Friday, November 11, 2016

Rs 500, Rs 1000 Notes Abolished

Indian Currency abolished

Demonetization of Rs 500 & Rs 1000 Rupee Notes


In an important effect to check black money, the Prime Minister has announced demonetization of Rs 500 and 1000 rupee notes with effect from midnight of November 9 which makes these notes invalid on black money, corruption and fake currency.The decision of PM Narendra Modi to eliminate Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 rupee notes with a view to control the flow of black money has been mentioned by almost all in Bollywood.

The decision had been effective abolishing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 rupee value notes as legitimate tender. To get to know on the implications on this financial decision, an interaction had been conducted with leading film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi who mentioned that the impact could be of two levels namely micro and macro.

With regards to film that would be coming in the future, it was essential to comprehend the pattern of audience which could be beyond the metros.In areas like Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, individuals seem to be comfortable in utilising plastic money as well as online transactions.

However there is a massive population which is beyond the metros who do not approve of utilising plastic money. Then there is a still bigger crowd which goes to the bank and withdraw money, making their payment through cash.

Impact on Industry – Positive


People in places such as Kanpur and Satara tend to go to the bank on the first day of the month for withdrawal of cash for their monthly expenditure where the payment is done by cash. Hence, individuals would find it difficult in being unable to use the denominations of 500 and 1000 rupees when they go for a movie or intend to dine out with their family or friends.

Carrying a few five or hundred rupee notes tends to be much easier than carrying a good amount of hundred rupee notes in your wallet which could cause a bit of inconvenience to the individuals. With regards to Bollywood, Akshaye envisions the decision affecting the industry crowd in a positive manner and is of the belief that it would go a long way in eliminating bribes as well as corruption. He stated that the impact on the industry would be a very positive one.

A producer shooting is troubled by several entities such as organisations, political outfits and associations who tend to come and upset the shoot, by asking for bribe. The producer then provides them with the option of card or cheque payments. With this decision, all these bribes and loopholes have been stopped since one cannot pay a bribe with hundred rupee notes.

New Notes of Rs 2000 & Rs 500


Modi has mentioned that people having Rs 500 and Rs 1000 could deposit them in their bank and post office account from November 10 to December 30. He also mentioned that the notes would not be legal tender from midnight of November 9 and that they would be just useless piece of paper.

But he also added that all notes in the lower demolition of Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20, Rs 10, Rs 5, Rs 2 and Re 1 together with the coins would continue being valid.

He informed that new notes of Rs 2000 together with Rs 500 would be introduced and that there would be no modification of any kind of currency exchange be it DD. Cheque, payment through credit/debit card etc.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Snapchat Is Pumping the Next Tech Bubble with More Hot Air

Bubble

Tech Bubble Likely to Burst


For greater part of the year, apprehension has been mounting that the second tech bubble is likely to burst. Contrasting from the dotcom bust of 1999 as well as 2000, that had been generated due to the unexpected downfall of companies on the stock market, the second coming has been established on the eye of valuation which the latest generation of tech companies had organised in achieving through private fund-raisings.

Scores of business all over the world have attained the so-called `unicorn’ status, an estimate of over $1bn. Overall, it is reaching 200 universally which have succeeded this mythical tag. Some of them seemed to be `mega-unicorns’ companies that have exceeded the $10bn target though a handful of superstars have hit the extraordinary levels.

Uber the taxi app is presently worth over $60bn while Airbnb, the favourite of the sharing economy has raised funds valued at $30bn. Meaningless estimates of young companies some of which make no money and you have the makings of a bubble which will certainly have to burst at some point of time with catastrophic consequences for global markets. Indications have been there for some time. Confidence in private market has taken a blow with a drop in funding rounds for start-ups.

Fidelity – Instigated Panic


A high profile tech investor, Fidelity had instigated panic when it had dropped the evaluation on dozen investments. On the other hand, some start-ups comprising of Uber had been compelled to go overseas in raising funds at higher assessments where the assessments of several big tech companies already on the stock market had collapsed.

However, in spite of the anxieties, the bubble is likely to be pumped with more hot air due to another burst of vastly over-priced floats. One of the most high profile is Snapchat which is a company that several people of a particular age would possibly not have heard it but has instantly become the social network of choice among millennial who tend to utilise the same in sharing photos, video drawings and texts.

Launched only five years back by three ex-Stanford University students, the same has been amazing. Snapchat tends to generate sales of only £300m each year, in spite of being utilised by 150m users each day and is uneconomic due to its free services.

Bubble – Low Interest Rate Environment


But these matters seem to be of no concern to the experts of Silicon Valley and Wall Street who tend to value the app at $25bn. However, it could prove to be the next Apple or Facebook and many are of the opinion though the same has been said regarding Twitter, Groupon as well as LinkedIn which tend to be over-hyped.

Snapchat will probably be followed by other hot tech firms comprising of Pinterest, Dropbox and SpotifyIt may only need one failure to affect it badly and 2016 may be the year the dotcom bubble 2.0 would eventually goes pop. The founder of PayPal and a billionaire tech investor, Peter Thiel states that we are in a bubble owing to the low interest rate environment that had been talked over earlier.

