Spain to sell bonds ahead of ECB meeting
By Michael Hewson (Senior Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK)
The economic data out of Europe this week has been nothing short of wretched with Spain and France being hit hard with manufacturing and services data particularly disappointing. The data also suggests that economic growth is likely to remain elusive for the remainder of 2012, and as such will make it doubly difficult for the respective economies to maintain any semblance of growth.
Despite the poor data the single currency has remained remarkably resilient, while Spanish yields have remained near their lowest levels of the past few weeks, in anticipation of possible action at today?s ECB rate meeting.
There had been some speculation that the ECB might well cut its headline rate further, however given recent comments by ECB council members, as well as this week?s rather elevated factory gate prices figure, this seems unlikely.
Markets are more likely to be more interested in what ECB President Draghi has to say about the OMT bond buying program, and whether he is prepared to elaborate on some of the details he first unveiled a month ago.
Spain continues to hold out against a bailout, perhaps apprehensive about further conditionality in addition to last week?s announced budget measures, and the country faces a key test today as it seeks to sell up to ?4bn of 2, 3 and 5 year bonds.
Given the reluctance of Spain to show its hand at this stage there is a possibility that demand might struggle in the face of the bailout uncertainty.
Also on the calendar just prior to the ECB rate meeting the Bank of England is set to announce its latest interest rate decision, however no fireworks are expected here despite this week?s less than impressive PMI numbers. The latest tranche of QE is set to run off this month so any further action is likely to happen at next month?s meeting when the Bank of England should have first sight of the initial Q3 GDP numbers, with expectations that the economy may well just about show some flickers of growth.
In the US after yesterday?s better than expected ADP numbers attention turns back to the latest weekly jobless claims numbers with predictions of a rise to 370k, up from last week?s surprise 359k figure.
Later on in the evening the minutes of the recent FOMC meeting are due to be published and these are likely to be interesting reading in light of the decision to embark on open-ended buying of mortgage back securities. We already know there was one dissenter amongst the voting members, but it will be of particular interest to know how much unanimity there was amongst the non-voting members with respect to this particular decision.
This could be particularly important given that there are only two more meetings left in 2012, and the make-up of the voting committee will change at the beginning of next year, and could become more hawkish.
EURUSD ? the euro continues to tread water below 1.2960 and last weeks highs at 1.2990, while finding support at the 200 day MA at 1.2825.
A break through 1.3000 targets the September highs at 1.3175 and bigger trend line resistance at 1.3185, from the 1.4940 highs.
A move and close below 1.2820 is needed to retarget the 1.2650 level with key trend line support from the 1.2045 lows now at 1.2700.
Only a move above 1.3240, targets 1.3495, the 50% retracement of the entire down move from 1.4940 to 1.2045.
GBPUSD ? yesterday?s break below 1.6100 trend line support from the August lows at 1.5490 has the potential to target a move towards 1.5915, 38.2% retracement of the up move from 1.5270.
Any pullbacks need to break above 1.6200 to retarget last week?s high at 1.6310.
It needs a move above resistance and last weeks high at 1.6310 to target a move towards 1.6590, last years August high.
EURGBP ? the euro continues to edge higher towards the 0.8050 area. A break above here retargets the September highs at 0.8115, and 200 day MA.
Any declines should find support at last week?s low at 0.7925, as well as trend line support from the 0.7755 lows at 0.7915, and 55 day MA.
USDJPY ? yesterday?s break through 78.20 brings a test of the trend line resistance at 78.90 from the 20 April highs at 81.80, into view, as well as the 200 day MA at 79.32.
Any weakness should find some support around 78.20 as well the 77.60 level.
The 200 day MA at 79.32 remains the main obstacle to a return towards the highs in August at 79.70.
Equity market calls
FTSE100 is expected to open 13 points higher at 5,839
DAX is expected to open 34 points higher at 7,356
CAC40 is expected to open 14 points higher at 3,420