Risk currencies have kicked off the week slightly higher on moderate optimism we may see some closure Greece's ongoing political turmoil. Despite narrowly surviving a key confidence vote last week, Greek PM George Papandreou has told Cabinet this morning he will resign as Prime Minister. Essentially Papandreou has painted himself into a corner with last week's efforts to put the bailout terms to the people by means of a referendum. His attempt to establish a coalition government is now contingent on his resignation - his successor has not yet been announced.
Nevertheless, the Euro remains extremely vulnerable with finer points of Greece's coalition government still up in the air. This has the propensity to quickly induce another round of risk-avoidance and with Italian bond yields moving ever closer to the dreaded 7 percent levels - Italy will no doubt continue to be a major market moving theme in the week ahead. In an effort to promote transparency and progress on their debt woes, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has made the unprecedented move by inviting the IMF to review and supervise efforts to reduce the Euro-zones second largest debt burden. Italy has a staggering 1.9 Trillion debt burden more than twice that of its annual output.
Over the weekend the Group of 20 nations concluded their two day summit in Cannes, France. The key point of contention at the summit remained the European debt crises; in particular Greece which threatens to thrust the global economy into further despair. At the heart of debate was the revitalisation of the International Monetary Fund's war chest in which nations are encouraged to further commit funding to the IMF's efforts to stabalise and rejuvenate economies in need. It's clear the European crisis is not contained to the European region, with non-European nations also encouraged to support the IMF's plight. Although Australia has pledged to further support by increasing the value of loans to the fund, criticism over the handling of the crises and lack of action by European governments remains the key stumbling block before other nations throw their support behind further contributions to the fund.
The focus on Friday was U.S non-farm payrolls which showed the US economy created 80,000 new jobs in October. A small concession to the less than expected payrolls numbers was a slight decline in the unemployment rate which fell from 9.1 to 9 percent.
The local week ahead will see the release of unemployment data for the October. Estimates suggest the Australian economy created 10,000 jobs in October against a previous 20,400. We will also get our monthly fix from China with the release of consumer price data on Wednesday with industrial production, fixed asset investment, retail sales and trade data also on the docket. But ultimately feedback from the Euro-zone will continue to provide the key directive over the week. At the time of writing the Aussie dollar is buying 104.15 US cents.