 He comments that `I think we have a bubble in the US in government bonds, due to the quantitative easing and the adverse real interest rates and to some extent that increases asset values all over the board inclusive of start-ups’

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mark Carney ‘serene’ about pre-referendum economic warnings

Mark Carney

Governor of Bank of England – Serene on Judgement of MPC/FPC


With the indications increasing, that economic activity had held up more than expected since the June referendum, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney has fortified his blatant warnings regarding the negative impact of Brexit on the economy before MPs. In recent weeks with the firming of business activity surveys together with resilient retail spending data, has led to assertions from supporters of Brexit that the warnings of recession of the Governor has now been shown as scaremongering together with the quick to reduce interest rates, by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee – MPC, after the vote.

 However, these charges were denied by Mr Carney at the time of replying to the questions before the Treasury Select Committee. He stated that considering all the events since the referendum he was absolutely serene regarding the judgements made by the MPC as well as the FPC – Financial Policy Committee. He further added that they certainly welcome the signs of stabilisation and that the Bank had anticipated a bounce back in the much observed Purchasing Managers’ Index – PMI surveys when the interest rates were reduced on 4 August.

Biggest Downgrade in Modern History – Growth Forecasts


That recover had provoked the economic forecasters of a host of City of London to revise their expectation of a recession in the second half of the year, though a sharp go-slow in the growth is yet extensively predicted. Mr Carney had mentioned before the EU referendum in May that a technical recession would be possible in case of a majority Brexit vote by the British public.Interest rates were reduced last month by the Bank to a new historic low of 0.25% and had pushed on another £70bn of Quantitative Easing as it revealed its biggest downgrade in its modern history in growth forecasts.

Mr Carney had repudiated the charges that levelled by the pro-Brexit Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg stating that the Ban had issued dire warnings before the vote, replying that he had heighted risks aptly. Moreover, the Governor had also added that the financial impetus the Bank had instigated together with its rapid offer of liquidity to the banking system had been one of the main causes the financial conditions seemed to be alleviated.

Traders Clambering Back


Moreover the Governor had also added that the implementation of the Bank on monetary stimulus and its rapid offer of liquidity to the banking system had been the main cause of financial situations being steadied. He commented that they had made the crystallisation of those risks less probable. Mr Carney had also mentioned that the Bank had `helped ensure that what was surprise for financial markets passed smoothly and that allowed us not to have an overshoot’.

Sterling has faced a record fall against the dollar in the two day in the wake of June 23 vote, dipping to its lowermost rate against the US currency in the last 31 years.The Bank of England had stated in August, that it could cut the interest rates again later in the year if the economy declined on the predictable. Presently the traders are clambering back their bets on another cut in view of the more positive economic data.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Oil Prices Fall As Production Freeze Expectation Fades

Oil

Oil Prices Dropped – Oversupply/Decline Expectation of Production Freeze


Oil prices had dropped on Thursday while market concentrated on oversupply and declining expectation of a production freeze. Global crude oil benchmark Brent had been down by 10 cents at $48.95 per barrel by 1230 GMT after closing down at 1.8% on Wednesday and U.S. light crude oil fell by 15 cents at $46.62 a barrel, after slipping by 2.8% on Wednesday.

In the first three weeks of August the oil prices had increased over 20% on talk of a probable deal by oil exporters to freeze production levels in an attempt to support prices. On September 26-28, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would be meeting on the side-lines of the International Energy Forum, with groups and consumers in Algeria.

There are rumours that the meeting would agree to some kind of output curbs when similar attempts for production freeze had failed in April. Expectations however of a deal have been restrained by the record of OPEC output where some analysts envisage the vision of voluntary restrictions. Senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, Carsten Fritsch, states that speculators pressed the price up expecting an output freeze that is doubtful to take place and perceives downside risk if the expectations are being scaled back.

Effects Minimal on Physical Market


U.S. investment bank Jefferies approved informing clients recently that even if a freeze had been agreed, the effects would seem to be minimal on the physical market. It was mentioned in a report that they did not expect a production freeze, let alone a production cut from the OPEC meeting.

With the output reaching almost record levels from several of the top producers and the demand unsteady, there seems to be little vision to the end of the surplus which had pulled down the prices of crude from more than $100 per barrel in 2014 to their present sub-$50 stages.

High storage levels too seemed to be weighing on the market. Commercial crude oil stocks, in the United States had increased by 2.5 million barrels to 523.6 million barrels, higher by 16% than a year ago.

Stocks across the world, with regards to refined products also brimmed as the demand slowed while refinery output seemed to stay high. BNP Paribas has commented that `ample inventories were due to weaker demand in Asia though more generally were driven by excess supply generated by refiners maximising runs, notably to produce gasoline in the U.S.’.

China’s Indirect Demand of Oil Dropped


According to Reuters’ calculations utilising official data, the indirect demand of oil of China had dropped by 0.3% from a year earlier to 10.58 million barrels a day in July.

After Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih had informed Reuters that oil had paired some gains, he was of the belief that any substantial oil market intervention would be essential as the demand for crude would be picking up well around the world. He informs that there has been no discussion of substance still on the production levels of OPEC.

