Signs the euro zone economy may have turned a corner just as many begin to question the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike could soon put a floor under the euro after a 13 percent plunge so far this year.
Russia’s central bank meets having unexpectedly cut its key policy rate in January by 200 basis points to 15 percent, raising a question mark over its independence from political pressure, given inflation rose to a 13-year high of 16.7 percent in February.
The International Monetary Fund surprised on the upside with its programme for Ukraine last night, agreeing $17.5 billion in loans as expected but agreeing to pump $10 billion of that into the near bankrupt country over the next year and handing over $5 billion imminently.
The head of euro zone finance ministers urged Greece on Monday to “stop wasting time” and buckle down to serious talks on implementing a reform programme to secure urgently needed funds from its international creditors.
An economic trend, like a battle plan, often doesn’t survive the first engagement. Data from euro zone countries has generally surprised on the upside since the turn of the year with Germany leading the way. German growth was robust in Q4, with domestic demand to the fore.
The evidence clearly shows that the U.S. job market now is consistently beating rising expectations, which should give pause to those doubting an interest rate rise is coming from the Federal Reserve later this year.