The euro on Friday traded within a whisker of its all-time high against the U.S. dollar, which has been stumbling from one record low to the next amid expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may soon cut interest rates again.
The 13-nation euro traded as high as US$1.4182 in morning European trading, up from US$1.4160 in New York late Thursday. It was just short of its latest all-time high of US$1.4189, reached earlier on Thursday.
The dollar has been sliding against the European currency since the Fed last week cut interest rates by a larger-than-expected half percentage point. Since then, disappointing U.S. economic data have stoked expectations that another rate cut could follow.
Lower interest rates, used to jump-start an economy, can weaken a currency as investors transfer funds to countries where their deposits and fixed-income investments bring higher returns.
The European Central Bank held off on raising its rates earlier this month, but has shown no inclination to follow the Fed's course and cut the cost of borrowing.
The British pound slipped to US$2.0244 from US$2.0270 in New York late Thursday. The dollar was down to 115.18 Japanese yen from 115.59 yen.
When General Wesley Clark spoke about the famous list of seven Middle Eastern countries to be demolished in five consecutive years, he has done nothing but remark, for the last time, if there was any need, Washington's willingness to redesign the Middle East within a more general framework of global domination.
In the region and in the worldб America and China seem to have become the major rivals. The Asia-Pacific region seems to have become the main area of this rivalry