Too much partying over the weekend and can’t make sense of what’s happening in the euro zone? Fret no further my fun-loving, friends! Here’s a roundup of the key events that took place in the region over the weekend.
1. Mixed Spanish regional election results
Prior to the weekend, market watchers started pricing in expectations for the Spanish elections as they believed that the outcome could have a huge impact on Spain’s bailout prospects. However, the polls showed mixed results for Prime Minister Rajoy’s party.
On the one hand, Galicia’s regional poll revealed that Rajoy’s center-right political party was able to snag the majority. On the other, the nationalist-led party led the polls in Basque Country, implying further tension in the region.
You see, the recently-held elections are actually considered a test of the incumbent government’s austerity programs. Bear in mind that another set of regional elections is set to take place in Catalonia, which also seems to be veering away from Rajoy’s central government in Madrid.
2. Greece to get next tranche of aid?
During the EU summit, euro zone officials acknowledged the progress that Greece has made when it comes to trimming its deficit. According to its official statement, the Greek government was able to implement the necessary measures and stay on track with their reforms.
Recall that the EU banking stress tests had positive results while the Troika is currently in talks with Greek finance officials regarding the next set of bailout funds for Greece. With enough support from the EU leaders over the weekend, it’s difficult to imagine that Greece will be denied the third tranche of aid from international lenders.
3. Developments on establishing an EU banking supervisor
Perhaps the biggest takeaway in the most recent EU Summit was that leaders finally agreed to set up a banking supervisor for the entire region.
Germany, France, and the rest of the members of the union made the necessary compromises to grant the ECB power to oversee the region’s 6,000 banks by 2014.
What do these mean for the euro?
For one, a few market gurus think that Spain won’t ask for a bailout until after the Catalonian elections in November. If they’re right, uncertainty regarding the country’s financial situation would be prolonged even longer and could in turn be bearish for the euro.
November will also be a make-or-break month for Greece. EU finance ministers would only get to finalize their decision on whether or not to grant the debt-stricken country more cash on November 12. Until they agree on it, the approval of Greece’s tranche of aid is still not yet set in stone.
Naysayers also pointed out the obvious with regards to the agreement made on the EU’s banking supervisor: There are no details!
Sure, leaders talked about having the legal framework for the banking supervising mechanism ready by January 1. However, they failed to establish a specific target date when it would be fully operational.
The lack of any concrete developments in the region probably explains why EUR/USD continues to trade around the 1.3000 handle.
But who knows, perhaps we’ll hear more updates about these issues in the coming days and the euro would trade with a clearer direction (or not). What do you think?