Wednesday, 20 September 2017
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Euro Weekly Update

Less than a fifth of a cent separated the euro from the week's joint losers, the US dollar and the pound. The single currency fell by an average of -0.5% against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies. There were two angles to the euro's problems. One was the Euroland economic data, which were more inclined to disappoint than to impress. Notably, fourth quarter growth for both the euro zone and Germany came in below forecast at a provisional 0.4%, lagging the United States' 0.5% and Britain's 0.6%. The other irritant was politics, with right-wing anti-EU candidates continuing to lead the polls in France and the Netherlands.

Euro Weekly Update

When the European Central Bank president attended the European Parliament's economic affairs committee Mario Draghi's observations were in line with what could have been expected. The ECB is not, as alleged by the White House, massaging the euro lower to satisfy Germany. The euro is not about to break up: it is "irreversible". Yet the scandal surrounding French presidential candidate François Fillon could leave the way open for the Front National's Marine Le Pen to take over the Élysée Palace and one of her campaign pledges is to take France out of the single currency.

Euro Weekly Update

This last week was not the highlight of sterling's long and chequered career. The pound lost one and a quarter euro cents and even contrived to give away a third of a cent to the US dollar. The euro put in an average performance in the middle of the bunch, staying fairly close to the franc and the yen.

What tax will you pay in Portugal this year?Income tax and surcharges

The income brackets and tax rates for personal income tax remain the same as last year and are as follows:

Equity markets buoyant despite political uncertaintyFirst the Brexit referendum, then Donald Trump. In 2016, investors were surprised by events that pollsters and other experts said wouldn’t happen, although on both occasions stock markets swiftly recovered before reaching new highs.

Uncertainty and political risk remain key themes for financial markets in 2017.

Euro Weekly Update

Neither the British nor the Euroland statisticians had much to say for themselves. The monthly round of provisional purchasing managers' indices, in which the UK does not participate, indicated that activity in the €Z private sector continued at a decent clip in January even if not all of the readings met expectations.

Euro Weekly Update

With the Greek pensioners' bonus and the Italian banks' temporary liquidity discomfort quietly put to bed the euro went into the New Year looking steady, if uninspired. It ambled through the first week of 2017, enjoying some decent Euroland economic data without really celebrating them.

The purchasing managers' indices, which look at current and anticipated activity in the private sector, were mostly up on the month and better than forecast. Inflation was also higher than expected at a provisional 1.1%.

Euro Weekly Update

The European Commission said on Thursday that it would approve the Italian government's cash injection for the troubled lender Monte Paschi di Siena. It is not a bailout (for that would be prohibited by EU rules) it is "liquidity support" to tide it over a difficult patch. Investors had been fairly confident that, true to form, the EU would be able to cobble together a rescue for the bank so there was no reaction by the Euro.