The “influencers” of the Euro region will have a powwow this week and, no, we’re not talking about content creation or branding.
It’s the EU Summit, yo! Here are a few points you should know if you’re planning on trading the big meet:
What’s an EU Summit anyway?
A Euro Summit is a chance for heads of state, government reps, and Euro Summit and European Commission Presidents to huddle together and provide “policy guidance to ensure the smooth functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union.”
Rules say that leaders must have them at least twice a year, and that they should be held after the European Council meetings in Brussels if possible.
After official powwows in March and in June, the EU gang is scheduled to have another two-day meeting starting October 18.
What happened last time?
Official docs cheered the progress made in strengthening the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), something that’s expected to strengthen the euro and the EU.
Other issues like extending Russia’s sanctions for another six months and completing Greece’s financial assistance also made headlines.
What caught investors’ attention, however, was the drama around immigration. See, the populist Italian government reps initially refused to sign off on ALL joint decisions and written statements ahead of a working dinner that had immigration on the agenda.
But, after at least five hours of wining and dining (and maybe REALLY good pasta), members finally agreed to set up controlled centers on a voluntary basis and take steps to “bolster European defence.”
The wording was pretty vague and diluted, but the release of a relatively unified agreement was enough to spur on the euro bulls.
What should I watch out for this time?
The informal meeting held in Austria last September 19 might give us better clues on this week’s agenda.
Last month, the EU bigwigs discussed key issues like migration (cooperating with countries like Egypt and Arab States); internal security (strengthening the European Border and fighting “manipulations and disinformation”), and Brexit.
The last bit will probably get the most attention since Brexit negotiators are on a deadline. See, Prime Minister Theresa May has pinky sworn that Britain will exit the EU by the end of March next year with or without a withdrawal agreement.
The current hurdle centers around a backstop that would prevent Northern Ireland from being yanked out of the customs union in a no-deal scenario. May wants a “temporary customs arrangement,” while EU leaders reportedly want a backstop to the backstop that May thinks “threatens the integrity of the United Kingdom.”
If EU and British leaders scramble a last-minute deal as many are expecting, then we could see the euro and the pound shoot higher across the board.
Of course, the deal would have to be concrete, could pass in the U.K. parliament, AND doesn’t lead to a hard exit to really inspire optimism. No biggie, right?
But if May pulls another “no deal is better than a bad deal” speech like she did last month, then EU members would step up their “no deal” preps and inspire more uncertainty for both the euro and the pound.
For now, European Council President Donald Tusk has invited Theresa May to address the EU27 on Wednesday evening. Then, depending on the debates, EU members will decide if they’ll hold another summit on November.
Either way, we’ll get a clearer picture of where the two parties stand by the end of the week.
Make sure you’re prepared for any and all scenarios if you’re planning to trade or have open EUR and GBP positions during the meetings! Thanks to high expectations and tight deadlines, significant headlines could cause crazy volatility for the European currencies.