Euro higher as ECB unleashes more stimulus
The euro rallied a little after the ECB announced a raft of measures aimed at maintaining support for the euro area economy. The measures including an increase of EUR500 billion in the PEPP envelope – all of which need not be used – and a nine-month extension to the program, as well as a 12-month extension to TLTRO III and four additional PELTROs next year.
The package was substantial but broadly in line with what the market was expecting which probably explains the currency movements. With the second wave having been more severe than the central bank was anticipating and growth next year lower as a result, more support may be needed in the recovery phase but that won’t be for some time yet.
No deal risks grow as crunch Brexit talks didn’t go to plan
Wednesday evening’s dinner between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen wasn’t exactly the game-changing moment we all hoped for, with the two leaders stressing the differences that remain while urging negotiators to continue working towards a deal. It just seems empty words at this point; the only hope being that issues were worked on in private that could unlock talks in the coming days on certain areas.
A firm decision is now expected Sunday and while time is running out, so many deadlines have been missed at this stage, it’s hard to take that overly seriously. The firm decision may well be to persevere until Wednesday when leaders will assess the feasibility of more talks. And so on and so on.
The European Commission today appears to be proposing an effective extension to the transition on certain areas, including fishing. Whether this is something the UK will go for, having imposed a strict legally binding deadline for talks to begin with in order to avoid a no-deal scenario, isn’t clear. It won’t be politically appealing but then, neither will no deal.
The pound is coming under renewed pressure following the lack of a breakthrough yesterday evening. It’s fallen around three-quarters of a percent so far today, as traders start to blink in the face of a possible no deal. Again, I see little chance of this happening but at the same time, the markets are not sufficiently reflecting the downside risks, in my view. More pain could come before a deal is reached.
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