Italy Overtakes Spain As Weakest Link

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex


Among the big four Eurozone economies, i.e. Germany, France, Spain and Italy, it’s clear which two are the growth drivers. Of the others, that is Spain and Italy; Italy was considered to be the more stable. Spain’s bonds were deemed riskier and its banking sector weaker. But that is a thing of the past. As it stands today, Italy has overtaken Spain to become the weakest link among the Eurozone’s largest economies, with a banking sector desperately in need of a bailout. And if Italy’s banking crisis is a rerun of Spain’s, we can certainly expect some troubles in the Eurozone and, consequently, for the Euro.

Spain vs. Italy in Two Charts

When we compare data on the Italian economy vs. the Spanish economy, we can see an interesting picture emerging. When we examine the trend in bankruptcies filed for both economies, it’s clear that both countries had relatively the same trend in bankruptcies until very recently. Bankruptcies in Italy have started to surge while bankruptcies in Spain have been decreasing.

Spain vs. Italy Bankruptcies
Chart courtesy of Tradingeconomics

In the bond markets of the two countries, a clear divergence is occurring. Credit Default Swaps for Spain and Italy, which had moved in tandem in the past (with higher risk premiums for Spain), started to diverge back in 2014. Credit Default Swaps for Italy are now much higher. Continue reading "Italy Overtakes Spain As Weakest Link"

Brexit Leads To Uncertainty, But It's Good For Gold

The Brexit vote adds uncertainty to an already turbulent global environment, says money manager Adrian Day, and has helped gold resume its rally.

Brexit Wall

The decision of the British people to leave the European Union in the face of extreme fear-mongering shook the markets initially, but they turned up at quarter end. The vote does not end the uncertainty, of course: the negotiations on Britain's exit, increased agitation against membership in other countries, the change of political leadership in Britain, as well as the potential break-up of the United Kingdom, all add uncertainty to an already turbulent global environment, and markets do not like uncertainty. Brexit also provides yet another reason excuse for the Federal Reserve and other central banks to keep interest rates excessively low for longer. Continue reading "Brexit Leads To Uncertainty, But It's Good For Gold"

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Brexit: The Pound Will Survive, The Euro Will Not

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex


Friday, June 24th will be remembered as a Black Day for the British Pound. On that day, investors, shocked by the “leave” vote for Brexit, pushed the Pound off a cliff, toward its worst daily loss since 1985. And yet, despite the Pound being at the eye of the storm after the Brexit vote, it’s not the Pound’s future that investors should fear.

Brexit Impact On The Pound Sterling

The impact Brexit will have on the Pound should be divided into two ranges—short to mid-term and long-term.

In the short to mid-term, it’s undeniable that the Pound will face significant and broad pressures—monetarily, fiscally and economically. The Bank of England will likely need to deploy extra liquidity measures to assure stability in the financial system which, effectively, is monetary easing. From a political standpoint, uncertainty has increased dramatically. On Friday, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigned, and his “heir apparent” is still unclear. But even more, troubling is the future of Scotland within the United Kingdom. The Scots will be compelled to cast another vote, this time on their willingness to leave the United Kingdom and stay with the European Union. Continue reading "Brexit: The Pound Will Survive, The Euro Will Not"

Buy The Sterling On Brexit Fears

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex


Unless you've been incommunicado this past week, you've surely noticed that the FX arena has been dominated by one trade. That, of course, is short Sterling, because Britain appears on the verge of leaving the European Union (EU).

The black swan event that brought about this situation was the surprise announcement by Boris Johnson, the incumbent Mayor of London. Johnson, a rising star of the Tories, is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU. That, of course, was a bit of a game changer. Investors got spooked by the thought of the financial Armageddon that could be visited upon Britain if a Brexit (British Exit) does occur.

Luckily, such panic creates an ideal situation for the rational investor. It's time to exploit and buy the Sterling low and sell it high later on when Brexit fears fade. Continue reading "Buy The Sterling On Brexit Fears"