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Dijsselbloem suggest extending bailout maturities for Ireland and Portugal

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Dutch lawmakers on Thursday that Eurozone finance ministers are considering whether to grant rescue loan extensions to Ireland and Portugal in order to facilitate their return to market funding.

"We are looking within the current program and current loans to give more time," he said. "It means a bit more time for repayment of the loans could be given. This is what we are looking at and this makes a transition to standing on their own legs a bit more gradual and less risky."

The Eurogroup will discuss this possibility at their upcoming meeting next Monday.

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Forex: GBP/USD erasing daily gains after US data

The GBP/USD has been erasing its daily gains little before the release of US data. While the annualized GDP Q4 growth was even worse than expected, of 0.1% instead of 0.5%, quarterly data rose 0.9% instead of 0.6%. That and improving jobless claims send the pair down to 1.5159, almost to the opening price of 1.5157, as the NY session started.
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