Markets Led by Improved Optimism Over Greece

Markets were cautious after in UK the unemployment rate hit a 17-years high at 8.4%, while the World Bank cut its growth forecasts by the most in three years, yet after the IMF said it could propose expanding its lending resources by $1 trillion, sentiment turned positive.

The World Bank said the world economy will grow 2.5% this year compared with June’s estimate of 3.6%, while the euro area may contract 0.3% from a previous estimate of a 1.8% gain. Yet markets had a muted response just like the reaction to S&P’s downgrade to the EFSF’s rating.

Sentiment found more support as Greek Prime Minister will resume negotiations with bondholders as the country is close to reaching an agreement over the size of the losses to be bared by the creditors. Meanwhile Portugal will sell 2.5 billion euros of debt while Germany will sell 4 billion euros of bonds.

After the US manufacturing expanded by the fastest pace in 9 months while the German investor confidence jumped the most on record yesterday, investors will focus on today’s data as well, as the US industrial production is expected to rebound in Dec. after falling for the first time in seven months in Nov.

The PPI in the States is expected to fall, while in UK the unemployment rate hit a 17-years high deepening concerns Britain is heading for another recession. Most Asian stocks advanced today on positive economic data, where Nikkei 225 gained 0.99% while Hang Seng gained 0.30%.

In Europe shares advanced following the string auctions from Europe and the IMF proposal to expand its lending resources where DAX gained 0.74% while CAC 40 gained 0.70%. The euro is enjoying strong gains trading around 1.2830 while the pound is trading with upside momentum around 1.5375.

The yen was a bit stronger trading around 76.75, while the AUD is gaining trading around 1.0405. As the US dollar lost its appeal commodities found support today where crude is trading with gains around $101.25 compared with the lowest at $100.52 while gold is around $1655.50 as eyes are on Europe.

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