Skip navigation Scroll to top

Scroll to top

Currency Monitor 2012-05-23

May 23, 2012

The EUR is again approaching 2012 lows after former PM Papademos said preparations were being considered for Greece to exit the currency bloc as data show Greek banks suffering from deposit flight, with 18 billion of funding planned to plug the gap. That added to negative sentiment from the OECD lowering growth forecasts to predict a contraction in Europe, with the risk of a "severe recession." It said the ECB should ease monetary policy and restore the bond-buying programme to cap yields and that it was in favour of centrally issued Eurobonds. The report adds pressure to today's Merkel-Hollande meeting, which may do little more than provide the framework for June talks on growth policies amid a stand-off on debt reduction. A report the EU will sanction "Project Bonds" for infrastructure may be a forerunner for Eurobonds, while talk of recapitalizing the EIB is another way to boost fiscal spending without increasing sovereign debt levels. The GBP weakened as the IMF had similar advice for the UK, suggesting both fiscal and monetary stimulus to support the economy. The Yen retreated back to 80 after Fitch downgraded Japan two notches to A- with a negative outlook. To sustain the move, we will probably need to see some further easing from the BOJ meeting today, or at least a commitment to do more to reverse deflation. That again left the U.S. as the bestlooking market, be it stocks, bonds or the Dollar, with housing data showing signs of life and a regional Fed report for April citing "further improvement in economic activity." The OECD also said it expected the U.S. economy to continue to strengthen, with the caveat of risks to 2013 growth from potential tax increases and spending cuts.