Morning papers: Hollande pledges to save eurozone
Francois Hollande, the French president, was the latest to pledge eurozone leaders would do “everything possible” to save the euro today following a meeting with Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Hollande said significant progress had been made over recent weeks, adding: “We cannot allow ourselves one minute of inattention. We recalled our commitment... that the eurozone be defended, preserved and consolidated.”
France and Italy add to pressure on Germany to prop up the euro
France and Italy are trying to bounce a reluctant Germany into swift action to prop up the euro as the deepening crisis sent unemployment to its highest level since the creation of the 17-nation single currency zone in 1999, reports the Guardian.
Switzerland is ‘new China’ in currencies
There is a “new China” active in the currency markets, according to analysts, as Switzerland’s battle to weaken the franc inflates its stockpile of foreign currency reserves, reports the Financial Times.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) was forced to buy tens of billions of euros in May and June after the eurozone crisis worsened, creating strong haven demand for the franc and threatening the ceiling the central bank set for its currency last September. The SNB is prepared to buy as many euros as it takes to hold the franc at SFr1.20 (£0.79) against the euro to protect the country’s exporters.
Congressional leaders reach budget deal
US congressional leaders have reached a short-term budget deal to fund the government for six months from September, extinguishing a potential partisan fiscal fight ahead of the election, reports the Financial Times.
New £80bn bank lending scheme could usurp initial credit easing plan
The UK government’s flagship “credit easing” initiative could be usurped by a new £80bn emergency scheme aimed at kick-starting bank lending to homes and businesses, a Treasury source disclosed last night, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Think-tank in warning to UK
Britain’s struggling economy is on course to shrink this year as the eurozone’s debt crisis bites, according to the OECD think-tank, reports the Independent.
Savers brace themselves for even lower rates
Savers face the threat of lower easy-access account returns if the Bank of England chops interest rates again, reports the Daily Mail.
Fears are growing that the Bank of England will cut the base rate - a minimum standard for saving and borrowing - to 0.25 per cent as early as tomorrow.
Tesco credit rating under threat
Tesco was dealt a blow yesterday after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said it was considering cutting its credit rating and suggested that the retailer sell off businesses to cut its debt, reports the Guardian.
S&P did not alter its A- rating – a grade that denotes an “excellent” business risk profile – but changed its outlook from stable to negative due to concerns about “weakening” profits at the supermarket giant. In January Tesco issued its first profit warning in 20 years, a shock that was blamed on UK shoppers turning their backs on its stores.