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Automaker Bailout Fails, Stock Market Short Lived Optimism Evaporates

Stock-Markets / Financial Markets Dec 15, 2008 - 09:29 AM GMT

By: Regent_Markets

Stock-Markets After an opening surge on Monday, markets had a mixed time of it for the remainder of the week. President elect Barrack Obama’s announcement of a huge public works program helped virtually every market rally against the main trends of the last few weeks. Equities and commodities were higher, while the dollar, bonds, and CDS levels all eased. Unfortunately the optimism didn’t last, with the refusal of congress to ratify the Automaker bailout becoming the catalyst for the selling seen at the end of the week.


US pending home sales fell less than expected, and this provided good cheer to
markets as it may indicate that the US housing decline is slowing. With so
many mortgage backed securities still out there, a steadying of the US
housing market could help alleviate some of the pressure on global financial
institutions. The UK economy is still showing few signs of improvement though
with October production figures falling more aggressively than expected.
There was increasing chatter about a ‘Treasuries’ bubble last week. The yield
and 5 and 10 year notes plumbed to new depths, as traders continued their
flight to quality. The yield on 3 month US Treasuries turned negative,
meaning that investors were literally willing to pay to put their money
somewhere that is perceived to be safe. Another unusual act to add to the
ever growing pile of ‘once in a generation’ events, were reports that the
Federal reserve is considering selling bonds under its own name.

The Pound held its ground against the Dollar, but was well and truly smashed
by the Euro, which today set yet another record high against Sterling. The
Euro even kissed the underside of its synthetic high of 0.9000 based on the
old Deutsche Mark from 1996. Friday’s, news of HBOS’s dreadful £8bn
write-down hit the general banking sector hard. Many economists predict that
the UK economy won’t recovery until the back of 2009 at least, which means
that lending conditions could get even worse for the UK banks.

Until recently, the ‘independence’ premium hadn’t worked its way through in
the banking sector. However, there are signs today that independence from the
UK Treasury could start to become a significant advantage. On Friday, Lloyds,
HBOS and RBS closed down 18%, 23% and 15% respectively. The remaining two
major UK banks not to seek government assistance; Barclays and HSBC finished
down just 8% and 2% respectively.

The banks have an almost impossible task of providing shareholder (and
taxpayer) value, whist at the same time being seen to re-start lending to
home owners and small businesses. Northern Rock shows precisely why these two
competing aims are difficult to align. Northern Rock’s management team has
been hell bent on repaying the government’s loan as quickly as possible, and
it is making good progress in this regard. The problem is that to do this, it
has reversed its lending policy, and is now lending out less than is being
paid in. This is good news for taxpayers, but bad news for consumers.

The economic landscape will be dominated by the US interest rate statement due
on Tuesday. Analysts are expecting a fresh round of cuts from the Fed. Fed
fund futures are currently implying a 60% probability of cut down to 0.25%,
with a 30% probability of a cut down to 0.5%. On the same theme, UK rates are
expected to push lower soon, and Wednesday’s MPC meeting minutes will help
traders determinate the size of the likely cut.

Last week, Sterling took a beating against the Euro, but the European economy
isn’t exactly a bed of roses outside of Germany and France. Arguably interest
rates in Europe have further to fall than those from the UK. EUR/ GBP have
moved incredibly quickly over the last month, but there could be a period of
congestion to come. A no touch trade at BetOnMarkets predicting that the EUR/
GBP won’t touch 0.9200 at any time during the next 60 days could return 121%

By Mike Wright
Tel: +448003762737
Email: editor@my.regentmarkets.com
Url: Betonmarkets.com & Betonmarkets.co.uk

About Regent Markets Group:   Regent Markets is the world's leading fixed odds financial trading group. Through its main multi-awarding winning websites, BetOnMarkets.com and BetOnMarkets.co.uk, it has established itself as the leading global provider of a unique, powerful way to trade the world's major financial markets. The number, length and variety of trades available to our clients exists nowhere else in the world.   editor@my.regentmarkets.com Tel  (+44) 08000 326 279

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilizing methods believed reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Do your own due diligence.

Regent Markets Archive

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