Sell Risk Trades On Rallies

It seems that every time there is a bounce in risk appetite it quickly dissipates as worries about growth, fiscal deficits, sovereign debt, etc, return to dent sentiment. This was again the case overnight as markets sold off late in the US session, with an early bounce in sentiment proving too fragile to last. This pattern of trading is set to persist for a long while yet, with the overall tone of selling risk trades on rallies remaining in place.

Fears over a double dip global recession have increased since the release of Friday’s disappointing US jobs report even if it is too early to pass judgment based on the basis of one month’s data. Coupled with worries about slowing growth momentum in China, hopes that slower growth in the eurozone could be counterbalanced by firm growth elsewhere are being dashed. The problem is that despite a strong quarter of growth for most economies in Q2 2010 the outlook for the second half of the year is far more uncertain.

European Union officials sought to calm worries about the potential for renewed fiscal crises in the future by agreeing to monitor national budgets more closely and at an earlier stage whilst introducing a wider range of sanctions on excessive deficits. Unfortunately this is akin to the idiom about closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. The steps aren’t going to help resolve the current crisis. Evidence of implementation, execution and results on the deficit cutting front will help however, but this is a process that will take months rather than days or weeks.

A couple of factors may have prevented the EUR from extending losses overnight. 1) Germany announced EUR 80 billion in spending cuts along with 15,000 public sector job cuts. Germany also is pushing for a financial transactions tax on tap of the bank levy. 2) European finance ministers finalised details of the EUR 440 bn Financial Stability Facility which aims to sell AAA rated bonds to make loans to eurozone countries. The only question is the approval process. The statement on the funds operations only said that “national legal procedures to participate in the facility are well on track”. EUR/USD is likely to range between 1.1826 and 1.2110 over the short-term.

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