While everyone likes to hate on Cyprus, it is Italy that is the focal point of today's European "omnishambles" that has seen the EURUSD tumble to a five month low as of this writing. First it was economic data that scared investors, with Industrial Sales and Orders tumbling far below expected, posting numbers of -1.3% and -1.4%, respectively, on expectations of an increase. Retail sales were just as ugly, declining by -0.5% in January, on expectations of an unchanged print, with the December 0.2% number revised also into negative territory.
LONDON: Government borrowing costs in Europe's indebted southern countries shot up on Monday as investors began to worry that a vote in Greece could see it become the first country to leave the euro currency bloc. Euro zone debt markets saw a glimpse of the contagion that spooked investors at the height of the debt crisis in 2012, but borrowing costs in Italy, Spain and Portugal were still less than half the levels seen back then.
LONDON: German 10-year borrowing costs resumed a fall towards zero on Monday, with worries about Greece exiting the euro zone increasing demand for top-rated assets and with the ECB's bond-buying programme quashes yields. Yields were vanishing across the euro zone. Belgium became the sixth euro zone country to sell five-year bonds at a negative yield after Finland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and France. Demand was 1.68 times the offer, despite the average yield being minus 0.056 per cent.
Marc Chandler submits:Spanish bonds have fallen each day this week. The 13 bp increase today brings the 10-year yield increase to 30 bp this week, easily the worst performing bond market within the euro zone. Portugal has the dubious honor of being in second place with a 19 bp yield increase. Pressure is also evident in the short end of the coupon curve. The 2-year yield is up 19 bp on the day and 32 bp on the week; again easily the word performer over the past five sessions.
After taking a one day breather, the "Trumpflation" Rally returned with a vengeance as global government bonds tumbled and the dollar rose on renewed speculation the economic outlook is strong enough to allow the Federal Reserve to hike in December (odds are now 94%). Asian shares rose, industrial metals and crude oil fell, European shares and US equity futures were pressured.
In an unexpected reversal of (mis)fortune, this morning Sentix writes that the Eurocrisis creeps back into the heads of the investors in a new way: it is no longer Greece, but Italy which is now the country that is most likely to leave the Eurozone within the year from the perspective of the more than 1,000 investors surveyed. "This development underscores the importance of the referendum to the Constitution in Italy on December, 4th."
A note sent out by analysts at Credit Suisse on Tuesday morning takes a look at yesterday's European business surveys, and explains that while Greece had its worst month ever, Italy powered ahead. Here's what CS economists Mirco Bulega and Sonali Punhani say:
European stocks halted two days of declines, with the Stoxx 600 fractionally in the green and Italy’s bonds climbing after Monte Paschi requested a bailout and Italy pledged to provide support for its other ailing lenders. S&P futures were little changed among extremely thin volumes while Chinese stocks dropped amid concerns on higher borrowing costs. Oil slid, while gold advanced; bitcoin soared to multi-year highs, rising above $900.
June has been a brutal month for bonds but particularly in the high-yield space, where issuance has cooled after a record run. Junk bond volume has slowed to $7.1 billion this month, the slowest pace since December 2011 and about one-fifth the average monthly total previously in 2013, according to Dealogic.