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Video / 26 January 2017 at 7:59 GMT

From the Floor: European banks 'turning a corner' — #SaxoStrats

   • Asian equities rally following Dow breaking 20,000
   • VIX at 2½-year low as 'market complacency rises': Su
   • Nikkei, Hang Seng indices post strong performances
   • US earnings calendar sees Alphabet, Microsoft, Intel reporting
   • European banks recovering from Italian crisis: Garnry
   • Eurozone growth rising, unemployment heading lower
   • 'Look for a strong Q4 from Barclays, Deutsche Bank': Garnry
   • ECB likely to begin tapering QE programme in 2017

From the Floor
By Michael McKenna

European banks are on the mend, says Saxo Bank head of equity strategy Peter Garnry, with Santander’s Wednesday beat – the Spanish bank’s fourth-quarter profits came in at €1.6 billion versus €25 million one year ago – a likely leading indicator for further outperformance.

“We are seeing all the right trends in the Eurozone,” reports Garnry, “with macro data improving and unemployment on the wane.” Looking at the Euro Stoxx 600 Banks exchange-traded fund (DE), Garnry says that he thinks fair value for the ETF lies around 15 versus its current level around 12.49.

“I think we are seeing a growing perception that the impact of negative interest rates can be offset by cost-cutting,” says Saxo Bank’s equities chief, “and despite European Central bank president Mario Draghi’s recent dovish outing, I suspect we could see a tapering of the bank’s quantitative easing programme before the end of 2017.”

Among the big European lenders still to report their Q4’16 earnings are Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and UBS, with Garnry noting that he expects strong performances from these banks; “I would be surprised if [the recent positive trend] does not continue,” he concludes.

Euro Stoxx 600 Banks ETF:
European banks

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Source: Saxo Bank 

Continuing the trend set by Wall Street Wednesday, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial index finally crack the 20,000 barrier, Saxo trader Shiyun Su reports that Asian bourses rallied overnight with the Nikkei posting a 1.8% gain and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gaining 1.3%.

“The US earnings season is boosting sentiment among equity investors,” says Su, adding that markets are growing “increasingly complacent” as macro data continue to show encouraging signs.

“One interesting factor to note is the VIX volatility index, which hit a two-and-a-half year low at 10.81 overnight,” says Su.

The strength seen in regional bourses has led the MSCI Asia Pacific index to its highest level since September 2016. One exception to the bullish trend, however, is Sands China, which fell by as much as 2.5% during the Asian session on an earnings miss that saw profits come in at $610 million versus $631m expected.

Today’s earnings calendar sees some of the US’ major tech-sector giants reporting with Google parent Alphabet, Intel, and Microsoft set to release their latest figures today.

On Wednesday, Garnry reported on Wall Street’s high expectations for Alphabet, but Saxo’s equities head says that he sees Microsoft as very strong as well.

“I expect milder outperformance from Microsoft,” says Garnry, qualifying his comment by noting that the firm remains very strong in terms of growth, particularly in the cloud sector, but expectations are very high in the wake of Microsoft’s bullish outing one year prior.

Alphabet and Microsoft are set to report following the New York close, as is Intel.

Santander's earnings beat augurs well for European financials, 
argues Saxo Bank's Peter Garnry. Photo: iStock 

Michael McKenna is an editor at Saxo Bank

Editor’s note: From the Floor takes advantage of's unique real-time access to Saxo Bank’s various trading desks around the globe to put our community in touch with the developments that matter to their portfolios.


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