ECB records were published which caused discussions about further rate cuts and a new round of QE. Morgan Stanley analysts have been most vocal over QE anticipating that with the current inflation data the ECB is likely to use all the tools it has in reach.
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Low growth below the 2% threshold coupled with below-target inflation has led our macros to believe that the ECB is taking extra stimulus for granted. This would mean the return of the centra banks’ asset repurchase program, experts at Morgan Stanley point out..
The ECB will stop injecting liquidity into the system next December. This leaves Eurozone banks in a slightly odd situation: returning to “normality” after years of atypical measures. The withdrawal of QE will have different impacts on different countries, depending on the characteristics of the models of their banking business.
The ECB’s chairman endorsed the optimistic staff forecast enough to justify the end of QE for December 2018 and then spent the rest of the press conference insisting on the downside risks. This was the only way that BoAML’ s analysts find to deliver what they think about Mario Draghi’s main challenge: making sure that there would not be any continuum in the market perceptions between the end of the net purchases and a brisk pace of normalisation on rates.
The ECB could announce a short taper to December current week. The central bank has to be consistent if QE is ending this year and, hence, according to BoAML’s analysts it has to send a reaffirming message on three criteria: convergence, confidence, resilience.
Just a week before the new year begins some analysts are saying that 2018 looks likely to be the best year for global synchronized growth since 2011. In fact, Laurence Boone from AXA IM thinks that inflation should return and supportive monetary policy progressively withdrawn. Is this all too good to be true?
The ECB could first check how the market reacts to the actual halving of its purchases in January, and how the run-up to the Italian elections shape up, before changing its message.
BoAML | QE drove fund flows in 2016, but the past two months was all about reversing this trend. All-in-all, commodities, EM debt and IG were the winners; equities and HY the losers. For example, last week’s flows HG: +$1.6bn / HY: +$1.1bn / Equities: -$40mn
BoAML | The last few months have been jammed with corporate bond issuance in Europe: refinancing deals, M&A supply, foreign issuers, debut names and unrated bonds, for instance. Mario Draghi spoke highly of the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme at the last ECB meeting, and we think it reflects precisely this. The central bank has been able to quickly generate corporate bond supply (and buy it), helping to counter the frustrations with low sovereign debt issuance.
Now the most important companies can finance themselves at the same price as the government – at practically 0% – and they have benefited from this…But it doesn’t mean that these optimal conditions are fuelling a greater amount of real investment: companies have taken advantage of this to pay more dividends and reward shareholders with buybacks.