There was limited respite for markets in yesterday’s thin market trading, with any bounce in risk appetite sold into quickly. This is exactly the pattern of trading that is likely to take place over coming weeks as Greece remains in the spotlight while Spanish banking woes garner more attention.
Taken together with rising global growth worries (note the Baltic Dry Index is turning over again) suggests that it will be very difficult for markets to drag themselves out the quagmire. The lack of major data releases today, with only German inflation and US consumer confidence of note, suggests that there will be little for markets to take their minds off the Eurozone debt crisis.
EUR/USD hit a high around 1.2625 helped no doubt by the fact that positioning was at record short levels. However, the bounce was quickly sold into leaving the EUR vulnerable to a drop below 1.2500 today. A renewed sell off in Spanish debt as banking sector concerns intensify dented any positive impact from weekend polls in Greece showing more support for pro bailout parties.
There is little on the data front today aside from German CPI leaving markets to continue to ponder on peripheral country woes. “Grexit’ fears have by no means been quelled as the reduction in bank deposits continues to show. EUR/USD will struggle to make any headway against this background, with further probing below 1.2500 likely in coming days.
The job of the Swiss National Bank has become increasingly tougher. Speculation of a ‘Grexit’ and continued flight of capital from Greece as well as other peripheral countries means that there is more prospect of upside for the CHF than downside versus EUR. The EUR/CHF 1.2000 floor has not deterred investors from parking such capital in CHF much to the chagrin of the SNB which has even warned about implementing capital restrictions.
Elevated risk aversion means that inflows of capital to Switzerland from the Eurozone periphery will persist. As a result EUR/CHF looks set to trade around the 1.2000 floor for some time to come, with the risk that the SNB has to increasingly buy EUR to protect the floor.