Zooey Mama! Just when you things couldn’t get any wackier with Greece, the EURUSD opens this week almost 100 pips higher. After closing last week at 1.3496, the pair found gaped up to kick off the week on a high note at 1.3590!
By now you’ve probably got wind of the news that Fitch decided to downgrade Greece’s sovereign debt rating to BBB- from BBB+ over the weekend. If you thought that the downgrade would trigger some sort of risk aversion and decided to go short the EURUSD, you’re probably be in a world of hurt right now!
You see, the drama surrounding Greece’s debt issue caused the yields on Greek bonds to surge to their 11-year high. This forced the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finally agree on a €45 billion bailout package for Greece.
Previously, Germany was very hesitant in extending a hand to Greece since it would place the money of taxpayers at too much risk. Moreover, Germany said that this was unfair to other EU member nations and that Greece should pay market rates on the loans that they will obtain. It’s funny how these things work sometimes…The way things need to get tougher before people actually lend a helping hand.
In any case, the plan is that EU finance officials will provide Greece with €30 billion in 3-year loans. The interest rates on these loans will be around 5%, which is much less than the 6.98% rate on Greek 3-year bonds. Meanwhile, the IMF will offer Greece a €15 billion credit with interest rates below 5%. Both financing will be transferred at the same time and will be coursed through the European Central Bank.
Does this bailout package mean that Greece is out of the woods? Maybe. Maybe not. These bailout funds are loans from the IMF and EU, which means that Greece will have to pay them back eventually. And even though the interest rate on the bailout package is much lower, Greece might still have a tough time pooling funds for repayments now that they have a debt downgrade on their shoulders.
What does this mean for the rest of the euro zone? Even though Greece has been hogging the spotlight in the debt drama for quite a while now, other euro zone nations such as Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain are suffering huge deficits as well. And since majority of the bailout funds would come from the euro zone, these heavily indebted nations might be digging a deeper ditch for themselves.
Then again, at least now we know that the EU and the IMF will continue to work hand in hand to make the euro zone’s economy and the euro more viable in the future. For now, I guess all that is left for us to do is wait and trust that the EU, together with the IMF, will try their best to prevent the economy and the currency from falling into a sinkhole.
Looking at the charts, it seems that traders had already priced in any bad news from Greece, which is probably why we saw more range-bound movement the past couple of weeks. When news finally broke out that the EU and IMF were working hand in hand to give a combined aid package to Greece, this prompted a shift in risk sentiment, with investors becoming more risk hungry.
After breaking through a falling trendline, could we be in line for a new uptrend?