Finance ministers from the 17 Eurozone countries kicked off talks yesterday, looking to sign off on a deal worth at least €130 billion that will slash Greece's debt burden and allow it to stay in the Eurozone, albeit under a degree of external control and scrutiny never witnessed in Europe in modern times.
The plan will also write off £84BN of debt, with private lenders accepting a 70 percent reduction in what Greece owes them.
Over the past week, the Greek government has reportedly fallen into line with a number of demands from its creditors, finding an extra €325 million in budget cuts after slashing the national minimum wage by 22%, and many pensions by 12%.
But one crucial stumbling block still needs to be removed for a deal to be completed: Greece's sharp economic contraction in the past two years has left it further than ever from being able to service its debts. The IMF has contributed nearly a third of Greece's bailout funds to date, but has warned it won't provide any more unless it is assured that the country's debt is sustainable.
The U.S. dollar remained broadly lower against its major counterparts on Monday, as investors awaited the outcome of a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on a second bailout package for Greece. The dollar was sharply lower against the euro, with pair climbing 0.91% to hit 1.3258 and trade volumes light as the U.S was closed for Presidents Day.
In the UK a report by property website Rightmove showed that average asking prices for houses in the U.K. jumped 4.1% in February, which is the highest monthly increase since April 2002, indicating increasing confidence in the housing market.
Meanwhile in Japan, rating agency Standard & Poor's said that the outlook on Japan's AA- sovereign credit rating remained negative and warned that it expected Japan's fiscal flexibility "to continue to diminish.
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