Ahead of key eurogroup meeting, debt laden Greece paves the way for €7.5bn of bailout funds
As the markets end the week on a slightly more positive note, David Morrison, senior market strategist at Spreadco, said:
There’s a general feeling of relief that the US-led sell-off didn’t accelerate last night. Instead, all the major US stock indices managed to post modest gains despite earlier weakness. It may be too soon to sound the all-clear but so far investors are doing exactly what they’ve done for the past eight years: using any significant pull-back in equity markets as a buying opportunity.
But what will be of interest is to see if this bounce-back has the strength and conviction to push the indices back up towards or beyond recent record highs. Most of the trading gaps which formed after the first round of the French presidential election have now been filled.
With the overnight recovery on Wall Street after Wednesday’s slump and a relatively positive performance in Asia – the Nikkei 225 ended up 0.19% – European markets are also making a positive start to trading.
The FTSE 100 is up 24 points or 0.33% although pharmaceutical group Hikma is down 6% after cutting its revenue forecasts following a delay to a US drug launch. This takes its total fall this week to 10% so far.
The pound rose above $1.30 on Thursday for the first time since September, but it did not manage to hold that level. Konstantinos Anthis at ADS Securities said:
The pound has had a turbulent 24 hours. A rally through the 1.3000 level yesterday took it to 1.3050 but a few hours later it collapsed to 1.2900 and ended the day around 50 pips higher. The mini flash crash was not related to any particular data set, so the drop was probably down to a combinations of factors. Sterling has risen around 7.5% in value over the past 30 days so the drop may have been traders taking money off the table, or it could have been down to the launch of the Conservative manifesto and the words of Theresa May.
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Greece’s parliament has agreed to the latest austerity measures demanded by its creditors to unlock the next tranche of financial aid.
We deserve and we expect from Monday’s eurogroup a decision regulating debt relief which will correspond to the sacrifices of the Greek people.
The Eurogroup will be informed about the preliminary agreement reached on 2 May between Greece and the institutions (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund) on a new set of policy reforms in the context of Greece’s economic adjustment programme, financed by the European Stability Mechanism.
The agreement is one of the steps towards completing the ongoing second review of the programme and paving the way for the next disbursement of financial assistance to Greece by the European Stability Mechanism.
Buying the dip works well when the economic and political outlook appears to be positive, but given the uncertainty that surrounds Donald Trump you can see why we have only seen a small drop in the VIX. The scandal in Washington DC hasn’t gone away and neither has trader’s nerves. Going long too soon could prove to be costly.
A political scandal of this scale is going to stay hanging over Mr Trump for some time, and even if nothing comes of it in the end, it’s going to be a long and drawn out process. Having this story lingering away will be enough to unsettle traders.