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ECB: We need a QE shot (not 17 of them, JPMorgan)

MADRID | The Corner | It’s speculation day before the European Central Bank’s tomorrow meeting. Will a QE plan finally be announced? Experts at Santander bank think that, if announced too early, it could damage TLTROs. JP Morgan economists believe there is a 30% chance we’ll get a QE shot in 2014, 50% next year. And they’ve come with a proposal we find erratic: 17 different bond buying plans, one for each state member. That is exactly the opposite direction the EU needs to be heading to.

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Bundesbank: the economy has not changed direction

BERLIN | Alberto Lozano | After the strong performance of the German stock market yesterday, one of the hardest hit in recent weeks by the greater exposure of its companies to the Russian market, Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann expressed his confidence in the growth of the German economy and the euro area during the second half of the year after the paralysis of the second quarter. In fact, Bundesbank considers that the “accumulation of bad news” is responsible of the decline in the 2Q, what could change the spring forecasts, although the basic trend suggests a strengthening in the second half of the year. Moreover, the Bundesbank wanted to make clear that although “the sentiment has deteriorated from a high level, the fact that the trend for domestic demand continues basically high suggests the economy has not changed direction.”

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Is Germany’s growth losing momentum?

BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | After Q1’s strong growth, numbers show that the German economy has slowed down during 2Q’s first two months, as Bundesbank reported this week. Both the industrial sector and the construction have fallen compared with the 1Q.  However, it seems that Europe’s economic powerhouse will recover its strength in the coming months.


German budget consolidation under threat by its own Länder

BERLIN | Alberto Lozano | While German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble preaches public budget consolidation all around the Eurozone, some Länder don’t seem to be taking his prescriptions seriously. Their deficits continue to grow in 2014 and moving away from the zero deficit goal in 2020 as required by the country’s constitution. 


EU’s problem is not in Germany but in France

MADRID | The Corner | The rise of the far-right Front National will harm more the European project than any economic recipe imposed from Berlin. In the end, Germany is indeed setting hard conditions for the EU integration, but at least is favoring it, whereas France’s Marine Le Pen has a clearly anti European speech and intends to bring power back to the countries.

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Market chatter: Weidmann says ECB must closely watch euro

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | The most critical voice about the ECB’s doing something about the euro zone’s persistent low inflation, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, said on Monday that the ECB will watch the euro’s exchange rate closely before taking policy decisions. Also, AstraZeneca turned down the allegedly “last” bid offer from Pfizer, worth €8bn.

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Today’s market chatter: Bundesbank opening to QE and much more

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | After the WSJ reported that a Bundesbank source confirms the entity would support stimulus measures from the ECB in June, analysts breathed and started making their polls. How big will that support be?

Also, Madrid’s financial circles are debating on the decision of the government selling inflation-linked bonds next week for the first time. Inflation being at record low levels, the decision is not obviously opportunistic, experts commented. Spain wants to look for more public funding options, and this issuances that guarantee the purchasing power of  are usually carried out by France, Germany and Italy, as well as the US.

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Market chatter: bonds await ECB’s move

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | European sovereign bonds markets have put some champagne bottles on the fridge for next neek in the case the ECB decides to inject some stimulus on the euro zone at last. Without setting a precedent, president Mario Draghi and Bundesbank’s head Jens Weidmann seem to bring their positions over the mechanism closer. This change of direction led Spanish 10-years bonds to 2005’s minimum yields of 3.27% and was behind the successful issue of Italian public Treasury, which sold €2.5 bn at also very low prices. Just Greece’s bonds are trending downwards.


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Today’s market chatter in Spain

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | Spanish government plans to create a state firm to house the failed toll roads, which will issue a 30-year bond of around 2.3 billion euros to pay the motorways’ debt. Also, creditor banks will be forced to accept a 50 percent haircut. In this regard, analysts at ACF and Sabadell don’t expect a considerable harm on licensed building companies’ share price.