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Archive for the breakfast-today Category

Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence from UK

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Scotland will remain part of the UK after voters reject independence and First Minister Alex Salmond admits defeat.

Fed to maintain low rates for ‘considerable time’

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve said rates are likely to remain unchanged for a ‘considerable time’ after the conclusion of the bond buying programme as it ponders cautiously over the jobs situation and inflation data. The central bank’s monthly asset purchases have been reduced to US$15bn, with the stimulus programme expected to end in October.

PBoC official reveals US$81.0bn stimulus

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is expected to grant a US$81bn or ¥500bn incentive to the country’s five biggest banks in an attempt to revive the economy. The People’s Bank of China plans to inject ¥100bn in each of the five banks for a three-month period. This news is not confirmed by the PBoC yet.

China’s FDI hits four-year low

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Today, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce reported inbound investment in the country declined 14% y-o-y to US$7.2bn in August, after plunging 17% in July. With this, China’s inbound FDI during the first eight months of 2014 is down 1.8% y-o-y to US$78.3bn.

UK house prices rise 0.9% in September

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Today, data from Rightmove indicated that the average asking price for a house in the UK increased 0.9% m-o-m to £264,875 in September after sliding 2.9% in August. On y-o-y basis, prices jumped 7.9% after advancing 5.3% in the preceding month. House prices in East Anglia and London rose 3.7% and 0.9%, respectively, while that in West Midlands and Wales fell 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively.

US budget deficit narrows to US$129bn in August

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Data released by the US Treasury Department showed the country’s budget deficit narrowed 13% y-o-y to US$129bn in August. On year-to-date basis (from October to August), the deficit was down 22% to US$589bn, largely led by higher tax receipts.

UK house price balance falls in August

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Today, survey results from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed the UK house price balance dropped to 40% in August, the lowest level since August 2013. The reading came in much below the forecast of 47%. The house price balance for July was also revised down to 48% from the originally reported 49%.

Japan’s machine orders rise 3.5% in July

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The Japanese Cabinet Office reported core machine orders rose by 3.5% m-o-m to ¥771.7bn in July, missing the expectation of 4% gain. Machine orders had increased 8.8% in June. Manufacturing orders surged 20.3% to ¥363.9bn, while non-manufacturing orders decreased 4.3% to ¥425.0bn during the month.

UK retail sales rise 1.3% in August

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The British Retail Consortium reported that like-for-like (LFL) retail sales increased 1.3% y-o-y in August, after declining 0.3% y-o-y in July. Total sales rose 2.7% y-o-y compared with 3.6% y-o-y in the previous month.

China’s trade surplus at record high

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The Chinese Customs Office declared the trade surplus widened to US$49.8bn in August from US$47.3bn in July. Exports grew 9.4% y-o-y, while imports fell 2.4% y-o-y.

ECB downgrades growth forecast

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The ECB lowered its 2014 economic growth forecast for the Eurozone to 0.9% from 1% in June. The agency also cut the 2015 growth estimate to 1.6% from 1.7%.

US on track for economic recovery: Fed

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

As per the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, the US economy expanded at a ‘moderate to modest’ rate over the summer, aided by strong growth across the auto and banking industry. On the consumer spending front, most of the total 12 Fed districts reported growth.

UK shop price decline moderates in August

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

As per the data released by the British Retail Consortium, the UK shop prices dropped 1.6% y-o-y in August after sliding 1.9% in July. Markets were expecting the prices to fall just 0.2%. In August, food prices edged up 0.3%, maintaining the pace from July.

Record wage hike in Japan still lags behind inflation rate

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Today, Japan’s Labor Ministry revealed the growth in wages in July is the highest since 1997. On y-o-y basis, average monthly earnings rose 2.6% vis-à-vis 1% in June. However, the wage hike is still below the consumer price inflation (excluding fresh food) of 3.3% for the same period. Inflation-adjusted pay declined 1.4% in July.

China’s factory activity records marginal expansion in August

Monday, September 1st, 2014

A survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank revealed that the final manufacturing PMI for China dipped to 50.2 in August from the flash forecast of 50.3, and July’s 17-month high of 51.7, thus recording a slower expansion than initially estimated. Economists were expecting the PMI to remain unchanged from the preliminary estimate.

UK house prices inch up 0.1% in August

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Today, data released by Hometrack showed that the average asking price for a house in the UK inched up 0.1% m-o-m in August, maintaining the pace from July. On y-o-y basis, prices were up 5.5% as against 5.8% in the previous month.

