EMU `delay' fears force banks to defend the lira
Jitters that a single currency might be delayed resulted in dealers selling Italian bonds and buying German debt instead. There were repercussions for bonds and currencies across Europe.
Traders said the Bank of Italy and the Bank of Spain both intervened to defend the lira and the peseta against the mark. The lira fell to its lowest level against the mark since rejoining the ERM in November.
Rumours that the Bundesbank was about to announce a two-year delay to EMU were denied by Bundesbank officials. Nevertheless, traders' confidence in a broad-based euro beginning in 1999 continued to fall, and Italy bore the brunt of the market reaction. Italian futures contracts ended 2.29 points down at 127.50. Spanish, Swedish, Finnish and Irish government bonds softened too.
The mark strengthened against the lira and the peseta during the day. Traders said the Bank of Italy intervened when the exchange rate reached 998.50 lira to the mark. The currency fell during the day through the psychological barrier of 1,000 lira per mark to reach 1,001.50, its lowest level since it rejoined the ERM at a central parity of 990 lira to the mark on 25 November last year.
Some dealers suggested that the rumours were begun by traders in an attempt to get the markets moving. But jitters were also fuelled by Bundesbank board member Peter Schmidhuber, who said yesterday morning that "hectic" attempts to meet the deficit criteria were causing only the appearance of convergence.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
iJobs Money & Business
£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + excellent benefits: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited:...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...