WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: In line with market expectations, the Fed stayed put on its monetary policy meeting on Wednesdaykeeping the target range for the federal funds rate stable at 0.50%-0.75%. The accompanying statement was little changed compared to the previous one with the Fed reiterating its intention to move “gradually” with respect to additional rate tightening in the coming months. In FX markets, the USD remained under pressure across the board as the Fed failed to provide hints for a more aggressive rate tightening ahead. Elsewhere, the GBP firmed on somewhat contained political jitters on news that UK MPs overwhelmingly voted yesterday in favor of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill” at the second reading, conferring on the Prime Minister the power to invoke Article 50.
GREECE: The Alternate Minister of Finance George Chouliarakis and the institutions discussed yesterday via teleconference the pending items in the context of the 2nd programme review. On the data front, according to the European Commission Business and Consumer Survey Results, the Economic sentiment indicator for January 2017 was unchanged at 95.1 index units (i.u.). The Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in January 2017 fell to a 16-month low at 46.6 i.u. down from 49.3 i.u. in December 2016.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
CESEE MARKETS: Emerging market assets mostly firmed earlier on Thursday after the Fed did not signal at its monetary policy meeting yesterday a more aggressive than expected rate-hiking path. However, Romanian assets underperformed amid increased domestic political jitters and heightened fiscal slippage concerns.
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