His comments strengthened the belief of several market participants which the September meeting would not resort to any production curbs particularly with the recent data portraying the Saudis and fellow OPEC member Iran were driving as much as they could.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Weak oil prices pull Wall Street away from record levels

Wall Street

U.S. Stock Indexes Move Back – Drop in Oil Prices


Stock indexes of U.S. moved back from its record levels due to drop in oil prices which overstretched energy stocks. The prices of oil dropped by 1.6% in cutting trading after the reports of the U.S. government of a surprise crude stockpile build. The energy index of S&P 500 fell by 0.9% and Exxon Mobil – XOM.N 1.5% drop was the top strain on the S&P 500 and the Dow. Since late June, a rally has left the S&P to almost 7% in 2016 as prospects of constant low interest rates motivated investors in buying into U.S. equities. The standard index this month had hit four record intraday highs.

 Regional investment director for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, Tim Dreiling had stated that once they had seen the new inventories, it certainly moved energy far lower dragging almost everything down.He further added that to grind higher, earnings improvements needed to be seen and that would come from economic improvement. The industrial average of Dow Jones – DJI had declined by 0.2% to finish at 18,495.66 points while the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.29% to 2,175.49 points. The NASDAQ Composite .IXIC had dropped by 0.4% to 5,204.59.

Trading Volume – Lack of Market-Moving Information


Out of the 10 major S&P 500 index, six were lesser. Due tolack of market-moving information in a traditionally low-volume season, trading volume had been low. Around 5.92 billion shares had changed hands on the U.S. exchanges when compared to the 6.45 billion regular averages for the last 20 meetings. The shares of Walt Disney – DIS.N had ascended by 1.23% after the company recently had informedthe results which beat estimates stating that it is purchasing a 33% stake in video-streaming firm BAMTech. The stock offered the biggest increase to the S&P 500 and the Dow.

SunPower shares had fallen by 30% after the company had fluctuated to a second quarter loss, lowering its full year revenue prediction, stating that it would restructure its business. Perrigo dropped 11% to $85.06 after the company had reported a lower than expected earnings and dropped its remunerations forecast. JD.com soared to 8.6% to $24.28 after the company had stated the revenue within its forecast. The stock had given the biggest increase to NASDAQ. Weakening matters outstripped progressing ones on the NYSE by 1,610 to 1,259 and on NASDAQ; the issues dropped by 1,798 and advanced by 924.

Low Volume Could Skew Market in Any Direction


The S&P 500 index portrayed 18 new 52-week highs together with two new lows though the NASDAQ verified 61 new highs and 28 new lows. Market strategist at Prudential Financial, Quincy Krosby had stated that low volume was fairly standard at that time of the year and August seems to be a very irregular month and if one has low volumes, it could skew the market in any direction and that is what we have today. The trading volumes had been near year low since Monday as the second-quarter earnings seasons tends to wind down. Dollar index had slipped for the second straight day as weak U.S. productivity data on Tuesday dimming a bit the prospects of economic growth which would probably discourage the Federal Reserve from increasing the interest rates.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

5 Technologies That Can Change Stock Markets Forever


1
Improved Insight on Risk Undertaken

Disturbance in digital system has been making the financial markets more apparent, reachable and efficient. Besides this it also tends to help the regulators in getting an improved insight on the risks which the applicants may seem to undertake. The following technologies could transform the financial markets in the forthcoming days:

Artificial intelligence and natural language processing 

Several of the financial companies are adopting algorithms in doing the tasks which humans have been performing for years. Mechanism learning systems have been enhanced considerably and with expanding processor potentials at lower cost, these systems are made available for larger usage. The techniques for artificial intelligence enable the system to learn from user connections as well as patterns without the need of being openly programmed for the same.

Machine learning together with other artificial intelligence technologies, in the past few years, has provided us with self-driving cars, real-world speech recognition, chess champions as well as more related as well as realistic web-searches. With regards to financial markets, we have software analysing voice patterns of recorded calls at investment banks, brokerages and on the client side too which could instantly distinguish irregularities and frauds, It can also look at keywords, decode conversational encryption of information and achieve difficult searches on the recordings.

Robo Advisers 

From the present situation, there could be probabilities that we would be seeing the last few Wolves of Wall Street and Dalal Street and moving ahead we may have only robots of Wall Street and Dalal Street. Though the systems hasprogressed in grasping the monetary goals, risk profiles together with the other complex details of investment to come up with personalised investment portfolio, it could alter funds, book profits or square off position depending on self-learning processes. The platform could be either for web-based and/or smartphone based, thus enabling easy access or adapt.This is said to be self-operated without the need of the user talking to a live person. Compared to a human advisor who tends to charge a portfolio management fee, the services here are rendered at no recurring expense.

Quantum `sealed envelope’

Outrages centred on information theft have often been a nightmare for performers in financial markets. Till now, hackers have somehow achieved to stay ahead of security programs as well as passwords though it could change very soon. A team of researchers inGeneva, Singapore, Cambridge and Waterloo and Ontario had utilised the breakthroughspeculative work co-authored by Dr Adrian Kent from University of Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in providing `unconditionally guaranteed’ security as well as purity of message transferred from any two points on earth. Earlier trials using these digital `sealed envelopes’ is said to be successful and if all goes well, the monetary markets would be entirelysecured against any threat of statistics invasion.

Bitcoin and Blockchain technologies 

The distributed ledger, Blockchain technology after the virtual currency Bitcoin, tends to record the financial transaction of any digital interaction in secured, transparent, traceable and in an efficient manner. So it is appropriate in providing a universal virtual currency as well as for digital accounting and auditing financial transaction of any kind. The possibility of Blockchain technology is understood from the fact that 30 of the largest banks in the world had recently formed a global consortium to research, design and build Blockchain solutions further. Besides this, the Reserve Bank of India – RBI that had issued a cautionary note in 2013, against Bitcoin had changed its stance. The Indian central bank is now of the belief that the Blockchain technology could be helpful in the prevention of counterfeiting currency as well as financial transactions.

