Dollar Slightly Higher Due To Greek Uncertainty
Washington (Feb 11) The dollar is posting modest gains against all of its major competitors Wednesday. With a decided lack of economic data to drive trading, investors are exercising caution due to the uncertainty regarding the future of Greece . Eurozone finance ministers are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss their stance on Greece today. Greece wants a new austerity-free economic deal with its EU creditors to stave off a funding crunch when the current bailout program ends on February 28 .
The negotiations are expected to be difficult. All signs point to both Greece and Germany hardening their conflicting positions on the subject. Investors do not appear to be expecting a resolution to the Greek debt problem at today's meeting.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble discarded rumors of a Greek debt deal on Tuesday, saying the existing programme would be reviewed by the Eurogroup finance ministers at the meeting.
Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann also took a tough stance on Greece , saying "The question of a bridge loan via T-bills has as a precondition, in my view, that it's not a bridge to nowhere."
Meanwhile, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos warned that the country would try to get funding from other sources outside the EU, including Russia or China , if it fails to strike a new debt deal.
The finance ministers are scheduled to meet again on Monday, while the European Central Bank is expected to meet on February 18 to discuss the Greek banks.
The dollar rose to a high of USD1.1279 against the Euro Wednesday, but has since eased back to around USD1.1300 .
France's current account turned to a deficit in December from a surplus in the previous month, as the visible trade shortfall widened on the back of higher volume of oil imports, data from the Bank of France showed Wednesday.
The current account showed a deficit of EUR 1.9 billion versus a surplus of EUR 0.3 billion in November. The goods trade surplus widened to EUR 1.9 billion from EUR 1 billion , while the surplus in the services trade fell to EUR 0.1 billion from EUR 1.4 billion .
The buck has also climbed to around USD1.5235 against the pound sterling, from a 3-day low of USD1.5299 .
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research said on Tuesday that the U.K economy advanced at an accelerated rate in the November to January period. The think tank estimates that the GDP grew 0.7% in the three months ended January after the 0.5% increase in the three months ended December.
The greenback hovered around the Y118 level against the Japanese Yen for the bulk of Wednesday's session, but has since climbed to around Y120.285.