Fundamental events review for Apr 15, 2016

Europe The recession in the Greek economy this year will accelerate: in 2015, GDP lost 0.3%, but this year the drop could reach 1% of GDP. Such a conclusion was made by an influential Greek economic research institute IOBE. The IMF believes that the slowdown will be a smaller 0.6% of GDP. According to the Greek Institute, economic recovery will not begin until next year, and a lot will depend on the receipt of the third Greek package of international aid and return on investment. Investment fell by 13.2% last year. Unemployment forecast is 25.2%, up from less than 25% last year. Meanwhile, the IMF is very concerned that the UK may withdraw from the EU. British exit from the EU is a threat: it is an alarming signal for the global economy, said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at a press conference on the eve of the next session of the governing bodies of the Fund and the World Bank. But if the British vote against the EU on June 23, the situation will become dangerous. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim warned about the risks to multinationals and believes that the gap between the UK and the EU will provoke undesirable financial consequences. Ahead of the spring session of the IMF and World Bank, to be held this weekend, the fund issued a pessimistic outlook for the development of the world economy for this year. In itself, the euro zone economy begins to slowly recover. Inflation in the euro area came out of the «red zone»: in March, according to revised estimates of the «Eurostat» service, consumer price inflation was zero compared to March of last year, while inflation fell in February by 0.2%. The main problem is fuel becoming cheaper: down 8.7% on an annualized basis. However, a key indicator of inflation, which excludes the volatile prices of food and energy, rose by 1% compared to 0.8% in February. For the European Central Bank, this is good news: it means that a generous program of quantitative easing is beginning to bear fruit. The single European currency in yesterday’s trading was quiet and inactive. At the moment, the currency pair EUR/USD is trading around the level of $1.1257. fundamental-ny-j-obzor-15-04-2016 (1) US The US dollar lost momentum after the publication of weaker-than-expected US inflation data yesterday. These data reinforced fears that the Fed will not rush to raise interest rates this year. The Department of Labor reported that consumer prices in the US rose in March for the first time in four months, but that the latest change emphasized that there was only a weak inflationary pressure. According to data, seasonally adjusted consumer price index rose in March by 0.1% from the previous month. Be reminded that the last time the price increased was in November. Economists had expected the index to increase by 0.2%. According to this piece of news, the US economy is beginning to slowly reduce their rate of development. If such results continue to be the case in the following months, the Fed may raise interest rates only once this year. Oil Global oil producers are unlikely to reduce the volume of production in the coming months after a proposal to freeze it at January levels, according to sources from OPEC, suggesting that additional efforts aimed at supporting the price will be taken soon. Plans to freeze production to be discussed by OPEC and non-OPEC members on Sunday, April 17, in Doha helped oil quotations gain more than 60 percent and approach a 12-year low of $27 a barrel reached in January, despite doubts that it will be enough to reduce supply. At the same time, according to OPEC delegates, doubts that countries will be able to reach an agreement to freeze production and uncertainty, in Libya and Iran, production volumes suggest that negotiations on production cuts are unlikely to be held before the end of 2016 or 2017. Similar time frames were announced by a delegate from another oil producing country within OPEC, shattering hopes that the members of the organization will agree on production cuts at its next meeting in June. Libya, which produces less oil than allowed by its potential over hostilities in the country, said it had no plans to participate in the Sunday meeting. Iran, which produces about 3.30 million barrels per day, refused to freeze production in an effort to regain market share after the lifting of Western sanctions in January. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a meeting behind closed doors that the agreement on to freeze oil production, which is to be signed at the meeting in Doha, will be formulated in a free form with a small number of obligations. Officials of energy agencies are not discussing steps other than freezing production, according to another source in OPEC. At the same time, the desire of all parties to avoid a new oil price downturn requires a secure freeze deal, said the source. Countries are debating on which month’s level the production should be frozen and thinking to create a commission that will monitor the implementation of the agreement. At least in theory, the production freeze can lay the foundation for future agreements regarding oil production and possibly allow to quickly conclude them. Meanwhile, according to the delegates, it is too early to talk about that. OPEC abolished individual oil production quotas by setting a common target for all members of the cartel, and in December 2015 scrapped even that. Against this background, oil in yesterday’s trading showed increased volatility. At the moment, Brent crude oil futures are trading around the level of $43.88 per barrel. The future price of oil will be decided this weekend. fundamental-ny-j-obzor-15-04-2016 (2) Of Interest — French authorities ruled out the possibility that the upcoming reform of the labor law could be canceled. The bill allows employers to increase working hours and makes it easy to fire workers. Demonstrations against the revision of the labor code in recent weeks have been held regularly in Paris and other French cities, with frequent clashes between demonstrators and police. In May, the National Assembly will vote on the bill. A significant fraction of socialist deputies is opposed to the text in its original version, and their faction is on the verge of a split. The authorities do not rule out the possibility of launching a constitutional procedure to avoid ad parliamentary vote. — After the leak from Panama offshore archives, European Parliament approved new rules on the protection of trade secrets. Supporters see them as a means to combat industrial espionage. But critics argue that staff will now be afraid to expose abuse in their companies and that complaints to authorities can only be anonymous. However, the center-right French Constance Le Grip which seeks adoption of these rules, says they provide protection for both investigative journalism and corporate denunciations. New legislation is still to be passed by national parliaments across the EU. Petition against it has collected signatures of more than a million people. Many of them believe that washing dirty linen in public could still be dangerous. — Weak demand in Hong Kong, China’s economic problems, and as a result, a drop in the inflow of Chinese tourists to Europe may have a negative impact on revenue this year. This forecast was made by the British fashion house Burberry. From September to March, one of the leading players on the European luxury market recorded a decline in revenues by 1% to 1.4 billion pounds, or EUR 1.7 billion. In the last three months alone, retail sales fell by 5%, and in Hong Kong by 20%. Competitors are experiencing a similar situation: earlier on, weaker-than-expected results were reported by French LVMH and Italian fashion house Prada. — Getting ahead of their European competitors, Italian textile producers have entered into an agreement to supply products to Iran, which has just been released from under international «nuclear» sanctions. The document on cooperation between the Italian fashion association SMI and its Iranian analogue was signed during Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s visit to Tehran. This segment of the Italian industry is estimated at 52 billion euros, and Iran is a promising market. The country has 80 million people, of which about 3 million are rich. Luke Skolkov, analyst at BNP Paribas, estimates Iran’s potential to be 2% of the global luxury market. The analysis above does not constitute direct trading instructions and is of purely informative nature.  

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