Good morning and welcome to today’s foreign exchange market commentary on Friday, the 9th of March.
The Greek ordeal is over, at least for now. The end-result has been more or less satisfactory with 85.8 percent participation before the collective action clause (CAC) was implemented under Greek laws to bring the remainder to agreement. Another 69 percent of private investors who hold foreign-law bonds have signed for the debt swap deal so far and the Greek finance ministry has extended the deadline till March 29. Private lenders hold €206 billion of national debts out of Greece’s €368 billion total outstanding debt.
Following the use of the CAC by Athens, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association will decide if this can be ruled as a “credit event” thus allowing holders of Credit default Swaps (CDS) against Greek bonds to claim insurance. Private sector lenders will eye the meeting being held today at 1 pm.
The decisions by the ECB and the Bank of England were pushed on the back-burner yesterday as markets remained fixated with the Greek deal. The BoE however, didn’t spring any surprise and held both the interest rate and asset purchase target unchanged at 0.5 percent and £325 billion, respectively.
The ECB also kept interest rates unchanged while Chairman Mario Draghi emphasised on inflation upside risks, changing the target rate to 2.4 percent from earlier 2 percent. This may well mean a interest rate hike in near future.
CURRENCY RATES OVERVIEW
GBP/EURO – 1.1999
GBP/US$ – 1.5745
GBP/CAN$ – 1.5754
GBP/AUS$ – 1.4919
GBP/ZAR – 12.06
GBP/JPY – 127.17
GBP/NZD – 1.9265
EUR: The single currency has gained against its global peers following the acceptance of Greek debt-swap deal to avoid a messy default. Euro has gained against the Pound and the GBP/EUR pair hit 1.1910 on the deal news yesterday. The pair isn’t far from that level and opened at 1.1928 this morning. The EUR/USD pair opens lower at 1.3216 this morning after rallying to 1.3280 yesterday.
USD: Cable remained range-bound in the past 24 hours as UK releases failed surprise the markets. The asset purchase facility remains unchanged at £325 billion while interest rates were held at 0.5 percent. The GBP/USD pair jumped to 1.5830 after the deal was settled late night, but has pared some of the gains since. The pair’s movement will be influenced by the US employment data due later today. The GBP/USD pair opens at 1.5787 this morning.
Have a great day!