Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gold and silver tumble on Fed remarks

Gold fell more than 5 per cent as expectations of further US monetary easing faded following comments by Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve. In his congressional testimony on Wednesday, Mr Bernanke questioned whether employment and productivity could be sustained by monetary policy. Taken together with recent data showing an improving labour market and recovering consumer confidence, investors…

Barnier moves to allay pension plan fears

Strict new capital requirements for insurers will not be flatly applied to all pension schemes, Europe’s top financial regulator will promise on Thursday as he attempts to contain alarm over a planned shake-up of retirement plan rules. But in a speech to begin a process to review regulation of pension funds, Michel Barnier, Europe’s internal market commissioner, will insist there…

Ziggo set for IPO as sentiment improves

Dutch cable operator Ziggo is to launch an initial public offering on Amsterdam’s Euronext NYSE exchange, in a sign that improving equity markets and reduced anxiety over the eurozone debt crisis are giving owners the confidence to take companies public again. The size of the potential offering is estimated at up to €800m, which would make it Europe’s largest IPO…

UK study questions liquidity claims of HFT

A majority of British asset managers, pension funds and corporate treasurers polled in a UK government-sponsored study are sceptical that “high-frequency” trading provides liquidity to markets. The finding came in an interim report by Professor John Kay, appointed last year to carry out a sweeping study of UK equity markets. At the time of the launch, Vince Cable, UK business…

ECB loan boost heartens euro bulls

A species long absent from the currency markets is making a tentative return: the euro bull. After Wednesday’s second round of cheap three-year loans from the European Central Bank, with eurozone banks taking €530bn this time, strategists were in upbeat mood. Click to enlarge The reason for this is simple. Financial markets have regarded the ECB’s longer-term refinancing operation, or…

Portuguese bond yields climb on default fears

Portugal’s cost of borrowing leapt on Wednesday because of growing worries that the country will follow Greece and head towards a possible default on its debt. Portuguese 10-year bond yields jumped to 13.75 per cent, a rise of 73 basis points, after a report from the troika of the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund unsettled…

Germany adds to crude stockpile

European governments including France and Germany have bought oil and refined products for their strategic stockpiles since the start of the year, as the market braces for a possible disruption of supplies from Iran. The buying comes after European countries released some of their reserves last year during the supply crisis with Libya, but the timing of the purchases has…

Iran sanctions put Saudi oil output capacity to the test

While all eyes in the oil market are on Iran, Ras Tanura, a sandy peninsula on the Saudi coast, is under almost as much scrutiny. The oil export terminal, the world’s largest, has witnessed an uptick in activity over the past two weeks, suggesting Riyadh is ramping up oil production as looming sanctions by the European Union and US disrupt…

‘Algos’ come under regulatory scrutiny

Regulators and exchanges are looking at fresh ways to regulate automated trading as continuing market disruptions reinforce deep concerns raised by the “flash crash” nearly two years ago. Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Wednesday said that his agency was beginning a broad official review of such trading. It comes on the heels of moves by several…

Iosco calls for online derivatives data store

The umbrella body for national securities regulators is keen to explore ways to establish an online central information repository to improve transparency and safeguard against risk in the $600tn derivatives markets. The suggestion from the International Organisation of Securities Commissions on Wednesday was one of a series of final recommendations from a taskforce Iosco has established to co-ordinate global regulators’…