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Fundamental Headlines

• EU: Greek Deficit Wider Than Forecast– Wall Street Journal
• Obama to Castigate Financial Industry– Wall Street Journal
• Traders spooked by Greek debt plunge and poor earnings- Financial Times
• Papandreou Faces Bond Rout as Budget Deficit Worsens, Greek Workers Strike - Bloomberg
• Greece Likely to Cut, Delay Payments to Bond Investors, Goldman Sachs Says - Bloomberg

GBP/USD –  U.K. retail sales rose for a consecutive month by 0.4% in March, but missed forecasts of 0.6%. Nevertheless, sustainable consumer spending is an encouraging sign for domestic growth. Indeed, early forecast for first quarter GDP are for an improvement of 0.4% for a consecutive quarter. However, the main issue is the country’s budget deficit which reach the highest level since world war II at 152.8 billion pounds. It is the hot bottom item for politicians and the upcoming elections will impact how the government plans to address it going forward. Therefore, until then we may see the pound continue to trade sideways.   To discuss and other topics, please visit the GBP/USD forum.

The Euro-Zone PMI reading for April unexpectedly rose to 57.3 from 55.9, the highest since August, 2007. The manufacturing and service sectors expanded, as emerging market demand continues to spur output which is driving the domestic recovery. However, a separate report showed that the region’s accumulated budget deficit widened to 6.3% more than double the E.U.’s limit. Greece, Portugal and Ireland were the main contributors and all have seen their credit ratings downgraded. The IMF is currently holding meeting with Greece about austerity measures pertaining to an aid package. Concerns have grown that this could become a contagion for the region which has threatened the Euro. To discuss and other topics, please visit the EUR/USD forum.