Bernanke testifying in Congress as Eurozone troubles continue
The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, will testify before Congress today. The Chairman will be quizzed over his views on the US economy and the chances of slowing the Reserve’s stimulus package, which accounts for $85 billion of purchases each month.
Last month, shares tumbled when Bernanke signalled that the bond-buying program would taper this year, and the markets only recovered last week once Bernanke took a more dovish line.
Concerning economic news within the Eurozone, today marks the first test for Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras since reshuffling his government three weeks ago, in the latest group of economic reforms. The government is expected to achieve a narrow victory.
In Portugal’s bond sale today, the government was forced to accept yields of 1.72% on 12-month bonds, a nine-month high. In the previous bond auction in May, Portugal had a bond yield of 1.2%. The sharp increase was due to the Portuguese government’s perceived shakiness after being rocked by resignations and austerity fatigue.
Within the UK, unemployment figures have been released showing that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has dropped by 21,200 in June, and is the fastest decline in three years. However, since December, the number of those unemployed has fallen by 57,000.