The dollar is little changed versus its major European rivals on Wednesday, but has posted gains in comparison to the Japanese Yen. Investors are awaiting the release of the FOMC minutes from its most recent meeting, which will come out at 2:00PM ET. Everyone will be watching for any information regarding further stimulus, particularly and hints regarding QE3.
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced another round of austerity measures including tax hikes in an attempt to achieve deficit targets amid a severe recession even as thousands of miners protested in the capital against the spending cuts announced earlier.
He unveiled tax increases and spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit by EUR 65 billion over two years, just days after the EU postponed the deadline for meeting the target by a year. The Value Added Tax was raised to 21 percent from 18 percent. Rajoy reduced jobless claim benefits and unveiled salary cuts for government employees. The series of steps also include savings from local government reforms.
After agreeing to provide EUR 30 billion to Spain's troubled banks late Monday, Eurozone finance ministers asked the country to take further deficit reduction measures.
The dollar has remained basically flat in comparison to the Euro on Wednesday, around the $1.2250 level, but briefly touched a new 2-year high of $1.2225.
Germany's EU harmonized consumer prices increased as estimated earlier in June, final data released by statistical office Destatis showed Wednesday. Month-on-month, the HICP decreased 0.2 percent during the month, as estimated earlier. In May also EU harmonized prices dropped 0.2 percent.
At the same time, the consumer price inflation came at 1.7 percent in June, in line with the preliminary estimates. In May, the inflation rate was 1.9 percent.
French current account deficit declined in May, but still remained above economists' forecast, data from Bank of France showed Wednesday. The current account deficit narrowed to EUR 4.1 billion in May from a EUR 4.4 billion shortfall recorded in April. The deficit was expected to fall to EUR 3.5 billion.
The greenback weakened to a 4-session low of $1.5577 versus the pound sterling Wednesday morning, but has since bounced back to around $1.5530.
The buck has rebounded from nearly a 2-week low of Y79.125 versus the Japanese Yen Wednesday and has set a 2-day high of Y79.751.
An index measuring tertiary industry activity in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on month in May, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Wednesday, coming in with a score of 99.1. That was well above forecasts for an increase of 0.2 percent following the 0.3 percent contraction in April.
The U.S. trade deficit shrank in May, according to figures released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. The total level of U.S. exports was $183.1 billion in May compared to imports of $231.8 billion, resulting in a $48.7 billion trade deficit for the month. The result matched the expectations of most economists.
U.S. wholesale inventories increased in May, matching the expectations of most economists, although wholesalers saw a notable decrease in sales for the month. According to figures released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, U.S. wholesale inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted level of $484.1 billion at the end of May, a 0.3 percent increase from revised April levels.
by RTT Staff Writer
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