Mr Draghi’s comments of ‘whatever it takes’ indicate Europe is finally ready to move beyond the preamble of solving the Eurozone crisis. This afternoon’s ECB rate meeting is eagerly awaited. My gut feeling is the deposit rate could be lowered to negative territory and the sovereign bond purchases restarted alongside more verbal assurances of strong action. Spain is on precipice. As late as early July, the Spanish government was telling everyone, “Spain doesn’t need a sovereign bailout”. It is now almost certain they can’t do without one. Spanish debt cost is spiraling at the short end too. With the country’s ratings under review, a downgrade now could cut Spain’s access to the bond market altogether. For me, this is the inflexion point in the Euro crisis and could be the reason for the recent bold comments from the ECB. The US Fed’s QE3 is likely to come at its September meeting. US Q2 earnings have not been bad but revenue expectations have lagged. However, the fall in consumption and income have bottomed and real spending is turning into a shallow uptrend. US Q2 GDP growth of 1.5% though small, keeps recession at bay. Slow growth with incredibly loose monetary policy bodes well for Equities. Large-cap US stocks are still the place to be, in the Industrial and Energy sectors in particular. Euro weakness will stay and GBP’s rehabilitation continues, at least until the UK gets downgraded..
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