Krona continues to strengthen

The Swedish krona could soon hit its strongest level against the word’s major currencies since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, almost two years ago.

The krona, which lost a lot of ground during the financial crisis, has strengthened significantly. On the TCW index, which measures the strength of the Swedish currency against a basket of foreign currencies, the krona is now at 129. This is the same level as it reached in April, but if the trend continues it will soon equal its value in autumn 2008.

SEB expects the currency to continue strengthening to 125, after which it is expected to stabilize. The lower the value on the TCW index, the higher the value of the krona.

The euro is now worth 9.40 kronor, down from 9.44 kronor on Monday. The US dollar is at 7.42 kronor, down from 7.50. The Swedish currency’s strength relative to the euro reflects a string of bad economic news from the single currency zone, including a reduced crating rating for Portugal and poor confidence indicators from Germany.

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.