EUROZONE
  • Quant easing by the ECB is finally stimulating biz lending by banks;
  • GDP Q1 grew 0.6%, much better than expected, indicating mildly recovering econ activity;
  • However, deflation was back in April at -0.2%, also indicating a mild recovery. GDP should grow less than 1.5% in the current year;
  • The strengthening Euro raises moderate concerns.

 

JAPAN
  • Last week the Bank of Japan kept rates unchanged with no new monetary stimulus, contrary to market expectations;
  • This led to a strong valuation of the yen. It reaches new highs around 106 per dollar;
  • Yen valuation raise pressures on companies and exports. The recent earthquake was also a drag on activity;
  • With adverse conditions Japan is struggling to show some growth in 2016. It should be smaller than 1%.

 

COMMODITIES MARKETS
  • USD devaluation is supporting commodities prices, in general, and Oil and Gold prices in particular;
  • Oversupply in oil markets is falling and is also supporting Oil prices. Volatility fell, but is still high, with prices in the range of $40 / $50;
  • Gold surged and is approaching $1300.