hat a difference a couple of days, some central bank chatter and some mixed economic data can make to markets, as stocks suddenly recover their mojo.
Some have said that yesterday's adjustment lower in US Q1 GDP has spiked the guns of the tapering debate, but this data is three months old, while the most recent US economic data has been much better. Besides, the continued rebound in the US dollar and the collapse in the gold price rather give the lie to that belief.
The key question today is whether we can build on the last two days of gains and early indications suggest we could get off to a good start with European markets looking for a positive start this morning, after last night's positive US finish, as well as an agreement by EU finance ministers agreed on a framework for future bank rescues and bail-ins. The Dutch finance minister Dijsselbloem heralded the deal as a major shift saying that it means that throughout Europe a single set of rules will apply with respect to paying the bill, with the taxpayer the last in line.
Given this agreement the banks could well be in focus on the market open.
Yesterday's sharp jump in German consumer confidence to a six year high got the ball rolling nicely and today's German June unemployment numbers are expected to point to continued optimism about the German economy, even if the rest of Europe continues to remain weak. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 6.9% and an increase of 8k.
Part of yesterday's rally can also be attributed by comments from ECB President Draghi that there would be no early exit from the ECB's accommodative policies, and this helped dragged bond yields in the troubled European periphery lower after their recent moves higher. This is just as well given we have an Italian 10 year bond auction today. Even so the auction is likely to fetch much higher yields than the previous one which came in at 4.14%. 10 year yields closed last night at 4.7%, still down 15 basis points on the day.
While the early focus is likely to be on that, the latest EU Economic summit is also due to get under way with the main focus likely to be on the problem of spiralling youth unemployment as well as underemployment and the lack of growth. It's hard to be optimistic that anything tangible that would make a dent in the problem is likely to be forthcoming, but we can live in hope. The EU budget debate is likely to get thrown in for good measure as well.
Here in the UK in the wake of yesterday's spending review the final iteration of UK Q1 GDP is likely to come in unchanged at 0.3%
In the wake of yesterday's tapered US Q1 GDP number, attention is likely to shift to the latest weekly jobless claims after a surprise jump last week to 354k, with expectations of a figure of 345k. Personal income and spending for May are also expected to show modest increases of 0.2%, while pending home sales are expected to rise 1%.
Markets are also likely to pay particular attention to Fed President Dudley who is one of the more dovish members of the FOMC for any further steers on Bernanke's comments last week, when he makes a speech this afternoon.
Stocks in focus today include energy services firm Wood Group, who are scheduled to provide a trading update before the open. An interim management statement from Debenhams may shed further light on the improvement in UK retail conditions over the past quarter, and online betting exchange Betfair will announce preliminary earnings with the stock trading up 20% year-to-date.
In afternoon trade Nike will publish quarterly earnings data, whilst jobless claims numbers may be the deciding factor for equity market momentum with the number hitting the tapes at 13:30.
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