Wednesday, 29 February 2012

European Monetary Union - ECB LTRO auction @ 529.53B

A regular open market operation executed by the Eurosystem in the form of reverse transactions. Such operations are carried out through a monthly standard tender and normally have a maturity of three months. The monthly longer-term refinancing operations (LTRO) aim to provide liquidity to the financial sector.


Banking stocks posted the strongest gains, as investors added exposure to the sector ahead of the LTRO by the ECB but on the results we saw the stocks and euro take a dip.



Monday, 27 February 2012

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

UK Inflation drops to lowest since November 2010

The decline to 3.6 percent -- its lowest annual rate in more than a year -- will reassure the BoE as it prepares to publish an update to its quarterly economic forecasts on Wednesday.



But it will not spare bank governor Mervyn King from having to write a public letter explaining why inflation has remained well above target for the past two years.
The Office for National Statistics said consumer price inflation fell from 4.2 percent in December, in line with economists' forecasts and extending a marked drop from September's three-year peak of 5.2 percent.
Economists reckon the central bank will continue to predict that CPI will fall below its 2 percent target by the end of 2012, and remain below target in two years' time, as weak growth and an end to energy price rises take effect.
Lower inflation may also lift consumer demand, which has been a major drag on Britain's sluggish economy, at a time when there are also major headwinds from the euro zone debt crisis and the government's austerity programme.
Those factors were reflected in a decision by credit agency Moody's to put the nation's prized triple-A rating on a negative outlook, though Chancellor George Osborne said Britain would not stray from its debt-cutting measures.
January's inflation reading - the lowest since November 2010 - is in line with BoE forecasts for an average of just over 3.4 percent in the first three months of 2012.
"Consumer price inflation should fall appreciably further in February, reflecting the fact that a number of retailers and companies delayed passing on the VAT hike at the start of 2011, and also due to utility providers trimming energy prices," said IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer.
ONE-OFF FACTORS
Bank governor King is likely to focus on the weak economy and the fading of one-off upward pressures on inflation when he publishes the quarterly letter to Osborne later on Tuesday explaining why CPI is above target.
Osborne's department welcomed the fall in inflation as "good news for family budgets".
Despite the above-target inflation, the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee last week pressed ahead with another 50 billion pounds of quantitative easing via gilt purchases over the next three months, in order to boost faltering growth.
If the sharp fall in inflation does not continue, this may be the last bout of QE. Some policymakers expressed concerns last year about whether inflation would fall as fast as forecast once the downward effect of one-off factors faded.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

15:00 GMT United States Fed's Bernanke testifies

The Fed Governor Ben Shalom Bernanke gives a press conference as to how the Fed observes the current U.S. economy and the value of USD. His comments may influence the volatility of USD and determine a short-term positive or negative trend. His hawkish view is considered as positive, or bullish for the USD, whereas his dovish view is considered as negative, or bearish for the Dollar.



Chairman Ben Bernanke has called the economy "frustratingly slow." On Tuesday, Congress will find out whether he still thinks so, even after Friday's news that hiring surged in January and unemployment reached a three-year low.

Don't expect a radical new outlook on the economy.

When Bernanke testifies to the Senate Banking Committee, economists expect no shifts in the Fed's efforts to bolster the recovery. They say Bernanke's tone might be slightly more upbeat than when he spoke Thursday to House members. But they expect him to reiterate the Fed's plan to keep a key interest rate at a record low near zero until at least late 2014.

On Friday, the government said employers added 243,000 jobs in January, far more than expected. And unemployment fell for a fifth straight month, to 8.3 percent. Still, 8.3 percent is still painfully high. Nearly 13 million people remain unemployed.

"I expect that Bernanke will take note of the good news that the economy is healing while saying that the bad news is that it is healing slowly," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
Bernanke will likely keep all the Fed's option open, in part because of threats to the U.S. economy from abroad. They include Europe's debt crisis and rising tensions with Iran that could disrupt global oil supplies.

Moreover, Congress is still debating whether to extend a Social Security tax cut that benefits 160 million Americans and is due to expire at the end of this month.

"The uncertainty level right now is just so high," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. "The Fed is going to be very cautious in changing its stance."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/07/bernanke-is-expected-to-stick-with-low-rate-stance/#ixzz1lgnxD9ka

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Is this the end of the strong rally? I think so!


After a strong rally since mid-December, has the bull hit the wall?
The S&P has rallied more than 90 points for a better than 7.5% gain, the Dow Jones Industrials jumped 900 points, and most impressively, the Nasdaq has gained 10.5%.
But now, the chances are excellent that the bull has hit the wall, at least for awhile.
Here's why we think we will start to see a significant sell off:
Fundamentals are deteriorating.
1. Europe remains a problem. If Greece is solved, which would be a miracle, Portugal is next with a 10-year bond yield of 15.2% which is clearly unsustainable. The only reason it isn't higher is because of the aggressive intervention of European Central Bank Chief "Super Mario" Draghi, who so far has managed to avoid a most serious credit crunch in Europe. Last weekend, Germany made proposals for the European Union to basically annex Greece and its economy which, needless to say, did not fly. That was either a bold or a desperate move, and as negotiations drag on this week, it's looking more like desperate.
2. Corporate earnings are slowing. Outside of Apple's blowout results, the earnings season has been lackluster and Amazon's results on Tuesday didn't do much to lift spirits.
3. The Federal Reserve has effectively said, "Houston, we have a problem." Last week's GDP report was an anemic 2.8%, well below historic norms for "recoveries," and certainly not strong enough to make a dent in unemployment or the deficit. In response, Dr. Bernanke and the Fed have said they're going to keep interest rates low for as far as the eye can see, continue with Operation Twist, and even possibly fire up the printing presses again with QE3, QE4, whatever, to keep the economy from sinking back into the abyss of recession and deflation.
4. Tuesday's much cheered ADP report of 170,000 new jobs in January was actually a miss of the expected 182,000 and well below December's reading of 292,000 which was revised downward from the initial estimate of 325,000, so one can only wait to see what Friday's nonfarm payroll report will bring.
5. The bond market is pricing in hard times with near-record low yields, while equities have partied like there's no tomorrow. Only one of these markets can be right, and history falls in favor of the bond market, which is supposed to be the "smarter" of the two. What does the bond market see that equities haven't?
Technical indicators are deteriorating, as well. RSI, MACD R% indicators and many more show signs off weakness.
After a very strong six weeks, we see signs that the bull is tiring.


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