Archive forJune, 2015

Consumer confidence in UK rises to 15-year high: GfK

According to a GfK survey, the UK’s consumer confidence index jumped to +7 in June from +1 in May, the largest gain in a year. The rise was primarily ascribed to wage growth and lowest inflation in last 50 years that boosted the disposable income in recent months.

Capital controls imposed in Greece; banks to remain closed

After the breakdown of talks between Greece and its lenders, the ECB froze essential funding to the country’s banks. This forced Greece’s government to shut down the financial system, including banks, and impose a cash withdrawal restriction of €60 per day.

Cameron kicks off renegotiations for UK’s EU membership

Yesterday, British Prime Minister James Cameron pitched a new deal to the European Union leaders to continue the country’s membership in the single currency bloc. However, the proposal was overshadowed by discussion over the impending Greece issue and the migration crisis.

Mortgage approvals in UK rise in May 2015: BBA

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) stated mortgage approvals for house purchases climbed to 42,530 in May 2015, a 14-month high, vis-à-vis 42,020 in April 2015. The approvals were up 4% y-o-y. The rise in approvals indicates the housing market continues to perform well after the general election in May.

UK factory order index at two-year low: CBI

According to the Confederation of British Industry’s survey, total order book balance fell to -7 in June, the lowest since July 2013, from -5 in May. The agency cited weak demand for export orders due to a stronger pound as the primary reason for the decline. However, the index remained above its long-run average of -15.

Greece close to signing debt deal

Yesterday, the Eurozone’s finance ministers in Brussels welcomed the latest reform package from Greece, which comprises cuts in the pension bill and includes raising additional money from VAT. The European leaders may sign a deal this Thursday, which could avert Greece’s exit from the Eurozone and a debt default on payments.

Emergency summit in Brussels to decide Greece’s future

The Eurozone leaders are expected to hold an emergency summit today after the breakdown of cash-for-reforms agreement at talks in Luxembourg on Thursday. The meeting is being held to avert a Greek default on crucial repayments to the IMF due by the end of this month.

Norway reduces interest rates

Norges Bank, Norway’s central bank, cut its main interest rate to a record low of 1.0% from 1.25%. The move was widely expected as the country’s economic outlook deteriorated due to a decline in oil prices. The central bank plans to maintain inflation near its target of 2.5%.

BoE unanimously votes to keep interest rates unchanged

The minutes of the Bank of England (BoE)’s Monetary Policy Committee ended 3rd June indicated policymakers voted 9-0 to keep interest rates unchanged at 0.5%. The report stated the UK’s monetary policy would be determined by inflation in the country and would not rely on the actions of other central banks.

House price growth in UK decelerates in May: ONS

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house price growth in the UK slowed to 5.5% y-o-y in May after a 9.6% gain in April. The average house price increased 5.8% in England and 2.2% in Scotland, whereas it declined 4.3% in London, its lowest since October 2012.

Mario Draghi advices Greece to make the first move

European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi stated the ‘ball lies firmly with the Greek government’ to make the first move following the collapse of bailout negotiations with its international creditors. He stated that a strong and comprehensive agreement was the need of the hour. ECB has extended around €118bn to Greek banks in 2015.

UK asking house prices soar in June: Rightmove

According to property tracking website Rightmove, the asking price per home in the UK jumped 3.0% to £294,351 in June 2015, after shedding 0.1% in May. On y-o-y basis, the house prices gained 4.5%, following a 2.5% rise in the previous month.

IMF quits Greece negotiations in Brussels

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) abandoned the negotiations over the Greece bailout in Brussels after major differences with the country. The IMF is upset over the bundling of all four debt repayments for the month and Greece’s stance on pensions and labour market reforms. In the absence of a deal, Greece is likely to default on its over €1.5bn debt repayment to the IMF.

House price balance in UK rises in May: RICS

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) stated that the expectations for house prices rose to +34 in May, the highest since August 2014, from +32 in April. The gain was primarily ascribed to the absence of sellers in the market, with property availability per surveyor at its lowest since 1978, the release informed.

UK trade deficit narrows in April: ONS

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s trade deficit in April narrowed to £1.2bn from an upwardly revised £3.1bn in March. Export volumes in April rose 4.8%, the largest increase since September 2014. Meanwhile, the deficit of £8.6bn in goods was somewhat offset by surplus of around £7.4bn on services.

Retail sales in UK recover in May

The British Retail Consortium stated the value of total retail sales increased 1.1% y-o-y in May 2015 after a 1.3% decline in April. The rise reflected an expansion in the domestic housing market and an improvement in furniture sales, along with the stabilisation of food sales.

CBI trims growth outlook for UK

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) downgraded its growth forecast for the UK to 2.4% from 2.7% for 2015 and to 2.5% from 2.6% for 2016. The agency warned against further risks to the economy in view of the Greek crisis and the ambiguity over the EU referendum that may delay investment spending.

Fed should consider raising interest rates in 2016: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the US Federal Reserve to wait until 2016 to raise interest rates. The agency said that despite continued growth and job creation in the US, conditions are still not suitable for a rate hike.

OECD cuts global growth forecast

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said it expects the global economy to grow at a slower pace of 3.1% in 2015 compared with the previous forecast of 3.6%. The agency also slashed the growth estimate for 2016 to 3.8% from 3.9%. The revisions are largely ascribed to weak investments and subdued growth in the first quarter.

Creditors draft final offer for Greece

International creditors have presented Greece with a draft final offer to break long-winded negotiations. It is interesting to note that on Monday, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted his own separate proposal to the creditors. The country is required to repay about €1.25 bn to the IMF this month.

Beaufort Smaller AIM Companies EIS Fund on – 29/05/2015

Taniver Malik and Jon Levinson of Beaufort Securities discuss the newly launched Beaufort Smaller AIM Companies EIS Fund with Zak Mir on – 29/05/2015

Germany, France, along with other lenders, agree to work closely on Greece’s debt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, along with the leaders of international creditor institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, have agreed to work closely on Greece’s debt. Greece is due to make a €300m repayment to the IMF on Friday.

Greece may reach a deal this week: Oettinger

Germany’s EU Commissioner Guenter Oettinger expects Greece and its creditors to reach a deal by the end of this week. His comments immediately followed Greece missing a self-imposed Sunday deadline for reaching an agreement to unlock aid. Meanwhile, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras blamed the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund for their absurd proposals and uncompromising approach to reach a deal.