M. Hewson: i mercati in attesa dell’esito della seconda LTRO
Clima di grande attesa per l’esito della nuova LTRO, operazione di finanziamento da parte della Bce alle banche, dopo la prima effettuata in dicembre a tassi eccezionalmente bassi, conclusa con 489 miliardi di euro assegnati a 523 banche. La domanda chiave riguarda l’entità di questa LTRO, e la sensazione prevalente, dopo la precedente operazione, è che molte banche intendano parcheggiare il denaro presso la Bce, anche se alcune banche spagnole e italiane effettuano il ‘carry trade’ aumentando gli acquisti di titoli di stato, dopo il calo dei rendimenti.
Focus sul tasso di disoccupazione della Germania, sui dati del credito al consumo della Gran Bretagna e sulle cifre del Pil Usa del quarto trimestre, che dovrebbe essere confermato al 2,8%. Ma negli Usa l’evento principale dovrebbe essere l’audizione del Presidente della Fed Bernanke alla commissione per la politica monetaria.
La Fed diffonderà il Beige book con il resoconto della sua attività nell’ultimo mese. EuroDollaro: la discesa continua a essere fermata in area 1,3480/90. Eventuali ulteriori cali devono tenere sopra il supporto tra 1,3300 e 1,3320 per un rimbalzo verso i massimi della settimana. EuroSterlina: superata quota 0,8500 non può essere escluso un movimento verso 0,8550. Il livello 0,8420/30 dovrebbe agire da supporto. DollaroYen: l’area 82,85 rimane il prossimo obiettivo. Sotto 79,20 possibile un movimento profondo verso 78,20.
Markets await results from second LTRO
In December the ECB changed the game somewhat when they announced three year money at extremely low interest rates would be made available to any banks who wanted it in an attempt to avert a funding crunch, in an attempt to drive sovereign bond yields back lower, and relieve a blockage in the European banking system’s credit channels. European banks didn’t need asking twice as they pounced en masse and hoovered up €489bn of loans with 523 banks taking part.
The equity market rally since then, as well as falling bond yields, suggests that those actions had the required effect, and expectations surrounding today’s latest LTRO results are likely to be slanted towards a similar take up, in the manner of an addict getting his latest fix. The key questions today will be how big this LTRO will be, and how will it affect the markets because there is certainly no evidence that the extra money is finding its way into the European economy. If the LTRO has a low take-up this could well be seen as a positive in that banks haven’t felt the need to use the facility, while a similar figure to the first one could well be broadly neutral.
In any case it remains hard to gauge given that if banks are given what looks tantamount a pass to some free money, they’ll take it whether they need it or not. Early evidence from the first LTRO suggests that a lot of banks are parking the money at the ECB, though some Spanish and Italian banks are playing the carry trade by buying up more of their government’s sovereign debt, hence the drop in yields, and the ECB has certainly been less active with its SMP program as this latest LTRO comes into view, though its balance sheet has ballooned in size.
Germany’s unemployment rate is expected to remain constant at 6.7%, a 22 year low, with a net reduction in claims of 5k, as the unemployment numbers in Europe’s largest economy continue to move in the opposite direction to the rest of Europe.
In the UK the latest consumer credit figures could well surprise to the upside given the recent recovery in the retail sales numbers on the high street, in the past couple of months. Expectations are for a rise of £200m, up from a decline in December of £400m, while mortgage approvals are also expected to rise to 54k from 52.9k.
This mornings’ February Gfk consumer confidence numbers rather strangely given the recent recovery in retail sales don’t point to an improved mood on the part of the UK consumer, coming in unchanged from January’s -29 reading. In the US the latest Q4 GDP numbers are expected to be confirmed at 2.8%, while the key event is likely to be Fed Chairman Bernanke’s semi-annual testimony to the monetary policy committee.
Anyone looking for clues about further policy stimulus is likely to be disappointed with the Chairman unlikely to deviate from the tone of his previous public statements this year. Further easing is likely to remain extremely difficult ahead of the election and is unlikely to happen, though Bernanke’s tone is likely to continue to keep the market guessing. Economic activity in the Fed regions will also come under scrutiny when the Fed releases its Beige book of economic activity over the past month.
EURUSD – yesterday’s slide lower once again caught a few bids below the 1.3400 level before rebounding, but it continues to be capped by the 1.3480/90 area for now. Above the 1.3490 level negates Monday’s mildly bearish candle pattern and argues 1.3630. Any move lower needs to hold above support between 1.3300 and 1.3320 which had until recently been a solid top, for a bounce back towards this week’s highs. Only a move back below here argues for a move back down to 1.3180, and then the 1.3000 level.
GBPUSD – the 200 day MA at 1.5905 continues to act as the key pivot to the next movement up or down. This remains the key barrier to any further gains and it needs a daily close beyond here to target a move towards 1.6080. Also the previous reaction high remains a key level at 1.5935/40. Pullbacks should fund support around 1.5820 and 1.5720 while the 55 day MA at 1.5620 remains a key support along with the February lows at 1.5645.
EURGBP – the 0.8500 level continues to hold on the upside as the single currency starts to tread water near its recent range highs. If we get through 0.8500 then a spill over to 0.8550 cannot be ruled out which is 38.2% retracement of the 0.9085/0.8220 down move. The recent range highs in January at 0.8420/30 should act as significant support on the downside Only a move below the 0.8400 level and previous highs opens up a retest of the old pivot at 0.8340, while a move below that retargets the 0.8270/80 range lows.
USDJPY – the US dollar while it has slipped back continues to hold above 80.00 after the 8 month high at 81.62 seen earlier this week. The 82.85 area remains the next target being the 38.2% retracement of the entire down move from the 95.00 highs to the all time lows at 75.30. We could get a pullback to 79.20 without damaging the current upward momentum but we need to see a close above the weekly Ichimoku cloud resistance at 81.00 to reinforce the case for further gains. Below 79.20 argues for a deeper move towards the 78.20 level, and undermines the bullish scenario.