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This week's uproar over the ECB's purchases of Italian debt in May--or lack thereof--shows that monetary policy in the euro is never far removed from the political sphere.
The ECB kept its cool yesterday, at the headline level, amid crashing stock markets, volatile BTPs and souring economic data.
German 10-year yields have been trading according to a simple rule of thumb since 2017, namely, anything around 0.6% has been a buy, and 0.2%, or below, has been a sell.
Eurozone bond traders of a bearish persuasion are finding it difficult to make their mark ahead of Italy's parliamentary elections next weekend.
The Eurozone's external surplus rebounded over the summer, reversing its sharp decline at the start of Q3.
Today is a busy day in the Eurozone economic calendar, but we suspect that markets mainly will focus on the details of Italy's 2019 budget.
The EU Commission and Italy's government remain at loggerheads over the country's fiscal plans next year.
Last week's detailed Q3 GDP data in Germany verified that GDP fell 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, down from a 0.5% rise in Q2, a number which all but confirms the key story for the economy over the year as a whole.
In our Monitor May 15 we described the initial government program in Italy, drafted by the leadership of the Five-Star Movement and the League parties, as a "macroeconomic fairytale."
In yesterday's Monitor, we lamented the lack of growth in the French economy. The outlook is not much brighter in Italy. We think Italian GDP was unchanged quarter-on-quarter in Q4, slightly better than the -0.1% consensus but still very soft.
We suspect that today's ECB meeting will be a sideshow to the political chaos in the U.K., but that doesn't change the fact that the central bank's to-do list is long.
The broad strokes of yesterday's ECB meeting were in line with markets' expectations. The central bank left its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged, at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and maintained the same forward guidance.
The ECB will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively,
Poor Q3 GDP Data and Volatile BTPS Ahead...But Markets Already Have Priced-In A Lot Of Pain
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