FOREX-Euro rises as German business survey pares recession fears - Southern Business Review


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Monday, March 25, 2019

FOREX-Euro rises as German business survey pares recession fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro firmed on Monday as a stronger-than-forecast German business confidence survey allayed some fears about a recession and pulled the safe-haven yen from a six-week high against the dollar.

The signature of the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, is seen on the new 50 euro banknote during a presentation by the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) at its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Financial markets around the globe were roiled on Friday, stemming from anxiety about an economic downturn after the U.S. yield curve inverted, with the 10-year yield dropping below the three-month bill rate. Those fears stoked a dumping of stocks and other growth-oriented assets and a rush into the yen, gold, U.S. and German government debt and other perceived low-risk investments.

A yield curve inversion has preceded every U.S. recession in the past 50 years.

“On Friday we were looking into the abyss,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex LLC in New York. “Today we are taking a step back.”

GRAPHIC: U.S. yield curve inverts for first time since 2007 -

Trader sentiment stabilized after Germany’s IFO Institute said its business climate index rose to 99.6, beating a consensus forecast for a reading of 98.5 and following six consecutive drops.

As the data briefly lifted German 10-year yields back into positive territory and helped European shares, the single currency also benefited, rising 0.2 percent to a session-high of $1.13265.

Against the yen, the single currency surged 0.46 percent to a high of 124.81, having traded as low as 123.875 earlier.

It is unclear whether the mild bounce in the euro and emerging market currencies will be sustained as traders remain wary with the U.S. yield curve inversion persisting for a second trading session, analysts said.

“I wouldn’t say the dash for safe assets is over. The tone of general risk-off sentiment will prevail for a while but not to the same extent (as Friday),” Commerzbank strategist Ulrich Leuchtmann said, noting a recession was unlikely in the near term in the euro zone or the United States.

As for the greenback, it was 0.13 percent lower against a basket of currencies. It did not react much to U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s announcement that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign team.

The easing growth concerns boosted the growth-reliant Australian and New Zealand dollars by about 0.3 percent versus the greenback.

The British pound recovered from earlier losses against the dollar and euro as the UK parliament prepared to try and wrest control of the Brexit process in a series of votes planned for later in the day.

Additional reporting by Sujata Rao in LONDON; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Andrea Ricci