Liquidity 'Most Important Thing' at Moment: HSBC

As the markets seemed poised to record their worst quarter since the dark days of 2008 Friday, an HSBC strategist told CNBC that liquidity was the most important thing to investors at the moment.

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"In an environment like this, the most important thing is liquidity. That's why you've seen money going into treasurys, going into bunds, going into gilts," Philip Poole, Global Head of Macro and Investment Strategy at HSBC Global Asset Management, said.

"It's not enough to be safe in this environment, that's one of the reasons why emerging market currencies have sold off. Many of those economies have very good fundamentals but their markets are relatively illiquid," he added.

His comments came as worries about euro zone debt continued and more euro zone parliaments prepared to vote on the expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

The chance of a recession in the euro area at the turn of the year is now around 40-50 percent, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs.

After the new measures were passed by Germany, the region's biggest economy, Thursday, its neighbour Austria is expected to pass the changes to the EFSF Friday.

Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radicova told CNBC that she wants to have a vote on the EFSF within three weeks, but there is opposition from within her own government to the plans.

Richard Sulik, Speaker of the Slovakian Parliament and leader of the SaS, a junior coalition partner in the Slovakian government, told CNBC Friday that his party would vote against the EFSF in its current form.

"It’s a lot of money for the Slovak Republic," he said. He believes that Slovakia should endorse the EFSF but not put money into it.

"Fiscal harmonization clearly is a problem for some of those peripheral countries such as Slovakia," said Poole.

"We still have a major issue. If it's a problem for debtors it's a problem for creditors, and it's only now we are starting to see creditors understand this and a more comprehensive approach to dealing with those problems."

He predicted "a series of half measures" would eventually solve the euro zone's problems.

"If you look at the example of the emerging markets in the 1980s and 1990s the first thing to note is that it takes time. This is not something that you fix in two or three quarters. It's probably the best part of a decade," he warned.

"It was easier to take decisions in Asia and South America, it seems, than in Europe."

Europe is also battling the long-term problems of slowing growth and changing demographics, with an aging population and a long-term decline in growth rates, while many emerging markets have comparatively young populations.

"There's a problem in Europe, in Japan and increasingly in the US and this is going to have a big impact on the fiscal performance," said Poole.

"Issues about entitlements and tax receipts will have a big impact on the longer term economic performance."