Big data and analytics 

Financial markets tend to generate enormous amount of data each second. Storing and analysing these details on real time basis could be critical. With a combination of private as well as public cloud tends to resolve the issue of storage as well as real-time access to this multitude of data at reasonable charges. Big data analytics tend to make it likely to highlight correlations which seem incredible for humans to locate. For instance, envisage a situation where 90% of orders that are positioned on NSE and BSE through high-frequency algorithmic dealing platforms tend to abruptly get cancelled within a span of less than 30 seconds.

 A human may never have known such trends with so much accuracy; RBI had highlighted this trend last year and alerted the market regarding it. Such kind of analysis could never be done without leveraging technology for big data scrutiny. There could also be software which could analyse thousands of social media feeds regarding the sentiments and news of a company and could try to forecast future as well as probable sentiments regarding the company. These visions could change the way institutional as well as retail investor trade in the market. Though some of these technologies could be in its initial stage of development and may need substantial enhancement together with market interest, the base has been set for digital alteration.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Brexit Effect -What’s next for Markets

Brexit

Britain’s Vote – European Union Likely to Disturb British/European Economies


Mentioning that Brexit vote on June 23 which had taken the financial market unaware could be an understatement and the pound, British stocks as well as the Gilt yields had mounted sharply in the week which lead up to the vote but crashed once the results began coming in.

Generally speaking, strategists on Credit Suisse’s Global Markets and Investment Solutions and Products (IS&P) teams anticipate markets to stay volatile in the forthcoming days and for the investors to favour safe assets to the uncertain ones.

 Some of the views have been highlighted from across the bank on how Britain’s referendum vote leaving the European Union is likely to disturb the British as well as the European economies and a broad range of financial resources.

The Economic Impact


The Credit Suisse’s Global Markets and IS&P team are of the belief that the Brexit vote would be creating a considerable amount of uncertainty for British businesses which would eventually lead to a weakening in GDP. Both the teams also tend to believe that the Bank of England would step in with cuts in rate.

Moreover, the Global Markets team believes that the Bank of England to cut rates from 0.5% to 0.05% and had another round of measurable easing to the tune of £ 75 billion which would not be later than August 2016.

Credit Suisse’s Chief Investment Officer for International Wealth Management, Michael O’Sullivan, pointed out that the central banks all over the work seems to be on alert to step in, ensuring that their own banking systems tend to have sufficient liquidity. Besides weak corporate spending, Global Markets economists anticipate growing inflation as well as the decline of the British pound to squeeze household expenditure.

Accordingly, they predicted that GDP would fall 1% between the third quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2016 which would have lessened their growth predictions for 2016 from 1.8% to 1% and the 2017 growth predictions from 2.3% to 1%.

Significant Slowdown in Growth


The analysts of Credit Suisse’ IS&P also expect a significant slowdown in growth and the teams contemplate it possible that the deteriorating value of the pound would be causing a front-page inflation to spike. The Global Markets team also seem to anticipate an impediment to the recent pickup in corporate spending especially in Europe together with the tightening of financial conditions.

The economists of the team had dropped their European GDP growth expectations from 1.7% to 1.5% in 2016 and from 2% to 1% in 2017. Credit Suisse’s IS&P team are of the belief that the Eurozone would not be following the U.K. into depression unless the Brexit vote ends in severe financial infection to peripheral economies like Italy. However, the analysts on the team envisage this as a tail risk. The IS&P team are of the belief that the European

Central Bank would lengthen its quantitative easing program whereas the Global Markets team consider that there is a possibility with added easing through the prevailing TLTRO program offering low-interest funding to commercial banks.Credit Suisse’s Investment Committee has downgraded European stocks to neutral as well as British stocks to drift whereas the U.S. stocks to neutral. Moreover strategists of Credit Suisse’s Global Markets had shifted their year-end goals from 6,600 to 6,200 on the FTSE 100, 2,150 to 2,000 on the S&P 500 and on the Eurostoxx 50, from 3,350 to 2,950.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bank of England Warns Property is a Key Risk to Economy

Bank of England

Bank of England Cautions – Commercial Property Main Key to Economy


The Bank of England has cautioned that commercial property would be the main key to the economy after the Brexit vote. The main concern is that the market from warehouses to office space to retail parks with regards to commercial property is deep distress. Foreign investors, who have purchased commercial property, have made around 45% of all commercial property bought and sold since 2009. The inflow of money to UK seemed to slow down, even before the Brexit vote and dropped by 50% during the first quarter of 2016.

A warning had been given by The Financial Policy Committee that `valuations in some sections of the market, particularly the prime London market had become stretched’. The Financial Stability Report of the Bank points that the real estate investment trust share prices had dropped severely and cautioned about the risk of `future marked adjustment in commercial real estate prices’. According to the translation from Bank of England, there is a risk that commercial property prices may crash.

