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Greek Election and FX Fallout Squeeze Markets   January 26 - January 30
Fri, 30 Jan 04:16 PM EST/09:16 PM GMT
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There was a sense of wariness in global markets this week as participants moved beyond ECB easing to mull over the Greek government turnover, some upsetting corporate quarterly reports, and the Fed's steady course toward rate hikes. Syriza's victory in Greece was widely expected, and focus is now on how Athens and the Eurozone can work out a new deal that allows both sides to save face. The FOMC decision on Wednesday strongly suggested that the Fed is on track for rate liftoff later this year after upgrading its growth assessment to "solid" from "moderate", though it did acknowledge that "international developments" are being watched closely. Meanwhile, corporate giants like Microsoft, Caterpillar, and ConocoPhillips saw losses as they grappled with the strong dollar and weak oil prices. The US 10-year yield fell to new 2015 lows below 1.70%, levels not seen since 2012. The first look at US fourth quarter GDP was good, not great (+2.6% versus final Q3 +5.0%), although consumption remained strong. US durable goods orders were not pretty, while in China, December industrial production contracted 8%, twice the November decline. The Shanghai Composite lost ground on the week for the first time in nearly three months, while the DJIA fell 2.8%, the S&P500 declined 2.8% and the Nasdaq lost 2.6%.

In Greece, the anti-bailout Syriza swept into power in elections last Sunday with an overwhelming 10-point lead over the ruling New Democracy party. Syriza took 149 seats, just shy of the 151 required for an outright majority, requiring it to recruit the right-wing, anti-bailout Independent Greeks party (with 13 seats) as coalition partner. Syriza's mercurial leader Alexis Tsipras said the election marks the end of bailout agreement for Greece and cancels austerity. The new government immediately began preparing to cancel certain privatization deals and met with EU Commissioner Dijsselbloem to discuss a new deal with Europe. The euro sank on the news, with EUR/USD touching 1.1100, although i ...
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