Monthly Archives: November 2014

China: Fear of a deflationary spiral

©Getty A toy dealer in Yiwu, a centre for the trading of small commodities. Many manufacturers are having to accept reduced prices The 600,000-square-metre China Commodity City in Yiwu city, often referred to as “Walmart on steroids”, is one of the world’s largest wholesale markets. Traders from the Middle East, Russia and Africa come to the market in eastern Zhejiang…

Market rout as oil fall hits energy groups

©AFP Shares in the world’s biggest energy groups have tumbled in a market rout as plunging oil prices put at risk billions of dollars of investment and jeopardised future supplies of crude. The sharp slide in the price of Brent oil after Opec’s decision not to cut output triggered warnings that oil companies would cut as much as $100bn of…

Airlines and cruises lifted by fuel hopes

©AP Stocks in airline and cruise operators got a shot in the arm following Opec’s decision to leave its oil production targets unchanged on Thursday. Shares in Delta Air Lines, the largest US airline by market capitalisation, climbed more than 5 per cent to $46.67. United Continental Holdings gained 8 per cent to $61.23. Fuel is the largest cost for…

Cheap oil brings mixed blessings to Asia

©AFP The sharp fall in oil prices provided an immediate and welcome fillip to Asian economies heavily dependent on energy imports, although the inflation-sapping effect was a mixed blessing for Japan and China. Opec’s decision on Thursday to hold output steady prompted a new downward jolt to prices, at one point pushing the benchmark ICE January Brent price to a…

LCH.Clearnet set to record fall in notionals

LCH.Clearnet will this year report the first ever fall in notional outstanding of the interest rate swaps it clears for the world’s big investment banks as new global capital rules designed to reduce the leverage in markets begin to bite. The UK clearing house said on Thursday it expected its SwapClear business to have swaps with notional outstanding interest of…

Europe Inc: Light amid the gloom

©Getty Making strides: a woman walks past the EU flag in Brussels. The European Commission is set to play a more active role in boosting investment The mood music from the eurozone has changed once more into a relentlessly minor key. Economists worry that the region is about to slip back into recession. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central…

Deutsche quits precious metals trade

©Bloomberg Deutsche Bank is pulling out of trading in precious metals, completing the German bank’s retreat from buying and selling physical commodities after being investigated for alleged abuse. Under pressure from regulators and declining profitability, several banks are shrinking or disposing of their businesses in commodities trading, including JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland. “Following…

US financial advisers resist pension rule

©Bloomberg US financial advisers and investment providers are battling consumer protection rules they say could disrupt the way more than $6.5tn of retirement products are sold. Plans to impose a fiduciary standard on retirement advisers have emerged as the latest flashpoint between the financial industry and Obama administration regulators, acting with the support of consumer advocates. The US Department of…

Black Friday buoys hopes for retailers

©AFP US consumer confidence has been rising all year and sharply lower oil prices have sparked optimism among investors in retail stocks that wallets will open a lot more as the holiday season begins. Wall Street overwhelmingly expects a 2 per cent year-over-year gain in Black Friday sales but at least a third of those surveyed expect 4 per cent…

Nyrstar parts ways with chief executive

©AFP Roland Junck Nyrstar is looking for a new chief executive after the world’s largest zinc producer abruptly parted company with Roland Junck, shortly ahead of an investor vote to approve a refinancing package. Julien de Wilde, chairman, said Nyrstar’s board had concluded it needed a different leader for a “new phase of execution”. The Belgian group is investing heavily…