While EU foreign ministers
did manage to agree to pursue the prospect of further measures, or tier three sanctions, in the event Russia failed to co-operate in the future, they failed to agree on any additional measures to the ones already agreed
prior to the downing of MH17 last Thursday.
In reality the outcome of yesterday's EU meeting wasn't entirely unpredictable
as yesterday's stock market rally will testify, but the reluctance of France and Germany to look beyond narrow economic considerations, to put further economic pressure on Russia, has highlighted the difficulties of delivering any sort of coherent EU foreign policy when countries put narrow self-interest ahead of a long term foreign policy strategy.
Time will tell whether the prospect of tier three sanctions, in the event of further non-co-operation, will have the desired effect
on how Putin deals with Ukraine, but it remains likely that there will be further twists and turns along this particular road, which will test the cohesion of any form of future united EU response.
US markets once again retested their previous highs yesterday
while it was the S&P500's turn to post a new all-time high, after the latest US CPI inflation numbers came in broadly in line with expectations. This had the effect of supporting the views of various Federal Reserve members that inflationary pressures continued to remain fairly benign, ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting.
That said, despite yesterday's strong rebound in Europe we look set to start on the back foot this morning after a slightly negative reaction
to the latest earnings announcements from Microsoft and Apple, after the bell last night.
The main focus today is once again set to be on the UK with the release of the latest Bank of England minutes
. The recent mixed messages from UK policymakers about the likelihood of a rate rise this year has generated a lot of unnecessary heat to a debate about the timing of such a measure.
This has invited some speculation that we may have got some dissent at the most recent Bank of England meeting about the timing of a possible tightening of policy.
The tone of the debate is likely to be of more interest to the markets that any change in voting patterns.
It would be surprising if the voting patterns did change from the 9-0-0, but any signs of a shift in thinking with respect to the amount of spare capacity in the economy could well be considered hawkish.
It will be particularly interesting to see if the debate has moved on from this line in the June minutes
"for some members, the policy decision had become more balanced in the past couple of months than earlier in the year".
Whatever comes out from these minutes the recent widening of the gap between inflation and average earnings is likely to make the discussions from this months meeting rather dated
, given that the key takeaway from the June minutes was that until inflation started to drive wages up the Bank was prepared to sit on the sidelines. As we all know, last week that gap widened further in inflations favour.
– the euro continues to look weak pushing below the 1.3500 level and breaking below the lows this year at 1.3477. This failing momentum suggests we could well see a slow drift lower towards 1.3300, and the November lows. A move back through 1.3570 is required for a retest of 1.3640.
– continues to find support just above last weeks lows at 1.7035/40 and could well easily retest the highs last week just below 1.7200. Only a move back through 1.7030 would argue for a deeper move towards 1.6910. A move through 1.7200 argues for further gains towards 1.7330. 1.7330 is the 50% retracement of the decline from the 2007 highs at 2.1160 and the lows at 1.3500 in 2009.
– is slowly drifting back towards support at 0.7885/90, as the pressure for a move towards 0.7780 continues to weigh on the downside. We need to see a break through 0.7960 for some signs of stabilisation. The pressure remains towards the downside and 0.7780, while below the highs last week at 0.7980 while we also have trend line resistance from the March highs, at the 0.8000 area.
– the pressure appears to be building up on the downside and a move towards 100.60 while below the 101.80 level. It would take a move through 101 80 to target the range highs just below 103.00.
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