Spanish borrowing costs jump

Currencies Direct November 23rd 2011 - 2 minute read

Compare and contrast: the interest rate on the three month note issues by the Spanish yesterday was 5.11%, the interest rate on the US equivalent was 0.01%. Spanish borrowing costs jumped from last months auction partly because we are in-between governments and the incoming party is still unsure if it will be able to pass the necessary austerity measures to (hopefully) reassure the markets but also because Euro-zone sovereign debt markets are now completely dysfunctional.  The Euro, after a bit of a rebound yesterday, has opened today on the back foot because of the Spanish problems yesterday and also due to a story overnight about the potential renegotiation of the bail-out of Dexia Bank.  Chinese PMI was also lower than consensus estimates and risk sentiment, which has been falling over the past week, will be further reduced and that means USD strength, Euro and GBP weakness and stock markets continuing to fall.

The Federal Reserve minutes from last months meeting were released last night, and in light of the US GDP revision downward yesterday afternoon were surprisingly neutral in tone. Only one member, Chicago president Charles Evans, voted in favour of QE3 with several unnamed members suggesting further action may be warranted. The mere fact that further easing was not ruled out was enough to produce a bounce in US equity markets before normal service was resumed in the asian session.

The Bank of England will follow their Central Bank compatriots in the US by releasing their own minutes from this months meeting. Again the market will be looking for signs of further monetary stimulus early next month. Usually tight fiscal and loose monetary policy translates into a weak currency, but Sterling has remained fairly steady over the last year. The size of any further QE will  be an important factor in whether Sterling stays within or breaks out of it recent range.

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