Anders Svendsen is a Chief Analyst with Nordea, covering the Euro area economy. He has over 10 years of experience in global financial markets, mainly covering economies and currencies in the burgeoning emerging markets arena.
Anders is currently very focussed on the debt crisis in the Euro area and its implications from an economic point of view as well as analysing the consequences for FX and fixed income markets.
We forecast EURCHF at 1.25 by year-end and at mid-2014, and 1.30 at end-2014 Recent CHF weakness reflects the general risk-on environment while also speculations about additional easing measures being imposed by the SNB It remains to be seen if …
With Fed appearing somewhat more inclined towards QE-tapering than previously signaled, we bring down our 3 month EURUSD forecast to 1.32. We also adjust our Brent Q2 forecast down to USD 105/bbl.
We now expect the ECB to keep rates unchanged at the current level until the beginning of 2015. Risks are clearly skewed towards another rate cut in the near term. Speculation in a deposit rate cut could take market rates to new lows in the near term and we have revised the market rates forecasts lower on all horizons. Lower EUR rates have implications for the EUR/USD forecast in the longer run, and we have decided to lower the end-2014.
The ECB cut its refi rate by 25 bp to 0.5% as most expected. With the interest rate cuts the ECB do seem to be delivering something when not being able to deliver what it actually wants to, ie support to SMEs. Still, Draghi also seems more open than previously to further easing steps even after today’s decision to cut interest rates, which will support risk appetite in financial markets.
The Euro-area flash estimate for inflation in April fell to 1.2%! This follows a reading of 1.7% in March and we have looked a bit deeper into a few questions: Temporary or permanent? Good news or bad? ECB reaction or not?
Markets have once again started pricing in some risk of a rate cut and a majority of analysts now expect a refi rate cut from the ECB already at the meeting this week. We stick to our call and find it most likely that the ECB will keep rates on hold and instead come up with new measures to support bank lending to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
We believe the ECB sees additional interest rate cuts beyond the current level as more or less ineffective. That is the reason, in our view, that interest rates were not cut already in December. However, key figures have surprised to the downside and we believe the ECB will have to act if the bank believes the economic outlook has weakened further or if it is unable to come up with an SME “support package” even if it believes the effect will be limited. An unchanged PMI reading today does not make a big difference in our opinion.
We have made a number of adjustments to our financial forecasts including US rates, EUR/USD, GBP, CHF, JPY and base metals. The big story is unchanged!
Draghi turned more dovish at today’s ECB press conference. Another rate cut has become more likely, but still depend on incoming data in the near term.
We expect no changes in key policy rates and no new non-standard measures from the ECB at Thursday’s meeting. Lots of questions about Cyprus, but Draghi will probably not give any answers. Market reaction could be slightly negative again.
Here are the usual financial forecast slides with our new financial forecasts published this this morning in Economic Outlook. We have changed our forecast for the Fed, the BoE, the SNB, Riksbanken, Euro rates, USD rates, EUR/USD, JPY, GBP, SEK, NOK, oil and the base metals.
A EUR 10bn bailout for Cyprus was agreed on Saturday. Today, the Cypriot parliament will have to pass the most controversial part of the bailout. In our view, the bailout does not change the overall picture for the Euro area here and now even if the final bailout terms include a haircut on deposits that was supposed to be insured. However, the current deal clearly increases the longer-term risks for the Euro area.
The ECB decided to keep interest rates unchanged at today’s meeting. Draghi’s statement was more or less unchanged in its wording compared with the statement a month ago. Draghi remains dovish but more weakness is needed to make the ECB cut rates.
We expect no changes in key policy rates and no new non-standard measures from the ECB at Thursday’s meeting. The new staff projections for growth and inflation will be roughly unchanged. There will be no help for Italy from the ECB.
The one thing that seems clear after the Italian election is that nothing is clear at all and uncertainty will linger on. As Bersani put it: Italy is in "a very delicate situation."
The UK was downgraded one notch by Moody’s from Aaa to Aa1 on Friday. Moody’s says the rating outlook is now stable. It is not a major surprise that the UK has been downgraded. Many expected the downgrade already last year and there were numerous rumours during last week. S&P and Fitch both have the UK on negative outlook and may follow soon.
The other bigger one-time repayment of ECB 3-year loans will take place next week, when the second 3-year LTRO will have its first repayment date. The repayment interest is likely to come below the EUR 137bn seen in the first operation. That said, as we have seen a notable correction lower in short interest rates since the first repayments, risks are tilted towards higher rates and a steeper money market curve ahead of Friday’s data.
Italian general elections, due 24-25 February, are nearing and hence we take the opportunity to sum up our views and add a scenario, where Berlusconi unexpectedly wins the lower house. The election is most likely to produce a favorable outcome …
This is a regular monthly update of our financial forecasts. See the summary below or the full report via the link. Markets have settled a bit since our 29 Jan update (Markets getting too far ahead of economies). Still, we …
The ECB left key policy rates unchanged as widely expected. Draghi struck an optimistic tone, but was maybe slightly more concerned about the LTRO repayments and EUR strength than most had expected.
I expect no change in rates, no new non-standard measures and no change in bias. Is the ECB concerned about large-scale LTRO repayments draining liquidity? Is the ECB concerned about the rise in short rates and strengthening of the EUR?
De finansielle markeder vil være præget af risikovillighed i den nærmeste fremtid. Men som følge af manglen på fundamentale forbedringer venter vi en korrektion i løbet af foråret.
Expectations of another ECB rate cut were taken out of the markets after the January ECB meeting when Draghi was perceived to be too upbeat on growth prospects to consider cutting interest rates again. Ironically, Draghi’s tone and the surprisingly large LTRO repayments may force the ECB to cut interest rates again!
Risk-on is likely to dominate in the very near-term but given the lack of fundamental improvements we expect to see a correction sometime during the spring.
David Cameron’s long awaited speech on the future of Britain in the EU was delivered today. The key message is that his government will campaign for a mandate to change the EU and Britain’s role in it in the 2015 elections and in exchange offer an in-or-out vote to the British people – probably in 2017, if everything goes according to plan.
In our view, the key questions are: 1.Who will repay and how much? 2.Will short rates move higher if a lot of LTRO loans are repaid? 3.Is it a good or a bad sign if a lot of LTRO loans are repaid? 4.Is there a case for an ECB response? 5.What will happen to German bonds?
The German statistics office said that the Q4 estimate was a 0.5% q/q contraction, making it the worst quarter since the disastrous 2009Q1.
We have only made minor changes to the financial forecasts this time: We have lifted our mid-year target for the EUR/USD to 1.25, made minor changes to the GBP forecast, lowered our 3M EUR/SEK forecast to 8.60 and we have postponed the first hike from Norges Bank to March 2014 and only expect two hikes in 2014.
The ECB decided to keep interest rates on hold today as most had expected. At the press conference, ECB President Draghi more or less repeated the statement from December, which in our view means that the door is wide open for more ECB easing, but it will require more economic weakness.
The next easing step from the ECB could be the introduction of a temporary price level target path.
Berlusconi announced on Monday that his party, the People of Freedom (PdL), had formed an electoral pact with Lega Nord. This move increases the risk of a hung government and, in turn, a weak government, exactly what Italy does not need.
I do not expect any action from the ECB at this Thursday’s meeting. There is still a risk that the refi rate will be cut, though, and, if not, the door will be kept wide open for future rate cuts.