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Greek debt talks fail as Eurogroup stonewalls new government

Share Markets:

European markets were softer overnight as talks between the new Greek government and its creditors failed to reach agreement on adjustments to the terms of Greece's bailout.

US markets were closed for its Presidents' Day public holiday. In Europe, the FTSE100 fell 0.2%, the Dax was down 0.4% as was the Euro Stoxx index.

Interest Rates: 

The US treasury market was closed but the futures market did trade.

Implied yields on US 10 year government bonds fell 4 basis points as safe-haven demand for bonds lifted in the face of the impasse over the Greek debt situation.

Australian 10 and 3 year government bond yields edged higher with 3 year yields at 1.87%.

Foreign Exchange:

The USD index pushed higher overnight mostly at the expense of the euro. 

The yen drifted marginally higher against the USD while the AUD was marginally weaker against the USD.

Japan's GDP was a relatively firm but below consensus (see below) while the Eurozone remains troubled by the Greek debt situation.

Commodities:

A quiet night for gold and copper with only marginal gains.

Oil, however, lifted in Europe with Brent oil up as much a 1.7% overnight on further speculation regarding the slowdown in US drilling. Iron ore rose 3.3% on expectations of Chinese restocking after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Australia:

New car sales fell 1.5% in January, partially erasing December's 2.6% rebound.

New motor vehicle sales have declined in three out of the past four months. Over the year to January, new motor vehicle sales rose 0.2%.

Europe:

Talks between the new Greek government and its creditors failed to reach agreement on adjustments to the terms of Greece's bailout.

The Greek government faces the possibility of running out of funds by the end of February.

Greek officials labelled the Eurogroup's proposals for the country to observe its existing bailout commitments as "absurd" and "unacceptable".

The Eurozone trade balance rose in January, from a seasonally adjusted surplus of €20bn to €23.3bn. However, it was imports falling at a faster pace than exports which produced the result.

Exports are not, as yet, benefitting from the weaker euro.

Japan:

GDP growth was below consensus expectations, rising 0.6% in Q4, compared to expectations for a 0.9% increase.

This followed declines in the previous two quarters as the economy struggled following a sales tax increase. Yesterday's data indicates that Japan is no longer in recession.

For the year to Q4, Japanese GDP declined 0.5%. Business spending edged up 0.1% in Q4, while private consumption rose 0.3% and exports surged 2.7%, although imports also lifted.

Industrial production rose 0.8% in December and is up 0.1% for the year to December.

New Zealand:

Retail sales volumes were stronger than expected, rising 1.7% in Q4, following an upwardly revised increase of 1.6% in Q3 (previously reported as a 1.5% increase). This was the largest increase since Q2 2012.

United Kingdom:

No major data released.

United States:

The US celebrated Presidents' Day with a public holiday.

Topics:  debt economics greece st george


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