WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: Major Asian bourses firmed and the USD moved lower in European trade on Friday following y-day’s weaker-than-expected US data. On the data front, US UM consumer sentiment for February and US February’s PPI lure market attention today ahead of the eagerly awaited FOMC policy meeting next week (March 17-18).
GREECE: In an emergency meeting that took place y-day via teleconference, the ECB renewed its approval for the provision of the ELA facility to Greek banks and increased the ELA ceiling by €500mn to €69.4bn. In other news, speaking in the joint press conference following his meeting with OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that Greece signed a cooperation deal with the OECD in the form of know-how related to the planning and implementation of a series of reforms. Meanwhile, the technical teams of the institutions reportedly arrived in Athens y-day and talks with domestic authorities are expected to commence today.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
SERBIA: After staying put on interest rates since November last year, the Central Bank (NBS) lowered its key policy rate by 50bps to 7.50% at its MPC meeting on Thursday, in line with a market consensus.
BULGARIA: According to preliminary data by NSI, Bulgaria’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by 51.1%YoY to BGN 0.4bn. The aforementioned improvement came on the back of an 8.9%YoY increase in exports vs. a 4.2%YoY drop in imports.
CESEE MARKETS: The majority of emerging stock markets posted modest losses earlier today and CESEE currencies broadly recoiled, as investors eagerly await next week’s FOMC meeting for any clues on the timing of interest rate hikes. In the local rates markets, government bonds gave back some of yesterday’s gains recorded after the Central Bank of Serbia cut its key policy rate.
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