All eyes on the ECB

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Yesterday’s G7 meeting presented an opportunity for the world’s leaders to present a united front on the European debt crisis but little was forthcoming. It’s not really surprising that the G7 didn’t release some form of post-meeting communique; it wasn’t expected and the markets were not really bothered to ask for one. The G20 meeting in Mexico in a fortnight could, and probably should, be the place for some sort of announcement as it may be able to counteract any negative news coming from the Greek elections over the weekend.

Data in our absence has been poor with PMI surveys yesterday morning from Europe confirming what has become very evident of late; that the situation in Europe will get a lot worse before it gets better. Hopefully we see some form of monetary policy easing from the ECB today but this is no longer the major issue.

Spain’s banks are like a tinderbox at the moment but their salvation rests in the hands of politicians – a apocalyptic mix of systemic importance and staggering ineptitude. The bank guarantee scheme is a great idea until the Germans get involved and say no; as with most plans for the Eurozone at the moment.

Risk is coming on this morning so far with equities higher and the dollar on the back foot. This will be on the belief that we see some form of action from the ECB at their meeting today and that there is the possibility of some form of coordinated global action as well. We think that this will come later in the month and the market may become disappointed with the lack of it as we move through the rest of the week.

We would like to see the ECB cut rates by at least 25bps while also announcing a resumption of the SMP bond purchase program that was so instrumental in bringing down bond yields in Portugal and Italy. Some chatter from Draghi in his press conference about the deposit guarantee scheme would increase pressure on the Germans, Dutch and Finns who are against it.

Australian GDP has also helped the risk atmosphere this morning, coming in at 1.3% against an expected figure of 0.4%. As important that figure is obviously to the Australians it is also a good indicator for the rest of South-east Asia and in particular China. We expect to see further interest rate cuts from the RBA later in the year following their decision to cut rates by 25bps yesterday morning.

While the ECB meet today, the Bank of England announce tomorrow. You can join us for a run-down of everything that is going on in global markets. Greece is teetering, Spain is rocking and the pound, while strong against the euro, is also losing ground against the belligerent US dollar, we’ll see whether this is due to continue. We’ll also look forward to the Greek elections and the prospects for further QE here in the UK and in the US.

Indicative Rates Sell Buy
GBPEUR 1.2349 1.2378
GBPUSD 1.5420 1.5445
EURUSD 1.2470 1.2493
GBPJPY 121.73 122.00
GBPAUD 1.5686 1.5713
GBPNZD 2.0251 2.0279
GBPCAD 1.5940 1.5969
NZDUSD 0.7606 0.7626
GBPZAR 12.93 12.98
USDZAR 8.3788 8.4163
GBPPLN 5.3639 5.3906
EURJPY 98.44 98.70

Please note these rates are “interbank” rates ie they indicate where the market is currently trading and are not indicative of the rates offered by Rates are dependent on amount transacted. It is important to remember that foreign exchange rates fluctuate all the time.

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