WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: Asian equity markets traded mixed on Monday, while most European equity indices reversed earlier losses, as potential merger-and-acquisition activity helped chemical stocks to more than offset falling mining equity. In FX markets, the British pound was losing ca. 0.4% against the dollar and the euro at the time of writing after a senior member of the ruling Conservative resigned on Friday ahead of June’s referendum on Britain’s European Union membership. The data calendar is relatively light this week, though US existing and new home sales (February) due on Monday andWednesday, respectively, will be worth watching. Furthermore, US durable orders (February) on Thursday and the third estimate for Q4 15 GDP on GoodFriday may also lure market attention. On the euro area data front, consumer confidence (March, preliminary) on Wednesday and PMI manufacturing and services indices (March) will likely be closely scrutinized by market participants.
GREECE: The mission heads of the EC/ECB/ESM/IMF departed from Athens this weekend for the Catholic Easter but consultations will reportedly continue until Thursday between Greek officials and the institutions’ technical teams. According to press reports, the mission has been productive and significant progress has been achieved with regard to income tax reform, whereas progress has also been made on fundamental elements of the pensions’ reform. The mission heads will likely return to Athens on April 2nd.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
BULGARIA: The domestic equity market remained in a consolidation mode last week, with trading volumes being relatively subdued. Meanwhile, MinFin surprised with the earlier than expected Eurobond placement on Monday, taking advantage of the favorable market conditions following further ECB easing.
ROMANIA: Romanian financial markets ended little changed last week, despite global volatility related to the Fed meeting and domestic discussions over the controversial “give in payment” law for mortgages planned by Parliament.
SERBIA: The EUR/RSD closed modestly lower on a weekly basis on Friday as renewed Central Bank interventions in the FX markets in order to halt the domestic currency’s recent downside momentum, weak EUR demand and scaled back expectations for the FED’s rate tightening path favoured the dinar.
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