By Jean Pisani-Ferry (*) – Twenty years ago, on January 1, 2002, citizens of 12 European countries began using new euro banknotes and coins. A larger-than-life project – emblematic of a time when European leaders were bold enough to step into the unknown – thus became a tangible reality.
Italy's League leader Matteo Salvini said on Monday the euro was here to stay and he hoped that nobody in his far-right, euro-sceptic party would ever again raise doubts over Italy's membership of the single currency.
United States President Donald Trump on Friday accused the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of inaction as the Euro slid in value against the dollar, something he said gave European countries a big trade advantage.
Interest rates in the Euro zone will not rise until next year at the earliest, the European Central Bank has signaled amid evidence of a slowdown in the 19 countries using the single currency. The ECB also unveiled a round of fresh stimulus, offering banks cheap loans to try to help revive the economy.
The Euro has fallen against the dollar after disappointing French and German economic surveys dismayed the markets. In France, private sector business activity contracted for the first time in two and a half years as the gilets Jaunes protests took their toll.
Asian shares wobbled on Friday as investors braced for U.S. tariffs against China, while the Euro flirted with two-week lows after a cautious European Central Bank indicated it would not raise interest rates for some time. U.S. President Donald Trump has made up his mind to impose “pretty significant” tariffs and will unveil a list targeting US$ 50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday, an administration official said. Beijing has warned that it was ready to respond.
Italy’s two anti-establishment parties promised on Friday to ramp up spending in a program for a new coalition government, putting them on a collision course with the European Union despite having dropped some of their most radical proposals.
Sterling fell against the dollar and euro on Monday as investors worried about Theresa May's ability to stay on as British prime minister and get what they consider to be a good exit deal from the European Union.
The Euro has risen after pro-EU Emmanuel Macron won France's presidential vote by a large margin. The single currency strengthened 0.2% against the dollar as investors were reassured over the future stability of the European project. Macron has proposed cutting corporation tax and changes to the labour market.
The value of the Euro jumped to a five-month high, after the first round of voting in the French presidential election on Sunday. Results indicate that independent pro Europe pro deregulation Emmanuel Macron, and far-right Marine Le Pen are through to the final round.