M. Hewson: UE e Grecia “giocano con il fuoco”
Continuano le polemiche e gli attacchi reciproci tra i leader europei e i politici greci, un gioco pericoloso che può esplodere nelle loro mani, mentre Moody’s annuncia la revisione del rating di 114 banche europee dopo il downgrade dei rispettivi paesi, citando il deterioramento dell’affidabilità dei prestiti sovrani dell’area.
La decisione finale dei ministri finanziari dell’Eurogruppo dovrebbe essere presa lunedì assieme alla sistemazione dei bond. Ma i tempi potrebbero essere ancora lunghi in vista delle elezioni in Grecia e il ministro delle Finanze ellenico Venizelos ha accusato i leader europei di “giocare con il fuoco”. L’ipotesi che la Troika debba avere una presenza permanente ad Atene e il controllo di un conto vincolato per l’esborso dei fondi di salvataggio ha acuito ulteriormente le tensioni.
In Gran Bretagna l’aumento della fiducia dei consumatori in gennaio sottolinea il miglioramento dei dati economici britannici. Negli Usa le minute del FOMC di gennaio della Fed hanno mostrato che non c’è stata unanimità sulla politica di prolungati tassi bassi. Oggi escono i dati sui sussidi di disoccupazione settimanali e l’indice della Fed di Filadelfia.
EuroDollaro: l’euro ha supporto chiave appena sopra il livello 1,3000; resistenza a 1,3320. EuroSterlina: resistenza chiave in area 0,8420/30; possibile il movimento verso 0,8270/80 sulla strada verso i minimi di gennaio a 0,8220. DollaroYen: supporto chiave a 76,50.
EU and Greece “playing with fire”
Yesterdays back and forth between Greek politicians and EU policymakers had all the hallmarks of an unedifying playground spat, with accusations and insults flying thick and fast. Unfortunately there will be no winners or losers in this particular little saga as Europe gives the impression of gearing up to cut Greece loose, unless they subjugate to demands for new measures to sate various new concerns.
This dangerous game has all the potential to blow up in their faces especially as Moody’s followed up their sovereign downgrades this week by putting 114 financial institutions in 16 European countries on review, citing the region’s banks’ vulnerability to the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis.
It now looks likely that a final decision by Eurogroup finance ministers will be made on Monday along with the long awaited bond swap, however it could all unravel well before then with European officials talking about withholding any new funds until after a Greek election, when there would be more certainty about the political make-up of the country. Greek finance minister Venizelos in response has accused EU leaders of “playing with fire”.
EU officials are talking about dealing with the March bond redemption from existing funds from the first bailout, which apparently still hasn’t all been allocated. It seems the northern European countries are the main drivers behind this new firmer line as alarm increase about any additional costs that would need to be borne further down the line.
Reports from Eurozone officials that the troika must have a permanent authoritative presence in Athens, along with sole control of an escrow account for bailout disbursements before any deal could go ahead have served to inflame an already fractious situation.
Insistence that politicians from all the political parties must sign an undertaking not to unpick the bailout terms are likely to fall on deaf ears from the minority parties. These conditions also give the impression, wrongly or otherwise that EU officials are trying to force Greece out by putting conditions in place that they know the Greeks would never agree to.
All this has been set against a backdrop of negative growth across the board in the fourth quarter in Europe, with the latest GDP numbers from Spain expected to show a contraction of 0.3%.
UK Nationwide consumer confidence for January rose to 47 from 38 in December, despite unemployment once again increasing yesterday, and underlining the recent improvement seen in UK economic data seen in recent weeks. The likelihood of additional QE in the near future also receded somewhat after the Bank of England raised its 2 year inflation forecast, in its quarterly inflation report, squashing speculation about further measures in the next three months.
Last nights release of the latest FOMC minutes from the January Federal Reserve meeting showed that there was less unanimity with respect to the extended low rate policy than was first thought. The downbeat nature of Chairman Bernanke was reinforced by the minutes; however there was less support for further QE in the near future than had been previously thought, with the likelihood of further easing unlikely until Q4 at the earliest.
One of the main concerns has been the state of the job market, despite recent improvements, with today’s weekly jobless claims expected to increase only slightly from last week’s much better than expected 358k to 365k. The Philadelphia Fed survey for February is expected to follow on from yesterday’s better than expected Empire Manufacturing survey, by improving to 9 from January’s 7.3. Housing starts and building permits for January are also expected to improve from negative numbers in December.
EURUSD – the single currency continues to exhibit weakness on rallies with the key support level just above the 1.3000 level. A break here has the potential to retarget the 1.2870/80 level, which continues to be the likely outcome. Interim resistance can be found at the 1.3180 level but the key level on the upside still remains at the 1.3320 area which is the 100 day MA, while behind that there is also the 1.3435 area which is the 50% retracement area of the same move.
GBPUSD – cable rallies continue to be capped by the trend line resistance at 1.5730 from the recent highs at 1.5930. A break above this line is needed to target a move back to 1.5780. The key support remains around the 55 day MA at 1.5600 over the coming days after the bout of sterling weakness seen in the past day or so. Below 1.5600 retargets 1.5500 which is 61.8% retracement of the 1.5270/1.5930 up move. The resistance at the 200 day MA at 1.5938 remains the level preventing a move above 1.6000.
EURGBP – the 0.8400 level continues to cap the upside in this cross, however the key level remains at the recent range highs so far this year at the 0.8420/30 area. Any break could well see 0.8500 quite quickly. Yesterday saw the euro slip below the 0.8340 area which now opens up the possibility of a move towards 0.8270/80 level on the way towards the January lows at 0.8220. It would require a break below the September 2010 lows at 0.8200/05, to target the 2010 lows at 0.8065.
USDJPY – yesterday saw the yen slip back to a low of 78.20, but stay above this week’s key break-out area of the 200 day MA. This keeps the emphasis for a move towards 80.00. 10 year US treasury yields remain a little on the soft side but given the lack of support for further QE from a number of Fed members we could well see further US dollar strength. We could see a slide back towards 78.00 but as long as we continue to stay above the 200 day MA then further gains seem likely. The key support remains above the 76.50 level and expect to see further range trading in the absence of a break above the 200 day MA, with interim support also at 77.30.