Monthly Archives: March 2015

Retailers stirred by store closure talk

©Bloomberg Retail stocks were in focus on the FTSE 100 after news of Kingfisher’s decision to close 60 of its B&Q shops coincided with talk about the outlook for further site sales in the sector, especially among supermarkets. Analysis from Exane BNP Paribas described the prospect of store closures as “the new reality” faced by British food retailers. “In theory…

Reserves in emerging markets shrink

©Bloomberg Foreign currency reserves in emerging markets fell last year for the first time in two decades, as developing economies found themselves beset by waning competitiveness, capital outflows and concerns over US monetary policy. Nine out of 10 emerging market economists polled by the Financial Times said emerging markets had passed a period of “peak reserves” and might continue to…

India: At the coalface

©Reuters A large, colourfully painted sign hangs above the entrance to the depths of Jhanjra, the largest underground mine in West Bengal’s Raniganj coal belt. The left side shows Indian mining as it once was, with roughly drawn cartoon figures wielding basic shovels and carrying woven baskets of coal, balanced on their heads. The right paints a more modern scene,…

IMF report affirms dollar’s supremacy

©AFP The dollar’s supremacy in the foreign exchange market was affirmed by official data on Tuesday, showing an increase among the currency reserves of central banks, while the euro’s share declined. Quarterly data from the International Monetary Fund revealed the dollar’s share rising from 62.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2014, to 62.9 per cent by the end…

Nickel drops to 6-year low

©Reuters Nickel dropped to its lowest level in almost six years on Tuesday, with selling accelerating this week as investors worry about excess supply against the backdrop of a weakening Chinese economy. Investors have recognised that last year’s ban on exports by Indonesia, which sent nickel sharply higher in May last year, has not created a shortage of material in…

Corn dips after surprise on US inventories

©Bloomberg Dreyfus is one of a small group of companies that dominates the world’s commodity flows of corn Grain markets diverged after the US government indicated that corn supplies would remain ample for months to come, surprising the market. Stocks of corn held in the US stood at 7.7bn bushels this month, the second most in history for the time…

Healthcare and techs to seal quarter gains

©Bloomberg It was a choppy ride but US equities are poised to end the first quarter of the year higher as strong gains from the healthcare and technology sectors help offset the retreat in energy stocks. Although the S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to 2,082.36 on Tuesday, the large-cap index is still on track for a 1 per cent…

Oil majors over a barrel due to reserves

©Bloomberg The world’s largest oil and gas groups shed more than a billion barrels of reserves in 2014, the sharpest decline in at least six years, according to figures that show their exploration record has worsened as big discoveries dwindle. The latest annual reports for the ‘Big Five’ energy majors — BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total —…

Euro leveraged loans take on US flavour

“Debating future demand in the teen market made him feel like a drug pusher,” the late Ted Forstmann, a titan of private equity, mused when bidding for RJR Nabisco in 1988. It made Camel cigarettes. He lost, KKR won, and their story was told in Barbarians at the Gate. What he was doing is how buyout companies, an industry that…

Mifid II needs to uphold spirit of reform

The clock is ticking on the implementation of Mifid II and reforms set to transform the European financial landscape. Reforms that will not only deliver new competition, transparency and clarity, but also form the foundation for a capital markets union in Europe. While the framework of the new legislation has been set, with a determination on the part of the…