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Former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan stressed the eurozone is not functioning, saying insufficient balances in the economic stability of EU member countries make the current duty of the single currency a major area of concern.

Greenspan emphasized the great difference among European Union states, with the EU's more wealthier states including Germany regularly financing the shortages of southern countries.

The ex-central bank head, who has been critical about the bloc, said this divergence should not persist. He mentioned the European Central Bank is grappling with greater challenges than the Fed, noting the ECB's balance sheet is bigger than ever.

He also expressed his apprehension regarding the euro's prospect.

Related news

2017.09.20 01:32:00 UTC+00

European Stocks Mixed as Fed Decision Eyed

European finished mixed on Tuesday as investors await the decision from the two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was flat, with most sectors lower and major bourses pointing in opposite territories.

Telecom stocks climbed as much as 0.9 percent to their highest level in almost four weeks after CNBC reported that U.S. wireless carriers T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp were in active merger negotiations. Deutsche Telekom, which controls T-Mobile US, was the largest advancer, higher by over three percent. Other stocks in the sector were also lifted by the report.

European telecom stocks have underperformed the wider market in the past two years. Valuations and earnings potential have began to spur investors' interest.

The food and beverage sector fell almost 0.7 percent after a Mexican bottler and retailer said it had sold a stake in the world's second-biggest brewer. Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa) announced it had sold a 5.24 percent stake in Heineken. The Dutch brewer's shares dropped 3.7 percent on the news.

Eurofin Scientific jumped to the top of the benchmark in mid-day deals after it reported an agreement to buy EAG Laboratories from Odyssey Investment Partners. The French pharmaceutical firm jumped over six percent.

German fashion retailer Hugo Boss tumbled towards the bottom of the Stoxx 600, after Morgan Stanley downgraded the company to underweight from equal-weight. According to the brokerage, the retailer faces “market-driven”, instead of brand-driven, pressure. Shares of Hugo Boss dropped 3.47 percent.

The annual rate of inflation in the eurozone was confirmed at 1.5 percent by Eurostat. However, the European Central Bank cautions everyone not to get used to the pace of price increases.

According to the ECB, its staff sees the headline inflation rate to retreat to a low of 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Eurozone headline inflation notched its highest level in four months, official data revealed, confirming the European Union statistics office's flash estimate. Eurostat said consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro increased in August by 1.5 percent year-on-year and by 0.3 percent on the month.

Inflation continues to be below the ECB's target of almost two percent, but accelerated from 1.3 percent in July.

Energy prices rose 4.0 percent on the year and 0.7 percent month-on-month, the highest growth among the components of the indicator.

Prices in the services sector, the biggest in the eurozone economy, increased 1.6 percent in August on the year, the same rate as in June and July. Inflation was at 1.4 percent for food, alcohol and tobacco.

Prices rises were limited for non-energy industrial goods, excluding energy, higher by 0.5 percent year-on-year.

Bank of Governor Mark Carney echoed the hawkish tone by several members of the Monetary Policy committee following their September meeting, stating that a rate hike may be necessary as the UK economy begins to feel the impact from Brexit.

Speaking in Washington, the BoE head said that while the country's decision to withdraw from the EU has hampered growth, he noted that it also hurt the economy's potential.

Carney's speech echoes the unexpected hawkish tone from U.K. policymakers last week an underlines the difficulty of the task BoE faces as Britain negotiates its exit from the European union after being a member for over four decades. As of the moment, negotiations are at an impasse, leaving officials to navigate a process riddled with politics uncertainty. There are also ambiguity surrounding issues such as migration, the labor market, trade and investment.

The BoE governor said that leaving the EU will at least temporarily lower the openness of the economy because any substitute agreements with other trade partners will need time to be agreed and will even take a longer period to have an impact on the economy.

Tags: Policy

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Sep 20 at 4:01 UTC

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