Friday saw the common currency of the European Union head toward its top value since early July against the U.S. dollar as central bank chief Ben Bernanke prepared to speak at the annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Bloomberg reports.
The speech will be subject to close scrutiny for indications about the next round of asset purchases to spur the U.S. economy, which is the globe's largest. Bernanke's 2010 speech at the same venue preceded a second round of quantitative easing, more colloquially known as QE2.
"We're not expecting (Bernanke) to announce that QE would start any time soon. We expect him to announce that the Fed stands ready to act if things deteriorate but there's no sign of that at the moment," senior economist Christian Schulz with Berenberg Bank told Reuters. "I think those people who are betting on QE to start imminently will be disappointed and, yes, that would mean that markets would turn south."
The 17-nation monetary unit this week was heading toward an increase of 0.4 percent as the currency pushed to its top rate since July 4 against the U.S. dollar.
Oil and European shares also climbed in anticipation of the Fed chief's speech, according to Reuters.