Receive our Newsletter

Get the latest news and tips direct to your inbox by signing up below.

IMF lowers US economic growth estimate for 2014

July 24th, 2014

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Wednesday, cut the US 2014 growth forecast to 1.7% from 2% earlier. The 2.9% contraction in Q1 2014 is likely to be offset by acceleration in growth to 3–3.5% in the second half of 2014.

Hungary’s central bank cuts key interest rate

July 23rd, 2014

The National Bank of Hungary lowered its policy rate to 2.1% from 2.3%, the 24th consecutive rate cut since August 2012. Governor Gyorgy Matolcsy said the central bank plans to hold the benchmark rate at 2.1% until the end of 2015, unless the 3% inflation target is jeopardised.

Japan government lowers economic growth forecast

July 22nd, 2014

For the fiscal year ending March 2015, the Japanese government has slashed its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 1.2% from its prior estimate of 1.4%. The downward movement was majorly due to slack in exports and sluggish domestic demand after hike in sales tax. However, growth is expected to improve to 1.4% in the coming year.

Asking price for UK houses drops in July: Rightmove

July 21st, 2014

In the UK, asking prices for homes fell 0.8% m-o-m in July, following a 0.1% increase in June, property tracking website Rightmove revealed. Stringent mortgage lending norms and an anticipated increase in interest rates appeared to be the main reasons for the downward price movement; however, it could pace up by year end, Rightmove stated. Price growth slowed to 6.5% y-o-y in July from 7.7% in June.

The outlook for markets as the S&P 500 Index-linked VIX Index wakes up

July 18th, 2014

Investors are currently confronted by a smorgasbord of competing reasons to be cautious about the future trend of markets while arguments continue about which basis of equity valuation justifies present index levels.

UK house price sentiment improves in July, albeit at a slow rate

July 18th, 2014

As per data released by Knight Frank and Markit, the gauge of house price sentiment in the UK inched down to 62.4 in July from 62.5 in June. Sub-indices for all regions remained above 50, exhibiting price gains during the month. Meanwhile, the index measuring expectations of future prices improved to 71.7 in July from 71.6 in June.

US economy improving across nation: Beige Book

July 17th, 2014

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book revealed the US economy improved at a modest to moderate pace in June, with all 12 Fed districts reporting growth, led by increased manufacturing activity and continuing demand for labour.

China’s GDP grows 7.5% in Q2 2014

July 16th, 2014

The National Bureau of Statistics reported that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) jumped 7.5% y-o-y in Q2 2014 after advancing 7.4% in the previous quarter, boosted by credit-easing and conservative spending. Economists had expected 7.4% growth for the quarter.

UK like-for-like sales fall in June

July 15th, 2014

Like-for-like retail sales in the UK slid 0.8% y-o-y in June, after rising 0.5% in May, with buyers benefiting from competitive pricing, the British Retail Consortium reported today. Meanwhile, the overall retail spending advanced 0.6% y-o-y.

S&P affirms Germany’s sovereign credit rating

July 14th, 2014

Standard & Poor (S&P) maintained Germany’s sovereign rating at ‘AAA’, with a stable outlook, citing the strength and high level of diversification in the economy. Meanwhile, the agency kept Ukraine’s long-term foreign currency rating unchanged at ‘CCC’, but raised the outlook to stable from negative.

US wholesale inventories up 0.5% in May

July 11th, 2014

Yesterday, data from the Commerce Department revealed that wholesale inventories in the US grew 0.5% m-o-m in May after a revised increase of 1% in April. Markets had expected inventories to rise 0.6% during the month. Durable goods inventories advanced 1%, while non-durable goods inventories lowered 0.3%. Furthermore, the department reported that wholesale sales increased 0.7% in May after climbing 1.3% in the preceding month.

UK house price growth eases in June

July 10th, 2014

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported that the monthly house price balance in the UK dropped to 53% in June from a downwardly revised 56% in May, faring worse than the expected reading of 55%. Tougher mortgage market review rules since April and concerns over an increase in interest rates dragged the index lower.

UK shop prices fall 1.8% in June

July 9th, 2014

Today, data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed that the UK shop price index was down 1.8% y-o-y in June, recording the 14th consecutive monthly drop. The negative price movement is largely ascribed to a stronger pound and escalating price-based competition among supermarkets. Food prices rose 0.6%, while prices of non-food items fell 3.4%, both recording the weakest reading since the index began in 2006.

UK’s economy to grow robustly

July 8th, 2014

Today, a quarterly survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) maintained the growth forecast for the UK at 0.8% for Q2 2014 and 3.1% for 2014. However, exports and business investment declined during the quarter. The agency warned a slowdown in business growth increased the risk of a downgrade in these estimates.

IMF may cut global growth forecast

July 7th, 2014

Yesterday, while speaking at the Cercle des Economistes Conference in France, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, said the pace of growth in the world economy could be slower than earlier expected, owing to a weak investment scenario and persistent downside risks to the US economy.

