Obviously, the rebound in market sentiment was driven by hopes the European policymakers would soon announce new measures that would effectively solve the sovereign debt problems in the Eurozone. We suspect investors were overly optimistic. Led by European bourses on Greek parliament's approval of a new property tax, Wall Street jumped in early session with DJIA soaring over +300 points at one occasion. Gains were pared later in the day as EU's Jean-Claude Juncker stated he was 'very worried' about the situation in Greece and a FT report unveiled that the European private sector may need to take a larger write-down on Greek debts than previously expected. On the macro front, some US data came out not as poor as expected although it stayed at low points on record. In the commodity sector, oil prices staged a second day of strong rebound. The front-month contract for WTI crude oil rose to as high as 84.77 before settling at 84.45, up +5.25%, while the equivalent Brent crude contract gained +3.08% during the day. Gold's near-term outlook remained hurt by CME's margin hike and easing inflationary pressures. The benchmark Comex contract rose for the first time in 4 days, gaining +3.62%.
The most- focused country in the Eurozone sovereign crisis is Greece. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's Socialist Pasok party won the vote by 155 to 142 to pass the new property tax bill. The Papandreou stated that 'the Euro zone must now take bold steps towards fiscal integration to stabilize the monetary union. Let's not allow those who are betting against the euro to succeed'. Yet, as usual, implementation is the major problem given the number of strikes and demonstrations against austerity measures.
In the meantime, headlines regarding the EFSF continued to drive sentiment higher. The head of Finland's parliamentary Finance Committee said he was confident that parliament would approve the new EFSF powers (agreed in July) later today. Slovenian and German lawmakers will likely approve it. However, the recently speculated leverage or expansion of the fund may meet some hurdles. Juncker indicated the possibility of increasing the size of the fund is low. He said there will be 'no raising of the resources available to the European facility'.
A FT report shows that, as the funding for Greece may increase rapidly over coming months, Eurozone members are divided over the terms of the next tranche of the bailout to the debt-ridden country. The report said that as many as 7 of the 17-member nation are arguing 'for private creditors to swallow a bigger write-down on their Greek bond holdings, according to senior European officials'. Countries such as Germany and the Netherlands are calling for 'more losses to be imposed on the private sector', France and the ECB are' fiercely resisting any such move' amid fears that 're-opening the bond deal could spark renewed selling of shares in European banks, which have significant holdings of Greek and other peripheral Eurozone debt'. The report should have erased some of the risk appetite in the market.
Concerning the dataflow, the S&P/Case-Shiller Composite-20 fell -4.1% y/y in July (consensus: -4.4%), easing from an upwardly revised -4.4% in June. Conference Board consumer confidence climbed to 45.4 in September after a slump of -14 points to 45.2 in the prior month. Durable goods orders, due in NY session on September 28, probably dropped -1% m/m in August after gaining +4% a month ago. Excluding transportation, the reading might have gained +0.2%, down from +0.7% in July.