Saturday 13th February 2016
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, JANUARY 12TH: Morningstar has moved the Morningstar Analyst Rating™ for the Fidelity Global Inflation Linked Bond fund to Neutral. The fund previously held a Bronze rating. Ashis Dash, manager research analyst at Morningstar, says, “The fund’s rating was placed Under Review following the news that co-manager Jeremy Church was leaving Fidelity. Lead manager, Andrew Weir, who has managed the fund since launch in May 2008, remains in charge and is further supported by the new co-manager, Tim Foster. While we acknowledge Weir’s considerable experience in the inflation-linked space, some recent stumbles and below-benchmark returns over time have led us to lower our conviction in the fund. This is currently reflected by our Neutral rating.” - Italian GDP growth looks to have stalled to 0.1pc in the last quarter of 2015, falling below analyst expectations of 0.3% growth. The Italian economy grew by just 0.6% last year having come out of its worst slump since before the pyramids were built. The slowdown will put further pressure on reforming Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, who has been battling to save a banking system lumbering under €201bn (£156bn) of bad debt, equivalent to as much as 12% of GDP. It is a serious situation and one which threatens Italy’s traditionally benign relationship with the European Union. The EU’s bail in rules for bank defaults seeks to force creditors to take the brunt of any banking failures. Italy suffered four bank closures last year, which meant losses of something near €800m on junior bond holders (with much of the exposure held by Italian retail investors). No surprise perhaps, Italian bank stocks have taken a beating this year, Unicredit shares are currently €3.06, compared with a price of €6.41 in April last year. In aggregate Italian banking shares are down by more than 20% over the last twelve months. Italian economy minister Pier Carlo Padoan told Reuters at the beginning of February that there isn’t any connection between the sharp fall in European banking stocks, as he called on Brussels for a gradual introduction of the legislation. He stressed that he did not want legislation changed, just deferred - Is current market volatility encouraging issuers to table deals? Oman Telecommunications Co OTL.OM (Omantel) has reportedly scrapped plans to issue a $130m five-year dual-currency sukuk, reports the Muscat bourse. Last month, the state-run company priced the sukuk at a profit rate of 5.3%, having received commitments worth $82.16m in the dollar tranche and OMR18.4m ($47.86m) in the rial tranche. Meantime, Saudi Arabia's Bank Albilad says it plans to issue SAR1bn-SAR2bn ($267m-$533m) of sukuk by the end of the second quarter of 2016 to finance expansion, chief executive Khaled al-Jasser told CNBC Arabia - The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) announces that the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC) will hold a public meeting at the Commission’s Washington, DC headquarters located at 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581. The meeting will take place on February 25th from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm – Local press reports say the UAE central bank will roll out new banking regulations covering board and management responsibilities and accountability – Following yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, says that “Overall, the economic recovery in the eurozone continues and is expected to strengthen this year and next. At the same time, there are increasing downside risks and there is volatility in the markets all around the world. The euro area is structurally in a much better position now than some years ago. And this is true also for European banks. With Banking Union, we have developed mechanisms in the euro area to bring stability to the financial sector and to reduce the sovereign-banking nexus. Capital buffers have been raised, supervision has been strengthened, and we have clear and common rules for resolution. So overall, structurally we are now in a better position and we need to continue a gradual recovery”. Speaking at the press conference that followed the conclusion of the February 11th Eurogroup, Dijsselbloem also acknowledged that “good progress” has been made in official discussions between Greece and its officials creditors in the context of the 1st programme review. Yet, he noted that more work is needed for reaching a staff level agreement on the required conditionality, mostly on the social security pension reform, fiscal issues and the operation of the new privatization fund. On the data front, according to national account statistics for the fourth quarter of 2016 (flash estimate), Greece’s real GDP, in seasonally and calendar adjusted terms, decreased by 0.6%QoQ compared to -1.4%QoQ in Q3. The NBS Executive Board decided in its meeting today to cut the key policy rate by 0.25 pp, to 4.25%. - Today’s early European session saw an uptick in energy stocks, banking shares and US futures. Brent and WTI crude oil futures both jumped over 4% to $31.28 a barrel and $27.36 respectively before paring gains slightly; all this came on the back of promised output cuts by OPEC. That improving sentiment did not extend to Asia where the Nikkei fell to a one-year low. Japan's main index fell to its lowest level in more than a year after falling 4.8% in trading today, bringing losses for the week to over 11%. Yet again though the yen strengthened against the US dollar, which was down 0.1% ¥112.17. Swissquote analysts says, “We believe there is still some downside potential for the pair; however traders are still trying to understand what happened yesterday - when USD/JPY spiked two figures in less than 5 minutes - and will likely remain sidelined before the weekend break.” Japanese market turbulence is beginning to shake the government and may spur further easing measures if not this month, then next. Trevor Greetham, head of multi asset at Royal London Asset Management, says “When policy makers start to panic, markets can stop panicking. We are seeing the first signs of policy maker panic in Japan with Prime Minister Abe holding an emergency meeting with Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda. We are going to get a lot of new stimulus over the next few weeks and not just in Japan. I expect negative interest rates to be used more in Japan and in Europe and I expect this policy to increase bank lending and weaken currencies for the countries that pursue it”. Greetham agrees that both the yen and euro have strengthened despite negative rates. “Some of this is due to the pricing out of Fed rate hike expectations; some is temporary and to do with risk aversion. In a market sell off money tends to flow away from high yielding carry currencies to low yielding funding currencies and this effect is dominating in the short term”. Australia's S&P ASX 200 closed down 1.2%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng settled down 1.01. in New Zealand the NZX was down 0.89%, while in South Korea the Kospi slid 1.41%. The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 1.25 points or 0.05% higher to 2539.53, taking the year-to-date performance to -11.91%. The top active stocks today were DBS, which declined 0.91%, SingTel, which gained 1.13%, JMH USD, which declined 1.39%, OCBC Bank, which gained 0.13% and UOB, with a0.34% advance. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.50%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined0.31%. Thai equities were down 0.38%, the Indian Sensex slip 0.71%, while Indonesian equities were down another 1.16%. The euro was down 0.3% against the dollar at $1.1285, even after data showed Germany's economy remained on a steady yet modest growth path at the end of last year. Gold fell 0.7% to $1238.80 an ounce, after gold gained 4.5% Thursday to its highest level in a year. Greetham summarises: “Like a lot of people, we went into this year's sell off moderately overweight equities and it has been painful. What we have seen has been a highly technical market with many forced sellers among oil-producing sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions protecting regulatory capital buffers. However, economic fundamentals in the large developed economies remain positive, unemployment rates are falling and consumers will benefit hugely from lower energy prices and loose monetary policy.”

