling. With 50% youth unemployment and no growth, it seems unlikely
that Greece will be doing the Eurozone any favours in the foreseeable
future.

Sterling
itself had a mixed week. Industrial output fell 0.4%, rather than the
0.3% rise that economists had expected. The Bank Of England decided to
hold interest rates remained at 0.5% on Thursday, marking 3 years since
they were last altered. The Monetary Policy Committee also voted no
further change to its Quantitative Easing policy. However, the weak
industrial data has gone some way to furthering fears of recession,
causing the aforementioned weakness against the Euro, and also a small
slip against the US Dollar, making rates for transferring dollars into sterling the best we’ve seen for some weeks. The US dollar’s
strength has been helped by key jobs data being higher than expected
with 227,000 jobs added, making analysts believe that the US economy is
beginning to stabilize.

It
was announced this week that a committee of MPs are demanding the
government set up plans to deal with the collapse of the Eurozone “as a
matter of urgency”. Whilst the breakup of the Eurozone seems incredibly
unlikely (with stronger nations, such as Germany, being able to hold up
the single currency almost single handed), it is understandable that
many people would have concerns. The demands of these MPs appear to be
little more than a precautionary measure in the face of an unprecedented
catastrophe, and shouldn’t be considered as a confession by members of
the British government that the single currency is about to collapse.

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