WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: The USD retained a firm tone in European trade on Friday and US Treasuries remained under pressure amid increased market expectations for an imminent Fed rate hike. Following hawkish comments from a number of FOMC policymakers over the last few sessions and a higher than expected monthly increase in the US’ February core PCE, Fed Funds futures are currently assigning a 88% probability for a 25bps rate hike at the Mach 14-15 FOMC monetary policy meeting compared to c. 50% earlier this week and c. 30% in mid-February.
GREECE: Negotiations between the Greek authorities and the ECB/IMF/ESM/EC mission heads in the context of the 2nd programme review continue and are reportedly expected to last until next Tuesday or Wednesday. In spite of divergent views on certain issues required to be closed for the successful completion of the review, Greek government officials reportedly insist that technical talks could be completed in time for the next Eurogroup meeting on March 20. Ahead of the next Eurogroup, the Euroworking Group (EWG) convenes on March 9 and is expected to assess, among others, the progress made and the course of action from then on.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
CYPRUS: Inflation rose to +1.7% YoY in February, the highest reading since January 2013.
ROMANIA: The finance ministry sold on Thursday a planned amount of RON 700mn (~€154.5mn) of 2-year government bonds, at an average accepted yield of 1.59%, 21bps above that achieved at a prior auction of the same paper held in January.
SERBIA: Serbia’s parliament speaker Maja Gojkovic announced on Thursday that the upcoming Presidential election will be held on April 2nd, while a potential second round would take place on April 16th.
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