Monthly Archives: March 2016

UK stocks end first quarter on weak note

©Press Handout A poor performance from nearly every sector kept the FTSE in the red on Thursday, with only the mining, travel and tobacco sectors in positive territory on the final day of the first quarter. Shares in Tui, the world’s largest tour operator, rose 5 per cent to £10.79 after it reiterated its full-year profit guidance, despite concerns that…

Telecoms lead quarterly S&P 500 gains

©AFP The US telecommunications and utilities sectors widely outperformed in the first quarter as the Federal Reserve scaled back its expectations for raising borrowing costs this year. Many strategists forecast a tepid performance from defensive stocks when the first quarter began, adopting the view that a stronger US economy and tighter policy from the Fed would dull investor interest in…

Long-dated bonds star amid market upturn

©Getty Governor of the Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda explains his interest rate policy Stock markets have staged an impressive comeback this quarter, clawing back their severe losses from January and February but the real stars of financial markets this year have been long-dated government debt. While the March rebound has helped the FTSE All World index recover almost all…

JBA head predicts spike in overseas buys

Takeshi Kunibe The new head of the Japanese Bankers’ Association is predicting a spike in overseas acquisitions as Japanese companies are prodded into an “aggressive mindset” by the country’s negative interest rate policy (Nirp). The country can also expect a Nirp-driven increase in domestic consolidation in the banking industry and beyond as Abenomics — the package of policies under prime…

Renminbi offers a rollercoaster ride

©Bloomberg At a Hong Kong hedge fund event in early January, the host bank went around the table asking those present for their favourite trade idea. Almost to an investor, the answer was “short renminbi”. Yet the offshore version of the Chinese currency is finishing up its best quarter against the dollar in more than three years. Time to add…

Bank of Cyprus targets FTSE 250 place

©Bloomberg John Hourican, chief executive of Bank of Cyprus Bank of Cyprus is planning to shift its primary stock market listing to London as it seeks to attract new investors three years after being rescued by European authorities. The lossmaking lender announced on Thursday that the move, which it hopes will allow it to join the FTSE 250 index of…

Gold snapped up by central banks

©Dreamstime Heightened geopolitical tension and a push for diversification in reserve assets led to central banks’ net purchases of gold reaching 483 tonnes in 2015, the second highest annual total since the end of the gold standard. Russia was the top buyer of gold for the fourth consecutive year, raising its ownership by 206 tonnes as it looks to diversify…

MSCI revives talks on EM index

©AFP The leading provider of emerging stock market indices has revived talks on adding mainland Chinese shares to its benchmark despite concerns following last year’s stock market swings. MSCI chose not to include Shanghai and Shenzhen listed companies — known as “A shares” — to its Emerging Markets index last summer after investors expressed worries about their ability to buy…

V-shaped recovery defines Q1 markets

©Bloomberg Equities The first quarter of 2016 will enter the history books as a classic V-shaped recovery. After a tumultuous first six weeks for many markets, with main equity indices plumbing multiyear lows, share prices have rebounded impressively. Concerns over the global economy have abated, with sentiment towards equities buoyed by supportive central bank policy from Japan, Europe and the…

Gilts prove robust despite Brexit fears

©James Ferguson In the week in which David Cameron set the date for the referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU, Britain’s debt market recorded a surprising victory. After a worrying run of poorly covered government bonds issues, a sale of inflation-linked gilts attracted orders worth £10.5bn, nearly four times the amount sold. The message from investors came…