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Its all Greek to me
10 July 2015

The week previous has seen a continuation of the almost farcical events of Greece VS. The Troika. The referendum on the Sunday resulted in a ‘NO’ vote being announced regarding the acceptance of the IMF’s offered austerity package.
This momentous happening did not cause much market volatility, other than the instant “knee-jerk” reaction; the gains that were made very quickly settled back down over the course of the early hours of Monday morning, with rates very much priced in already, due to prior expectation and sentiment. The GBP-EUR rate continues to be range bound; the difference between the high and low of the week being three cents; precisely the same bracket as GBP-USD.


The Euro-group meeting on Tuesday came and went with no new plans forwarded by the latest incarnation of Greece’s finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, with the members requesting that a new proposal be placed “in a matter of days”. 
The Pound gained a little against both the Euro and the US Dollar when the announcement was made that the UK’s GDP estimate had come in higher than the same period twelve months earlier. Later in the day, the outcome of the EU leaders special summit was a resounding demand that Greece comes up with “an acceptable rescue plan” before the week’s end, to be assessed by the eighteen Euro-group leaders in Brussels on Saturday.


Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the EC) summed it up perfectly when he said that he couldn’t discount the worst case scenario of “Grexit”, saying: “I’m strongly against Grexit but I can’t prevent it if the Greek government is not doing what we are expecting the Greek government to do.”


The outcome of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) minutes later on Wednesday has since caused a discrepancy in the upper echelons of US Finance, with opposing views as to whether to hike interest rates sooner rather than later (summer ’16) with cautious members in the majority but again didn’t significantly alter investors trading in USD, with rates remaining relatively stifled, with a small movement of around thirty pips.


The focus was temporarily back to the UK on Thursday at midday with the BoE interest rate decision coming in bang-on expectation, at an unchanged 0.5%, with barely any market-movement – the continuing theme was Euro gains against the Pound throughout Tuesday, into Wednesday with rates remaining within a cent on Thursday and Friday with little data of any note at all on the last business day.


The real event, before the weekend, was the announcement of a revised stratagem by Greece, described by an unnamed Euro-group official as “thorough”, with the groups’ President Jeroen Dijsselbloem saying the Euro-zone would discuss a response to the plans on Saturday.

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