Relief over Spain’s bank stress tests improved market sentiment today, with European shares bouncing off three-week lows. Still, we expect the Moody’s review of Spain, which could push the country’s rating below investment grade and doubts over when Madrid will seek a bailout might continue to weigh on stocks this week. Possible downgrading of Spain rating to junk status by Moody's would be a significant blow to market sentiment in the short-term. That said, the negative effect should not be long-lived because such a downgrade would at the same time significantly increase the probability Spain will soon request a bailout from EFSF/ESM, precondition for ECB bond-buying.
The possible divisions between international lenders from Troika over how to address Greece’s problems might again be in the spotlight as Troika returns to Athens this week to resume talks over the next tranche of bailout. As we underlined in our previous reports and as confirmed by two German magazine reports, the eurozone authorities are likely to continue to support Greece fearing the “domino effect” from Grexit.
On the macro front, investors will closely watch U.S. non-farm payrolls data due Friday, especially given the Fed has last month outlined the link between its monetary policy and unemployment. After the negative surprise seen last month, non-farm payrolls are expected to edge higher, at 115K from 96K last month, however the unemployment rate is also expected to rise to 8.2% from 8.1% in August.
The ECB meeting is scheduled on Thursday, however, after the OMT program already announced last month, we expect the ECB will announce no new policy measures this week. We also expect interest rates to be left unchanged at 0.75%, in line with consensus.
In Poland, the key event of the week will be the MPC meeting on Wednesday. We expect the Council will cut rates by 25bp, in line with consensus. The odds the Council will ease monetary policy already this month increased significantly after governor Marek Belka last week underlined the MPC will soon proceed to a cycle of interest rate cuts.