ECB to remain on hold this week. We expect ECB will keep interest rate on hold on Thursday, at 0.75%, in line with consensus. The key risk to expectations of no rate cut is the recent strength of the euro, driving tightening of monetary conditions. However, the scale of appreciation so far is in our opinion unlikely to make ECB cut rates. EU leaders meet for round two of long-term budget talks. On Thursday and Friday, EU leaders will meet in Brussels to try to reach a deal on the EU 2014-2020 budget. The previous Summit in November 2012 ended in failure as key net contributors rejected the proposed budget and opted for cuts in times of austerity.
Spanish PM Rajoy’s troubles threaten risk appetite. Spain will remain in the focus of financial markets this week as PM Mariano Rajoy faces opposition calls to resign amid a report in El Pais newspaper alleging he accepted illegal payments. If this political crisis escalates, a new election in Spain might be on the cards.
Back to fiscal cliff tensions in the U.S. On Tuesday the U.S. Congressional Budget Office will release its twice-yearly outlook for the U.S. budget and economy. The report could trigger more debates about the second part of the so-called fiscal cliff, being the 1st March launch of USD 110 bn of automatic spending cuts - that is unless politicians can come to an agreement. U.S. services sector kept momentum at start of 2013. On the U.S. macro front, key this week will be the Tuesday’s report on the country’s services sector, which accounts for about 90% of U.S. economic activity. The ISM Services index is expected to have fallen slightly in January. Still, such a reading would show the economy maintained momentum at the start of 2013.
China’s exports to post strongest increase in 17 months. China’s January trade figures will be released on Friday. Consensus expects exports rose 17.0%y/y, which would be the strongest increase in 17 months, confirming that the Chinese economy is picking-up further.
Polish MPC to cut rates by another 25bp. The Polish MPC will announce its interest rates decision on Wednesday. We look for another 25bp interest rate cut, to 3.75% from 4.00%, in line with consensus. We expect the MPC to make no pause in monetary easing in February taking into account, among others, the sharp drop in industrial output, negative retail sales reading and significant decline in inflation in December.