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EU rescue fund remains in focus, markets calm

EU rescue fund remains in focus, markets calm

The EU summit to discuss the rescue fund kicked off on Friday. 

The trading session was quiet as dealers spent much of the day waiting to hear about the talks. It was a quiet day for European and US stocks.

Not much was achieved at the European meeting on Friday, and that wasn’t exactly a surprise. The €750 billion rescue package was at the centre of the talks, and the original proposal was that €500 billion would be allocated as grants, and that €250 billion be distributed as loans. The Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark, expressed opposition to €500 billion being allocated as grants without conditions. There were concerns that funds wouldn’t be used to tackle the health crisis. The countries in question, have been dubbed the ‘frugal four’, and they also called into question the size of the proposed grants, as they would prefer to see a higher percentage of loans.      

Talks continued over the weekend. In a bid to win over the ‘frugal four’ it was suggested that €400 billion be dished out as grants rather than €500 billion. It was reported The Netherlands and Austria are pushing for €390 billion in grants, and €360 billion in loans, but nothing has been agreed upon yet. Discussions will continue this afternoon. 

It was put forward that a ‘super emergency break’ be included in the package, meaning that any one government could question the use of the funds that are being deployed. Such a move would help ensure that the cash was been used for its appropriate purpose. The sooner the bloc can agree on the terms of the rescue the better for everyone, especially countries like Spain and Italy, which were hard hit by the health crisis, and are rely heavily on tourism.

Stocks in Asia are mixed as the CSI 300 is showing solid gains, the Nikkei 225 is flat, while the Hang Seng has turned positive.    

The US posted mixed data on Friday. Building permits for June were 1.24 million, and that was a small increase from the 1.22 million in the previous update. The housing starts reading was 1.18 million, which was a decent jump on the 1.01 million registered in May. The preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment was 73.2 in July, its lowest in three months. The heath situation deteriorated in recent weeks, and a number of states have paused the reopening of their economies. That is probably why consumer sentiment slipped.

The US dollar had a negative run last week and on Wednesday it fell to its lowest level in nearly one month. In the last few months the currency has been a popular flight to quality play, and conversely, when dealers have been in risk-on mode, it has typically suffered. Risk appetite has been a bigger factor in the dollar’s moves lately, than economic indicators.

Inflation in the eurozone ticked up in June to 0.3% from 0.1%, but the core reading cooled to 0.1% from 0.3%. The core reading is often deemed to be a better gauge of underlying demand as it removes commodity prices from the measurement. Last week, Christine Lagarde, the head of the ECB, said that inflation is expected to remain low. 

In the first week in July, gold hit is highest level since September 2011, but last week it traded sideways. The commodity has a track record of being a safe haven trade, but since the greenback has also become a popular risk-off trade, that has reduced gold’s volatility, due to their inverse relation relationship.

Oil lost a little ground last week as it was announced that OPEC+ will increase their output as of next month. In May, the group cut output by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) as a way of propping up the energy market. The ‘historic’ cut helped oil hit a three month high in June. Last week, it was announced the body would ease up on the production cuts to a reduction of 7.7 million bpd as of next month. The original agreement stipulated that production would be increase in August, and last week that was confirmed. It is worth nothing that oil hasn’t fallen that much from the three month high that was registered in June. By Friday’s close, WTI and Brent crude are only down 2.4% and 1.9% respectively from the June highs.      

At 7am (UK time) German PPI will be posted and economists are expecting it to rise from -2.2% in May to -1.6% in June. 

EUR/USD – since late June it has been in an uptrend, and if the positive move continues, 1.1495 should be on the radar. If it moves through that level, it could target 1.1570. A break below the 1.1168 area might pave the way for 1.1060, the 200-day moving average, to be targeted.

GBP/USD – has been trading sideways in the past few sessions. A move higher might run into resistance at 1.2698, the 200-day moving average. A move through that level should put 1.2813 on the radar. Should it move lower, it might find support at 1.2418, the 100 day moving average.

EUR/GBP – should the bullish move from late April continue, it could target 0.9239. A break below the 50-day moving average at 0.8983, could put the 0.8800 zone on the radar.

USD/JPY – has been drifting lower for over one month and support could come into play at 106.00. A rebound might run into resistance at 108.37, the 200-day moving average. 

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