Europe Update: Service Sector Slows, Stocks Fall, Bond Yields move higher

Europe Update: Service Sector Slows, Stocks Fall, Bond Yields move higher

A couple of points from the WSJ: Euro Falls on Greece Worries

Rival [German] parties gained fresh support in the elections Sunday, piling further pressure on [Chancellor Angela] Merkel … the loss of regional influence comes as Merkel’s party prepares for a much-anticipated vote in the German parliament at the end of the month on changes to the euro-zone’s temporary bailout mechanism.

The news follows Friday’s suspension of talks between the Greek government and representatives of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission over new bailout funds.

And from Reuters: German court to rule on Sept 7 on euro,Greek bailouts

Germany’s constitutional court will announce its verdict on September 7 on whether the government broke the law with last year’s euro zone and Greek bailout packages, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
It is unlikely the court will rule against the bailout, but Merkel is losing political support. It appears the changes to the bailout mechanism will pass the German parliament, but the vote might be close.

The European crisis is heating up again …

From the Telegraph: “Eurozone service sector [slowed] and the Purchasing Managers Index figures show services activity slowed to its lowest rate since September 2009. The eurozone PMI figure slipped to 51.5 in August, down from 51.6 in July.”

“The [U.K.] guage of services activity, which makes up the biggest part of the British economy and includes shops and restaurants, fell to 51.1 in August from 55.4 in July”

From the WSJ: U.S. Lawsuit Pressures Bank Shares

Shares in U.K. and European banks slumped Monday after several institutions were named in a lawsuit Friday alleging they sold risky home loans to U.S. housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The suit by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in New York and Connecticut courts alleged that units of 17 banks including Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, Barclays PLC, HSBC Holdings PLC, Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse AG and Société Générale SA, misrepresented the risks of $196 billion in home mortgage-loan securities sold to the agencies in a four-year period, making it the largest legal action by a federal regulator over the mortgage meltdown.

The Greek 2 year yield is at 49.99%!

Here is a graph of the 10 year spread (Italy to Germany) from Bloomberg. And for Spain to Germany. The Italian spread is at 365, most of the way back up to the high of 389 on Aug 4th, and the Spanish spread is at 330, still down from 398 on Aug 4th. Most of the increase in the spread is because the German 10 year yield is at 1.9%. (The U.S. Ten Year is slightly under 2% too).

The Portuguese 2 year yield is up to 13.6%. Also the Irish 2 year yield is at 8.5%.

Here are the links for bond yields for several countries (source: Bloomberg):

Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year
France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Germany 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year