ith the big EU summit on Greece only a few hours away now (6:30 pm CEDT, 12:30 pm EDT), we’re seeing a clear flow of capital out of Europe and into defensive havens. USD and JPY are the twin kings of the hill today outperforming all other currencies. CHF and gold are running even in second place. Although gold is down against USD today, it's up against EUR.
With patience on all sides wearing thin, and Greek banks apparently running out of cash, today could be the day that sends the EU on a course toward solidifying the union or breaking apart. Greece is expected to introduce a new proposal following Sunday’s clear rejection of previous offers but they could still get a frosty reception. While indications and reports suggest France could be interested in making a deal, Germany doesn’t seem to have changed its stance at all and smaller countries like Finland and Slovakia who have implemented their own reforms don’t appear to be too interested in giving much ground.
With several larger countries like Spain and Italy still struggling, the decisions made over the next day or so on whether to do what it takes to keep Greece and other weaker members in the Eurozone or to cut them loose and pave the way for others to follow could have long-term and far reaching ramifications that could play out over the next several years.
Ahead of the meeting, European indices are in retreat once again although the pace of declines has slowed for now. EUR also remains under pressure as capital flees the region, dragging NOK and SEK down with it. Even GBP has been unable to withstand growing concerns about Europe today.
Europe isn't the only area that’s volatile today. Despite more moves from the government to limit trading in index futures and some of the most volatile stocks, indices in Hong Kong and Shanghai continued to decline overnight in the great unwinding of their spring rally. Concerns that the stock market crash could destabilize the wider economy continue to impact commodities, particularly copper.
Crude oil has stabilized at a lower level on some bargain hunting following yesterday’s plunges for WTI and Brent. It looks like the deadline for Iran may get extended again as talks continue. Apparently there is a Thursday deadline for a shorter US congressional review so the pressure remains on both sides to get something done soon.
With all the focus on Greece and China, corporate news has been forgotten it seems but traders should note that after the US close tonight Alcoa kicks off quarterly earnings season.
There have been no major corporate announcements this morning
Significant announcements released overnight include:
Australia RBA interest rate 2.00% no change as expected
Canada trade balance ($3.34B) vs street ($2.5B)
US trade balance ($41.8B) vs street ($42.7B)
UK industrial production 2.1% vs street 1.6%
UK manufacturing production 1.0% vs street 1.8%
Germany industrial production 2.1% vs street 2.6%
Norway industrial production 4.2% vs previous (3.4%)
NZ NZIER business opinion 5 vs previous 23
Australia construction PMI 46.4 vs previous 47.8
Upcoming significant announcements include:
3:00 pm BST UK NIESR GDP estimate previous 0.6%
12:30 pm EDT EU Summit on Greece starts
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