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Markets Set Sights on Greece as Debt Standoff Enters Eleventh Hour

Markets Set Sights on Greece as Debt Standoff Enters Eleventh Hour

2015-02-20 06:11:00
Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC
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Talking Points:

  • Traders Withhold Directional Conviction as Greece Debt Impasse Continues
  • Euro Unlikely to Produce Strong Response to February Eurozone PMI Data
  • See Economic Releases Directly on Your Charts with the DailyFX News App

Currency markets were little-changed in the overnight session as traders withheld directional conviction pending an update on the stalemate between Greek and Eurozone officials. The administration in Athens appeared to finally back down from its prior refusal to extend its EU/IMF bailout earlier in the day but Germany refused the overture, saying Greece’s offer leaves too much room for a backslide on existing commitments.

Eurozone finance ministers (the so-called “Eurogroup”) are set to convene for another emergency meeting today in a last-ditch attempt to strike a bargain. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Greece has until the end of this week to work out an accord after a similar sit-down on Monday. If previous Eurozone debt negotiations are instructive, that means the coming 24-48 hours represent that critical window when brinksmanship gives way to compromise.

The markets seem to be holding out for just that, but the sanguine mood is sure to give way to panic if investors’ optimism proves misplaced. Although unlikely considering both sides’ inherent interest in a deal, such a scenario remains an uncomfortably acute possibility. This means price action is likely to remain constrained for the time being until the fog clears and a clear-cut outcome – whatever that ultimately is – emerges.

On the data front, the preliminary set of February’s Eurozone PMI figures headlines the docket. The region-wide Composite index is expected to show that manufacturing- and service-sector growth cautiously accelerated for a third consecutive month. The outcome is unlikely to yield a meaningful response from the Euro however considering its limited impact on the ECB policy outlook as it prepares to launch QE in March. Needless to say, Greek-inspired uncertainty will likewise limit follow-through.

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Asia Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

1:35

JPY

Markit/JMMA Manufacturing PMI (FEB P)

51.5

52.5

52.2

European Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

7:00

EUR

German PPI (MoM) (JAN)

-0.4%

-0.7%

Medium

7:00

EUR

German PPI (YoY) (JAN)

-2.0%

-1.7%

Medium

8:00

EUR

Markit France Composite PMI (FEB P)

49.8

49.3

Low

8:00

EUR

Markit France Service PMI (FEB P)

49.9

49.4

Low

8:00

EUR

Markit France Mfg PMI (FEB P)

49.6

49.2

Low

8:30

EUR

Markit Germany Composite PMI (FEB P)

54.0

53.5

Medium

8:30

EUR

Markit Germany Service PMI (FEB P)

54.4

54.0

Medium

8:30

EUR

Markit Germany Mfg PMI (FEB P)

51.5

51.0

Medium

9:00

EUR

Markit Eurozone Composite PMI (FEB P)

53.0

52.6

Medium

9:00

EUR

Markit Eurozone Services PMI (FEB P)

53.0

52.7

Medium

9:00

EUR

Markit Eurozone Mfg Index PMI (FEB P)

51.5

51.0

Medium

9:30

GBP

Retail Sales ex Auto (MoM) (JAN)

-0.3%

0.2%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Retail Sales ex Auto (YoY) (JAN)

5.9%

4.2%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Retail Sales incl Auto (MoM) (JAN)

-0.2%

0.4%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Retail Sales incl Auto (YoY) (JAN)

5.9%

4.3%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Public Finances (JAN)

-

21.4B

Low

9:30

GBP

Central Government (JAN)

-

23.7B

Low

9:30

GBP

Public Sector Net Borrowing (JAN)

-9.3B

12.5B

Low

9:30

GBP

PNSB ex Banking Groups (JAN)

-9.0B

13.1B

Low

14:00

EUR

Eurogroup Emergency Meeting on Greece

-

-

High

Critical Levels

CCY

Supp 3

Supp 2

Supp 1

Pivot Point

Res 1

Res 2

Res 3

EURUSD

1.1203

1.1297

1.1333

1.1391

1.1427

1.1485

1.1579

GBPUSD

1.5306

1.5367

1.5391

1.5428

1.5452

1.5489

1.5550

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com

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