Markets Set Sights on Greece as Debt Standoff Enters Eleventh Hour
- Traders Withhold Directional Conviction as Greece Debt Impasse Continues
- Euro Unlikely to Produce Strong Response to February Eurozone PMI Data
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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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|1:35||JPY||Markit/JMMA Manufacturing PMI (FEB P)||51.5||52.5||52.2|
|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|
|CCY||Supp 3||Supp 2||Supp 1||Pivot Point||Res 1||Res 2||Res 3|
--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com
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