WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: Major bond markets firmed and the JPY moved higher across the board on Wednesday on renewed market concerns about the growth prospects of the world economy. For the remainder of the day, focus is on the minutes of the March 15-16 FOMC meeting, when the monetary policy committee revised downward the projected number of rate hikes for this year from four to two.
GREECE: Speaking to reporters yesterday, ESM General Director Klaus Regling was quoted saying that a staff level agreement on the conditionality underlying the 1st review could be reached by the end of April ahead of the Orthodox Easter. He reiterated that official discussions on debt relief could start upon successful completion of the review noting that there are currently several options on the table for a deal. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters after her meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that Germany wants the IMF to remain part of Greece’s new bailout programme and ruled out a debt haircut on the basis that “this is legally not possible in the euro zone”. The government reportedly presented to official creditors a new package of proposed measures worth 1%-of-GDP to partially cover a projected general government fiscal deficit of 3%-of-GDP in the period between 2016 and 2018.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
ROMANIA: Retail sales showed no signs of cooling off in the second month of the year, pointing to strong domestic demand dynamics.
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