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Good times ahead for the euro zone - or bad?

Monday, February 06, 2017 - 01:48

Strong industry orders signal a strong start to 2017 for Germany as its exporters continue to gain from a weak single currency - even as its finance minister says the euro may, in fact, be too weak for the euro zone's largest economy. As David Pollard reports, the numbers come alongside a new survey showing Donald Trump weighing on investor sentiment.

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Good times for the euro zone as German industrial orders come in ten times higher than expected. But a worry of bad times ahead too - as markets confront what many call 'the elephant in the room." In this case: a Republican elephant. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "The mood's divided. On the one-hand there's hope that Trump might boost the U.S. market but on the other, there's the euro, trade protectionism .. we don't know where we'll end up." And investors are worried. The latest Sentix survey on their morale dropping this month as they react to the new U.S. president. The forward-looking 'expectations' reading dropping even more. December's 5.2 percent rise in German industry orders is the best pick-up in over two years in that reading. But other data shows engineering orders down over 15 per cent on the year, on weaker export demand. Just as new risks shape up for the euro zone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "Europe has many political problems this year that may indeed lead to an existential crisis for the euro. So I fear that whilst we can look backwards with a great deal of confidence that the world had become better, looking forwards is much more uncertain." Wolfgang Schaeuble if anything wants a stronger euro. The single currency right now 'too low' for Germany. In a newspaper interview, the German finance minister also commenting that ECB monetary policy is 'too loose' - for Germany. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "It is running out of patience because of negative interest rates policies having really very damaging effects on Germans and their spending interests." The comments may in part address White House concerns over currency devaluation. They're likely to be less welcome by Mario Draghi and his policymakers - as they too weigh up whether Europe faces better times ahead - or worse.

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Good times ahead for the euro zone - or bad?

Monday, February 06, 2017 - 01:48