Data to shape ECB week

By Mike Peacock
January 6, 2014

Euro zone service sector PMIs and German inflation (with the euro zone number to follow on Tuesday) will lay the ground for the European Central Bank’s first policy meeting of the year.

In euro bond markets, world still upside down

December 11, 2013

Corporate bonds normally yield more than sovereign debt since companies are seen as more likely than states to go bust. But during the euro zone debt crisis, when various governments had to be bailed out, that relationship broke down in Spain and Italy.

Confidence in Italy?

By Mike Peacock
December 11, 2013

Emboldened by the splitting of Silvio Berlusconi’s party and the media mogul’s expulsion from parliament, Prime Minister Enrico Letta has already won one confidence vote in parliament. Today, he has called another to cement his coalition’s standing.

Banking disunion

By Mike Peacock
December 10, 2013

The full Ecofin of 28 EU finance ministers meets after Monday’s Eurogroup meeting of euro zone representatives didn’t seem to get far in unpicking the Gordian Knot that is banking union. Ireland’s Michael Noonan talked of “wide differences”.

Union? Don’t bank on it

By Mike Peacock
December 9, 2013

The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers meets, followed by the full Ecofin on Tuesday, to try and unpick the Gordian Knot that is banking union.

Banking union talks, storm allowing

By Mike Peacock
December 6, 2013

The finance ministers of Germany, France, Italy and possibly Spain are expected to meet in Berlin to discuss banking union. Two sources told us Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem – who chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers — should attend as will EU commissioner Michel Barnier and key European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen.

Game of chicken in Kiev

By Mike Peacock
December 4, 2013

No sign of tensions calming on the streets of Kiev, in fact today we could have a new flashpoint.

Putin’s Ukraine “victory” — pyrrhic?

By Mike Peacock
December 3, 2013

Ukraine continues to top the European worry list.

Monday demonstrated how quickly the financial side of the equation can spiral out of control. The hryvnia currency slumped and the cost of insuring against Ukrainian default soared, forcing the central bank to intervene and urge its citizens not to spark a bank run.

Crisis in Kiev

By Mike Peacock
December 2, 2013

Ukraine’s shock decision to turn its back on an EU trade deal continues to reverberate with mass rallies on the streets of Kiev in protest at President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision.

ECB cacophony

By Mike Peacock
November 21, 2013

A round of European Central Bank policymakers speeches this week can be boiled down to this. All options, including money-printing, are on the table but it will be incredibly hard to get it past ECB hardliners and neither camp sees a real threat of deflation yet.