Euro topping out in absence of Fed QE3 - Business Works
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Euro topping out in absence of Fed QE3

Richard Driver of Caxton FX The first three weeks of June were excellent for the euro, but the past three sessions have punishing been ones for the single currency. The Fed’s decision last Wednesday night not to pull the trigger on QE3, much to the disappointment of many market players, has seen the dollar strengthen significantly.

We also saw some awful economic data out of the eurozone at the end of last week. Monthly German manufacturing growth hit almost a three year-low, a German business climate survey hit a two-year low and growth data from the eurozone as a whole was distinctly poor as you might expect.

The Spanish Economy Minister has just formally requested a bailout to recapitalize its ailing banking sector, though the details as to the size of this bailout have not yet emerged. Unless funds well in excess of the €100bn bailout (which has been assumed) are offered, then market fears of an insufficient bailout are likely to persist. What we also do not know is whether the bailout will be granted via the Spanish government or whether the sovereign will be bypassed. The likelihood is that Spain will shoulder the loans, which will add to the country’s mounting debt. It is hard for the market to respond positively to this bailout, as it is just a liquidity solution; the fundamental issue of rising debt remains unaddressed. To add to the negative sentiment towards Spain, Moody’s is expected to downgrade Spain’s credit rating once again this week.

EU leaders meet at a summit at the end of this week to tackle issues relating to Greece, Spain, a banking union, Eurobonds and much more. The market has today demonstrated its lack of faith that any groundbreaking progress will emerge from the EU Summit, with the euro declining sharply, Spanish and Italian bond yields rising and global stocks tumbling. Market confidence is very much on the wane, which is all good news for the US dollar.

MPC minutes point to QE call in July

Last week’s MPC minutes provided a surprise in revealing a 5-4 split (against QE) in the vote on whether to introduce more QE in June, after a voting pattern of 8-1 against in May. Posen had made it clear that he had jumped ship from the dovish camp prematurely, so his QE vote was expected. However, the additional voting shifts from BoE Governor Mervyn King and Paul Fisher were a genuine surprise. In light of the surprise decline in UK inflation from 3.0% to 2.8% in May, as well as the overtly dovish language expressed in last week’s minutes, we fully expect the doves to gain a majority in the quest for more QE in July. This should not weigh on the pound though, as a July move is fully priced in.

End of week forecast
GBP / EUR 1.2475
GBP / USD 1.55
EUR / USD 1.2425
GBP / AUD 1.57

The week ahead brings familiarly high levels of risk, with Spain and Italy both having to auction off some debt. The EU Summit is the main event and the potential for disappointment is all too clear. Because of this, sterling is trading at €1.2450 – a strong rate, which could well get even better by the end of the week. With BoE monetary easing now fully expected next month, the downside risks posed by UK data releases look rather limited. As ever, EU leaders have the capacity to trigger a major relief rally for the euro, though we remain sceptical.

Sterling has lost ground to the US dollar in recent sessions, hurt by a significant shift down in the EUR / USD pair. GBP / USD is now trading below $1.56 and we expect to see the dollar strengthen further this week.

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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