Euro zone looks to Washington

By Mike Peacock
April 15, 2012

So the debt crisis is back (did it ever really go away?) but it’s not yet anything like as acute as it was late last year.

Disquiet at the ECB

By Mike Peacock
April 13, 2012

A day for central bankers and maybe the hint of a row brewing within the ECB. After days of jitters, euro zone bond markets were calmed a little this week when ECB policymaker Benoit Coure said the central bank’s government bond-buying programme could be revived if Spain started teetering.

Italy up for auction

By Mike Peacock
April 12, 2012

All eyes on Italy. After paying sharply higher yields to sell one-year paper on Wednesday, it faces the altogether trickier task of selling up to five billion euros of three-year bonds. Yields are expected to jump by a full percentage point from a month ago but, as with yesterday, demand will be there and the paper should get away.

The pain in Spain falls mainly on…

By Mike Peacock
April 11, 2012

Spanish 10-year bond yields are within a whisker of breaking above six percent for the first time since December and are dragging Italy’s up with them. The balmy days of first quarter calm are well and truly over. “Markets step up the attack”, El Pais blares from its front page this morning.

Euro zone perspective – nowhere near out of the woods

By Mike Peacock
April 10, 2012

After the Easter break, a bit of perspective — to paraphrase the immortal Spinal Tap, maybe too much perspective.

Today in the euro zone – a blizzard of bailout numbers

By Mike Peacock
March 30, 2012

Brace yourself for a blizzard of numbers.

EU finance ministers gathered in Copenhagen are poised to decide precisely how much firepower their new rescue fund – to be launched mid-year – will have. A draft communiqué suggests that as of mid-2013, presuming no new bailouts have been required in the interim, the combined lending ceiling of the future ESM and existing EFSF bailout funds will be set at 700 billion euros (500 billion pledged to the ESM plus the roughly 200 billion already committed to Greek, Irish and Portuguese rescue programmes).

Today in the euro zone – Bonds, strikes and firewalls

By Mike Peacock
March 29, 2012

Big debt test for Italy which will sell 8 billion euros or more of longer-dated bonds. A short-term T-bill sale went okay on Wednesday but a day before, the secondary market reacted negatively to a sale of zero-coupon and inflation-linked bonds, pushing Italian yields higher.

Today in the euro zone – the elusive firewall

By Mike Peacock
March 27, 2012

Conflicting pressures for the euro zone bond market today – a strong signal from Germany that it is willing to increase the firewall built around the currency bloc but ongoing concerns that Spain is being dragged into the mire.

Euro zone today – manning the defences

By Mike Peacock
March 26, 2012

In euro zone terms, two themes will dominate the week: Spain and the size of the euro zone rescue fund (Italy’s labour reforms will play a supporting role).

Today in the euro zone

By Mike Peacock
March 15, 2012

Morning all from a fogbound London. Visibility may be down to a minimum but there is a developing view that the euro zone debt crisis, if not solved, is in remission.