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The dollar was little changed in early trading in Europe Wednesday but starting to build momentum against the euro at the start of a day where politics is likely to dominate economics.
The was at $1.1079 by 3:30 AM ET (0730 GMT) and looking to test last week’s low of $1.1066 ahead of a big day in the Italian parliament. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is due to speak in the afternoon and is expected to resign ahead of a no-confidence vote that has been called by the right-wing Lega party, the junior member of the governing coalition. While both the Lega and its partner the 5 Stars Movement appear to have given up on continuing their government, it is far from clear what might follow if the no confidence vote succeeds.
Snap elections are one possibility, but it is also possible that President Sergio Mattarella will ask the parties in parliamment to form a new government. Theoretically, the 5 Stars Movement and the traditional center-left Democratic Party are capable of forming a majority that could pass a budget for the coming year and perhaps take the sting out of the country’s budget dispute with the European Union. However, that would require the two parties to set aside a good deal of past animosity toward each other.
Economics are also against the euro at present, after the Deutsche Bundesbank warned in its monthly report on Monday that it expects a second straight quarter of contraction in the summer, meaning that the euro zone’s traditional engine room would be in recession for the first time in a decade.
The euro was, however, strengthening against the pound after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest initiative on Brexit underlined the distance between the U.K. and EU positions on how to manage the Irish border in future. In an open letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk, Johnson again reiterated the desire for freedom to diverge from the EU’s regulatory standards in the long term, a prospect which the EU has always said will require border and customs checks to be introduced.
The was at 1.0927 against the euro, down 0.3% from late Monday and apparently resuming its slide, ending a short-covering rally that was triggered by hopes that lawmakers would strike a cross-party agreement to block a No-Deal Brexit.
The , which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up less than 0.1% at 98.257.
Elsewhere, remained well offered as the backdrop of the global slowdown forces the unwinding of carry trades and raises demand for haven currencies. Analysts note that sight deposits in the Swiss banking system have been rising at an accelerating pace over the last four weeks, something they say strongly suggests intervention by the Swiss National Bank to slow the franc’s rise. At 1.0854 to the euro, it has risen nearly 10% in the last 16 months, most of that appreciation coming in the last four months.
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