Saturday 2nd August 2014
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FRIDAY TICKER: AUGUST 1ST: Collaborative Data Network CMDportal statistics show that the international money market increased outstandings by approximately $31bn during the month of July, both in USD and in EUR, with three of the four major asset classes posting growth. Financial Institutions Groups (FIGs) outstandings increased by 3.44%, seeing the greatest absolute growth. Sovereigns, Supranationals and Agencies (SSAs) posted a 2.9% increase. Oustandings by Corporate borrowers grew by 7%. The only major sector that posted a contraction was Asset-Backed securities, which finished down by approximately $1.4bn (3.2%). USD denominated markets grew by USD13.2bn and Euro denominated markets grew by $12.5bn equivalent. Total International Money Market settlements in July reached $307.8bn - Moody's Interfax Rating Agency has today affirmed the Baa3.ru national scale rating (NSR) of Maritime Bank. The affirmation of the NSR reflects Maritime Bank's currently acceptable capital adequacy and asset quality balanced with weak profitability; and modest liquidity cushion against the bank's high depositor concentration and the challenging operating environment in Russia. NSRs carry no specific outlooks. The rating action is primarily based on the bank's unaudited financial statements for January 2013-July 2014 - The Macau government published the casino industry’s gross gaming revenue today. In July, Macau collected 28.4 gross gaming revenue, or an equivalent of 917 million daily table wins, down 3.6% from a year ago. Macau’s July numbers were clouded by the World Cup, say the government. Chinese are avid soccer fans. Macau names fell off in trading after the announcement, with Galaxy Entertainment losing 2.4%, while Wynn Resorts fell 1.8%. All eyes are now on August’s figures - A new point-of-sale malware known as Backoff has been linked to numerous remote-access attacks, putting small merchants at greatest risk, according to an alert from federal authorities. The alert from the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center notes that Backoff is a recently discovered family of POS malware that has now been identified in at least three separate forensic investigations – Italy’s biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo has beaten forecasts reporting a Q2 net profit of €217m, as the bank moves along a new business path which highlights asset management. The bank said its operating result and pre-tax profit for the period was the best in the last nine quarters, with higher revenues from asset management offsetting the impact of one-off charges such as write-downs.

The push and pull of willpower & politics

Friday, 25 May 2012
The push and pull of willpower & politics June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined.

If the Germans and French remain reluctant to put their money in the pockets by either using the ECB’s potential firepower or create a special eurobond then they could themselves become the very nemesis of the single currency that they tell us they are so desperate to keep. Even so, risk aversion continues to whittle down the markets; at the time of writing the index is at 5380, down some 25 points. Traders are watching term support trends at 5335, 5300 and 5275; hopeful bulls out there will be looking for resistance at 5490, 5615/45. This near term downward trend sees the index capped by a downward trend line that also puts some resistance at 5450. Over the longer term now that the index has broken below its 200 day moving average and its upward trend line a close below 5400 could been seen as very negative and we’re now in the ­territory of people not wanting to catch a falling knife.

While immediate market focus will remain on Europe and its affect on the macro picture, there are a couple of important pieces of data that UK investors should note. First, following a surprising improvement in April, unemployment numbers are likely to show a weakening labour market.  There’s little in the way of encouraging data from the UK at the moment, but last month’s data was the first ­indication that unemployment is ­starting to peak. Job creation has come largely from part time rather than ­permanent work and the tick downwards to 8.3% in the rate of unemployment is expected to rise back to 8.4%. Second, it will be interesting to see whether the upcoming Bank of England’s inflation report will encourage the central bank to stick to their hawkish guns or whether the ­confirmation of the double dip recession and a further downgrading of growth projections will result in a more dove-ish tone.

Other European indicators are not great either: Italian ten year yields have crossed back above 6% and for Spain back above 6.5%, meanwhile risk adverse investors piled into German bunds driving their cost of borrowing even lower. This is classic fear gripping the markets once again as the vicissitudes of 2012 look to be playing out in a very similar fashion to 2011. Financial markets detest uncertainty and at the moment they are riddled with them since Greece has been unable to form a government and has had to call for a new round of  elections on 17th June. Up until that point we can expect volatility to remain high and continued pressure to the downside.

The euro made a low of $1.2720 as the situation in Greece continues to deteriorate. Bears sold the single ­currency heavily after socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos announced that talks to form a coalition government had failed and that the public would have to go back to the polls next month. Gold continued to fall as traders dumped risky assets and piled into the safety of the US dollar. Spot gold traded as low as $1541 an ounce.  With little technical support seen until $1531 and no turn around in Greece on the horizon, the down trend looks set to stay firmly in place.

On top of all the European woes there’s also the growing concern that China is slowing down quicker than was previously thought. Add any downturn to the euro crisis and it has negative connotations for global growth.

As ever, ladies and gentlemen, place your bets...

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