Greece votes for euro, but market relief short-lived - Business Works
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Greece votes for euro, but market relief short-lived

Richard Driver of Caxton FX The long-awaited Greek elections last Sunday produced the result the market wanted, but only to an extent. New Democracy - the main pro-bailout, pro-euro party – won the election, but by only the smallest of margins, so the uncertainty of coalition-forming remained. What also remains are the inevitable attempts to renegotiate Greece’s bailout terms by any coalition that does form. With Merkel sounding as tough as ever on Greece this week, negotiations are likely to be tense and drawn out.

The market has been to the brink several times before in the case of Greece and the euphoria in response to the Greek election result was understandably short-lived. Certainly the worst-case scenario – a victory for the leftist Syriza and a potential euro-exit- was avoided but investors know full well that Greece’s second bailout will not buy sufficient time for Greece to get its house in order in a permanent sense, so the country’s painful saga continues.

Spain is very much in the headlines at present, as the country’s 10-year bond yields have broken through the dreaded 7.0% level which has forced other eurozone nations into bailout requests. Spain has already reached an agreement for a €100bn bailout of its banking sector, but these borrowing costs could ensure the sovereign itself will be requesting a bailout before long. The delay to the second part of the audit of Spain’s banks until September has not helped sentiment one bit, with suggestions being made that Spain’s bank could need more than €100bn.

Germany is likely to be the next country to dominate the headlines, though unsurprisingly not due to economic weakness or high debt levels. June 29th will see the German parliament vote on the EU fiscal treaty and the creation of the permanent eurozone rescue fund. Any indications that Angela Merkel is losing her grip on power domestically are likely to weigh on the euro significantly. Nonetheless, Merkel is widely expected to prevail in the vote.

Sterling firm ahead of MPC minutes release

Tomorrow’s MPC minutes will reveal the voting pattern with respect to the introduction of further UK quantitative easing at the MPC’s June meeting. Today’s weak inflation data has already made the domestic environment a more QE-friendly one, though we look back to last week’s Mansion House for indicators that the majority of the MPC will have different ideas. King announced an £80bn ‘funding for lending’ speech, which suggests the BoE are looking at alternative ways of boosting UK growth.

This week also brings US Federal Reserve monetary policy into sharp focus, with the central bank meeting and giving its statement and economic projections on Wednesday. Increasingly weak US growth data has pressurised the dollar of late but we continue to bet that the Fed will hold fire for now.

End of week forecast
GBP / EUR 1.25
GBP / USD 1.5650
EUR / USD 1.25
GBP / AUD 1.53

Having dipped as low as €1.2270 last week, GBP / EUR is now trading at €1.24, which is a reflection of the market’s muted response to the Greek election. We remain confident that we will see May’s highs just below €1.26 before long, though developments in Greece and Spain could have the final say about just how soon this will be.

Sterling is trading at $1.57, thanks to fears that the Fed is edging towards QE3. The current retracement in the EUR / USD pair is not something we see being sustained much past $1.28, which leaves upside potential from the current $1.2660 level as pretty limited.

Richard Driver is a Currency Market Analyst with Caxton FX and can be contacted via:

This brief is prepared by Caxton FX Ltd for information purposes only and may contain personal views that are not the opinion of the company. This is not an offer to purchase or sell any security or an investment advertisement. Caxton FX Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, although foreign exchange transactions with Caxton FX are regulated by HM Revenue and Customs. This email does not constitute advice for any foreign exchange transaction, nor is it intended as a solicitation for funds or recommendation to trade.

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