You Need $34 Billion? Yawn.
Euro traders are ... shrugging.... at the news that Irish banks need $34 billion to withstand future market shocks.
Traders had been waiting for the Irish Central Bank to release results of its latest bank stress tests. But when the big reveal came, it was right in line with expectations. Euro traders decided $34 billion was no biggie, and kept their expectations firmly glued to a possible interest rate hike by the European Central Bank on April 7.
"The markets are completely shrugging it off," Mark McCormick, a currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, told me. Even looking at other markets, he said, "Irish yields haven't moved much overall on the risk in the periphery. The major shock would have been something above 35 billion euros," or roughly $49 to $50 billion.
But that doesn't mean the euro will stay boring. All year, McCormick said, traders have been buying the single currency on rumors and selling on news. And at least 25 basis points of interest-rate increases are already priced in, he said. "That leaves the euro susceptible to maybe a little position squaring" after any rate hike.
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