ZURICH | By UBS analysts | Global investors have been big sellers of Europe ex-UK equities in September and also the last 12 weeks (Figure 1). And this doesn’t include the heavy sell-off in the last week. US Treasury data shows that US-based investors were net sellers of $14.3bn in June–the biggest month of selling since the collapse of Lehman’s in 2008. How far through the current correction are we? So far the European market is down 8% from its September peak–in-line with the average of 9.5% in Bull market corrections since 1975.
VIENNA | By Keith Weiner via Truman Factor | The European Central Bank again cut the interest rates it controls. Notably, the deposit rate was moved deeper into negative territory. It is now -0.2% (minus 20 basis points, that is not a typo). The ECB says it’s trying to nudge prices higher, but it’s actually feeding the cancer of falling interest. The linked article above, like most, is focused on the quantity of euros and the presumed direct relationship to price. The following bit of editorializing from that article is uncontroversial in Frankfurt, London, New York, Mumbai, or Shanghai.
MADRID | By Alberto Vigil at Barclays | The ABS purchases by the European Central Bank will not work basically because it is necessary for a regulatory change that does not penalise (in capital terms) either banks or insurance companies who have those securities. That is, if the ECB’s intention is to increase the amount of credit in the real economy, then it should have two specific goals: first, spreading the risk that banks assume when they provide credit; second, reducing banks’ costs of financing.
MADRID | The Corner | In August the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) fell in the euro area (by 1.5 points to 100.6) and the EU (by 1.2 points at 104.6). Once again the core Europe does not bring any good news, where sentiment dropped in Italy (by 4.1p to 97.8), Germany (by 1.9p to 104.1 ) and France (by 0.6p to 95.1), while sentiment remained flat in Spain (103.). Among the data published by the European Commission today, the industrial confidence fell in the EA to -5.3 in August from -3.8 in July and construction sentiment dropped to -28.4 from -28.2. Sentiment in the services industry declined to 3.1 from 3.6 and retail trade to -4.6 from -2.3. Consumer confidence remained at -10.
MADRID | The Corner | The expectation that the ECB will finally announce a QE program after Draghi’s words at Jackson Hole and the confirmation that the ECB would have hired Blackrock for advice on launching a ABS program continue to nurture the Eurozone bond rally and thereby the credit one. Yesterday many bond markets in Europe returned to record lows with improvements in 10 years of 3bp (Germany), 2.5bp (Spain) and 2bp (Italy).
MADRID | By Francisco López | Are there reasons for such optimism after Draghi’s words in Jackson Hole? Yes, but only if Draghi dares to execute a program of sovereign debt purchases immediately. It happens that not all experts are clear that it will be the case. Especially, because the package of measures adopted by the ECB in June has still not been implemented: two TLTROs auctions and the Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) program. Would it not be better to wait to check the effects of these measures?
MADRID | The Corner | Peripheral equities and bonds have been strongly favored by Draghi’s speech last Friday at Jackson Hole with intense improvements in sovereign credits from Portugal, Spain and Italy, which have reached record lows. In particular, Spain’s 10-year bonds yields are at 2.12% under the 2.38% of comparable U.S. Treasuries and especially today the Spanish Treasury has reduced sharply the interest rates of three- and nine-months bills in an auction of € 3,500 million at historical lows, without entering in negative territory like on the secondary market. Nevertheless, UBS strategists are starting to change their bullish view on peripheral Europe basing on market and fundamental arguments.
BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | As problem loan formation slows and credit costs ease, Spanish banks should perform better than Italians and Portuguese over the remainder of 2014 and through 2015 according to Moody’s.
MADRID | By J. J. Figares (LINK) | On Wednesday, the minutes of the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England (BoE) were published. Although 9 of its members voted to retain unchanged its program of asset purchases in secondary markets, 2 of them, Ian McCafferty and Martin Weal, they voted against the proposal to keep interest rates reference at the current level of 0.5% and advocated to increase them by a quarter percentage point.
MADRID | By J. J. Fdez-Figares (LINK) | Stock markets face today a new week in which geopolitical conflicts, especially in Ukraine, and macroeconomic data that will be announced during the day will monopolize the attention of investors. Although we expect trading volumes remain low, typical of summer dates, we do expect a slight rise in volatility, especially given the current stage of confusion, both in the geopolitical and economic environment that financial markets are facing.