WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: Long-dated euro area government bonds were modestly firmer in European trade on Wednesday after newswires conveyed that the ECB is unlikely to ditch its pledge to continue the expanded asset purchase programme at next week’s monetary policy meeting as it needs more time to assess the evolution of economic growth and inflation. In FX markets, comments from a number of ECB policy makers suggesting that the Central Bank is unlikely to put a specific end date to the QE programme any time soon, provided purportedly the opportunity for some profit taking with the EUR/USD pulling back to levels around 1.2230/35 after marking a fresh three-year high of 1.2322 earlier in the day. Focus today is on the BoC monetary policy meeting with the policy decision, scheduled to be announced at 16:00CET, remaining a close call. On the data front, the main focus will be the US industrial production for December while the Fed’s Beige Book is also due for release.
GREECE: The updated Asset Development Plan (ADP) of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) was endorsed yesterday by the Government Council for Economic Policy opening the way for a number of privatisation projects to proceed as planned. Meanwhile, according to the preliminary data released by the Ministry of Finance regarding the execution of the State Budget on a modified cash basis, the State Budget balance for the period January – December 2017 presented a deficit of EUR4,241 million, against the target in the 2018 Budget introductory report for the same period of 2017 of deficit of EUR5,123 million while the State Budget primary balance amounted to a surplus of EUR1,967 million against the primary surplus target of EUR877 million.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
CESEE MARKETS: The majority of emerging market assets moved lower earlier on Wednesday, weighed down the USD’s intraday recovery.
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