Crude oil moved in sideways in Asian session on Monday. Market sentiment was weighed down today by China's downwardly revised target on economic growth. Other news was not dramatic enough to move the market so far. The EU summit was a non event but the worse is that it was revealed that around half of the 130B euro funding for Greece would be delayed until finance ministers received a 'detailed assessment' by the EU/IMF of the implementation of 38 specific reform measures by next week. Tensions over Iran continued with President Obama reiterating that it would not rule out using force against Iran to defend US interests.
at the annual meeting of the National People's Congress in Beijing, China's Premier Wen Jiabao announced the country's economic growth target is reduced to +7.5% this year while inflation will stayed at +4%. The Chinese government also reiterated to maintain a 'proactive' fiscal policy and a 'prudent' monetary policy. This is the first time that China forecasts its growth at below 8% since 2005. While this may disappoint some investors, the goal is a signal that the government policy has shifted the composition of growth to consumption from exports and investment.
At the EU summit held over the weekend, finance ministers agreed to pay capital into the ESM by 2015, a year ahead of schedule. It was also revealed that around half of the 130B euro funding for Greece would be delayed until finance ministers received a 'detailed assessment' by the EU/IMF of the implementation of 38 specific reform measures by next week. Tensions over Iran remained. The US stated that it would not rule out using force against Iran to defend US interests. US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met at the White House to talk about ways to resolve the Iranian nuclear threat. At the meeting, Obama stated that 'Iran's leaders should know that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon'. He went on to say that Israel has a 'sovereign right to make its own decisions' and the US 'will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the US and its interests'.
We have a busy week this week with a number of central bank meetings. The RBA is widely expected to leave the cash rate on Tuesday. On Thursday, both the RBNZ and the BoC would also maintain their current monetary stances. The ECB and the BOE would also hold meetings on Thursday.