Friday 27th March 2015
NEWS TICKER, FRIDAY MARCH 27th 2015: Moody's Investors Service has assigned an A2 rating (stable outlook) to the certificates of deposit issued by Barclays Bank Plc, New York Branch. The certificates of deposits will be direct, unsecured, senior obligations of Barclays Bank plc, issued by its New York Branch and will rank pari passu with all other present and future unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of Barclays Bank Plc - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended +18.51 points higher or +0.54% to 3450.1, taking the year-to-date performance to +2.52%. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained +0.18% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index gained +0.47%. The top active stocks were SingTel (+1.38%), DBS (-0.15%), UOB (+1.13%), Golden Agri-Res (+7.41%) and Keppel Corp (-1.11%). The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index (+2.32%). The two biggest stocks of the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index are Midas Holdings (unchanged) and Geo Energy Resources (-0.51%). The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Oil & Gas Index, which declined -1.06% with Keppel Corp’s share price declining -1.11% and Sembcorp Industries’ share price declining -1.15%. The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value today were the IS MSCI India (-1.43%), SPDR Gold Shares (-1.19%), iShares USD Asia HY Bond ETF (+1.05%). The three most active Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by value were CapitaMall Trust (-0.92%), Suntec REIT (unchanged), CapitaCom Trust (-1.13%)

The push and pull of willpower & politics

Friday, 25 May 2012
The push and pull of willpower & politics June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined.

If the Germans and French remain reluctant to put their money in the pockets by either using the ECB’s potential firepower or create a special eurobond then they could themselves become the very nemesis of the single currency that they tell us they are so desperate to keep. Even so, risk aversion continues to whittle down the markets; at the time of writing the index is at 5380, down some 25 points. Traders are watching term support trends at 5335, 5300 and 5275; hopeful bulls out there will be looking for resistance at 5490, 5615/45. This near term downward trend sees the index capped by a downward trend line that also puts some resistance at 5450. Over the longer term now that the index has broken below its 200 day moving average and its upward trend line a close below 5400 could been seen as very negative and we’re now in the ­territory of people not wanting to catch a falling knife.

While immediate market focus will remain on Europe and its affect on the macro picture, there are a couple of important pieces of data that UK investors should note. First, following a surprising improvement in April, unemployment numbers are likely to show a weakening labour market.  There’s little in the way of encouraging data from the UK at the moment, but last month’s data was the first ­indication that unemployment is ­starting to peak. Job creation has come largely from part time rather than ­permanent work and the tick downwards to 8.3% in the rate of unemployment is expected to rise back to 8.4%. Second, it will be interesting to see whether the upcoming Bank of England’s inflation report will encourage the central bank to stick to their hawkish guns or whether the ­confirmation of the double dip recession and a further downgrading of growth projections will result in a more dove-ish tone.



Other European indicators are not great either: Italian ten year yields have crossed back above 6% and for Spain back above 6.5%, meanwhile risk adverse investors piled into German bunds driving their cost of borrowing even lower. This is classic fear gripping the markets once again as the vicissitudes of 2012 look to be playing out in a very similar fashion to 2011. Financial markets detest uncertainty and at the moment they are riddled with them since Greece has been unable to form a government and has had to call for a new round of  elections on 17th June. Up until that point we can expect volatility to remain high and continued pressure to the downside.

The euro made a low of $1.2720 as the situation in Greece continues to deteriorate. Bears sold the single ­currency heavily after socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos announced that talks to form a coalition government had failed and that the public would have to go back to the polls next month. Gold continued to fall as traders dumped risky assets and piled into the safety of the US dollar. Spot gold traded as low as $1541 an ounce.  With little technical support seen until $1531 and no turn around in Greece on the horizon, the down trend looks set to stay firmly in place.

On top of all the European woes there’s also the growing concern that China is slowing down quicker than was previously thought. Add any downturn to the euro crisis and it has negative connotations for global growth.

As ever, ladies and gentlemen, place your bets...

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