Considerable amount of most of the valuable prime London commercial property is said to be in the City where some of the foreign investors like banks and investment manager have a
ssisted in financing a powerful and constant session of construction, which have been symbolised by iconic buildings with nicknames like the Gherkin, the Cheese-grater or the Walkie Talkie

Inflows of Foreign Investment in British Companies – Slowed Down


Since 1980, the UK had earned abroad, extremely less selling goods and services than it had spent on imports thus developing a current account deficit. Roughly there was more money going out than coming in. For years it was compensated by attracting money to the UK in two ways.

The first way was that foreign investors had been willing to buy shares in UK companies and lending money to their government. The second was, the foreign companies had been ready in investing directly for instance, constructing new buildings in the City of London or in investing in business such as Jaguar Land Rover in order to turn it into success.

The report of the FPC had stated that all inflows of foreign investment in British companies had slowed down in the approach to the referendum.

Investors’ Belief – Risk in Investing in UK Companies


Investors are now of the belief that they will be taking a risk in investing in UK companies, that are reproduced in share prices, the biggest two-day slip in the value of sterling in more than forty years.There have been some reassuring words in the report. The banks for instance have been stress examined against scenario where the commercial property drops by 30% and residential by 35% with severe recession.Banks tend to have high quality liquid assets of £600bn like shares in top companies, government cash and bonds.

They could endure losses which were double as those undergone in the 2008 crisis without falling short of money. With that security, the Bank of England ruled on that the banks did not need to build up £150bn as a `counter-cyclical capital buffer’. The counter-cyclical buffer is just cash that is kept aside in good times so that it can be made available when the down-swing occurs

Friday, July 1, 2016

Markets Struggle with Brexit Hangover, Pound Sinks

Pound

Asian Stocks Dropped/British Pound Plunged – Brexit


Asian stocks dropped and British pound plunged over 2% on Monday while markets wriggled to shake off the uncertainty which had ignited due to Britain’s choice of leaving the European Union. Emotion seemed weak even though the most horrible of the uproar envisaged on Friday when the global stock markets had suffered one of their largest declines in almost five years, had improved. Senior foreign bond strategist at Mizuho Securities, Hiroko Iwaki, had stated that “things are so uncertain that investors still do not have a clear idea how much risk assets they need to sell. But it is safe to assume investors are not yet done with all the selling they need to do. I would not be surprised to see another 10% fall in share prices”. From the several questions regarding the British exit, or Brexit, which have generated are `just how much UK and European economies will slow, how they would negotiate their new relationship and how European leaders would try to improve the collapsing EU’. The world’s most traded stock futures; US S& P dropped 0.4% to 2,011.50, soaring close to the three and a half month low of 1,999 of Friday.

Brexit – First Surprise in Re-Calibration


The widest index of Asia Pacific shares MSCI, beyond Japan, shrank losses to 0.6% since the companies especially with UK exposure were under pressure.Equity strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong, Ajay Singh Kapur had written in a note that they think Brexit could be the first surprise in a re-calibration of the world away from globalisation towards more inward-looking policy making’.He further added that `Brexit has now possibly opened up more uncertainty about the European Union project and that the already crashed down Asian and emerging equity market could receive asset allocation flows from Europe. Nikkei of Japan extended gains to 1.9% which was a fractional rebound after the hefty 7.9% of Friday’s fall. Stocks of Japan had been supported by stronger warnings from the officials of Japan that they would interfere in currency markets in stabilising the yen. However, the dollar still fell 0.3% against the secured yen, trading around 101.81 yen.

Sell-Off in Euro – Exit Referenda Builds


Shares of China also increased with the CSI 300 index as well as the Shanghai Composite both increased around 0.8%. British pound dropped 2% to $1.34, yet some distance from the 31 year low of $1.3228moved during wild trade of Friday. Moreover, euro had also come under additional pressure, falling against the dollar by 0.8% as the investors fret that Brexit would strengthen the anti-establishment mood in Europe and also communicated about breakdown of the union. The chairman of New Sparta Asset Management in London, Jerome Booth, had commented that “there will be sell-off in the euro as talk of other exit referenda builds. This sell-off will be more profound and long lasting and will be not just against the dollar and yen but also against the pound. It would also raise fears of significant loss of values for holders of Eurozone government bonds”. Since December 2010 on Monday, Euro’s weakness aided in pushing the Chinese Yuan to its weakest level against the dollar and dropped to 6.6396 per dollar on opening at 6.6360 a dollar, in comparison with the five and a half year low midpoint level of 6.6375 agreed by the central bank, reaching an intraday low of 6.6469.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Yen soars and Nikkei tumbles as Bank of Japan rejects further stimulus


Japan


Yen Scaled High – Nikkei 224 Fell

The stockindex of Tokyo had plunged over 3% on Thursday as mounting yen beat exporters after the Bank of Japan decided against increasing its incentive. Nikkei 225 fell 3.05% to 15,434.14 in trading, late afternoon. The yen had earlier rushed to a 21-monthhigh against dollar in the wake of the BoJ’s intention of leaving its enormous 80 trillion yen asset-buying plan unaffected, since fears on the future of Britain in the EU pound financial markets. Investors incline to buy yen as a means of safe asses in case of turmoil, though the stronger currency seems to be bad for Japanese stocks since it tends to threaten the productivity of the exporting giants of the country.

The yen scaled high as 104.11 against the dollar, in afternoon deal, its strongest level since September 2014. The decision of Bank of Japan had come up on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve had decided against increasing interest rates and Janet Yellen; its boss had announced a warning on the possible Brexit from the US. Markets in the world have been left in chaos over the past week tension regarding the global economic outlook and in recent days, a rising sense that the referendum of June 23 would be seeing Britons vote breaking away from the European Union.

