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Monday, 28 November 2011 06:51

Rumours Of IMF Money For Italy Lifts EUR In Asia

Economic Data Highlights

  • NZ Nov. NBNZ Activity Outlook out at 28.8 vs. 26.1 prior
  • NZ Nov. NBNZ Business Confidence out at 18.3 vs. 13.2 prior
  • UK Nov. Lloyds Business Barometer out at -20 vs. -15 prior
  • UK Nov. Hometrack Housing Survey out at -0.2% m/m, -2.3% y/y vs. -0.2%/-2.8% prior resp.


  • JP Small Business Confidence (0500)
  • GE CPI – Various States (n/a)
  • Sweden Retail Sales (0830)
  • Sweden Trade Balance (0830)
  • EU Euro-zone M3 Money Supply (0900)
  • UK CBI Reported Sales (1100)
  • GE GfK Consumer Confidence (1200)
  • US New Home Sales (1500)
  • US Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity (1530)

Market Comments

Asia woke up to reports that the International Monetary Fund was preparing a €600 bln loan package for Italy and this was enough to lift the EUR at the start of this busy week of activity. The report, in Italy's La Stampa, did not name sources for the article and was short on details of the package, or where the cash was coming from, but markets did not care and enjoyed a healthy bounce in risk. However, late morning a Dow Jones newswire report suggested the reports of an IMF package were not credible and there had been no discussions within the G7. That knocked a quick 35 points off the EUR's rally.

Adding to the positive mood were reports that Friday's so-called 'Black Friday' sales in the US surged to their highest levels since 2007 despite the uncertain outlook for the economy (though the extent of the price discounting needed to achieve those sales was not reported).

The final positive input for the start of the week was that Belgium had finally thrashed out a 2012 budget agreement and appeared to be edging closer to forming a government after 531 days of political brinkmanship after the inconclusive election.

The EUR rallied from its NY close near 1.3250 to hit 1.3350 before settling down into a tight 1.3280-1.3230 range for the rest of the session. The NZD showed only minor reaction to New Zealand's election result where the ruling centre-right national party was returned to power, though the NZD rallied in response to the broader risk-on feel.

Chinese press has been devoting a lot of attention to the PBOC's reduction in reserve ratio requirements (RRR) for 6 rural credit cooperatives in Zhejiang province announced last Wednesday (effective Friday) and whether this is a sign that a broader monetary easing may be in the pipeline. The local branch of the PBOC in Hangzhou has stressed that the move was merely a restoration of the RRR to a normal level for these banks, having hiked it by 50bp a year ago as the banks in question were not making enough agriculture-related loans. So it would appear we may have to wait a while for the next major move (Q1 2012 appears to be the market favourite).

Today's action was in contrast to Friday's direction with EU debt concerns pressuring the EUR early in the session with a Fitch downgrade to Portugal and S&P downgrade of Belgium cementing the doom and gloom mode. In addition Italian bond yields touched the 8 percent level (a level clearly unsustainable for the beleaguered nation). Liquidity was thin as the US enjoyed an extended Thanksgiving holiday and moves exaggerated down to just above the 1.32 mark.

However, rumours that the Swiss National Bank was about to shift the CHF peg (seen buying EURUSD and reports of a 1700GMT announcement) helped lift the pair off the base for a mid-range NY close. (At the weekend SNB's Jordan said they would act if CHF strength worsens the economic outlook).

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