Archive forAugust, 2015

Volatility in the Markets

For most equity investors, whether trading as individuals on their own ideas or using the services available from brokers and other institutions, 2015 has been very challenging. It has to be acknowledged that the lack of objectivity sometimes shown by the media in reporting and analysing events can made the investment process unnecessarily stressful.

Consumer confidence in UK reaches 15-year high in August

According to GfK, the UK’s consumer confidence index surged to +7 in August from +4 in July, its highest reading in 15 years. The increase is ascribed to house price inflation, improving employment growth prospects, declining oil prices and low interest rate environment.

Mortgage approvals in UK rise to 17-month high in July

The total number of loans for house purchases in the UK increased 11% y-o-y to 46,033 in July, the highest since February 2014. The improved numbers clearly indicate recovery in the UK’s housing market.

China’s central bank cuts interest rates

Yesterday, PBOC reduced its one-year benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.6%, its fifth rate cut since November 2014. The central bank also reduced the reserve requirement ratio by 0.5%. These measures are aimed at boosting the markets and improving economic conditions.

IMF official says China not yet in crisis

According to Carlo Cottarelli, Executive Director with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China is currently not in a crisis, but is reacting to overall problems in the global economy. He further stated that the country’s monetary policies have been expansive in the past few years; thus, it is a necessary adjustment for the economy.

UK’s economy to grow at faster pace

According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the UK’s economy is expected to grow 2.6% in 2015 compared with the earlier estimate of 2.4%. Furthermore, the agency revised the growth forecast for 2016 to 2.8% from 2.5%. The improvement in economic outlook is ascribed to growth in household spending, better wages, low inflation and higher investments.

Alexis Tsipras resigns as Prime Minister of Greece

Yesterday, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted his resignation to the President, urging for election as early as 20th September. Tsipras has been actively involved in Greece’s bailout programme over the past six months.

Germany approves third bailout for Greece

German lawmakers have approved Greece’s third bailout for a package of €86bn, to be supplied over the next three years. A total of 454 voted for the bailout and 113 against it, while there were 18 absentees. The bailout was negotiated between Greece and international creditors.

Germany to vote on Greek bailout today

The German parliament would vote on Greece’s third bailout deal today. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers expect the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assure its participation in the deal. However, the IMF stated it would only commit after evaluating Greece’s progress in October.

Markets in ‘Limbo Phase’ Waiting on Central Banks: Michael Franklin on Bloomberg’s “The Pulse”, 18th August 2015

Beaufort Securities Chief Investment Strategist Michael Franklin discusses the outlook for emerging markets overall, his thoughts on China and why markets are in what he calls a ‘limbo phase’ as central banks are poised to raise rates. He speaks with Francine Lacqua and Manus Cranny on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg) – 18/08/2015

Eurozone trade surplus reaches six-month high in June

Eurozone’s trade surplus rose 2.8% m-o-m to €21.9bn, the highest since December 2014. Exports improved 1.4% m-o-m, while imports advanced 1.2% from the last month. The surplus was attributed to a weak euro that helped exports surpass imports during this period.

UK house prices drop in August

According to Rightmove, the average asking price for a house in the UK slipped 0.8% to £292,284 in August after a 0.1% increase in July. However, house prices rose 6.4% on a y-o-y basis following a 5.1% rise last month.

IMF urges Europe to assist with Greece’s debt relief

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Europe to aid Greece with its debt relief. The group stated that it would take a decision on financing the country further only if appropriate measures were taken to support the debt burden.

UK house prices rise in July: RICS

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), monthly house price balance in the UK rose to +44 in July, highest since July 2014. Reading for June 2015 was +40. The increase in monthly house price balance was caused by a drop in the number of properties coming on to the market, RICS mentioned.

UK’s leading economic index falls for second straight month

As per the Conference Board, the UK’s leading economic index that measures future economic activity fell 0.2% in June, following a 0.4% dip in May. The decline was ascribed to shrinking order book volumes, expected output volumes, stock prices and consumer confidence. The Conference Board’s leading economic index includes seven components. For the six months to June, the index rose 0.7%, compared with a 0.7% fall in the previous six months.

UK retail sales growth slows in July:BRC

As per the British Retail Consortium (BRC), like-for-like retail sales rose 1.2% m-o-m in July, after a 1.8% increase in June. On y-o-y basis, overall retail sales grew 2.2%, after rising 2.9% in the previous month.

Chinese exports fall more than expected in July

Chinese exports dipped 8.3% in July to US$195.1bn, much lower than the market’s expectation of a 1.3% decline. This was weighed by a decrease in exports to Japan and the European Union (down 13% and 12.3%, respectively). Imports dropped 8.1% to US$152.0bn, following a 6.1% fall in June.

Bank of England keeps bank rate unchanged

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England (BoE) retained its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%, with an 8-1 vote in favour of maintaining rates. The reading has been unchanged since March 2009, and matched market expectations.

Triple Whammy!

Beaufort Securities Corporate Broking team yesterday completed 3 placings for AIM-listed mining clients. In an unheard of feat they announced at the bell an issue of equity in Galileo Resources (GLR). This was swiftly followed at 12:02 with a £2.4m raise in Jubilee Platinum (JLP). Then finally at 15:50 they rounded off with a hat-trick raise for Red Leopard Holdings (RLH).

Greece close to bailout deal: Tsipras

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced that the country is in the final stage of the bailout deal with lenders to avail €86bn to keep it secure for the next three years. In the next two weeks, Greece needs to close the bailout deal or secure a bridge loan to meet its immediate financial needs and make a payment of £3.5bn to the European Central Bank.

Shop prices in UK fall in July : BRC

According to the British Retail Consortium, shop prices in the UK fell 1.4% y-o-y in July compared with a 1.3% drop in June. The decline was ascribed to cheaper clothing merchandise with large discounts. On the other hand, food prices gained 0.1% y-o-y after falling 0.4% y-o-y in June.

UK Takes Loss in Initial Sale of RBS Stake: Michael Franklin on Bloomberg’s “The Pulse”, 4th August 2015

Beaufort Securities Chief Investment Strategist Michael Franklin discusses the UK beginning to sell its stake in RBS and the state of banking in the country overall. He speaks with Francine Lacqua and Manus Cranny on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg) – 04/08/2015

UK’s government starts selling RBS shares

The UK’s government started with the first sale of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to raise £2bn. UK Financial Investments (UKFI), the agency that holds the government’s 79% stake in RBS, is expected to sell around 600 million shares, representing 5.2% stake in the bank.

Greek financial markets to open today

Greek financial markets are set to open today after a five-week suspension, as the country enforced capital controls to reach a deal with creditors. Investors are permitted to buy only if they use funds transferred from abroad, cash-only deposits or money from existing brokerage accounts. Foreign investors are also allowed, provided they were active before controls were imposed.