Trading in EUR-USD still lacks direction. Towards the
end of the week, the euro was around
1.4280, only slightly below the previous weekâ€™s level.
The mood in equity markets was predominantly subdued. After the substantial
losses incurred by the Chinese market at the beginning of the week, the markets
remained on the defensive. From a macroeconomic perspective, the data from the
eurozone remained favourable for the most part, but had little impact. The same
also applies to the US, with one or two minor exceptions. However, the ADP
employment indicator was slightly disappointing, which clouded the outlook for
the labour market report on Friday.
The ECB Governing Council, which held its monthly
meeting on Thursday, did little to
brighten up the mood. The key words at the press conference
were â€ścautionâ€ť and â€śprudenceâ€ť. The Council did acknowledge that there were some signs of
recovery; the growth projections were also revised slightly upwards. At the same time, however,
the ECB sees a â€śvery bumpy road aheadâ€ť, and warns against premature discussions about
ending unconventional measures. The ECBâ€™s decision to offer the one-year tender
at the end of September at the refinancing rate of 1%, without charging a premium, can be seen as a signal.
Japan has entered a new political era. At last Sundayâ€™s
elections, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won 308 of the 480 seats in the lower house. The
LDP lost two thirds of its seats. On 16 September, the DPJ leader, Yukio
Hatoyama, is to be elected prime minister.
In this environment, USD-JPY dropped from almost 94 to
93. The US currency fell briefly to
92, close to its low of the beginning of July. This was
probably partly connected with the political change. The DPJ is focusing its
economic policy on strengthening domestic demand; the Democratic Party is
reputed to be less sensitive in exchange rate matters than the LDP, which is closely affiliated with the export industry. Against
this background, without the threat of intervention, the markets appear to be
testing the waters somewhat. In addition, the safe-haven yen is benefiting from
the jittery equity markets.
G20 in the run-up to the summit
With the end of the holiday season, the international political
merry-go-round is getting into full
swing again. The meeting of the G20 finance ministers
is taking place in London this weekend.
In the next few weeks, further meetings of various groups
are being held in preparation of the
G20 world financial summit in Pittsburgh on 24 and 25 September.
In a common position paper, heads of state from Germany, France and the UK are demanding an improvement in the functioning of the financial markets,
in order to avoid a repetition of the present crisis. One key issue in Pittsburgh will be to further design a â€śregulatory framework for
the financial sector, that puts it at the service of the real economy.â€ť
In addition to the much-discussed topic of regulating compensation
and benefits, there will be
discussions on modifying capital requirements in order
to prevent speculative transactions which put stability at risk. In this connection, taxing financial
transactions has even been mentioned. Such measures would certainly affect the forex markets
A further topic for discussion will be how to limit the
moral hazard of systemically relevant financial institutions, particularly with
regard to supervising, and possibly winding up, such institutions. Apparently,
the possibility of splitting up large institutions is also being considered, so
that, to quote ECB Council member JĂĽrgen Stark, a bank â€śtoo big to failâ€ť could
simply mean â€śtoo big to existâ€ť.
Stephan Rieke +49 69 718-4114
Grabbe / Klaus NĂ¤fken
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