European stock markets advanced Friday as dealers awaited key US jobs data. Around 1100 GMT, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.4 percent compared with the close on Thursday. In the eurozone, Frankfurt's ...
The Australian share market is slightly higher on low volumes as trading winds down ahead of Christmas. There's nothing outstanding though," Phillip Capital senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said. Mr Heffernan said it was "just the absence of bad news" driving the market on Thursday.
The Australian share market has closed weaker despite retracing some of its earlier losses as market enthusiasm for the potential policies of US president-elect Donald Trump moderates. At 1615 AEST on ...
The Dollar Meltdown and Rebound - What Did the Fed Do?
The euro's slide towards the symbolic level of parity with the dollar is more a source of concern than optimism in Europe's export engine, Germany, analysts say. Judging structural reforms to be the sole driver of a country's competitiveness, Germany eyes the policies of the European Central Bank (ECB) to kickstart the eurozone's moribund economy with scepticism, analysts say. "Are the ECB's bankers in the process of breaking our currency?" the Bild mass daily asked when the bank announced plans in late January to buy more than one trillion euros worth of bonds. "A weak euro is good news, only at first sight, for an exporting nation like Germany," Anton Boerner, head of the BGA exporters' federation, said on March 10, outlining its forecasts for 2015.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel squashed hopes of a breakthrough on Greece's debt troubles at a European summit in Brussels Thursday despite pleas from Athens for bold action to end the crisis. As fears mounted of an exit from the euro, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was due to hold a special meeting on the sidelines of the summit with Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and top EU officials. Tsipras faces a looming cash crunch at home and wants Brussels to release the final seven billion euro tranche of Greece's 240-billion-euro ($255-billion) EU-IMF bailout so Athens can pay its bills.
A leading business group has warned the federal government not to wimp on budget reform, saying all it has done so far is slow the rate of expenditure. "We have got to do better than that," Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry boss Kate Carnell said. Her comments follow Prime Minister Tony Abbott's prediction of a "dull" budget in May. Ms Carnell sees it differently, saying business wants to see a budget that puts a lid on expenditure while providing a significant stimulus to the economy.
The British stock market rallied Thursday to a record peak, propelled by optimism over the government's budget, but European stocks later slipped as investors awaited an EU summit for fresh news on the Greek debt crisis. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index soared to a record-high of 6,982.79 points, building on gains won the previous day after the British government's upbeat budget. "After loitering in the shadows of its more impressive US and eurozone peers of late, the FTSE had its moment to shine this morning following the double-whammy hit of (the) positive UK Budget and US Fed statements," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
The Reserve Bank is all but certain to cut interest rates in the next few months after its US counterpart, the Federal Reserve, signalled it may hold off on long-expected rate hikes. The Fed was widely predicted to start lifting its key interest rate, which has been close to zero for years, in June but that expectation fell apart overnight after the central bank downgraded its economic growth and inflation expectations for the US. Money markets are now pricing in a 100 per cent chance of a rate cut in April or May, while the Australian dollar has climbed almost two cents to 78 US cents. Meanwhile, the ASX200 has jumped more than 1.5 per cent and the Commonwealth Bank's share price has hit a record high of more than $95 per share.
Inflation in Russia has hit a zenith of around 17 percent, the economy minister said Thursday, as the economic crisis roiling the country takes its toll. "The peak in inflation has not passed but we have reached the highest point and will probably stay at this level for some time," minister Alexei Ulyukayev was reported as saying by Russian news agencies. Inflation has shot up in Russia as the ruble national currency plummeted in value on the back of Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis and falling international oil prices. The steep rise in prices has slashed spending power of households across the nation and Russia is expected to plunge into recession this year.
The European Central Bank pumped more than twice the expected liquidity into the financial system Thursday via private-sector loans, data showed. The Frankfurt-based central bank said 143 banks had borrowed 97.8 billion euros ($104 billion) under the third round of a lending programme aimed at boosting the moribund eurozone economy and halting a stubborn slowing of inflation. The ECB designed the TLTRO programme as a way to persuade banks to lend money to small and medium-sized businesses and get the eurozone economy back on its feet. The programme is a step up from similar measures taken by the ECB at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 to boost liquidity.