Weaker Hiring/Uncertainty – Referendum of the EU

Senior economist at Mizuho Securities, Norio Miyagawa stated that `there is nothing in recent economic indicators which would now lead the BoJ to change its economic outlook. But the rising yen would place more downward pressure on consumer prices and so expects the BoJ to ease in July’.

The US Federal Reserve that had been cautiously considering to raise interest rates or not, had held back at its own meeting on Wednesday and had instead downgraded its economic predictions, quoting weaker hiring as well as uncertainty regarding the referendum of the EU. This week’ polls suggested a tight contest in the vote of next week, being a main factor regarding the rush for safe havens inclusive of the yen. FTSE 100 had opened at 0.7% lower on Thursday, a presentation which quickly removed the uneasy gains of Wednesday after four previous days of heavy fall which saw the index fall less than 6000 barrier.

Energy Stocks/Miners Safe from Latest Beating 

The energy stocks and miners only were safe from the latest beating on values. There were comparable falls in France as well as Germany. Moreover the pound was also under pressure against the dollar down 0.4% at 1.41.4 which is an 11% down a year ago. Head of trading at ETX Capital, Joe Rundle had mentioned that the `markets were on the defensive again as traders foreseen the risks of Britain leaving the EU. Since polls indicate more support for Vote leave, City watchers had begun to take the threat rather seriously and began to price in the option of a Brexit.

For the City, it could be big; most of the banks and airlines would have to consider seriously moving outside the UK if a Brexit tends to occur. He further added that a slump in sterling could be a massive boon for some FTSE 100 firms. Miners would be seeing development in their sterling-denominated balance sheet when they sell in dollars and retailers would also probably prefer to stay on in UK though they would want to spin off their European arms’.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

US dollar wallows near 4-week lows as Janet Yellen sounds cautious note

US dollar

Dollar Flanked, Close to Four-Weeks Lows


After the remark of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen failed to toss a lifebuoy to the recently plunging greenback, the dollar flanked up though still reeled close to four weeks lows against a basket of currencies on Tuesday. The index of the dollar that tracks U.S. currency against a basket of six main rivals pushed up 0.1% to 94.017, though it stayed within sight of its overnight low of 93.745, the weakest level since May 11.

However Yellen had remained comparatively enthusiastic regarding the overall U.S. economic outlook, stating that the Fed would hike the interest rate, she provided no fresh clues about timing, calling the last month’s U.S. jobs data as `disappointing’. Sue Trinh, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong, had commented that `she was positive though compared to her speech of May 27, when she had said a move would have been suitable `in the coming months’, she had not been specific regarding the timing’. The dollar seemed to be under pressure since the Friday reports of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls had indicated the slowest job growth in more than five years in May, suppressing prospects for a near-term U.S. interest rate rise.

Recent Currency Market `Orderly’


The U.S. interest rate futures implicated traders had all but priced out any chance the Fed would raise rates at its policy meeting next week, even before Yellen had spoken. The dollar had upturned its previous losses against the yen and rose 0.2% to 107.81 yen pulling away from the previous session’s low of 106.35, its weakest in a month.

It stayed wary of levels above 109 yen, where it remained as recently on Friday. The Japanese Finance Minister, Taro Aso, earlier on Tuesday informed reporters that he would desist from commenting on the possible response of Japan on the currency market if the yen was to rise further. He also declined to comment on the remarks of U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew over the weekend which described the recent currency market movement as `orderly’ as an indication of caution towards the currency intervention.

Recent Unstable Sterling Marked Hard Rebound


The euro had pushed up 0.1% to $1.1360, reversing toward the earlier sessions’ almost one-month high of $1.1393. The recent unstable sterling marked a hard rebound after dipping more than 1% to three week lows in the earlier session, resulting in several polls ahead of the June 23 poll preferred the chance of British voters choosing to leave the European Union.

However the two polls in Tuesday’s newspaper portrayed Britons narrowly preferred staying the EU, when compared to the surveys released earlier. The pound had added 0.7% to $1.4524 after moving a one-week high of $1.4664 and on Monday had followed a low of $1.4352, its deepest all-time low since May 16. The Australian dollar had risen 0.6% to $0.7413 to one-month high after Reserve Bank of Australia had held policy stable as anticipated. It stated that its decision had been steady with maintainable growth. According to a Reuter’s poll, the central bank is broadly likely to hold rates at record low of 1.75% after its cut in May, with 49 of 52 economist’s surveyed sightingthe RBA standing pat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Package Testing Services

When important medical products are prepared for shipping and transport, it’s critical that products are properly packaged to ensure their safety and security. That’s why it’s good to know there is a company that specializes in creating quality packaging for just this purpose. Medical package testing is one of the areas that TEN-E Packaging Services specializes in, and TEN-E stands by the quality of all its packaging services.

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Their Packaging Services has been meeting the needs of its industry clients for over 25 years. Our solid track record in delivering quality service is what had made them a leader in the field of industrial package testing. They delivers top service for clients in all aspects of packaging in several areas.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Stronger Yen Weighs on Nikkei


Yen


Shares Hit by Yen Strengthening Against Dollar

Winning streak of five meetings for Japan’s Nikkei ended as shares were hit by the yen strengthening against the dollar. Benchmark of Japan, Nikkei 225 index dropped down to 279.25 (1.6% at 16,955.73). Dollar slipped below 110 yen. For Japanese exporters, stronger yen is usually seen as negative.

