Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All is well with the world - particularly in Europe

All is well with the world again. Italy sold €8 billion of new paper and the fact that there were buyers even at record yields pushed up the equity markets. French and Spanish bonds rallied in sympathy.

But at some point the world will remember that Italy has €33 billion of debt coming due in the final week of January and another €48 billion in February.

As US equity futures rally, the ECB continues to provide increased amounts of secured financing to European banks in a fashion similar to the Fed's TAF operations.

Bloomberg ECBATOT - Variable Rate Repo Auction Allotment.

These institutions then promptly convert some of those borrowed euros to dollars in order to fund their dollar assets, driving up demand for currency basis swaps. The spread on the 3-month EUR/USD basis swap has promptly crossed the psychologically important level of -150.

3-month EUR/USD basis swap (Bloomberg)

So all is well with the world as the equity markets continue to rally.
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