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Overnight Wednesday in Europe

Overnight Wednesday in Europe

After jumping nearly 20% over the September 2012 Quarter, Wednesday saw the leading 50 European blue chip stocks from 12 Eurozone countries, as measured by the STOXX, decline by 2.7%. The Spanish market, which had rebounded 35% from its low point in early July, fell 3.9%. On Thursday, Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy announced his fifth austerity package in nine months of Government. The target is to cut the budget deficit from 6.3 percent in 2012 to 4.5 percent in 2013.

Economists responded by saying “they’ve increased the taxes for next year and cut spending but they didn’t change the growth forecast”. Economists expect the Spanish economy to contract around 1.5%, while the Government is forecasting a contraction of only 0.5%. With their ten year bonds selling above 6%, Spain will likely need to raise the white flag and go “cap in hand” to the European Central Bank for another bail-out. Spain’s declining property market and 25% unemployment is causing a significant solvency issues for their banking system, as the contraction of private sector lending continues.

A handful of the Eurozone’s 17 nations will unlikely be able to meet the fiscal compact from the Treaty of Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, which binds each country to a maximum fiscal deficit. With European monetary growth to residents declining despite the exceptionally low interest rate policy, it may be that markets again will soon recognise the risks associated with the potential breakdown of this fiscal compact.

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Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery Investment Management, David Buckland has over 30 years of industry experience. David is a deeply knowledgeable and highly experienced financial services executive. Prior to joining Montgomery in 2012, David was CEO and Executive Director of Hunter Hall for 11 years, as well as a Director at JP Morgan in Sydney and London for eight years.

This post was contributed by a representative of Montgomery Investment Management Pty Limited (AFSL No. 354564). The principal purpose of this post is to provide factual information and not provide financial product advice. Additionally, the information provided is not intended to provide any recommendation or opinion about any financial product. Any commentary and statements of opinion however may contain general advice only that is prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Because of this, before acting on any of the information provided, you should always consider its appropriateness in light of your personal objectives, financial circumstances and needs and should consider seeking independent advice from a financial advisor if necessary before making any decisions. This post specifically excludes personal advice.

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