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    MORNING BELL: ECB examines possibility of Greek IOU currency

    Greece is close to having to repay the International Monetary Fund about 1 billion euros in May and officials at the ECB are growing concerned. Although the Greek government has repeatedly said that it wants to honour its debts, officials at the ECB are considering the possibility that it may not. Any default by Greece would force the ECB to act, and possibly restrict Greek banks' crucial access to emergency liquidity funding. Officials fear that such action could push cash-strapped Athens into paying civil servants in IOUs in order to avoid using up scarce euros.

    China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world's second-biggest economy to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) lowered the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for all banks by 100 basis points, to 18.5 percent, effective from April 20.

    The U.S. dollar posted its worst week in four against a currency basket on Friday, after data showing a rise in consumer prices failed to alleviate concerns that recent soft U.S. economic data could delay the Federal Reserve's first rate hike. The dollar rebounded against major currencies in morning trading after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in March, while closely watched core consumer prices rose 1.8 percent year-on-year, inching closer to the Fed's 2.0 percent target. 

     

     


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