A few stories to think about today...
Greece – it appears a liquidity programme for the Greek banks has been extended by a couple of weeks but apparently Greece wants longer and won’t commit to continuing austerity. The debate continues…
(loved this image of a lottery seller outside the Bank of Greece which was in today's FT)
ECB minutes – the inaugural ECB minutes are out today – and what a meeting to have minutes on: January’s non-unanimous QE decision one!
Federal Reserve – Fed Fund futures now imply a 54% chance of a 25bps hike in rates in June/July, compared to 64% that was seen pre-release. Fed is worrying about wages/FX as per this excellent Bloomberg link here.
As @divyachowdhury noted: 'if everything is awesome, why the alarms over a slight rate hike'
Are these latest dovish minutes a result of the voting rotation at the Fed? Hawkish Plosser and Fisher out, dovish Lockhart and Williams in…?
3 day working week anyone?! (sourced from here)
Asia – Happy Chinese New Year to all Asia-based readers...
...so many markets closed but Nikkei hits a new 15 year high as Japanese exports improve again aided by yen weakness.
The Nikkei's highest peak of the 21st century remains a bit distant: on April 12, 2000, it reached 20,833 a mere 2,000+ index points from here!
To end up a couple of interesting property observations. This graphic showing prime agricultural land outperforming prime real estate in the UK was on the front page of today's Financial Times...
...whilst @linzcom highlighted a wonderful absurdity in the Australian property market here
Using 53 suburbs and towns across Sydney and NSW that have a declining population over the last 10 years, only 6 of them have seen a fall in property prices. This data is simply bewildering and should not be ignored.