This resulted due to the Japanese Prime Minister; ShinzoAbe’s announcement, to a delay of a planned rise in sales tax. The rise in sales tax rate to 10% from 8%, planned for the year 2017, has now been pushed back to 2019.In individual stocks, Softbank had increased by 0.4% after the Japanese technology firm had stated that it would be offloading $7.9bn worth of shares in e-commerce giant of China - Alibaba.

 The transaction is said to reduce the stake of Softbank in Alibaba from 32.2% to 28%. The Shanghai Composite, in China, had edged down from 0.1% to 2,913.51 while the benchmark Hang Seng index in Hong Kong ended 54.11 points less at 20,760.98. The S&P ASX/200 index in Australia had closed down 55.39 points (1% at 5,323.17). Kospi index of South Korea was even for most of the session, closing at 1,982.72.

Strength of Yen – Decline of Exporters

Asian stock markets were generally higher on Tuesday tracking gains in U.S. stocks but Nikkei was assessed by the recent strength of yen and weak earnings results. The S&P 500 on Monday which had settled at a record high of 1593.61, lifted by a rally in the technology segment and the earnings sustained to be the main focus in the region. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average dropped 0.2% to 13.860.86amidst the recent weakness of the dollar as well as the key ¥100 level continued to be elusive.

The dollar-yen pair had been at ¥97.70 from ¥97.77 in New York, late Monday. Nikkei had jumped to 11.9% till April and continues on course for its largest monthly increase since December 2009 irrespective of Tuesday’s drop. The strength of yen together with the disappointing results had led to the decline of exporters. A heavily weighted component, Fanuc, on the Nikkei had dropped to 5.6% after the company had informed that its operating profits slipped by 17% on-year to ¥184.8 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31.

Abenomic Effect on Consumer Confidence 

Ricoh had dropped to 8.4% after its fourth-quarter operating profit had come in at ¥23.0 billion considerably losing guidance and consensus forecasts, apparently owing to a fall in sales of the domestic office equipment as well as larger-than-expected rise in costs. CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith, noticing the data for March indicating an increase in household spending and a fall in the jobless rate commented that `regardless of stock price weakness, the signs for Japans’ economy are positive. Some of the data can be attributed to the `Abenomics’ effect on consumer confidence’.

 Household spending had increased to 5.2% in March signifying consumers are showing more inclination to spend whereas unemployment had dropped to 4.1% of the labour force in March from 4.3% in February, which decline to its lowest since November 2008. Industrial production in March had increase by 0.2% on-month for the fourth straight month. Investors would be paying consideration to separate strategy meetings by the European Central Bank and the U.S, Federal Reserve for indications, later in the week.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hard times on Wall Street as pay cuts, layoffs loom

cnbc

Wall Street Pay – Trending Low


Latest report from compensation consultant Johnson Associates indicates that Wall Street pay tends to be trending lower this year as frail first quarter earnings, strong business environment and regulatory restraints will cause in slashes in almost all the trade’s lines of business. Managing director of Johnson Associates, Alan Johnson stated that this is the first time since the financial crisis that they have seen everyone trend down. The report is established on the results from the first three months of the year and hence the viewpoint could alter, according to Johnson.

But he did note that is a psychological change amidst the clients of his firm.Financial companies believe that the environment could be harder ahead; marked by more opposition, low interest rates for extended and extra regulation. Johnson has stated that there seems to be a lengthy list of things and that their clients have put them together saying that it is just going to become harder. According to report, in the financial industry, incentive pay will drop between 5% and 20% this year and the exemption to it will be in retail as well as commercial banking where the pay would be flat to around 5%.

Year Ahead Fair Amount of More Job Cuts


Johnson had mentioned that this area moves more with the cost of living and that the sector has been performing well. On the other hand, pay in investment bank would weaken between 10% and 20% though compensation in sales and trading is said to drop 5% to 20%, as per report and it is not only investment bankers perceived in taking a pay cut, since hedge fund compensation is projected to decline by 5 – 15%.

The pay for asset managers is seen off at 5% to 10% owing to weak inflows together with lower to flat appreciation in assets under the category of management. Together with pay being cut, payrolls would also be trimmed according to Johnson. He further added that it is quieter than in the past, though it seems to occur as one speaks. This year and ahead there will be a fair amount of more job cuts.

Global Mergers/Acquisitions – Volume Plunge 20%


Most of the financial companies are persistently reducing head count in places inclusive of London and New York since the cities tend to be too expensive, deciding to cut on jobs or move the workers to lower-cost centres. According to financial services data firm Dealogic, global investment banking businesses seemed to suffer the slowest first quarter since 2009.

The almost$750 billion in global mergers as well as acquisitions signified a volume plunge of 20% year over year, as per Dealogic report recently. The analysts stated that banking revenue was affected by a combination of slow start to the years’ M&A, weak high-yield debt issuance together with lingering weakness in the trading operations of banks. Making matter worse was the trading desk revenue which had been shrinking at several top banks.

