Euro surges above $1.21 to three year high

Euro surges above $1.21 to three year high

Euro surges above $1.21 to three year high

"ECB minutes were interpreted on the hawkish side due to a discussion of a "gradual shift" in guidance from "early 2018" - much earlier than had previously been discussed", ANZ Research said on Friday.

For the year, the dollar index was down 1.28 percent, its worst performance over a year's first nine trading days since 2010, according to Reuters data.

On Wednesday's trading session, the Euro to US Dollar exchange rate saw a minimal rise. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 14 cents to $69.12 per barrel.

The account of the vote, which took place on December 14th, also suggests that the strength of the expansion could, in the months ahead, lead policymakers to change their message and focus less on their monthly bond purchases and more on the combination of measures they plan to keep in place to revive growth and inflation.

Data on U.S. business inventories for the month of November due at 1500 GMT could also attract some interest.

The Bank of France raised its fourth-quarter growth forecast to 0.6% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-france-hikes-4th-quarter-growth-forecast-2018-01-11) quarter-on-quarter from a previous forecast of 0.5%. The strength comes as a major relief since household spending has been a weak spot in the economy as consumers struggle with sluggish wage growth and record debt levels.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index logged a record close by rising 0.2% to 7,762.94.

When the euro was created some 15 years ago, there was speculation that the new currency might come to challenge the dominance of the US dollar as the worldwide reserve currency of choice.

Dow Jones closed up by 0.80 percent, S&P 500 ended up 0.70 percent, Nasdaq finished the day up by 0.79 percent. Over in the United States, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite finished in the green yesterday, with all three indices recording fresh all-time highs.

U.S. Treasury yields fell after China disputed a report that its government officials had recommended the country slow or halt its purchases of the U.S. bonds.

The minutes came on the heels of the Bank of Japan trimming its bond-buying scheme this week, which also weighed on the greenback. The increase was the biggest single-day percentage gain against eh stronger dollar for over two-month. Spot gold added $5 (+0.4%) to trade near $1,322/oz.

Brent crude futures settled 6 cents higher at $69.26 a barrel, after hitting $70.05 a barrel during the session, its highest level since November 2014.

Trading got under way with news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party has reached an initial deal with Martin Schulz's center-left SPD for formal coalition negotiations.

The SPD are considered heavily pro-Europe, with leader Martin Schulz a year ago arguing for closer ties and calling for a "United States of Europe".

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