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Here we go again...
Lockdowns and restrictions are increasing in mainland Europe.
In Austria, they're going full totalitarian.
Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full coronavirus lockdown this autumn to tackle a new wave of infections, and will require its whole population to get vaccinated as of February, the government said on Friday.
The lockdown would start on Monday and last up to 20 days.
Roughly two-thirds of Austria's population is fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in western Europe. Much of the public is sceptical about vaccines, a view encouraged by the far-right Freedom Party, the third biggest in parliament.
It is planning a protest against coronavirus restrictions on Saturday.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenburg said "We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,"...
Across the border, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said "We are in a national emergency," and the situation is now more serious than a week ago so "we can't rule anything out"...
The Bavaria region has announced the cancellation of Christmas markets, clubs, bars and nigh-time restaurants and there will be lockdowns for areas with more than 1000 cases...
Nordea published their Covid update earlier and a couple of charts catch the eye...
Germany's case count is increasing rapidly, while the UK looks to be over the worst of it with cases on their way down...
And if we take the measure of cases as a % of the pandemic peak, it's really not looking good for Germany...
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Looking at case numbers probably isn't the best metric now though.
Fatalities are far lower than the pandemic peak, so it remains harder to justify extreme measures...
Clearly any health system will be put under strain with rising case numbers, but perhaps this is also part of a Go Hard And Early strategy to encourage vaccinations and give the health service some relief through the winter.
I have zero idea about Austrian law, but for any developed country, the idea that they can make vaccinations compulsory sounds pretty illegal and unenforceable, which is probably why they're 'holding off' until February.
The French used this kind of tactic to great effect earlier in the year.
The euro has already been under pressure this year so perhaps we could see some 'below fair value' buying at these levels but it's hard to make the case for any rally to be sustained.
Lockdowns are now set to further weigh on activity, and the ECB is consistent with their messaging that they will not respond to the recent inflation (or anything else ever) by rolling back QE sooner or hiking rates.
With that in mind, keep an eye on EURJPY.
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Let's see what happens if that level breaks...
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