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In Less than 1500 Characters


Fed: It's Likely to Be 25


at 08:13AM

Our understanding at this point is that, even if the most recent non-farm payroll data points to a buoyant job market in the US, the Federal Reserve is still poised to cut rates by 25 basis points at its July 31 meeting.

We believe that Chair Jerome Powell will hint at just that in his Humphrey Hawkins Congress Testimony on Wednesday July 10. And last week's job data, if anything, made his life easier by scraping away some of the excess dovishness in market pricing (35 basis points in mid-June, 32 before the NFP data was released last Friday).

The Fed is also likely to announce a revised path for possible future cuts. From what we have been told, there is a lot of sensitivity in the upper echelons to President Donald Trump's new focus on currency wars.

To be clear, the Federal Reserve will not act because the President said so. But external conditions, and in particular the prolonged trade stand-off with China (and the upcoming one with the EU) may have convinced the Board of Governors to take into account certain issues that had been previously overlooked, such as the exchange rate.

All in all, we expect the combination of financial conditions on both sides of the Atlantic to provide support for EURUSD, as markets are likely to find out soon that, despite the selection of Christine Lagarde as the next ECB President, the Fed has much more room to act compared to the ECB.

Italy: Berlusconi's Outsized Role


at 02:21PM

Markets are currently torn between betting on Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's snap election gamble and banking on the traditionally conservative attitude of freshly elected parlamentarians wanting to keep their seats.

From what we hear, odds of a snap election are below even, probably no more than 30%, as resistance is mounting against Salvini's coup.

Amazingly, we have been told former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is playing the role of deus ex machina in the process, as his backing is key to allow Salvini's no-confidence motion to succeed, and to avoid the formation of an alternative government that would exclude the League.

Berlusconi has upped the ante by demanding, in exchange for his support, a written agreement that would guarantee Forza Italia's equal standing as a government partner, and - crucially - equal weight in influencing policies, even as it only commands a third of the League's vote. Salvini would have to swallow that, even as he remains very popular with the electorate (but then that also proved to be fickle for the 5 Stars).

In any event, we see a bullish case for Italian assets: either Berlusconi forces a more moderate stance on the League in an agreement to run together in a snap election, or large swathes of his parliamentary contingent will back a different executive formed against Salvini.

UK: The Aftermath of A No-Deal Brexit

at 02:19PM

While our sense is that the probability of a no-deal Brexit is much higher than investors are currently pricing in, and even if we strongly believe there will be a snap election in the UK, most likely right after October 31, we are not flat out pessimistic about the prospects of EU-UK relations post-Brexit.

There are signals that some work is already been carried out, and today's comment from German Chancellor Angela Merkel - *MERKEL: WE WILL THINK ABOUT PRACTICAL BREXIT SOLUTIONS (Bloomberg) - points to the EU's willingness to explore possible alternative arrangements to manage Britain's access to the Single Market.

However, we still believe these offers will come AFTER, and not before what appears to be a potential constitutional crisis in the UK, with an October 31 no-deal exit and a snap election in sight.

It is not hard to anticipate high levels of volatility - with huge headline risk - going into the fall and towards the exit date, as markets will react heavily to news going in both directions.

Ultimately, however, our understanding is that the EU does not believe no-deal as being prejudicial to a successful post-Brexit relationship.

And that, for investors, should already be good news per se.