Global PMI indicates further expansion in June

July 4th, 2014

A survey by JP Morgan and Markit revealed the global all-industry output index rose to 55.4 in June, the highest since February 2011, from 54.2 in May. The reading remained in the expansion territory (>50) for the 21st successive month. The sub-index of new orders expanded to 56.0 from 54.3, majorly driving an improvement in the main index.

Rate changes should not be driven by financial excesses: Fed

July 3rd, 2014

In her speech at the International Monetary Fund, Fed Chair Janet Yellen stated the central bank should primarily focus on price stability and employment, rather than financial stability. She maintained that excesses in the financial sector should largely be dealt through regulatory policies.

US auto sales reach an eight-year high

July 2nd, 2014

Data from Autodata Corp revealed auto sales in the US rose 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annualised rate of 16.98 million in June, the highest since July 2006. Markets were expecting sales to decline 3%.

China’s factory activity expands in June

July 1st, 2014

A survey by the China Federation Of Logistics & Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics revealed the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to its six-month high of 51 in June from 50.8 in May, matching market estimates. Moreover, the final manufacturing PMI released by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank rose to 50.7 in June from 49.4 in May, below the flash estimate of 50.8.

BIS warns about low interest rates

June 30th, 2014

In its annual report, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) urged central banks to start normalising interest rates. The central banks face the risk of normalising too late and too gradually, according to BIS. Low rates have led to a sharp growth in real estate prices and credit in some nations, the agency stated.

‘U.K. Desperately Short of Housing: Franklin’ – Mike Franklin on Bloomberg’s “On the Move”, 26th June 2014

June 27th, 2014

Beaufort Securities Chief Investment Strategist Michael Franklin discusses the impact of real estate on the markets and his subsequent investing strategy. He speaks with Anna Edwards on Bloomberg Television’s “On The Move.” (Source: Bloomberg) – 26/06/2014

UK witnesses sluggish house price growth in June

June 27th, 2014

Today, survey results by Hometrack indicated UK house prices edged up 0.3% m-o-m in June, registering the slowest pace of growth since January 2014, after rising 0.5% in May. Demand remained unchanged, while the number of property listings increased 1.9% during the month.

US services sector growth picks up in June

June 26th, 2014

Yesterday, Markit, a market research firm, revealed the preliminary reading of the services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in the US rose to 61.2 in June, a record level since the survey commenced in October 2009, from May’s final reading of 58.1. The expansion was primarily ascribed to an improved level of business activity during the month. Consequently, the composite PMI also reached a record high of 61.1 from 58.4 in May.

BoE’s Governor Mark Carney sends dovish signals

June 25th, 2014

Yesterday, the BoE’s Governor Mark Carney stated the labour market had more spare capacity than earlier expected, even as the economy exhibited a strong rebound. He focused on the need to utilise the extra capacity before normalising interest rates.

UK mortgage demand gathers pace

June 24th, 2014

The quarterly Credit Conditions Survey by the Bank of England (BoE) revealed that mortgage demand in the UK increased in Q2 2014 and lenders expect it to grow further in the next three months. The maximum loan-to-value and loan-to-income ratios rose in the last three months. However, in the next quarter, the loan-to-income ratio is likely to decline, for the first in over two years, due to the new mortgage rules.

China’s HSBC flash PMI rises as orders surge

June 23rd, 2014

China’s preliminary Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 50.8 in June, exceeding expectations of 49.7, from 49.4 in May, as reported by HSBC and Markit. China’s factory activity expanded for the first time in six months. The sub-index of new orders rose to 51.8 in June, primarily driven by strong domestic consumption.

Barack Obama to send up to 300 new American military advisers to Iraq

June 20th, 2014

After a meeting with the national security team on the ongoing geopolitical situation in Iraq, US President Barack Obama decided to send around 300 military advisers to Iraq to assist the country’s forces in countering the advance of Sunni insurgents.

IMF urges Ireland to not ease austerity

June 19th, 2014

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged the Irish government to not ease its tough budget plans in light of rising voter support to parties and independents known for their opposition to austerity. The IMF said Ireland should continue with its plans for austerity next year, with tax hikes and spending cuts of up to €2 bn.

China and UK hold positive trade talks

June 18th, 2014

During a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, a two-way trade target of US$100bn was set for the two countries to be achieved by the end of next year. Trade agreements worth US$24bn were signed during the visit. The two leaders also pledged to work together to stimulate growth in both countries.

IMF cuts growth outlook for US

June 17th, 2014

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its economic growth forecast for the US to 2% for 2014 from 2.8% in April, citing harsh winter and weak international demand for the country’s products. However, the forecast for 2015 remains unchanged at 3% due to the expected growth in job creation. Separately, the IMF urged the Federal Reserve to keep policy rates at near-zero levels for a longer period.