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US and Europe facing separate growth tracks, says OECD

Thursday, 29 March 2012
US and Europe facing separate growth tracks, says OECD Economic growth in the G7 countries is expected to be firmer through the first half of 2012, but the recovery remains fragile and will likely proceed at different speeds in North America and Europe, the OECD said in its latest interim economic assessment. The assessment, presented in Paris by OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan, says the G7 economies are projected to grow by 1.9%  in both the first and second quarters of 2012, although a strong variance in outcomes is expected across this group of countries. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Economic growth in the G7 countries is expected to be firmer through the first half of 2012, but the recovery remains fragile and will likely proceed at different speeds in North America and Europe, the OECD said in its latest interim economic assessment. The assessment, presented in Paris by OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan, says the G7 economies are projected to grow by 1.9%  in both the first and second quarters of 2012, although a strong variance in outcomes is expected across this group of countries.

“Our forecast for the first half of 2012 points to robust growth in the United States and Canada, but much weaker activity in Europe, where the outlook remains fragile,” says Padoan. “We may have stepped back from the edge of the cliff, but there’s still no room for complacency,” he adds.



 

In the United States, the ongoing rebound in employment, stronger consumer confidence, higher equity prices and credit growth are underpinning the recovery, with growth projected at 2.9%  in the first quarter and 2.8% in the second. Canada is projected to grow by 2.5% during each of the first two quarters

 

The optimistic view on North America contrasts with the much more fragile outlook in Europe, where weak consumer confidence, climbing unemployment and tight credit all point to further  falls in activity.

 

The OECD projects that the euro area’s three largest economies—Germany, France and Italy—will shrink by 0.4% on average during the first quarter, before a moderate 0.9% growth recovery in the second quarter.

 

Seen individually, the German economy is expected to accelerate through the first half of the year, with growth of 0.1% in the first quarter and 1.5% in the second. The French outlook is more muted, with a -0.2 percent reduction in the first quarter followed by 0.9%  growth in the second. In Italy, weak industrial production and household sentiment suggest recession for the first two quarters of the year, but the most recent indicators have been more positive, resulting in slightly better projected growth for the second quarter, the OECD says.

 

In the United Kingdom, the economy is expected to contract by 0.4% and grow by 0.5% in the second quarter.

 

Growth in Japan is projected to rebound strongly in the first quarter to 3.4%, before easing to 1.4%  in the second quarter. A number of factors threaten the recovery, including rising oil prices, weakening activity in emerging market economies, notably China, and a slowdown in world trade growth that reflects weakening global demand. “Government action will continue to be critical, particularly in the euro area, where unfinished policy business on fiscal frameworks, financial firewalls and fundamental structural reforms must move ahead,” Padoan adds.

 

Economic growth in the G7 countries is expected to be firmer through the first half of 2012, but the recovery remains fragile and will likely proceed at different speeds in North America and Europe, the OECD said in its latest Interim Economic Assessment.

The Assessment, presented in Paris by Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan, says the G7 economies are projected to grow by 1.9 percent in both the first and second quarters of 2012, although a strong variance in outcomes is expected across this group of countries. (
See the Chief Economist’s presentation)

“Our forecast for the first half of 2012 points to robust growth in the United States and Canada, but much weaker activity in Europe, where the outlook remains fragile,” Mr Padoan said. “We may have stepped back from the edge of the cliff, but there’s still no room for complacency.”
In the United States, the ongoing rebound in employment, stronger consumer confidence, higher equity prices and credit growth are underpinning the recovery, with growth projected at 2.9 percent in the first quarter and 2.8 percent in the second. Canada is projected to grow by 2.5 percent during each of the first two quarters
http://mcmbo1.oecd.org/vgn/images/portal/cit_731/13/63/50008626unemployment.PNG
 
The optimistic view on North America contrasts with the much more fragile outlook in Europe, where weak consumer confidence, climbing unemployment and tight credit all point to further     falls in activity. The OECD projects that the euro area’s three largest economies -  Germany, France and Italy - will shrink by 0.4 percent on average during the first quarter, before a moderate 0.9 percent growth recovery in the second quarter.

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