Eurozone May industrial production +12.4% vs +15.0% m/m expected

Latest data released by Eurostat – 14 July 2020

  • Prior -17.1%; revised to -18.2%
  • Industrial production WDA -20.9% vs -18.9% y/y expected
  • Prior -28.0%; revised to -28.7%

Factory output rebounded in May but not as robust as anticipated, with the annual reading highlighting the plight faced by the euro area economy despite the gradual easing of lockdown measures. June should also reflect a rebound but new normal conditions and the pace of the recovery will likely only be seen in July to August or later in Q3.

EU could open legal case against Germany over ECB bond-purchases ruling

Last week Germany’s constitutional court issued a decision ruling that the European Central Bank had overstepped its mandate with QE bond purchases,

  • German court in Karlsruhe gave the ECB 3 months to justify its euro zone QE stimulus programme, or the Bundesbank might have to step aside from it
Responding, the European Union’s highest court (which had previously permitted the ECB QE programme) and the European Commission said that EU law holds precedence over national regulations
Further now, on Sunday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU executive might end up opening a legal case against Germany.
  • “We are now analysing the ruling of the German Constitutional Court in detail. And we will look into possible next steps, which may include the option of infringement proceedings,”
These wort of legal wranglings are not a positive for EU coherency and stability. Nor are they positive for the EUR. Watching for developments on this front – both legal/political and for ECB actions ahead.
 Last week Germany's constitutional court issued a decision ruling that the European Central Bank had overstepped its mandate with QE bond purchases,

ECB has given the middle finger to the German constitutional court

You’ll recall from earlier this week that the court ruled the European Central Bank must ensure its QE bond-buying program is proportionate or else Germany’s Bundesbank central bank may no longer participate.

  • And if its not the Germany Bundesbank central bank may no longer participate
The Governing Council of the ECB responded with a “Yeah, right …”:
said it “takes note” of the judgement
  • “The Governing Council remains fully committed to doing everything necessary within its mandate”
One member (at least) said the ECB will not respond directly to the court
  • court’s arguments are ridiculous
  • we could easily answer them
  • we should not do so as this is a risk to central bank independence
So, its an ‘as you were’ for the ECB QE program.
You'll recall from earlier this week that the court ruled the European Central Bank must ensure its QE bond-buying program is proportionate or else Germany's Bundesbank central bank may no longer participate.

German judges partly dismiss ECB QE case

The judges reach a 7-1 ruling in the ECB QE case

Despite the ruling, the court says that some action by the ECB QE program partially violates constitution and that some of the action is held illegal i.e. not valid in Germany.
Adding that the ECB decision is not backed by the EU treaty. The decision can be found here.

Although there are some caveats, I wouldn’t look too much into this. This just reaffirms that PEPP is going to be untouched, so the lack of suggestive price action means ‘let’s move on’.
I would argue that this is the key passage to take note of in the ruling above:

“Following a transitional period of no more than three months allowing for the necessary coordination with the Eurosystem, the Bundesbank may thus no longer participate in the implementation and execution of the ECB decisions at issue, unless the ECB Governing Council adopts a new decision that demonstrates in a comprehensible and substantiated manner that the monetary policy objectives pursued by the PSPP are not disproportionate to the economic and fiscal policy effects resulting from the programme. On the same condition, the Bundesbank must ensure that the bonds already purchased and held in its portfolio are sold based on a – possibly long-term – strategy coordinated with the Eurosystem.”

ECB: Euro area GDP could shrink by 5% to 12% this year

ECB notes in a pre-release of its economic bulletin

  • Euro area real GDP could fall by around 5% (mild scenario), 8% (medium scenario), and 12% (severe scenario) this year
  • Under the severe scenario, Q2 quarterly real GDP growth could be -15%, followed by a protracted and incomplete recovery; +6% in Q3, +3% in Q4
  • Under the severe scenario, real GDP is expected to remain well below the level observed at the end of 2019 until the end of 2022
The headline isn’t so much of a surprise since it is the same as what Lagarde has already highlighted in her press conference yesterday. This just adds more colour to it. In case you missed Lagarde’s remarks, you can check them out here and here (Q&A).

EU’s Centeno says he expects finance ministers to agree fiscal measures “much larger” than €27bn

Financial Times with the report on a prediction from Mário Centeno, President of the Eurogroup

  • Eurozone finance ministers will agree a “very large” policy response to fight the economic fallout of coronavirus, the president of the eurogroup has predicted
  • bloc will unleash the “full flexibility” of its budget rules to boost spending
  • expected fiscal measures that together add up to a boost “much larger” than the €27bn aggregate level that was mentioned by Christine Lagarde
Centeno speaking with the FT Link 

ECB leaves rates unchanged, announces new LTRO, expands QE by 120B

ECB announces measures

No changes in any rates
  • ECB raises monthly bond purchases by 120B by year-end (not per month)
  • Additional LTROs will be conducted to provide immediate liquidity
  • Says considerably more favourable terms will be applied during period from June 2020 to June 2021
  • Rates on new LTROs will be 25 bps below average rate applied in eurosystem’s main refinancing operations
  • Raises amount taht counterparties can borrow in LTROs to 50% of their stock of eligible loans
  • Continue to expect QE programs to run as long as necessary and end shortly before ECB ready to raise rates
The market was sniffing around for an interest rate cut and it didn’t come. The euro has risen

Singapore Q4 GDP 1 % y/y (vs expected 0.8 %) – lowers outlook for GDP ahead

Singapore MTI downgrades 2020 GDP growth forecast to -0.5% to 1.5% (previous forecast 0.5% to 2.5%)

  • Singapore MTI says 2020 GDP expected to come in at around 0.5%, the mid-point of the forecast range
  • Singapore says revising down 2020 growth, exports forecasts due to coronavirus outbreak


  • Q4 manufacturing -5.9% % q/q at annualised, seasonally adjusted rate
  • Q4 services 2.2 % q/q at annualised, seasonally adjusted rate
  • 2019 non-oil domestic exports contract 9.2%
  • Singapore lowers 2020 non-oil domestic exports forecast to -0.5%-1.5% from 0%-2% previously

EUR/CHF threatens a three-year low as some risk aversion creeps in

The euro is soft on all fronts

The euro is the laggard today as the pain trade continues for euro bulls.
EUR/CHF is no exception as the pair threatens the low of the year at 1.0663. We’re just 5 pips from there now and if that breaks, the next big support level is the 2017 low of 1.0632.
The euro is soft on all fronts

More risk aversion is creeping in today as the minutes tick by. Stocks in the US are holding up but Treasury yields are sliding and gold is climbing.

Watch: ECB president Christine Lagarde’s press conference at 1330 GMT

All eyes on Lagarde now

The ECB statement was a non-event as expected, with the language on inflation and policy kept similar to the December meeting.

The ECB did officially announce its first strategic review in nearly two decades though and has taken some of the heat away from Lagarde ahead of her press conference; they say that they will provide further details on the scope and timetable later today at 1430 GMT.
As such, the focus of Lagarde’s press conference will be more skewed towards her tone and view on recent changes to the economic outlook i.e. improving data and the US-China trade deal – unless of course she decides to chime in on strategic review questions.
You can watch her live later here:

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