Monthly Archives: December 2015

Record $475bn parked with Fed at year end

©Bloomberg New York Federal Reserve building The Federal Reserve’s most important tool for setting interest rates absorbed a record $475bn of money from financial institutions in its last monetary operation of 2015, in another sign that one of the central bank’s main methods of draining liquidity from the financial system is working. The New York Fed said that the US…

Money piled too deep in too few places

©Bloomberg For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Matthew 25:29, New Testament,English Standard Version Not to apply what was supposed to be spiritual guidance to current trends in the investment world, but it does seem that money…

Crude rebound fails to lift energy stocks

©Getty A rebound in crude prices failed to offer relief to energy stocks on Thursday, as Europe’s equities indices were muted in thin volume ahead of the early end of the last trading day of 2016. Oil’s steep slide has overshadowed markets, stoking concern not just about its immediate implications for stocks in the sector, but also on the outlook…

Rouble hit amid fears for Russia economy

The rouble fell to its lowest level in more than a year on Wednesday as Russians faced the prospect of a second successive year of recession in 2016 amid continued oil price weakness. The Russian economy is expected to contract 3.7 per cent this year, hit by falling oil prices and western sanctions, but officials had previously suggested the situation…

Chinese invest in Norilsk copper project

©Reuters A Norilsk Nickel smelting plant in Norilsk Norilsk Nickel has agreed to sell a 13 per cent stake in a Siberian copper project to a consortium of Chinese investors, as Russian companies increasingly turn to Beijing to help develop new natural resources developments. Analysts said the $100m deal would mark the first significant equity injection by Chinese investors into…

Puerto Rico to miss new year payments

©Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime Puerto Rico will default on a number of its obligations at the start of the new year, as the impoverished US territory — beset by nearly a decade of recession — runs out of cash. The island, struggling under a debt burden of $72bn, will be unable to pay the entirety of roughly $1bn in claims due on…

Nasdaq sells shares using blockchain

©Getty Nasdaq claims to have broken new ground on use of blockchain with a share sale on Wednesday that used a system based on the technology. The blockchain is the shared database technology that initially gained notoriety as the platform for bitcoin and other crypto currencies. But many large financial groups are now seeking to use its technology to make…

Saudis adjust to higher fuel prices

©AFP Petrol may still be cheaper than bottled water in Saudi Arabia but the hiking of petrol prices by two-thirds this week is nonetheless a radical departure in a country that for decades has traded economic handouts for political loyalty. Saudis rushed to petrol stations across the kingdom hours after the government unveiled a radical austerity programme on Monday, hoping…

Noble CEO questions Moody’s downgrade

©Bloomberg Yusuf Alireza, chief executive officer of Noble Group Ltd The chief executive of Noble Group has questioned Moody’s decision to downgrade the commodity trader’s credit rating to junk status, saying weak raw material prices would not affect its profitability. In a combative letter to staff, seen by the Financial Times, Yusuf Alireza said the “unexpected” downgrade had also overlooked…

Forecasting the world in 2016

©Sarah Hanson A New Year beckons and the Financial Times once more indulges in the ritual of forecasting the 12 months ahead. Our experts and commentators set caution to one side and predict what will happen in everything from the US presidential election to the Euro 2016 football tournament. A quick judgment on how they did last year. Ed Crooks…