Global Investing and the European Enigma

Equity investors are struggling to figure out how to approach the European enigma. It’s clear that a recovery is brewing, but there’s still too much uncertainty for comfort. In our view, distinguishing the European context from that of the US or Japan can help point the way toward unravelling the puzzle.

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ECB’s Attitude to Portugal Raises Questions about Bond-Purchase Programme

Political upheaval in Portugal has thrown the spotlight on the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) bond-purchase programme, known as Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs). Many are asking whether the ECB is ready to support the market if yields rise further. And if not, why not?

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Should Euro-Area Exporters Worry About a Weaker Yen?

Darren Williams (pictured) and Guy Bruten As the yen continues to plummet, exporters around the world are growing concerned that Japanese rivals may gain a competitive advantage. But our analysis suggests that the euro-area economy may not be quite as vulnerable as widely perceived. 

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Likely Rate Cut from the European Central Bank Will Be No Magic Wand

Disappointing April data suggest that the ECB is set to cut the refinancing rate at Thursday’s Council meeting. This is likely to have limited economic impact but  could encourage expectations of more creative policy action later, helping to take some upward pressure off the euro.

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Little Cyprus Sparks Big Contagion Fears

The situation in Cyprus is still very fluid and very serious—perhaps more so than in Greece last year. While the country may be too small to have a meaningful direct impact on the rest of the euro area, the big issue for markets is the potential for contagion to more systemically important countries.

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Chastened ECB Wary of Premature Monetary Tightening

Cyclical indicators have improved, but the economic and financial backdrop in the euro area remains fragile. The ECB has clearly learned from past mistakes and is keen to avoid a premature tightening of monetary conditions.

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Is the Euro “Dangerously High”?

Jean-Claude Juncker’s view that the euro is “dangerously high” isn’t shared by the European Central Bank (ECB). As long as this is the case, the single currency may continue to defy fundamentals and act as an unwelcome headwind for an economy still struggling to break out of recession.

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Euro-Area Periphery Faces More Pain to Complete Rebalancing

Most peripheral euro-area countries have significantly improved their competitiveness recently, but more needs to be done. With currency devaluation ruled out, further downward pressure on labor costs is likely, which will probably deepen and prolong recessions and interfere with fiscal adjustment.

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Greece Still Needs a Long-Term Growth Plan

Even by the standards of the sovereign-debt crisis, the provisional agreement reached yesterday by euro-area finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a second Greek rescue package looks like a messy fudge. It is clear that Greece’s euro-area partners are determined to avoid a near-term euro-area exit, but a long-term solution will require [...]

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ECB Bond Buying Is a Double-Edged Sword

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi’s promise to do “whatever it takes to preserve the euro” and create a new bond-purchase program has been positive for market sentiment. But the program also carries real dangers if it breaks the fragile consensus on the board of the ECB and eases the pressure on governments to create a [...]

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