GBP Up on Weaker EUR, EUR Down on Italian Politics

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Rates as of 0500 GMT

European politics

In addition to simmering problems in the US, we now have two matters concerning European politics that are important for the markets. 

Germanys Christian Democratic Union CDU party will vote Saturday on a new leader. The contestants are  a Friedrich Merz, a millionaire businessman; b Armin Laschet, governor of North RhineWestphalia, one of Germanys biggest regions; and c. Norbert Röttgen, an MP and chairman of the Bundestags foreign affairs committee. The three are running neckandneckone recent poll gave Merz 29 and Laschet and Röttgen both 25. Chancellor Merkel will be retiring this year after 16 years in the post and so the winner of this election stands a good chance of being elected Chancellor at the Bundestag elections in September or not, depending on how the party does then. But there are other possibilities, too. 

Laschet and Röttgen seem to have pretty similar ideas that are not a million miles from Merkels current liberal policies, but Merz is different. Merkel won election after election mostly by coopting the policies of the CDUs more leftwing opponents. That won many liberal voters but left more conservative voters homeless while abandoning many of the principles…

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