Euro rebonds, Greece expected to stay in union
The euro rebounded from an 11-year low on speculation fallout from the election of the anti-austerity Syriza party in Greece will be contained. European stocks erased earlier losses and oil rebounded while Russia’s ruble weakened.
Europe’s shared currency strengthened 0.5% to $1.1264 by 8:33 a.m. in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.2% after closing at a seven-year high on Friday, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped less than 0.1%, paring earlier losses. Greek stocks fell with bonds. Oil in New York rose 0.9% to $45.98 a barrel after OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said crude could rise as high as $200 a barrel if there’s insufficient investment in new oil projects. The ruble tumbled 2.3% as fighting in Ukraine spread.
Greek Prime Minister-elect Alexis Tsipras formed an alliance with Independent Greeks within hours of his election victory. German business confidence rose for a third month as falling energy costs and anticipation of more European Central Bank stimulus helped lift optimism about an economic recovery. Microsoft Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. are among companies reporting earnings.
“Syriza’s win won’t be as bad for markets now as it could have been a few months ago,” said Alessandro Bee, a strategist at Bank J Safra Sarasin AG in Zurich. “Tsipras is less aggressive and willing to negotiate. The result will affect sentiment on Greece, but in a broader European context it’s just a blip. Markets are still in a risk-on mode and any news is dwarfed by the ECB stimulus program.”
Tsipras, 40, has pledged to keep the nation within the single currency area as he negotiates a writedown of Greek debt and eases budget constraints that were imposed in return for aid after the country’s economic collapse. The current round of funding expires on Feb. 28 and talks with the so-called troika - - the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the ECB -- for its renewal have stalled since September amid demands for further belt tightening.
The Independent Greeks party will support Syriza in a vote of confidence set for Feb. 5, its leader Panos Kammenos said. As recently as last week, Kammenos said that Greek debt should be audited and its “odious” part written down, whether creditors like it or not.
“If you are a broad European investor you should be relatively relaxed,” Michael Krautzberger, the London-based head of euro fixed income at the world’s biggest money manager BlackRock Inc. said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse” with Francine Lacqua. “If you look at the long end in Italy, the long end in Spain, they are actually up in price, down in yield. If the market were super concerned about spillover we wouldn’t have those reactions.”