Tuesday April 21, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Worst of Europe debt crisis ended in poll with 57 percent optimistic

The worst of Europe’s debt crisis is over in the eyes of most international investors, a shift in sentiment reflected by increased demand for the region’s financial assets.

Fifty-seven percent of the investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers said in a poll conducted last week that Europe’s bond markets have ceased deteriorating. That is the first time in two years of being asked that a majority declared an end to the sell-off that roiled the euro area and raised doubts over the currency’s existence.

The improved mood is visible in markets where the average yield to hold bonds from Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain fell this month to a euro-era record, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch bond indexes. Ireland sold bonds this month for the first time since exiting its bailout and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index is at the highest in six years.

“Investors are more constructive toward the eurozone,” said Peter Kinsella, a currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in London who participated in the poll. “But the fundamentals are still very weak.”

At the center of concerns about the outlook is unemployment, a legacy of the region’s recession. With the jobless rate at a record 12.1 percent and many of the region’s youth without work, 40 percent of those polled identified unemployment as the biggest threat to European expansion.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents pointed to excessive public-sector debt as the main risk and 15 percent cited government austerity. The European Commission forecast in December that euro-region debt will average about 96 percent of gross domestic product this year. Ireland, Greece and Italy are among nations that will have a ratio above 100 percent.

“In the longer term there are reasons for caution,” said James Butterfill, head of global equity strategy at Coutts & Co. in London and another poll respondent.

The trend toward greater optimism among investors nevertheless helps remove Europe as a subject of elevated concern when executives, bankers and policy makers begin meeting on Wednesday in the Swiss retreat of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Previous meetings saw debates over whether the euro would break up, and even a year ago the region was still in its longest ever recession.

On the program for the Davos conference on Wednesday is a panel titled “Is Europe Back?” featuring former Bundesbank President Axel Weber as well as executives from France, Italy and the U.K.

Forty-nine percent of those surveyed this month said the euro-zone economy is now improving, up from 16 percent a year ago and the most since the question was first asked in September 2011. Forty percent said the European Union presents one of the best investment opportunities this year, up from 22 percent in January 2013 and 8 percent at the start of 2010.

While the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its forecast for euro-area growth this year to 1 percent from the 0.9 percent it anticipated in October, it said the recovery will be uneven and about a third the pace of the U.S. expansion.

“Europe’s still not exactly high-performing now,” said Ian Bremmer, president of the New York-based Eurasia Group, who will be attending the WEF meeting in Davos.

Policy makers are finding there is a dividend from calmer markets. Recently-elected German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies were regarded optimistically by 70 percent of those surveyed. Just 12 percent said they were upbeat about the work of scandal-hit French President Francois Hollande.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who will be in Davos and vowed in July 2012 to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro, was viewed favorably by 71 percent of respondents. With inflation still below the ECB’s target, Draghi said this month that there remains the potential for fresh aid if needed and he wants to see sustained confidence before he will “declare victory.”

The poll of 477 Bloomberg subscribers was conducted on Jan 16-17 by Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday Jan 22, 2014 (13:05)  
Greece buys six weeks’ space with order transferring city funds
Dijssebloem expects deal with Greece in coming weeks
Euro-area debt levels surge to record, led by Greece
ECB studying curbs on Greek bank support
Juncker urges Greece to step up effort in debt talks
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Greece on Tuesday to step up efforts to strike a deal with its international creditors, warning that talks were not advanced enough to...
UN urges Europe to put asylum at center of Mediterranean debate
GENEVA - The UN refugee agency on Tuesday urged European leaders to do more to help Greece and Italy cope with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and to put protection of people at the ...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Panathinaikos recovers to beat CSKA for 2-1
Three-pointer master Panathinaikos had the last laugh at the end of Game 3 of its series with CSKA Moscow on Monday winning 86-85 and reducing the Russians' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five p...
GYMNASTICS
Petrounias wins gold in Europeans
Lefteris Petrounias won his first gold medal in a European Artistic Gymnastics Championship on Saturday finishing first in the rings at Montpellier in France. Petrounias was impeccable in th...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
IMF needs to correct its big Greek bailout mistake
The Greek government's mounting financial woes are leading it to contemplate the unthinkable: defaulting on a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Instead of demanding repayment and fu...
COMMENTARY
Tragedy in the Mediterranean
Every time we in the West see yet another video of an atrocity committed by Islamic State or Boko Haram and express our abhorrence, and every time we are shocked to read of a boatload of mig...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greece buys six weeks’ space with order transferring city funds
2. Dijssebloem expects deal with Greece in coming weeks
3. Juncker urges Greece to step up effort in debt talks
4. UN urges Europe to put asylum at center of Mediterranean debate
5. More than 120 migrants reach Greek shores, a day after fatal sinking
6. Greek municipalities outraged by state move to use funds
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
2. Tragedy in the Mediterranean
3. Two men accused of migrant smuggling face prosecutor over deadly shipwreck
4. No ferries on Labor Day as seamen take industrial action
5. Silence is not an option
6. ECB studying curbs on Greek bank support
Today
This Week
1. Quarantine for Greek bank subsidiaries in neighboring countries
2. Greek finance ministry hits back at German newspaper report
3. Time to get serious
4. Putting off payments led to Q1 budget primary surplus
5. Obama calls for flexibility in Greek reform talks in brief exchange with Varoufakis
6. Greece denies report that it is preparing for debt default
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.