Monthly Archives: September 2014

Brent crude at lowest since July 2012

Brent tumbled to its lowest since July 2012 while benchmark US oil also recorded a heavy fall on Tuesday, amid further signs of excess oil crude supplies on both sides of the Atlantic. ICE November Brent, the international oil benchmark, fell 2.8 per cent to $94.47 after hitting an intraday level of $94.24 – the lowest in more than two…

Quarterly loss sends Walgreens down

©Bloomberg An unexpected quarterly loss from Walgreens weighed on shares of the largest US drugstore chain. The Illinois-based company exercised and amended options in the period relating to Alliance Boots, the Swiss-based pharmacy chain it acquired a stake in during 2012, costing Walgreens $866m. The purchase pushed Walgreens to a loss of $239m, or 25 cents a share, in the…

Soyabean prices slide despite low stocks

©AFP A report revealing the lowest US soyabean stockpiles in more than four decades failed to arrest a steep price slide for the oilseed as markets looked ahead to a record global harvest. The US Department of Agriculture reported on Tuesday that the nation’s silos contained just 92m bushels of soyabeans as of September 1, the least since 1973 and…

Australia: I should be so lucky

The lucky country. The 1964 book that provided the nickname for Australia was, in fact, a critique of the nation. In the past decade of Chinese growth, it has made sense to interpret the moniker unironically. But that luck is changing. China’s growth is slowing. The demand for commodities that has sucked money into Australia is not as strong as…

Forex markets face further regulations

Participants in foreign exchange markets have been warned they may face further regulatory change even after implementing a long-awaited series of recommendations aimed at removing the taint affecting the sector. A task force set up by the Financial Stability Board on Tuesday set forth 15 reforms aimed at overhauling the $5tn currency markets following allegations surrounding the crucial 4pm forex…

Rouble hits low on capital control fears

The rouble touched a fresh record low against the dollar on Tuesday after reports that Russia’s central bank was considering imposing capital controls to stem the outflow of money from the country. The currency fell by as much as 0.8 per cent to trade at Rbs39.65 against the dollar after Bloomberg said such measures were on the table, citing two,…

Comment: The ‘standardised OTC’ oxymoron

Like many businesses, financial service providers grapple with a dilemma. On the one hand, they want to offer standardised products – and benefit from volume efficiency – while also striving to build a tailored service that offers more lucrative margins. But post-crisis we have a new term to juggle; the paradoxically named “standardised OTC”. Over-the-counter (OTC) denotes something bespoke, while…

Local authorities turn to capital markets

Public sector debt is piling ever higher, driven by the lure of low borrowing costs and strong investor demand. Borrowers ranging from supranational organisations like the World Bank to individual towns and states are issuing record amounts of debt. In theory, the sudden rise in debt issued by public sector organisations in the wake of the financial crisis should fall…

Hong Kong stocks hit three-month lows

©Reuters Hong Kong’s main stock index fell to a three-month low on Tuesday, as pro-democracy demonstrators continued to oppose China’s plan for electoral reform in the territory. The Hang Seng index finished down 1.3 per cent to 22,932.98 – its lowest closing level since June. Over September, the index has lost more than 7 per cent, although wider Asian equity…

Banks limit FTSE losses after RBS update

Buoyant banks stood out on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday, but the index drifted lower as protests in Hong Kong kept sentiment cautious across global markets. Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland rose to the top of the main London equities index after it said it expected costs from bad loans to be half the £1bn level it had previously…