Market commentary: Greek debt talks stall

Greece continues to be in the spot light and not for the right reasons. Talks between Greece and the nation’s creditors stalled on Monday as no positive development was achieved.

Today, Greece is expected to formally submit a request to extend loan agreements. Even though Greece has been making most of the news items in the recent weeks, markets are not widely affected and this can be attributed to be as noise.

Although the Greece saga is a constant reminder of the 2012 saga, the scenario is somewhat different. Analysts assume that in the worst case scenario, the departure of Greece won’t lead to a complete breakdown of the Eurozone both because Europe is now stronger and also because the current QE programme as announced would somehow mitigate the effect. Greece leaving the Eurozone is not the most likely scenario, as there seems to be commitment from all parties that Greece should remain in the Eurozone.

Markets closed higher yesterday, partially on the news of the Greece but also on comments from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia who adds to a string of hawkish comments. President Plosser was quoted in saying that we are not close to a rate hike by the Fed. Later on today, we wait to receive the Fed Release minutes from Jan 27 – 28 FOMC meeting which should shed more light to the stance to be adopted by the Federal Reserve.

At the time of going to print, the Nikkei is trading higher taking on from the positive momentum in the US and European futures are indicating a higher open as investors speculate that Greece will eventually reach a compromise agreement on its bailout.

Today is date intensive as analysts focus their attention on receiving the UK employment figures and the minutes of its last monetary meeting from the Bank of England. Yesterday data showed that inflation for the UK is at its lowest levels.

Out of the US, we await for the January housing starts, building permits and the Producers Price Index. An important figure is also the capacity utilization print.

On the corporate front, Carlsberg, Peugeot and Credit Agricole were some of the companies reporting today. Peugeot reported its first annual profit in three years after the company affected a cost cutting exercise. Credit Agricole posted results that have beaten analysts’ estimates stemming from higher earnings at the investment banks and lower provisions for bad debts.

This article was issued by Mr. Darin Pace Treasury Manager at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt . The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri & Co. Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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