On foreign exchanges, the euro edged up further after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont adopted a more conciliatory tone in a speech on independence. The unit was at $1.1868 Thursday, well up from the low $1.17 mark seen last week, though well off the $1.2033 enjoyed in September.
Later Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave him until next week to clarify whether he intends to push ahead with a breakaway, warning Madrid would suspend the region’s autonomy.
“The market appears to have welcomed the decision… to give Carles Puigdemont, the president of the government of Catalonia, five days to clarify whether he has declared independence from Spain or not,” Rodrigo Catril, FX Strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.
However, Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA, warned that he still saw the single currency’s gains “as more of a relief rally as EU risk has tentatively settled”.
The dollar was also slightly down against its main peers following the release of minutes from the Fed’s most recent board meeting, which suggested policymakers edging towards another rate hike but some expressing concern at still weak inflation.
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