Wednesday 10th February 2016
NEWS TICKER: KPMG has appointed Adrian Stone as its UK head of audit with immediate effect, succeeding Tony Cates who now leads KPMG's international markets and government practice. Stone joined KPMG's Sheffield office in 1984 and has been an audit partner since 1997. He previously held several senior roles in KPMG's audit practice including head of audit for the north of England and Scotland, chief operating officer for the UK audit practice, head of internal audit and head of KPMG's department of professional practice. He has been KPMG's interim head of audit since November last year - Bridge Bank says it has provided faith based Spark Networks with a $10m revolving credit facility - BNP Paribas Securities Services has been appointed by Sampo Group, the Finnish financial services group, to provide global custody and settlement services for Sampo’s €25bn of insurance assets held globally - Saudi Arabia is reportedly reconsidering the requirement for foreign companies setting up in the country to have a local partner. A committee led by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Labour, will look at ways to spur additional inward investment into the realm, according to newspaper Asharq Al Awsat. The committee is expected to ease the bureaucratic barriers for foreign firms that want access to the Saudi Arabian economy. Foreign direct investment is vital as the kingdom looks to make up foreign exchange losses and balance its $98bn budget deficit – European president Donald Tusk met with Georgian premier Giorgi Kvirikashvili today. Discussion focused on continued reforms of the Georgian judiciary, rule of law and human rights are important priorities and I underlined the EU's readiness to assist. It is crucial that criminal investigations and prosecutions be evidence-based, transparent and impartial, in line with the commitments of the Association Agreement. “I share Georgia's concerns about the continued implementation of the so-called “treaties" between Russia and Abkhazia and South Ossetia. I saw for myself the situation at the administrative boundary line, including the "borderisation" [sic] process, during my last visit to Georgia,” said Tusk following the meeting. The European Union will continue to give its firm support for the territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.” - February 9th 2016: The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) at its meeting today confirmed the appointment of Małgorzata Zaleska as President of the Management Board of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, following her appointment as president on January 12th. Zaleska is the director of the Institute of Banking, Warsaw School of Economics; the Chairperson of the Committee of Finance Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences; a member of the NBP Economic Research Committee; a member of the Central Commission for Degrees in Finance – Today’s equity markets tell a tale of fears of a global slowdown with even the US considered a candidate for recession. The US session yesterday was not pretty, with the S&P500 down 1.42%. The index has lost around 9% of its value this year and is now 13% below the nominal high that it reached last year. The DJIA was down 1.1% and Nasdaq100 fell 1.59%. The Nasdaq100 is now 17.92% below the nominal high that it reached last year. Swissquote says: “The sentiment is risk-off at the moment, with gold reaching $1,200 for the first time since June. Gold’s bullish momentum continues yet commodity linked currencies such as the AUD and NZD failed to gain the advantage as outside precious metals and other commodities broadly fell. In particular, WTI Crude is now back around below $30 a barrel over continued oversupply concerns. Markets are now fearing that this period of lingering low oil prices could last a long time”. – In the Asian session Japanese stocks fell more than 5% and the yield on the benchmark government bond dropped into negative territory for the first time. The decision by the Bank of Japan to introduce negative interest rates looks to have pushed down yields for both short and longer termed bonds. In afternoon trading in the Asian session, the benchmark 10-year government bond was yielding minus 0.025; in other words, investors were willing to lend the over-indebted Japanese government money for 10 years and get back less than they put in. Remember that Japanese sovereign debt is more than double the country’s GDP. The question is now, how far down can yields go? Moreover, when will central banks stop flirting with negative interest rates. It is a dangerous policy. The stock market took the brunt of investor fears today, as the Nikkei Stock Average closed y down 5.4%, falling 918.86 points to finish at 16,085.44. This is a sizeable drop and the largest one-day fall for about two and a half years. Yet again, the yen did well, rising against the US dollar to 114.80. Financial shares took the brunt of today’s pain with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MTU) shares closing down 8.7%, and Nomura Holdings losing 9.1%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended the session 2.9% lower, and New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was down 1.3%. India's Sensex was 1.2% lower. Chinese, Singapore and Korean markets are closed today. In Europe, equity futures are mixed. The CAC40 has dropped 0.22%, the DAX is down 0.21% while the FTSE100 is unchanged, but there’s still half a day’s trading to go.

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The European Review

By Patrick Artus, chief economist at Natixis

US reindustrialisation poses challenge for eurozone

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 Written by 
US reindustrialisation poses challenge for eurozone A reindustrialisation process has been underway in the U.S. since 2009, linked to the trend in the profitability of industrial companies, wage costs and energy prices. It has already enabled the U.S. to regain market share in global trade, creating an additional problem for the euro zone given it is already faces market share losses to emerging countries and weak domestic demand. The euro-zone economy is therefore likely to be further weakened if it loses more export trade to the U.S. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

A reindustrialisation process has been underway in the U.S. since 2009, linked to the trend in the profitability of industrial companies, wage costs and energy prices. It has already enabled the U.S. to regain market share in global trade, creating an additional problem for the euro zone given it is already faces market share losses to emerging countries and weak domestic demand. The euro-zone economy is therefore likely to be further weakened if it loses more export trade to the U.S.

Reindustrialisation process under way in the U.S.

The reindustrialisation of the U.S. is evident from the upswing in productive investment and manufacturing employment as well as from the upturn in manufacturing output, which has outpaced the euro zone since the crisis. Yet – for the time being – U.S. reindustrialisation has mainly affected the automotive and capital goods sectors.



Growth of U.S. industry can be ascribed to three factors:

-       rapidly increasing profitability of industrial companies in the U.S.;

-       labour costs in industry, which are lower in the U.S. than in Germany or France;

-       and the low cost of energy thanks to the fall in the price of natural gas, due to shale gas production.

The United States is regaining export market share

The U.S. situation in terms of export market share has been improving since the end of 2008. It appears that the U.S. has increased its market share in global exports largely at the expense of the euro zone and Central European countries (CEEC). Since end-2008, the U.S. trade deficit with the euro zone, Asian emerging countries excluding China, other American countries and Japan has been shrinking, though its trade deficit with China has stopped deteriorating. But in terms of export market share, U.S. improvement seems to match the deterioration in Europe.

An additional problem for the euro zone

The euro zone is already faced with a decline in domestic demand as a result of the restrictive fiscal policies, a decline in real wages due to the rise in unemployment and a loss in market share to emerging countries.

So – any further losses in export market share to the U.S. will therefore come on top of these problems. A depreciation of the euro could obviously correct the euro zone’s loss of competitiveness (in terms of wages and the price of energy). However, even during periods when the euro-zone crisis is acute, the euro still remains overvalued against the dollar

Patrick Artus

A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, of Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Adminstration Economique and of Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Patrick Artus is today the Chief Economist at Natixis. He began his career in 1975 where his work included economic forecasting and modelisation. He then worked at the Economics Department of the OECD (1980), before becoming Head of Research at the ENSAE. Thereafter, Patrick taught seminars on research at Paris Dauphine (1982) and was Professor at a number of Universities (including Dauphine, ENSAE, Centre des Hautes Etudes de l'Armement, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and HEC Lausanne).

Patrick is now Professor of Economics at University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. He combines these responsibilities with his research work at Natixis. Patrick was awarded "Best Economist of the year 1996" by the "Nouvel Economiste", and today is a member of the council of economic advisors to the French Prime Minister. He is also a board member at Total and Ipsos.

Website: cib.natixis.com/research/economic.aspx

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