Nobody is taking off their bets against the Euro quite yet.
Short positions against the Euro on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which had set a record in January, set a new record in the three weeks that ended on February 9. And judging from the continued pressure on Greek stocks and bonds, the trend is still to short the Euro’s troubles.
During the three week period short contracts on the Euro climbed to 63,000 contracts from 41,000 contracts.
Why is the trend against the Euro likely to continue?
Driving the trend is a belief that the Greek government won’t be able to deliver all the budget cuts and tax increases is promised European Union finance ministers. Those ministers have told the Greece to prepare no deeper cuts and higher taxes in case the country plunks a March 16 review of its progress.
The difference in yields on 10-year Greek government bonds and 10-year German government bonds, the most credit-worthy bonds in Europe, rose to 3.18 percentage points yesterday, February 15, from 3.05 percentage points, so you can see how bond investors are betting that review will go.
The real hurdle, though, will come after the March 16 review. Greece has more than 8 billion Euros of bonds that come due in April and May that the country will need to refinance in the bond market.
Worries about how much the bond market will make Greece pay for rolling over those bonds will keep the pressure on Greek stocks and bonds—and on the Euro.