The next last chance for Greece

Minimal movement
Two years ago legislation came into effect to fine drivers £100 for "hogging" the middle lane of a motorway. Last week the first perpetrator brought to justice under the law was fined £940 by a Leeds magistrate. And they say inflation is dead.

Whilst inflation is near-zero in Europe and the United States it is still visible in Canada. Friday's headline rate from Statistics Canada was 0.9% while the Bank of Canada's "core" rate was 2.2%. Those numbers would probably have been good enough to have taken the Loonie higher had it not been for simultaneous news that Canadian retail sales unexpectedly fell by -0.1% in April.

The Canadian dollar consequently became the weakest performer among the major currencies, losing half a cent to sterling and a dozen ticks to the US dollar. At the head of the field the South African rand recovered most of the ground it had lost in the previous four days, leaving it only fractionally lower on the week. The day's biggest movers among the major currencies were the Swiss franc, which added half a cent, and the Loonie.

Deadline number n
Investors have lost count of the exact number of last-chance-to-avoid-Grexits that have come and gone since Alexis Tsipras's Syriza party gained power in Athens at the end of January. Today's euro area summit in Brussels will be another of them and it is unlikely to be the last.

If all goes well this evening the broad strokes of the agreement will be handed over for refinement by the finance ministers. If it goes badly the leaders will be reluctant - indeed unable - to pull the trigger on the ejection of Greece from the euro. Ahead of the summit, investors may already have a steer on how things will pan out: Mr Tsipras will have a pre-meeting meeting with the heads of the EC, the ECB, the IMF and the Eurogroup this morning and the Eurogroup itself will gather this afternoon.

Mr Tsipras would have investors believe that he has submitted new and credible proposals to the country's creditors, which will meet with their approval. But he would say that, wouldn't he.

So far so good
There was sufficient optimism this morning to allow the euro to open a quarter of a cent or so higher against the pound and the US dollar. It would be fair to expect the euro to remain buoyant unless or until there is bad news from Brussels.

The brief ex-Brussels agenda contains nothing more important than US existing home sales and Euroland consumer confidence. Tonight brings Australian house prices and provisional purchasing managers' indices from the Japanese and Chinese manufacturing sector.

Today is not guaranteed to be an exciting time for the euro. Too often in the past these deadlines and last chances have proved to be anticlimactic. But if ever a day had the makings of fuss and commotion for the euro, this is it.