Spanish debt concerns drive GBP / EUR even higher - Business Works
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Spanish debt concerns drive GBP / EUR even higher

Richard Driver of Caxton FX Spanish 10-year bond yields are up at 7.50% today, which represents yet another fresh euro-era high. One of Spain’s largest regional governments, Valencia, has requested financial help from the central government and there are plenty of indications that more regions will follow suit. This has triggered widespread fears that the Spanish sovereign itself will need a formal bailout, in addition to the bailout that was signed off for the country’s banks on Friday. In addition, the Bank of Spain has said today that the country’s economy shrunk by 0.4% in Q2, in addition to its 0.3% contraction in Q1.

Greece is also back in the headlines this week. Reports have emerged that the IMF may not contribute to the next aid tranche that the country needs by September to avoid insolvency. The IMF, along with the rest of the Troika, will be in Greece this week assessing the country’s spending cuts and reforms. The Troika seems highly likely to give a negative assessment of Greek progress.

On top of these debt–related issues, the week ahead presents plenty of risks for the euro in terms of economic data. Today’s set of eurozone, German and French PMI growth figures were disappointing, almost entirely reflecting contraction territory. Wednesday brings a key German business climate survey, which is expected to hit a fresh-two year low. All of this negative eurozone data is likely to increase speculation as to another interest rate cut from the ECB early next month.

MPC minutes do little to hurt the pound

The MPC’s meeting minutes revealed a 7-2 vote in favour of the July quantitative easing decision, which is no great surprise in light of poor UK growth data, weak domestic inflation and rising risks from the eurozone. Sterling has actually weathered the recent domestic quantitative easing storm very well and we are not expecting another dose of QE in the next few months, if at all (provided a rapid deterioration in eurozone conditions can be avoided). An interest rate cut was discussed at the MPC’s last meeting, but we expect this will be the committees’ last resort and we are not expecting this will be utilized this year.

The week ahead brings the preliminary UK GDP figure for the second quarter of the year. Consensus expectations are of a 0.2% contraction and whilst an undershoot of this estimate would likely apply some short-term pressure on sterling, we still take a positive view of sterling moving forward, as we do of all safer-currencies.

The week ahead also brings the advance US GDP figure for the second quarter. A further slowdown is expected, though until the Fed makes some clear signals as to QE3, the dollar should remain on the offensive.

End of week forecast
GBP / EUR 1.2925
GBP / USD 1.54
EUR / USD 1.1920
GBP / AUD 1.5200

GBP / EUR posted fresh 3½ year highs up towards €1.29 over the weekend and while the pair is trading only marginally above the €1.28 level at present, we expect new highs to be reached soon. €1.30 has come into view quicker than we expected and is now a realistic target in the coming fortnight. Heavy losses in the EUR / USD, which itself it trading at more than a two-year low below $1.21, have taken their toll on GBP / USD. Sterling has given back two cents to the dollar since last Friday and is currently trading at $1.55. We expect this pair to revisit the $1.54 level in the coming sessions. Soaring peripheral bond yields should ensure global stocks remain under pressure, which is likely to pave the way for further dollar gains.

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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