MORNING BID EUROPE-Visa deal for Turkey; crisis off for Greece?

by Reuters
Wednesday, 4 May 2016 07:32 GMT

* A look at the day ahead from European Economics and Politics Editor Mark John and Nigel Stephenson, specialist editor, EMEA markets. The views expressed are their own.

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Turkey's parliament passed new legislation overnight that should allow the European Commission to declare this morning that it has broadly met the criteria to grant its citizens visa-free travel, a key condition for keeping Ankara on board in the EU's efforts to reduce migrant flows. From 1000 GMT. No less sensitively, the Commission is also likely to propose a revamp of the bloc's asylum rules to try and spread claimants around Europe rather than have them mass in states such as Greece and Italy that are the main points of arrival into Europe. Is Europe gradually getting to grips with the migrant crisis? Since the EU-Turkey deal was reached, migrant inflows from Turkey to Greece have indeed slowed considerably. But the concern now is that a new route is opening up: since Friday, at least 113 people have died in shipwrecks off the Libya cost, the International Organization for Migration said, noting this was now "becoming the preferred route".

At last it's official: there will be no new Greek crisis this year. Well at least that is what German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the man most apt to trigger such a crisis, said in Berlin yesterday. He did not go into a huge amount of detail but did acknowledge the country was on its way to making visible progress along its reform path. That will be a relief to many in the euro zone, particularly given the series of failed target dates to conclude talks on its bailout review. Sources told Reuters a deal is still not likely at a special meeting of euro zone finance ministers on May 9.

Talking of crises, concerns over Brexit could "loom large" over the next meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve when it meets on June 14-15, just over a week before the UK vote, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said. He described it as a potential "source of heightened global uncertainty" as the U.S. central bank contemplates whether to raise interest rates.

MARKETS AT 0645 GMT

Stocks were down in Asia as investors digested recent gloomy economic data from China and elsewhere and headed for the safety of government bonds. German Bunds had their biggest one-day fall of the year on Tuesday and U.S. Treasury yields tumbled. The dollar is recovering somewhat, lifting off 18-month lows against the yen. Oil is just about flat after falling for two days. Again, global growth worries are blamed. All this is happening in a week shortened by holidays (Japan is out most of the week) which reduces volumes There is also the monthly test of investor nerve on Friday that is the U.S. jobs report.

Focus on earnings in Europe. More signs of tough market conditions on Britain's High St with Sainsbury and Next figures. M&A continues -- Adidas seeking buyer for golf business, AXA selling UK arm, Sonova buying AudioNova.

Upcoming data/events/themes for market reports on Wednesday:

- German/French/euro zone services PMIs

- UK construction PMI

- Euro zone retail sales

- U.S. ADP employment

- France sells 7-8 bln euros of govt bonds (Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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