The British stock market rallied Thursday to a record peak, propelled by optimism over the government's budget and after the US Federal Reserve cooled rate hike expectations. Most eurozone stock markets edged higher but Athens fell sharply as investors awaited an EU summit for fresh news on the Greek debt crisis. In morning deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index soared to a record-high 6,982.79 points, building on gains won the previous day after the British government's upbeat budget. "After loitering in the shadows of its more impressive US and eurozone peers of late, the FTSE had its moment to shine this morning following the double-whammy hit of (the) positive UK Budget and US Fed statements," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will plead with European counterparts at a summit in Brussels Thursday for cash to keep his country afloat and in the euro as officials warned that the situation was becoming "dangerous". European Union leaders will also debate whether to extend economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict until December, although they will likely delay the decision until later this year. Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German parliament Thursday that there was no reason to "despair" over Greece, although Europe's most powerful leader played down the chance of any deal at the summit. "It is absolutely clear that nobody can expect a solution to be found this evening in Brussels or on Monday evening," when she is due to meet radical new leader Tsipras in Berlin, Merkel said.
Greece's deputy prime minister accused EU-IMF creditors of preventing his radical government from doing its job, while admitting that his country is being strangled by a cash shortage. "They are not letting us govern," Ioannis Dragasakis told Alpha TV late on Wednesday, hours before European leaders were to hold talks with Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras over the looming cash crunch.
The New Zealand economy grew 3.3 per cent in calendar 2014, the fastest pace since 2007, before the global financial crisis. Gross domestic product expanded in the fourth quarter of 2014 as tourists drove ...
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will plead with European counterparts at a summit in Brussels Thursday to release vital funds to help his debt-laden country stave off a looming cash crunch. European Union leaders will also debate whether to extend economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine beyond July, although it is likely they will delay the decision until later in the year. The twin crises are set to dominate the two-day summit, with Brussels still scrambling for answers to some of the most severe economic and strategic tests in the history of the 28-nation bloc. EU President Donald Tusk has convened special talks on the sidelines of the summit on Thursday night among Tsipras, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, at the request of the Greek premier, Tusk's spokesman told AFP.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday broadly lowered its outlook on the US economy this year, saying growth and inflation were slowing but the jobs market was expected to keep improving. The FOMC said that the labor market had made gains but inflation had declined further below its longer-run 2.0 percent target, largely due to falling energy prices. In an update of December projections released along with the FOMC statement, the Fed cut its estimate of 2015 gross domestic product growth by 0.3 percentage points, to a range between 2.3 percent and 2.8 percent. The central bank's preferred measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures price index, was now seen at an annual rate of 0.6-0.8 percent this year, compared with the prior estimate of 1.0-1.6 percent.
The Greek parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly adopted a "humanitarian crisis" bill to help its poorest people, ignoring apparent pressure from the European Union to halt the legislation. The move came as Germany warned that time was "tight" for debt-wracked Greece and on the eve of an EU summit in Brussels where anti-austerity Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is hoping for a breakthrough in tough talks over his reforms. Wednesday's first package of social measures put forward by Tsipras' radical left-wing government drew support across the board in parliament, including from the conservative, former ruling New Democracy party. The bill had prompted a request from Declan Costello, a representative on the European Commission team monitoring Greece, asking the government to stall the vote on what Brussels called "unilateral" measures.
Currency and bond markets were on edge Wednesday ahead of the outcome of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, expected to make clearer plans for a possibly midyear interest rate increase. Most analysts believe the Federal Open Market Committee's policy statement, to be released at 1800 GMT, will drop its insistence that it "can be patient" before increasing the federal funds rate, the benchmark that has sat at zero for more than six years to pull the economy back from crisis. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said several times that removing that phrase would signal a possible rate increase within two or more FOMC meetings, which would point to June at the earliest. With the US economy growing solidly, the Fed is clearly on a tightening path, heading toward policy "normalization" after being on a crisis footing since 2008.
London's bluechip index surged Wednesday on the back of a rousing budget statement by the British government, but Europe's other markets were muted before a US interest rate decision. The benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies closed 1.57 percent higher at 6,945.20 points after British finance minister George Osborne raised the country's growth forecast to 2.5 percent while slashing its deficit forecasts. Frankfurt's DAX 30 index however lost 0.48 percent to 11,922.77 points, while the CAC 40 in Paris finished flat at 5,033.42 points in cautious trading before the Federal Reserve wrapped up a key decision rate meeting. "Following the optimistic tone from the UK budget, the London equity benchmark index rallied strongly," said Myrto Soku from Sucden Financial Research.
