Greece Day Could be Here, EUR-USD Rises in Anticipation

Posted On: Monday, February 20, 2012

There is still no final word, but it would appear that the long awaited second bailout for Greece is essentially in the books. European finance ministers continue to meet in Brussels as the final details are hammered out, including would appears to be a 70% loss for private sector creditors. The EUR-USD was solidly higher on expectations that Greece will get the funds it needs to avoid default at the upcoming March 20th 14.5 billion bond payment. However, it should be noted that even with the second bailout, Greece is forecast to have a debt-to-GDP of 129% by 2020, and most observers feel that another bailout will be necessary before all is said and done.

Nonetheless, European shares rose to a seven month high today. For anyone who is interested in the minutia related to the hoped for agreement, Reuters has a nice summary.

Today is President's Day in the U.S. and stock and bond markets are closed, though futures were up and running. U.S. stock index futures were higher by around .5%, indicating a positive open for tomorrow.

Also helping sentiment, overnight, China cut bank reserve requirements, lifting shares across Asia. China continues to gradually ease monetary conditions as the country's once hot property market cools, and European turmoil hits its export-driven economy.

The data calendar is light this week, though some attention will be given to flash Purchasing Manger's Index releases for China and the Euro area.

Precious metals benefitted from the Greek relief and monetary easing from China. Spot gold prices were up $15.36 at $1,739.55 per troy ounce. Spot silver prices were up $0.34 at $33.65 per troy ounce. The gold-silver ratio is at 51.69.

Commodities outside precious metals are broadly higher. WTI crude prices continue their relentless advance, up another $1.68 at $104.92 per barrel. It should be noted that January gasoline prices were the highest ever for that month. Bernanke's and the Fed's contention that inflation is contained may need a rethink before long. Copper futures were up $0.042 at $3.758 per pound.

Treasuries are closed in observance of President's day. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is at 2.0%. The USD is broadly lower. The EUR-USD is at 1.3241, up .77%.

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