Mitul is the author of Chronology of a Crisis.
There are plenty of events and data to digest on both sides of the pond this week. In Europe, Cyprus’ bailout will be a key focus. The decision to ‘bail in’ in bank depositors aimed at raising EUR 5.8 billion by imposing a levy on deposits will be voted on today in Cyprus. While the EUR 10 billion bailout is small change compared to other Eurozone bailouts the deposit levy could have wide ranging repercussions on Eurozone bank deposits in other peripheral countries despite Cyprus’ case being labelled as “unique”.
Meanwhile, politics in Italy remains unpredictable, with discussions tomorrow between the President and political parties to try and form a government. There is little to suggest a deal is in the offing with the risk skewed towards protracted negotiations and fresh elections.
Data in the Eurozone is expected to a little more encouraging, with gains in Eurozone manufacturing confidence (albeit still in contraction territory), German ZEW investor confidence and IFO business confidence surveys likely. Also of note this week is the Bank of England MPC minutes and UK 2013 Budget and in particularly any change to the BoE’s mandate contained within the budget.
Markets likely to tread water ahead of Fed FOMC outcome. While no change to the USD 85 billion asset purchase program is likely the Fed may actually revise slightly lower their near term growth forecasts due mainly to fiscal policy developments despite recent encouraging data. It seems unlikely that the Fed will hint at any tapering off of QE but nonetheless, it will be difficult for the Fed to ignore recent positive data. On the data front, housing data in the form of housing starts and existing home sales will reinforce evidence of recovery in the housing market.
The EUR has already come under pressure as a result of Cyprus concerns and will struggle to reverse its losses. EUR/USD 1.2876 will offer some support in the near term and the fact that the speculative market has been short EUR over recent weeks may also limit some of the downside pressure. Nonetheless, any gains are likely to be sold into.
GBP/USD is also set to retrace lower, especially if the MPC minutes reveal a more dovish bias and/or any new mandate for the BoE is perceived to enable more policy easing. All of this leaves the USD in good form, with the USD index setting its sights on the psychologically important 83.00 level.
About Mitul Kotecha
I have worked in the financial industry as a strategist/economist for over 18-years in several corporate and investment banks in London. I have covered a range of financial products including bonds, interest rates, equities and foreign exchange.
I am currently working in Hong Kong for Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, where I am the head of global currency strategy, in charge of a team of analysts providing research and strategy for the bank’s clients and internal trading and sales teams.
I hold an honours degree in economics and a masters degree in economics and finance and have developed a comprehensive knowledge of economic and financial theory during my studies and in my employment.
I am regularly consulted by the press/media for my views on markets and economies appearing regularly on business channels such as CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Channel News Asia, and Reuters TV. I am also regularly quoted in various newspapers including the Financial Times and Wall St. Journal as well as various newswires including Reuters, Bloomberg, Associated Press, Dow Jones and many others.