WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: Most Asian equity indices closed in the red on Friday, partly reflecting a strengthening yen that exerted downward pressure on major Japanese exporters. Elsewhere, most European bourses opened slightly higher on Friday ahead of the January US payroll report that could give some hints on the Fed monetary tightening path. In FX markets, the US dollar received some respite against its major currency peers on increased concerns about the sustainability of the US economic recovery following a recent string of weaker-than-expected economic data and dovish Fed officials’ comments that triggered a downward shift in FOMC rate hike expectations.
GREECE: The mission heads are reportedly scheduled to meet later this morning the Minister of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity, Georgios Katrougalos, before they depart from Athens. According to the local press, it appears that quite diverse views continue to exist between the Greek government and official creditors on the planned overhaul of the social security pension system. Provided that things go as planned, the heads are reportedly expected to return by mid-February with an intention to have the review completed by late February/early March. In its Winter 2016 Economic Forecast published yesterday, the European Commission revised higher Greece’s GDP growth forecast for 2015 and 2016 to 0.0% and -0.7%, respectively, from -1.4% and 1.-3% previously.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
CESEE MARKETS: Emerging stock markets moved modestly higher in early European trade on Friday, extending the prior session’s hefty gains on scaled back expectations for the timing of the next Fed rate hike. Bourses in the CESEE region were little changed probably as caution prevailed ahead of the non-farm payrolls report due later on the day. Along these lines, most CESEE currencies and local government bonds were mixed in morning European trade today.
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