Wednesday, 9 March 2011

European economic reports positive but sovereign debt concerns linger

European economic reports on Tuesday were positive.

In France, the Bank of France's survey on industries and services showed that the business sentiment indicator in industry held at 110 in February, unchanged from January, while the business sentiment indicator in services edged up to 102 from 101.

In Germany, factory orders jumped by 2.9 percent in January from the previous.

However, sovereign debt issues remain a concern for Europe. From Bloomberg:

Some countries in the euro region may have their credit ratings cut further while a Greece debt default is a “possibility,” said Moritz Kraemer, managing director of European sovereign ratings at Standard & Poor’s...

The debt ratings of Portugal and Greece remain at risk of being cut due to concern about how a European Union rescue fund may affect holders of the two nations’ sovereign bonds, S&P said March 1. Ireland retained a negative outlook after S&P cuts its ratings on Feb. 2. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Greece’s government bond ratings yesterday to B1 from Ba1, and assigned a negative outlook to the rating...

Greek 10-year bond yields and credit-default swaps surged to a record as borrowing costs increased at a debt sale and before European leaders begin meetings aimed at containing the sovereign debt crisis.

Spanish bonds also slid as the government sold debt through banks. Greek bond losses extended declines to a ninth day after the nation’s credit rating was cut by Moody’s. Portuguese 10- year bonds fell for a second day before a notes auction tomorrow. German 10-year bonds dropped amid speculation the nation’s economic growth will add to pressure on central bankers to increase interest rates.

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