The dollar is currently trading with mixed results against its major competitors at the start of the new trading week. The U.S. currency is gaining ground against the Euro, but is falling against the pound sterling. The buck also climbing against the Japanese Yen.
A number of equity markets are closed on Monday, for the New Year’s Eve holiday. The few markets that are open today are closing early. News has been scarce today, with the exception of the continuing efforts of Democrats and Republicans to resolve the fiscal cliff.
The budget negotiations continue as the end of the year draws ever closer. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., told Bloomberg News he was hopeful that a deal could be reached before the end of the day and noted that the negotiations are “progressing.” Unless Congress acts, approximately $600 billion in automatic tax increases and government spending cuts are due to going into effect at the end of the year.
French President Francois Hollande’s initiative to impose higher taxes on the rich suffered a setback after the country’s Constitutional Council on Saturday rejected the proposal, media reports said.
The French government had put up the measure to impose a tax rate as high as 75 percent on the country’s rich people, making them contribute more to the ongoing effort to reduce the public debt. The proposal, which was the highlight of Hollande’s election campaign, called for 75 percent tax on annual income above EUR 1 million.
The government is planning to redraft the proposal to impose high tax on the rich and resubmit it in a new budget law. The rejection of the measures will have likely cut EUR300-500 million from the forecast tax revenues next year, sources said.
The dollar slipped to a low of $1.3234 against the Euro Monday morning, but has since climbed to around $1.3185.
Greece’s retail sales declined for the fourteenth successive month in October, provisional data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed Monday. Retail sales volume, excluding automotive fuel, fell at a faster pace of 16.8 percent year-on-year in October than 11.8 percent in September. Sales declined for the fourteenth month in a row.
The buck traded in a range around the $1.6160 level against the pound sterling Friday morning, but has since dropped to a one-week low of $1.6273.
British households injected a net total of GBP 8 billion into housing equity in the third quarter, a report on Housing Equity Withdrawal (HEW) from the Bank of England showed Monday. This was slightly less than GBP 9.44 billion injected in the second quarter.
The greenback has been climbing gradually against the Japanese Yen Friday, from a low of Y85.514, back to around Y86.525.