Archive for the ‘Topical’ category

Safe Havens Back Down

August 26, 2010

The yen, the US dollar and the Swiss franc all fell in this morning’s early trade – can you see the pattern?

Yes, all three are traditionally seen as ‘safe havens’ in an otherwise rocky market – yet today investors headed away from them on the back of healthier commodity increases.

Meanwhile the Japanese authorities are still rumoured to be thinking about intervening on the yen’s strength.

Also in the news: central banks are meeting at the US Fed’s mountain retreat to talk about the state of the global economy.  Is it recovering well enough?  Are we on the edge of another cliff, about to tumble back into recession?  Do we need to print more money to give things a boost?  These and other key topics are likely to be discussed.

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Financial Review for September

August 23, 2010

As students and schoolchildren look ahead (but not necessarily forward) to a new term, parents may be clearing up the financial clutter.  After a summer – with perhaps a break abroad – many professionals attempt to review their finances and start the ‘new term’ at work with a fresh approach.

While it is never a fun prospect to consider ones bank statements, credit card bills and savings, it is a sensible idea to regularly review your own money and make sure you are making – and getting – the most of it.

September is rarely as ‘poor’ as January with its post-Xmas hangover and battered credit, but there is a similarity especially for parents that have had to deal with ‘back to school’ costs and a family holiday too.

Growth for First Quarter in Euro Zone

July 20, 2010

According to official data from Luxembourg, Euro zone growth improved in the first quarter, driven mainly by exports.  With the weak euro consistently being driven down on the currency market, Euro goods became nice and cheap for international investors. 

The fact that euro zone GDP increased for the first quarter was pretty much in line with expectations from experts and economists.  Most expect that the next quarter will bring more strength and recovery.  But what everyone is still a bit shaky on is the final half of the year – will growth slow down again?  Will the 16-nation area slip back into negative territory?

Global Shares Fall

June 29, 2010

Tuesday and shares have fallen around the world on the back of investor nerves.

Heading back to safer assets, investors are nervous on bank repayments to the European Central Bank later this week.  With large repayments due, a healthy portion of financial liquidity will be removed.  The euro fell as many headed back to the US dollar in this morning’s early trade in London.

Meanwhile BP shares have taken a further knock after the company announced its cleanup operation might be affected by tropical storm Alex, which might head for those areas hit by the oil spill.

Market Moves ahead of Weekend

June 24, 2010

It’s nearly time for another weekend, one which promises to bring fraught nerves and emotion.  Are we talking about a G20 summit or economic data announcement? No…this is far more important to most inhabitants of two European countries:

England VS Germany on Sunday in the World Cup.

But while the weekend, with its peak (or trough) on Sunday, may be around the corner there are still those who are focussing on the job in hand.  Today, Australia announced its first female Prime Minister.  Julia Gillard took over the pole political position after former PM Kevin Rudd chose to throw in the towel ahead of an internal ballot.

The news brought strength to the Australian dollar, which surged against its New Zealand counterpart.  Minining stocks also got a boost, as it seemed likely that the controversial mining tax will receive more attention and review by Ms Gillard.

Markets lost momentum (or interest?) in the topic later on though, with European stock slumps and another weak euro versus the yen and the dollar.  No prizes for guessing why (hint: Greece).

Emergency Budget Announced

June 22, 2010

It’s Budget-time!

Yes, as promised Britain receives its emergency Budget annoucement from Chancellor George Osborne today.  As expected, it is chock-full with cuts and austerity measures which are intended, in Osborne’s own words to prevent “catastrophic collapse” in economic confidence.

Promising to be clear on the plans and not to hide the tough parts from the general public, Osborne launched into his first Budget as Chancellor since the new coalition government was voted in May.

Public sector pensions cuts, tax increases and pay freezes are all set to be part of the short- to medium-term future of Britain.  Backlash is likely especially from trade unions…

Japanese Prime Minister Quits

June 2, 2010

The Japanese prime minister Hatoyama has quit together with his powerful right-hand man ahead of the upper house elections in July.

Hatoyama, who took power 8 months ago in a flurry of fresh starts and change, has now left the country in the midst of a deficit that sits at a massive 200% of gross domestic product.

The yen took a dive on the news, as investors worried about the political uncertainty surrounding Japan.  However, it is expected that this uncertainty will be short lived as Hatoyama’s replacement is announced.  The favourite to take the lead is finance minister Kan, who is known for a tougher stance on fiscal policy.

With Kan at the helm, investors are likely to receive comfort in the hope that he will do more to cut public spending.

The euro zone’s problems just never seem far away these days, with the latest blow being unemployment figures.  The total amount of jobless people in the region now sits at over 15 million; in April it reached an all-time high.