The CAC index has gained ground in the Friday session. The index has gained 0.74% and is currently trading at 5255.30 points. On the release front, the focus is on inflation, as Eurozone Final CPI dropped to 1.4%, matching the estimate.
Eurozone lenders and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to a bailout for Greece. Under the terms of the agreement, the eurozone will provide Greece with a total of EUR 8.5 billion – 7.7 billion in early July, and 0.8 billion at a later time. The IMF has also pledged to provide funds, but not before it received details of Greece’s debt sustainability. The deal comes at a critical time for Greece, which despite severe austerity measures, is again on the verge of default. The Greek government has implemented tax hikes and pension cuts, and is hoping that the battered economy has turned the corner with this injection of funds.
France will wrap up parliamentary elections on Sunday, when voters determine the makeup of the 577-seat National Assembly. French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to win a huge majority, with some polls giving Macron’s En Marche party a staggering 80% of the vote. Macron has campaigned on a pro-business ticket, promising to reform France’s labor laws and making the economy more competitive. Macron is a strong supporter of the European Union, and a Macron-Merkel alliance could strengthen the EU at a time when Brexit and nationalistic parties on the continent have undermined European unity. Macron, who is expected to support a hard line against Brexit, said that the EU would leave the “door open” in case Britain changed its mind and decided to stay in the club, but that is an invitation that the British are expected to decline.
As expected, the Federal Reserve raised rates on Thursday by 25 basis points, to a target range of 1.00 percent to 1.25 percent. The rate statement portrayed an optimistic picture, noting that the economy was growing, and the labor market remained strong. As for inflation, which remains stubbornly low, the statement acknowledged that inflation remained below the Fed’s target of 2.0%, but expected that goal to be reached in the “medium term”. The Fed projected one more rate hike in 2017, and the markets are circling the December meeting as the most likely date. The odds for a September increase are at 18%, compared to 23% a week ago, according to the CME Group. As for a December increase, the odds are currently at 38%. One surprising development was that Fed Chair Janet Yellen outlined a plan to reduce its $4.2 trillion balance sheet (comprised of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities). Yellen was short on specifics, saying that the goal was to begin the normalization “relatively soon”. The balance sheet ballooned after the financial crisis in 2008, as the Fed implemented a massive quantitative easing program as part of its accommodative monetary policy, together with interest rates of zero. The gradual reduction in the purchase of these assets signifies an important vote of confidence in the strength of the US economy.
Friday (June 16)
- 5:00 Eurozone Final CPI. Estimate 1.4%. Actual 1.4%
- 5:00 Eurozone Final Core CPI. Estimate 0.9%. Actual 0.9%
- All Day – ECOFIN Meetings
*All release times are EDT
*Key events are in bold
CAC, Friday, June 16 at 6:25 EDT
Open: 5245.00 High: 5273.00 Low: 5242.30 Close: 5252.50
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