Update on Greece:
Greece has recently made arrangements to repay a loan tranche owed to the IMF as originally scheduled on April 9. Although the government plans to prioritize wages and pensions over the 450 million euro debt owed to the IMF, this agreement provided relief over Greece’s future in the Eurozone. Moving forward, the Eurogroup has stressed the need for financial reform before they would approve additional bailout money. In response, the government hopes to unlock 7.2 billion euros under its bailout through their latest reforms package. However, without current external support, Greece has been largely dependent upon borrowing from state entities via repo transactions in order to meet its obligations.
U.S. Economy Update:
The U.S. economy added the fewest number of monthly jobs in more than a year this March, a bearish sign that could justify a further delay in the Fed’s anticipated interest rate hike. Despite expectations and past data, nonfarm payrolls rose only 126,000 last months, the smallest addition since December 2013. Analysts cite concerns over the strong dollar and lower crude oil prices to explain headwind in the good-producing sector and harsh weather for the slowdown in leisure and hospitality. Although the jobs rate has remained at its 6-1/2-year low of 5.5 percent, the labor force participation rate held at a 36 year low. In response, equity futures slipped by 1 percent and U.S. government debt prices climbed as investors expect a delayed rate hike.