BERLIN -- It's tough to avoid the euro's plight these days in Europe, because even when the battered currency actually appears on the mend, something happens to show everybody just how far it has fallen.
Having lost some 30% vs. the U.S. dollar since its inception in 1999, the euro began a modest rebound last week after hitting all-time lows under $0.83 a fortnight ago.
In an attempt to strengthen the currency's recent recovery, the
European Central Bank
intervened repeatedly in the foreign exchange markets Friday. After the interventions, the euro traded higher at $0.8629. Unlike the coordinated intervention with the U.S.
Bank of Japan
in September, the ECB acted alone this time, which means the euro is sure to be on not just foreign exchange traders' minds in the coming week.
While the intervention gives the euro's rebound added tailwind, the best hope of sustained recovery will come from abroad -- in the form of more signals that the U.S. economy is finally starting to cool. If weaker data continue to come from across the Atlantic and the markets believe the ECB is ready to intervene again if necessary, the beginning of a longer-term appreciation of the euro may at last be in the offing.
Despite the latest intervention, not all observers, however, are predicting an easy ride for the euro from here on out. "I have my worries whether this will all be successful," says Torsten Polleit, an economist for
in Frankfurt. "If you look at past interventions, many didn't work at the end of the day." If conditions don't play in the euro's favor, Polleit believes the euro could sink back to $0.80 before the end of the year.
Away from the mercurial currency markets, investors can stay focused on equities if they choose to next week, because they will have plenty of earnings reports from leading European technology and telecom companies to sift through.
Big German techs will start out the week, as
releases annual earnings on Tuesday. Siemens will get in on the action itself when it does so on Wednesday.
Telcos will try to wrest the spotlight away as Britain's
reports third-quarter results on Tuesday. Analysts expect solid earnings from the smaller operator. "Strong revenue growth is expected, although recent euro weakness will hit the revenues from Europe," according to a report from
, which rates Colt shares a hold.
probably won't be so lucky with its second-quarter earnings, due to be released Thursday. While many shareholders are hoping for a major shakeup and a new strategic direction for the former state monopoly, many analysts are expecting only lower profits.
Apart from the earnings merry-go-round, investors also will probably take another look at German financial services giant
next week, as investors register the company's new listing on the
New York Stock Exchange
. The move came much quicker than had been previously anticipated and gives Allianz paper currency to continue its recent acquisition streak in the U.S.