Friday, October 23, 2015

Today's Headlines

  • Is China's Economy Weaker Than Data Suggests? (video) 
  • China Cuts Interest Rates as Policy Divergence With U.S. Widens. (video) China stepped up monetary easing with its sixth interest-rate cut in a year to combat deflationary pressures and a slowing economy, moving ahead of anticipated fresh stimulus by central banks from Europe to Japan and possible tightening in the U.S. The one-year lending rate will be cut to 4.35 percent from 4.6 percent effective Saturday the People’s Bank of China said on its website on Friday, while the one-year deposit rate will fall to 1.5 percent from 1.75 percent. Reserve requirements for all banks were lowered by 50 basis points, with an extra 50 basis point reduction for some institutions.
  • Government Debt in France and Italy Swells to Euro-Era Highs. Government debt in France and Italy expanded to euro-era highs in the second quarter, as nations in the currency bloc grappled with weak growth while pushing through budget cuts and economic reforms. France, the second-largest economy in the euro area, saw its debt swell to 97.7 percent of gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2015, the European Union’s statistics agency said in a report on Friday. Debt in Italy, the bloc’s third-biggest economy, rose to 136 percent of GDP. The figures are the highest for both countries since the euro debuted in 1999. The figures underscore the fragilities of the euro-area recovery as the European Central Bank signals it is preparing for more stimulus. The inflation rate dropped below zero last month, hit by a rising currency as an emerging-market slowdown drags on global trade.
  • German Manufacturing Takes a China Hit. (video) German manufacturing grew the least in five months in October, reflecting a slowdown in emerging markets that’s threatening the global outlook. The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index from Markit Economics showed a factory index fell to 51.6 from 52.3 in September. Economists had forecast a decline to 51.7. New orders grew at the slowest pace since July, with companies citing softer demand in markets including Russia and China.
  • Ericsson Sales Miss Estimates on China 4G Spending Slowdown. Ericsson AB reported third-quarter profitability and sales that missed analysts’ estimates as business in Japan, Russia and Brazil slumped and spending slowed in China on fourth-generation networks that power smartphones and tablets. The shares fell the most in six months in Stockholm. The gross margin, or the percentage of sales left after subtracting production costs, was 34.5 percent excluding some items, the network-equipment maker said on Friday. Analysts predicted 35.3 percent, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose about 3 percent to 59.2 billion kronor ($7 billion), missing the average estimate of 60.7 billion kronor. 
  • Credit Suisse Exiting Dealer Role Rings Alarm in Debt Market. Credit Suisse Group AG shook Europe’s bond markets by deciding to drop its role as a primary dealer across the continent, the latest signal that some the world’s biggest banks are scaling back in one of their key businesses. The move is part of Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam’s overhaul of the lender’s trading and advisory services to help cut costs in a strategy update announced on Oct. 21. The Zurich-based lender will withdraw from the U.K primary-dealer market on Friday, the nation’s Debt Management Office said. It’s the first time a gilt primary dealer -- which buys sovereign debt directly from the government -- walked away since December 2011, when State Street Corp.’s European division withdrew.
  • Billions in Cheap Loans Show Why Brazil's Losing Inflation Fight. Brazil’s state development bank is making the nation’s fight against inflation even more difficult. The key lending rate for BNDES’s $170 billion loan portfolio is 7 percent, below inflation and less than half the central bank’s Selic overnight rate of 14.25 percent. The cheap cash is flowing at a time when monetary policy makers are desperately trying to restrain credit growth. High lending has helped stoke a surge in consumer-price increases to a 12-year high of 9.77 percent even as Brazil suffers its worst recession in a quarter century. 
  • Dollar on Longest Winning Streak in 10 Months on China Rate Cut. The dollar is enjoying its longest winning streak in 10 months as foreign central banks’ efforts to curb slowing global growth buoy demand for assets denominated in the U.S. currency. A measure of the greenback reached its highest level this month as investors viewed the People’s Bank of China’s decision to lower its benchmark lending rate as an effort to address recent turmoil in emerging markets. The moves came one day after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers may continue their quantitative easing program until September or beyond if economic weakness persists.
  • China Stimulus, ECB Optimism Send Europe Stocks to 2-Month High. European stocks rallied to a two-month high after China increased stimulus, adding to optimism that central banks around the world will do what’s needed to support the global economy.Equities posted the biggest two-day gain since July after also getting a boost from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who hinted at additional stimulus measures yesterday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 2 percent at the close of trading.
  • Oil at $50 Is Driving Norway to Zero as Recession Risk Soars. (video) Western Europe's biggest crude producer may need more than a weak currency to stay afloat. With oil prices still wobbling around $50, Norway is in danger of a recession that could drive its benchmark interest rates, already at a record low, to zero. That’s what economists at Svenska Handelsbanken AB in Oslo say as they warn that “recessionary risks are significant.” The central bank in September cut rates to 0.75 percent and signaled more than a 50 percent chance for a third reduction since the drop in oil prices accelerated, about a year ago. Handelsbanken sees three cuts next year, bringing the benchmark to zero by the end of 2016.
  • Iron Ore Is Buckling Again as Supply Jumps, China Demand Sags. Iron ore is showing signs of buckling again. Prices slumped to the lowest level in three months as the top producers announced increases in low-cost supply while data and comments from China pointed to further weakness in demand. “All of this extra production out of ‘the big three’ will keep a lid on prices,” said Gavin Wendt, founding director and senior resource analyst at MineLife Pty Ltd. in Sydney. “China demand remains tepid and its steel industry is hurting under margin pressures.” Iron ore is headed for a third year of losses, and the recent decline risks tugging prices below the trading range of $50 to $60 a metric ton that’s held since July, according to Westpac Banking Corp. Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA, the three largest suppliers, all announced increases in quarterly output this month.
  • Companies' mad dash for debt hitting record levels. (video) U.S. companies not only are issuing more debt than ever. They're also extending it to durations never seen before. The end result could be a good deal for the issuers but not as great for investors.
  • Maersk cuts profit forecast, hit by weak shipping market. A.P. Moller-Maersk cut its 2015 profit forecast by 15 percent on Friday, blaming a slowdown in the container shipping market that suggests a weakening global economy. The Danish conglomerate operates Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipping company which transports roughly 20 percent of all goods on the busiest routes between Asia and Europe, making it a key bellwether of global trade. Analysts said Maersk's problems were also due to overcapacity in the shipping industry, which appears to be worse than previously anticipated and is driving down freight rates.
  • Technician: Market top could last a decade. (video)
RIA Novosti:
  • Russian Oil Companies Ready to Compete with OPEC. Russian oil producers are prepared to compete with OPEC should it raise output, citing Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak speaking on state television.
  • Bank of Russia Pessimistic Forecast Uses Oil Below $40/Bbl. Central bank assumes oil "considerably" below $40/bbl in its pessimistic forecast, citing 1st Deputy Governor Dmitry Tulin.

No comments: