In US trade, the euro experienced another choppy ride before finishing little changed, as traders weighed up generally soft US economic data and a German vote on the Spanish bailout package.
As expected, the Lower House of Germany's parliament approved the Spanish bailout package by a comfortable margin, with 473 votes in favour versus 97 votes against and 13 abstentions, well in excess of the simple majority that Angela Merkel required. Despite the German vote, many analysts will still have to request a full-fledged Troika programme and that the ESM/EFSF and/or ECB will have to intervene.
Earlier speculation that Spain may be allowed to tap any unused portion of the €100 billion bank bailout facility to purchase its own government bonds were subsequently dismissed by EU officials. Furthermore, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble served as reminder that Spain would still be liable for EFSF aid for its banks, and that the Bundestag would still need to approve any EU bank supervision plan. In the US, a 34,000 increase in weekly jobless claims and another dismal Philly-Fed manufacturing survey helped weaken the dollar as evidence mounts for the need for further balance sheet expansion from the Fed.
Having ended yesterday’s Australian session around the 1.2281 level, the euro fell to a low of 1.229 before recovering to close US trade at 1.2294. Upon resuming for Asian trade the euro has drifted into the low 1.2260s.