Political Worries Undermining Euro, Spanish Stocks
- The Euro and Spanish stocks are falling in London Monday as European political concerns mount.
- The risks to holding the currency are rising and further losses seem likely.
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A combination of political concerns in Spain, Austria and Germany is weakening the Euro Monday as traders shun the currency, making further losses likely.
In Spain, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont failed to clarify Monday whether or not he has declared independence for Catalonia. He called for talks with the central government in Madrid but Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy seems likely to rebuff him and take central control of the region.
In Austria, Conservative leader Sebastian Kurz failed to win a majority in Sunday’s parliamentary elections and is now likely to enter coalition talks with the far-right Freedom Party. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU was defeated in elections in the Lower Saxony region Sunday, complicating her attempts to form a national coalition government.
In response, the IBEX 35 index of Spanish stocks is down 0.6% in early trading, the difference in yields between 10-year Spanish and German government bonds widened and the Euro is weaker for the fourth successive session.
Chart: EUR/USD 30-Minute Timeframe (October 12 – 16, 2017)
Politics aside, there was modest support for the Euro from a report that the European Central Bank, which currently buys €60 billion per month through its asset-purchase program, is considering cutting that to €30 billion. A Bloomberg report Friday said the ECB is thinking of reducing the program by at least half from January, extending it to September with a proviso to do more if needed.
Meanwhile, data showed a fall in the Euro-Zone trade surplus in August to €16.1 billion from €23.2 billion the month before. A small rise had been predicted.
--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor
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