28 January 2003, 10:30  Euro marches on after mid-session slip

The euro failed to hold its four-year high of USD1.09 against the dollar in afternoon trade, although it recovered from a slight mid-session correction and has re-commenced its march onwards. At 1700, the single currency stood at USD1.0836, following chief UN weapons inspector Dr Hans Blix's report to the Security Council. Blix delivered what has been interpreted as a relatively hawkish assessment of the Iraqis intentions regarding weapons of mass destruction. Blix criticised Iraq harshly for not giving enough evidence on its past weapons of mass destruction programs despite its co-operation in opening sites to his teams. "UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission is not presuming there are proscribed items in Iraq. Nor is it assuming the opposite that no such items exist in Iraq," he said.
"Iraq appears not to have come to genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it," he added. In Davos, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said the US would carefully study the report of the inspectors and consult other members of the deeply divided U.N. Security Council before acting. But he made clear time was running out. //www.fxcentre.com

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