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  • richard evans

Calm didn't last for long....will bank crisis impact ECB rate decision today

Good morning

US data releases will be one hour earlier at 12.30 or 14.00 london time due to the US clock changes that took place at the weekend.

In addition, FX option expiries will be 14.00 london time, not the usual 15.00 london time.

This will be until Sunday 26th when we change our clocks in the UK

European stock markets were rattled yesterday on renewed concerns of a possible Credit Suisse collapse after their shares fell some 30% yesterday. Key indices in Europe were down between 3-4%, US and Asian equities also traded generally lower although not quite to the same extent, down around ‘only’ 1-2%.

Credit Suisse is looking very sick and it is difficult to see what can save it. I recall that one of its largest shareholders, Harris Associates, sold its entire holding just a couple of weeks ago and I’m sure many people with money at Credit Suisse will have been withdrawing funds. It’s a pretty bad time for a firm like CS to raise money and seek new investors. Mind you Saudi National Bank, now CS’s largest shareholder, have said panic over CS is unwarranted.

SNB have said they will provide liquidity to Credit Suisse if required, reports are CS will borrow some CHF50 billion from SNB under a short term facility. Really, any bank that needs to borrow that sort of sum is surely no longer a viable entity, but time will tell whether this gives any customer or counterparty of CS any confidence. Larger US banks are currently reported to see risks to Credit Suisse as manageable.

Meanwhile US based First Republic Bank which came under pressure after the SVB and Signature Bank collapse has said selling the bank is one option as they look at ways of shoring up liquidity.

All this turmoil has greatly affected interest rate expectations. I have already said forecasts for the US Fed range from a cut of 25bps to a rise of 50bps, many banks now seeing a lower peak in rates. Today we have the ECB rate announcement, the expectation has been for a 50bps rise, this has been almost fed to us on a plate for some time. However the potential for a smaller rise, or no rise at all, cannot be ignored. I’m thinking they will still go for the full 50bps which should be EUR positive. EURUSD now 1.0610, I’d imagine it would be higher if it wasn’t for the CS news and recent safe haven USD buying.

GBPUSD meanwhile is 1.2075, having broken below my 1.2140 level soon after sending my report yesterday morning. It traded down to 1.2010 yesterday, has managed to recover some of those losses. It is at 1.1380 against EUR and has held its ground against most other major and minor currencies.

I’m out of the office tomorrow morning so have added in tomorrows calendar below. Tomorrow happens to mark the three year anniversary of the date we vacated our office in Farringdon just ahead of Covid lockdowns, indeed on this actual day three years ago I was sitting in a pub near the office with a pint of Corona when the PM announced that we should work from home, avoid travel and avoid pubs. Quite a momentous occasion, a very odd feeling and only a few days later a full lockdown was officially announced.

While Covid is still very much among us, hospitals are no longer as overwhelmed as they were and overall I think we did a pretty good job of dealing with the outbreak, although I know there is still plenty of opposition to lockdowns and vaccines. Can’t please people all of the time. Mind you it does feel a little like ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’ as we move from one crisis to another. Never a dull moment that’s for sure.

- 12.30 US philly fed survey, building permits, initial jobless claims

- 13.15 ECB rate announcement

- 13.45 ECB press conference

- 15.15 ECBs Lagarde speaks


- 10.00 EU HICP

- 14.00 US Michigan sentiment survey

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