Sweden's central bank took its key interest rate further into negative territory Wednesday in a surprise move aimed at supporting a return to inflation. The Riksbank cut its repo rate by 0.15 percentage points to -0.25 percent and said it was buying government bonds worth 30 billion kronor ($3.4 billion, 3.2 billion euros) to prevent an appreciating krona from hindering an uptick in inflation. "The executive board of the Riksbank assesses that an even more expansionary monetary policy is needed to support the upturn in inflation and ensure that long-term inflation expectations are in line with the inflation target," the bank said in a statement. Sweden is a member of the European Union but not of the eurozone and so retains control, via its central bank, of monetary policy and interest rates.
JAKARTA, Mar 18, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - Domestic economic growth will begin to improve in the first quarter of 2015, and the national economy will grow at a higher pace than last year's 5.1 percent, Bank Indonesia (BI) said. "Economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 is expected to be higher than that in the previous quarter due to strong private consumption and all efforts towards keeping the inflation rate in check," the Executive Director of the Communications Department of BI Tirta Segara stated at a press conference here on Tuesday. Government consumption would also increase due to the rising government spending, he added.
Dollar Volatility and Trend Risks to FOMC Decision Very Different
German stocks sank but French equities rose Wednesday in cautious deals before a US interest rate decision, while London shot up as Britain unveiled its latest annual budget. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.94 percent to 6,902.20 points after the government upgraded its growth forecast to 2.5 percent in the latest budget, saying Britain is moving "from austerity to prosperity". British finance minister George Osborne was delivering Wednesday his coalition government's last annual budget ahead of a looming general election on May 7. Later on Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve's decision-making Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will wrap up a two-day policy meeting.
Britain's government vowed to move from austerity to prosperity in a key pre-election budget on Wednesday, describing the looming national vote as a "critical choice" between chaos or economic success. George Osborne also hiked his 2015 economic growth forecast to 2.5 percent in the coalition's final budget before May's general election, up from a prior estimate of 2.4 percent, and cut his deficit forecasts for the next three years. "This is a budget that takes Britain one more step on the road from austerity to prosperity," added Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne, a key member of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party. "Today, I report on a Britain that is growing, creating jobs and paying its way," he told lawmakers.
Britain's economy was set to grow by a better-than-expected 2.5 percent this year, George Osborne said Wednesday in the coalition government's final annual budget before May's general election. The government forecast compares with 2015 gross domestic product expansion of 2.4 percent predicted in December, Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne added in an address to parliament. "This is a budget that takes Britain one more step on the road from austerity to prosperity," the Conservative minister said. The centre-right Conservatives, currently in a coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats, hope the budget will deliver a boost ahead of the May 7 election, capitalising on the nation's solid economic recovery and tumbling unemployment.
French and German stocks sank Wednesday in cautious deals before a US interest rate decision, but London rose ahead of Britain's latest annual budget. On the upside, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.61 percent 6,879.50 points in late morning deals in the capital. British finance minister George Osborne will deliver his coalition government's annual budget at 1230 GMT, ahead of a looming general election on May 7. Later on Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve's decision-making Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will wrap up a two-day policy meeting.
The economy is expected to regain momentum towards the end of 2015 but an interest rate cut is still likely. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute's barometer of likely economic growth, three to nine months into the future, shows an above trend reading in February. "It suggests the Australian economy will start to regain some momentum towards the end of this year, although it remains to be seen how well this pick-up is sustained," Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said. "We remain concerned about the weak pace of growth momentum," Mr Hassan said.
Britain's coalition government unveils a highly political budget Wednesday that will set the stage for a knife-edge election battle in 50 days' time. Finance minister George Osborne from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party will deliver his 2015/2016 tax and spending plans at 1230 GMT. The centre-right Conservatives, currently in a coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats, hope the budget will deliver a boost ahead of the May 7 election, capitalising on the nation's solid economic recovery and tumbling unemployment. The Conservatives are running at 33 percent support compared to 32 percent for the main opposition Labour party, according to a rolling average of opinion polls compiled by the UK Polling Report website, while the Lib Dems are trailing on just seven percent.
The Federal Reserve's capacity for patience is on the line as US monetary policymakers meet to discuss how soon to begin raising interest rates. Having signalled for months that an increase in the federal funds rate could come as early as mid-year, the Federal Open Market Committee has to decide whether a recent soft spot in the economy and the soaring US dollar dictate putting that trajectory on hold. The two-day meeting ends Wednesday afternoon (Thursday morning AEDT) with a policy statement and new economic projections that will show just how confident or not FOMC members are in US growth, given the feeble state of the economies in Japan, Europe and China. Most bets are that the FOMC will confirm its path toward a June or July Fed funds increase, by removing from its policy statement the sentence that it still "can be patient" before normalising policy after more than six years of keeping the Fed funds rate at zero.