United States

Potential default by Greece, European economic data main focus


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For the next three months, movements in global asset prices will probably revolve around fears of another potential default by Greece. As forward-looking investors count the days until Feb. 25 when Greece is widely expected to run out of cash, events in Europe will largely determine global risk appetite.

The major economic releases this week will probably be in the euro zone. On Thursday, euro zone industrial production data is set to be published. The consensus is for a modest 0.3 percent increase. Euro zone gross domestic product will be published Friday and economists are forecasting an increase of 0.8 percent on a year-ago basis. Should the data disappoint, or if there is further political vitriol out of the Athens leadership, investors should anticipate increased volatility with possible excessive safe-haven moves into dollar-denominated positions.

It will be a light week of data in the U.S. featuring fresh information on retail sales, consumer confidence, an update on the Jobs, Openings, Layoffs and Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, import prices, and wholesale and business inventory accumulation.

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