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EUR/USD surges above 1.12, ahead of key weekend in Greek debt talks

ForexJul 10, 2015 05:37PM ET
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EUR/USD surged by 1% on Friday ahead of an emergency Greek summit this weekend -- EUR/USD surged 1% on Friday reaching its highest level this month, as markets throughout the euro zone moved higher in anticipation of a potential deal between Greece and its creditors over the weekend.

The pair soared to a session-high of 1.1214, moving above 1.12 for the first time in July, before falling back slightly to 1.1148. After opening at 1.0996 on Monday, the euro gained roughly 1.5% against the dollar on the week.

EUR/USD likely gained support at 1.0994, the low from July 6 and was met with resistance at 1.1411, the high from June 22.

Legislators braced for a long, fatiguing night in Athens as the Greek parliament sent indications that a vote on prime minister Alexis Tsipras' latest bailout proposal could come as late as 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. Debate on a critical stimulus package, which could enable Greece to remain in the euro zone, began shortly after midnight Athens time.

Tsipras submitted the proposal to Greece's troika of international creditors from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission on Thursday night three hours before a midnight deadline. Under a proposed deal, Greece could receive a EUR 53.5 billion stimulus package through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

"We are confronted with crucial decisions," Tsipras said. "We got a mandate to bring a better deal than the ultimatum that the Euro group gave us, but certainly not given a mandate to take Greece out of the euro zone. We are all in this together.”

Addressing the Greek parliament on Friday evening, Greece finance minister Euclid Tsakalatos outlined a proposal which includes an ESM-ECB debt swap, significant fiscal and investment reforms and further debt relief as part of the program. On Saturday, the euro group of finance ministers will discuss the request by the Greek authorities for financial assistance from the ESM, while the three institutions will present their assessment of risk to financial stability in the euro area, Greece’s financing needs and the sustainability of its public debt, the euro group said in a statement.

If approved, the two sides could approve an agreement on Sunday in an emergency summit in Brussels.

Elsewhere, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed that the U.S. central bank is on track to raise interest rates at some point this year. Speaking at a luncheon at The City Club in Cleveland, Yellen downplayed the importance of the Fed's first rate hike in more than a decade, preferring to focus on the gradual pace of policy normalization on a longer-term basis.

"I want to emphasize while there is a lot of public discussion on that first move we should not over emphasize the timing of that first move," Yellen said. "What is really going to matter is the entire path of interest rates over time. My own view is that the headwinds that have been holding back recovery for all these years are receding and conditions are improving."

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.86% to 95.86.

EUR/USD surges above 1.12, ahead of key weekend in Greek debt talks

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