The Spanish government has this week officially announced the candidacy of Economy Minister Luis de Guindos for the Vice-Presidency of the ECB, substituting the Portuguese Vitor Constancio. De Guindos already tried to move to Brussels as a substitute for Dijsselbloem at the head of the Eurogroup. But the bet didn’t turn out well.
Spain’s government bond rating has been upgraded by Fitch to A- from Baa+, Greece has also seen the rating lifted by Standard &Poor’s, and the US once again experiences a shutdown of non-essential government operations. The biggest topic for the bond market, however, will be the press conference of the European Central Bank (ECB) scheduled for Thursday.
Analysts at Bankinter offer an investment strategy for the European banks ahead of the new year. Overall they reiterate their recommendation to maintain a structural position in banks due to the improvment in the quality of their balances and the recovery in business volumes.
US Fed chair Janet Yellen and ECB President Mario Draghi will both be speaking at the Jackson Hole conference later this week. They will be under close scrutiny from investors for any clues on future monetary policy decisions. Analysts believe the Fed should matter more than the ECB at this week’s event.
Pablo García Gómez (Carax Alphavalue) |Sector earnings from Europe for the second half of 2017 have been overall solid, with some positive surprises from “heavy cyclicals” like oil and metals and mining.
Tapering will come anyway, largely because of technical/ political constraints around QE. The ECB will still have to justify this with a macroeconomic narrative. This is what the ECB President has set out to do.However, experts at BoAML believe that what he said yesterday in Sintra central bankers summit is also consistent with a very slow exit.
The deadlines for the merger of Bankia and BMN will be accelerated once it has been confirmed there is no interest on the part of other investors. The tie-up is expected to be completed after the summer and will be the starting gun for the next round of sector consolidation.
The problem loans of the big banks directly under ECB supervision totalled close to 1 trillion euros at end-2015, although they declined to 921 billion in September 2016 (almost 9% of the euro area’s GDP), according to the data disclosed by Vítor Constâncio on February 3. But the problem is that this figure is not distributed homogeneously across the banks.
BoAML | The ECB has closed many doors in December. The 2015-16 strategy of monetary policy covering for fiscal loosening to facilitate structural reform has changed.We are back to national governments having to navigate through strained fiscal trajectories, leaving very little room for mistakes. Potential growth prospects are not great, not only in the periphery.
Governments do not want to acknowledge that a Central Bank does not have the ability to bolster the economy. Monetarism has not worked. The massive purchase of corporate bonds by the Central Banks has not worked. They have been left alone to face the problem and they have failed. The solution is to activate demand and Central Banks cannot do this.