5) Watch Warnings for a Global Double Dip
Risks abound in investing in Europe. Credit Suisse says that falling Euribor spreads are its number one concern. The firm has a list of seven indicators that it tracks as part of its "double dip watch."
The Euribor spread, currently at 79 basis points, is down 21 basis points from their high. Nevertheless, Credit Suisse is eying the spread closely: "While Euribor spreads have fallen, we are still putting this indicator together with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's leading indicator as potentially signaling a hard landing."
The Euribor is the rate at which European banks say they see each other lending in euros for three months, while the Euribor spread is the difference between the euro interbank offered rate and overnight index swaps. The latter is essentially a measure of banks' reluctance to lend to one another in Europe. Market participants take it as a rough gauge for a European banking contagion. Hence, a tighter spread is good news even though the current spread is still high by historic standards.
The OECD's leading indicator index is an early measure of economic expansion or contraction.
For the full picture, investors should be watching several other indicators to get a sense of the state of emerging economies. Credit Suisse says five other indicators point more toward a soft-landing scenario: 1) German IFO Business Expectations 2) European Purchasing Managers Index 3) U.S. non-farm payrolls 4) U.S. retail sales and 5) U.S. capital expenditure.
-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.
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