Unions press G20 to take new tack
Pound Sterling - UK Markets
The CBI has called on the chancellor to use the Budget for 'confidence building' measures to boost jobs, investment and competitiveness. The UK's cumulative deficit for the fiscal year so far is £75.2bn, raising the chance annual government borrowing will exceed its own £77bn forecast. CBI deputy chief John Cridland said the public finance outlook was "alarming". Last month the CBI predicted that the government will have to borrow £100bn more than anticipated during the recession.
US Dollar - US Markets
Details have been released of a $500bn US Treasury plan to encourage private investors to buy up toxic debts. The 'Public-Private Investment Programme' will purchase the troubled mortgages and securities that have been at the root of the credit crisis from banks.
It will initially provide financing for $500bn of toxic assets, with the potential to expand up to $1tn. The plan is due to be formally launched later today.
The US Treasury's plan to help banks offload their soured loans has promoted broad Dollar-selling and the Pound has hit a one-month high against the greenback. The Dollar is also down further against the Euro.
Euro - European Markets
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet has said his bank can cut interest rates further but that its deposit rate is already at a very low level. Trichet added it could also use more non-conventional measures to help the troubled banking system. "As regards the future rate of our main refinancing operations, presently at 1.5 percent, I said clearly that we could decrease it again," Trichet said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Other Currencies - Highlights
The New Zealand Dollar has spiked up to new multi-month highs of against the Japanese Yen and the US Dollar during Monday's early trading. Against the Euro, the Kiwi is now trading near a new multi-week high.
The Australian Dollar too has staged a strong rally against its major opponents on Monday morning. The Aussie jumped to a new multi-month high against the Yen and a 10-week high against its US equivalent. At the time of writing, the Aussie is also advancing towards a multi-day high against the Euro.