Another long week is coming to an end where the sentiment has started to improve in Europe yet the headline challenges remain evident with fiscal challenges in the continent and slowing recovery across the globe.
Investors started to unwind their pessimistic expectations for Greek default and a new financial crisis and deep recession with the support framework behind Greece, especially after the unexpected ECB move yesterday; yet still are the challenges over and is the situation cured! It is crystal clear that the market has not reflected the full potential of a default this week as it was stated, where equities and especially banks were hit hard yet the euro has extended the rise mainly over the course of the week, and does that now make any sense!
Fears of the deepening debt crisis in the euro area has been guiding investors and fueling the negative sentiment, yet clearly euro bulls did see little in the threat as the correction continued despite the evident problems, assuring that markets have a long journey to normalize.
We saw the flare of confidence gains more and more momentum with the unexpected coordinated action from the ECB along with the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank to conduct three more US dollar liquidity-providing operations with a maturity of around three months till the end of the year.
This move was preemptive from the ECB to prevent the freeze of money markets with the signs of strain starting to appear after banks started to access the ECB facilities for money as European banks started to struggle in dollar funding.
Investors have already started to find their support earlier with the steady German-Franco baking to Greece and the confidence posted in Papandreou to ensure Athens continues with the fiscal measures to attain its new bailout. Italy and Spain sold the needed bonds, although with higher yields, and despite Moody’s downgrade for five Spanish regions.
The flashed idea of a common bond was absurd to be a reason behind any of the positivity and even if Barroso suggested the matter German reluctance to the idea of common bonds is enough to keep it just another though scrambled on a piece of paper! If Jose Barroso himself said it, the common bonds will not solve any of the debt problems and especially those of Greece, then why take the risk of complicating the weak fiscal framework in the area and drag the good with the bad and the ugly, for once Merkel you have my support!
This is the matter to be looking for comments on, as finance chiefs gear for the Wroclaw summit today and tomorrow. The officials gathering in Poland will surely be focused on the recent developments and heightened financial markets tension, yet will they take any measure to clamp the jitters.
We expected this week the EU Parliament to make a move, yet the debt crisis and the adoption of the new measures announced in the last summit was not even a topic to discuss on the agenda, so what will the bankers do this time! We surely do not expect them to ignore anxious investors especially as Timothy F. Geithner the U.S. Treasury Secretary will attend the summit and to be the first to attend a European Finance Ministers’ summit!
The debt crisis is still the agony for Europe and it is worsening largely due to weaker than expected growth in the euro area and globally. The EC cut its euro area GDP forecasts to 0.2% for the third quarter and 0.1% in the fourth from 0.4% expansion expected for each, assuring the tough hurdles ahead.
U.S. growth is also on a downside track and the Fed is taking its time to add more support to the economy to ensure that they are not caught in an inflationary bubble over the medium term!
To ensure that the current renewed fear is easing we need to see concrete decision, comments and progress on the agreement announced on July 21 as the leaders stalled enough to fuel a new round of market rage and Sarkozy and Merkel’s beliefs that Greece will not drop the euro will no longer be sufficient.
It will be another hectic ending for the week and choppy trading will be seen with the position squaring and anticipation to any comments from the chiefs gathering to find common grounds on the deepening crisis.