UK may witness fastest growth since 2007: BCC

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Yesterday, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) raised the UK’s GDP growth forecast for 2014 to 3.2% from 3.1% earlier. The agency ascribes this upgrade to higher consumer spending amid lower unemployment. For 2015, the growth outlook is upgraded to 2.8% from 2.7%. Meanwhile, the BCC downgraded the projection for export growth to 0.8% from 1.6% earlier.

Chinese consumer confidence deteriorates in August

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Results of a survey by MNI and Westpac indicated that the consumer sentiment index in China slid 1.3% m-o-m to 113.3 in August from 114.8 in July. The reading was down 2.4% on y-o-y basis. Of the five components of the index, three declined compared with the preceding month.

Ukraine set for parliamentary elections in October

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

On Monday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko dissolved the parliament and announced early elections on 26th October. The decision comes after the country’s majority coalition separated on 24th July.

Fed officials endorse a rate hike

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Esther George, a senior Fed official, stated the US economy was prepared for a rate hike. She believes stabilised inflation and achievement of near full employment levels imply a conducive environment for raising rates. Charles Plosser, another Fed official, echoed the sentiment, stating the central bank’s policy of retaining near-zero rates could be risky.

Growth in China’s factory activity slows in August

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

The preliminary reading of China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), released by HSBC, showed the sector continued to expand in August, albeit at a slower pace. The PMI fell to a three-month low of 50.3 in August from 51.7 in July. The reading was below the market forecast of 51.5.

Argentina to service its bondholders through bond swap

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Yesterday, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez announced that the government would offer a voluntary debt swap on its defaulted debt. The new bonds issued under the deal would be covered under the national law. The government is yet to secure congress approval for this arrangement. If the proposal goes through, Argentina would be able to service its debt within the country and the bondholders would have a choice of getting their debt governed under the US or Argentina law.

US homebuilder confidence at seven-month high

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The US housing market index rose to 55.0 in August, its highest level since January, from 53.0 in July, as stated by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This is primarily ascribed to increased employment and low mortgage rates, coupled with affordable home prices. The gauge of current sales conditions and expectations for future sales rose by two points each to 58.0 and 65.0, respectively. The index measuring prospective buyer traffic improved by three points to 42.0.

UK house prices decline in August

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Today, Rightmove reported the average asking price for a house in the UK lowered 2.9% m-o-m to £262,401 in August, marking the biggest decline for that month. House prices fell 0.8% m-o-m in July. On y-o-y basis, prices were up 5.3%, after rising 6.5% in the previous month.

UK rents rise again

Friday, August 15th, 2014

After more than a years break rental bills are once again rising more than inflation. According to LSL Property Services as the market picked up during the 12 months to July, the average monthly rent across England and Wales has increased by 2%. The pace thus became higher than the 1.9% rate of inflation. Coinciding with the release of these reports, The Resolution Foundation released a study stating that almost 1.6 million UK households were seeing more than half their disposable income taken up with rent or mortgage costs.

RICS: UK house prices balance eases in July

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

In the UK, the monthly house price balance eased to 49 in July, from a downwardly revised 52 in June, as reported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The reading was below the market expectation of 51. The moderation in house prices was primarily due to the strict mortgage lending norms.

US budget deficit shrinks in July

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Budget deficit in the US contracted 3% y-o-y to US$95.0bn at the end of July, better than the market forecast of US$96.0bn deficit. From October to July, budget deficit fell 24% y-o-y to US$460.5bn. For the 10-month period ended July, Federal receipts rose 8% to US$2.47trln, whereas spending inched up 1% to $2.93trln.

UK retail sales decline in July

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Data from the British Retail Consortium revealed that like-for-like (LFL) sales in the UK edged down 0.3% y-o-y in July after dropping 0.8% in June. However, total sales increased 1.3% in July from 0.6% in June. For the three months ended July, food sales fell 3.5% q-o-q, whereas non-food sales advanced 2.4%. Growth in the non-food category was led by furniture sales, which recorded its fastest rate of increase since January 2014 (excluding the impact of Easter holidays).

Chinese consumer prices inch up in July

Monday, August 11th, 2014

In China, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that consumer prices edged up 0.1% m-o-m in July, after slipping 0.1% m-o-m in the preceding month. On y-o-y basis, prices rose 2.3% in July, in line with June as well as the market expectation. The reading is below the annual target of 3.5%, indicating room for further monetary easing.

US consumer credit growth decelerates in June

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Consumer credit in the US rose US$17.3bn to US$3.17trln in June (below estimates of a US$18.5 increase) following a US$19.6bn gain in May, as reported by the Federal Reserve. Growth in auto and home loans, reflecting improving employment, led to an increase in consumer borrowing.