Thursday 29th January 2015
NEWS TICKER: THURSDAY, JANUARY 29TH 2015: The January monthly energy review by the EIA was released yesterday evening. Preliminary estimates of US residential energy consumption suggest that for October 2014 total energy consumption equaled 1.3 quadrillion Btu, a 2% decrease from October 2013. Electricity retail sales and electrical system energy losses accounted for 73% of residential sector total energy consumption, while natural gas accounted for 16% of residential sector total energy consumption, renewable energy accounted for 6%, and petroleum accounted for 5% - Celent has released a new report, titled, IT Spending in Banking: A North American Perspective. The report is authored by Jacob Jegher, a research director with Celent's Banking practice. North American IT spending growth is rising steadily, he says, and is expected to be 4.5% higher in 2015. Growth will drop slightly in 2016 as IT spending by North American banks reaches US$64.8 billion, an increase of 4.2%. In the report, Celent examines, analyses, and contrasts the IT spending patterns of US and Canadian banks. The firm says North American bank IT spending will grow from $59.5bn in 2014 to $62.2bn in 2015. This year, the firm adds, is shaping up to be another promising one for retail banking; significant funds are still required to move forward and maintain self-service initiatives, digital banking projects/overhauls, branch transformation initiatives, and omni-channel endeavours. Additionally, mobile banking will continue to receive significant attention as banks aim to build on existing smartphone and tablet apps. Analytics, omni-channel banking, compliance/regulatory, and IT security investments will also be priorities. Spending on corporate banking will continue to climb through new component or module-based initiatives. Midsize banks are still very much looking to compete with larger banks that have invested significant amounts over the last several years. Small business is also a growing area of interest because banks still haven't figured out how to attack this distinct and attractive market segment. "The figures point to another strong year; 2015 is poised to build on the growth experienced last year," says Jegher. – The CME Group advises that the deadline to claim a SMART Click ID for GPS and BPS will be February 6th, 2015. After this date, there will no longer be an option to login with a Legacy ID and both applications will only be accessible with a SMART Click ID. Applicants can create a SMART Click ID (if you do not have one already) or claim your Legacy ID via the GPS and BPS portals and both applications must be claimed independently prior to the deadline. The CME says that after February 6th, the GPS and BPS applications will no longer be available via the CME Portal. These applications will only be available via ‘direct’ links following direct links: https://gps.cmegroup.com; https://bps.cmegroup.com; and https://login.cmegroup.com - China’s debt build up since the global financial crisis ranks as one of the largest in recent history (in the 97th percentile of debt-to-GDP changes in a sample of 55 countries over the past 50 years) according to Goldman Sachs’ latest Global Economics Weekly research report. The bank says the development is new and is a major global macro concern for investors. Deteriorating external conditions and declining investment efficiency have contributed to the debt build-up. The research team says that while the risk is significant, its analysis exploring the aftermath of large debt build-ups over the past half-century suggests that credit booms do not always end in deep recessions or banking crises. “GDP growth typically decelerates by at least 3-4pp after credit booms, although in China’s case some slowing has already occurred. Smoothing the adjustment process is likely to require increased central government fiscal outlays and policy interest rates should remain fairly low,” says the team. They add that while Chinese policy-makers have begun to address credit issues, significant imbalances still need to be worked off and capital market system development and reforms still need to be implemented more fully -

Macro gains offset by equity losses

Friday, 15 June 2012
Macro gains offset by equity losses Hedge funds post declines in volatile May; systematic macro post gains on fixed income http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Hedge funds post declines in volatile May; systematic macro post gains on fixed income

Hedge funds posted decline in May, with the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index posting a loss of -1.6%, says Hedge Fund Research, Inc., the indexation, analysis and research provider for the global hedge fund industry. This marks the third consecutive monthly decline, reducing the year to date gain for the index to 2.5% through May.  “During the volatile month of May, investors reacted to increased European bank and sovereign bond risk and weakening U.S. economic data by aggressively moving portfolios toward less risky exposures,” explains  Kenneth J Heinz, president of HFR. “This

risk-off response adversely impacted certain areas of equity-sensitive hedge fund exposures, while benefitting strategies tactically positioned to insulate portfolios and produce gains resulting from the strong trends and volatile environment which materialised. In the current environment, at some level, every hedge fund is a Macro fund.” 



Mirroring trends across financial markets, hedge fund performance during May was widely divergent across strategies, with macro funds posting their best monthly performance since April 2011, while equity hedge posted its largest decline since September 2011. The HFRI Macro Index gained 1.7% in May, bringing YTD gains to 1.9%, with significant contributions from systematic strategies and positions in fixed income, commodities and currencies, with limited aggregate exposure to equity market volatility. The HFRI Macro: Systematic Diversified Index gained 4.1% in May and has gained 2.9% year to date.

The HFRI Equity Hedge Index posted a decline of -4.1% in the month, paring its year to date gain to +1.8%, with declines across growth, energy and emerging markets strategies only partially offset by short bias funds, which gained over 7%. Event driven strategies fell by -1.4%, paring year to date gains to 3.1%, with weakness in activist, distressed and equity special situations funds. Falling yields and increased volatility failed to offset the impact of credit weakness as Relative Value Arbitrage funds posted a decline of -1.3%, the first decline for this strategy in 2012, narrowing year to date gains to 3.1%, for the global strategy.

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