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Euro Becomes the Port in a Storm
As Central Banks Mull Pullback of Easy Money, Investors Turn to Relatively Stable European Currency
The euro is emerging as an unlikely oasis in the latest bout of market turmoil.
Assets ranging from Japanese stocks to emerging-market bonds to U.S. Treasurys have slumped this spring, as investors brace for the possible pullback from easy-money policies by the world’s major central banks. But the euro has largely avoided the volatile trading that has whipsawed other currencies, including the dollar and the Japanese yen, gaining about 4% against the greenback over the past four weeks to trade late Friday at $1.3345, near a four-month high.
It is a dramatic reversal for a currency that frequently has been at the center of global market turmoil in the past few years. Investors had put on record bets that the euro would fall, fueled by Europe’s economic slump and questions about the long-term viability of the currency union.
“The euro, probably more than any other currency, represents the mutual confidence at the heart of our community. It is the first currency that has not only severed its link to gold, but also its link to the nation-state. It is not backed by the durability of the metal or by the authority of the state. Indeed, what Sir Thomas More said of gold five hundred years ago – that it was made for men and that it had its value by them – applies very well to the euro.”
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