Morgan Stanley had revealed plans of reducing head count in its fixed income, currency as well as commodities trading operation as a measure of a broader plan of streamlining operations and generating savings. But the stock of the bank had recovered from early February lows, and the shares are yet down by about 20% on the year. No comments have been provided by representatives of Morgan Stanley.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Should We be worried about our Pensions


Pension Scheme – Attention on Health of Final Salary Pension


The efforts of BHS together with its pension scheme have drawn attention on the health of final salary pensions. Over the years, 20,462 members of BHS staff right from shop workers to executives have paid into the BHS final salary pension scheme and now will receive less during retirement than they had expected. The scheme which is said to be like a black hole or deficit of £571m is presently in the hands of the Pension Protection Fund – PPF, which is a lifeboat organisation that tends to step in when companies seem to be ruined.

The BHS scheme is considered to be only one of thousands of final salary pension schemes linked to companies all over UK, schemes that guarantee to pay retirement income depending on certain percentage of the ultimate salary each year for the rest of your life. Latest figure of the PPF portrays that UK final salary pension schemes tend to have a collective deficit of £302bn and there are 4,891 schemes in deficit when compared with 1,054 in excess. It is a bit doubtful that some may be struggling. Joe Dabrowski from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association – PLSA which is the trade body for pension schemes has stated that schemes are facing challenging times.

Calum Cooper of pension consultancy Hymans Robertson portrays a bleak picture. He states that there are between 600 and 1,000 final salary pension schemes at risk of not being capable of paying the pension of their members at the time of their retirement and this is a very substantial number which puts over a million pensions as well as the jobs at risk.

Experts agree that there seems to be two main causes of the black hole in final salary pension schemes. The first is comparatively simple; people are living for longer period which makes pensions more expensive for companies since they are paying the pensioners for a longer period. The second main issue is the uncertain economic position wherein pension schemes tend to depend on the contributions from employees being invented successfully. Long period of low interest rates together with volatile markets have made it difficult in making money from investing.

Pension Schemes Related to Performance & Strength of Parent Company


Mr Cooper states that the final salary schemes pushed in £30bn in the last year in an attempt to make up for poor returns though it has not gone more than a fraction of the way in ensuring things are evened up. Senior partner at actuarial consultants Lane, Clark and Peacock, Bob Scott informed that another problem is `over-regulation’. He stated that this added to the problems for businesses attempting to keep schemes in good health.

According to Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at investment company Hargreaves Lansdown informs that there is a wider threat considering the design of final salary schemes. He states that were there many more schemes to get into trouble, they would seem to be very expensive to rescue.

He adds that the challenge is whether it is accepted that there will be these constant failures maybe ultimately putting the subsidy of the PPF itself under pressure. Pension schemes are related to the performance and strength of their parent company as pointed out by Mr Cooper, deficits of some schemes tend to be larger than the actual business supporting them.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Too Much Dividend can be a Turnoff, say Investors

Londonstockexchange

European Companies – Highest Amount of Dividends


European companies have been paying the highest amount of their earning by way of dividends in over 40 years fuelling fear among analyst on whether such kinds of pay-outs are viable. Investors have for a long time dealt with queries of what companies need to do with the escalating cash load, to return it to shareholders or spend it on technology, research and development, top staff or bolting on new business for the future growth.

For the past five years income-hungry investors received dividends from the European firms and the pay-outs offered a solution to the combination of sluggish economic growth, aggressive central bank policy, enabling what had pushed bond yields to record lows and changing stock markets.

However, the growing cut off between earnings as well as dividends together with worries which companies would be adding debt to fund the shortfall was urging a reconsideration of this proposal. Senior research manager at S&P Global Market Intelligence Julien Jarmoszko stated that they were seeing a lot of companies trapped into their dividend policy.As per Thomson Reuters’ data, almost 60% of Europe Inc.’s earnings per share had been returned to the shareholders as dividends.

Cautionary Sign to Companies – Investors to Stop Rewarding Capital Returns


Companies’ partiality regarding dividends is in no small amount fuelled by investors encouraging companies to part with cash due to restricted opportunities for capital spending. However a shift is in progress. Last month’s Bank of America-Merrill Lynch survey of global fund managers, in one of the cautionary sign to companies that tend to borrow to fund buybacks and dividends, had suggested that investors may stop rewarding capital returns to the same degree as done earlier.

Net percentage of fund managers saying pay-out ratios to be `too high’, had been at the highest level since March 2009. Fund managers instead are progressively searching for earnings and rewarding companies which are either reinvesting back profits in order to expand their business or those which have cut pay-outs to protect their balance sheets.

Tim Crockford, lead manager of the Hermes Europe Ex-UK Equity Fund had said that they like companies which do not essentially pay too much of their cash flow out since they have good opportunities of investing in fixed capital, generating higher returns in the future through these investments.

Leaner Balance Sheets Indicates Substantial Shift


Crockford pointed out Spanish Technology Company Amadeus IT and German laboratory equipment company Sartorius as good examples. For instance, Amadeus had spent money for investment in its IT business, making the services of the firm much more appealing to customers like airlines.

In the meantime, some commodity connected firms that had cut dividends in an effort todeal with the slump in metals prices had seen their share prices gathering. Glencore that had lost more than half of its value last year before suspending dividends in September, had profited by 13% since then. BHP Billiton had gained 30% since cutting its dividend in February.

The inclination of accepting lower or no dividends in favour of leaner balance sheets indicates a substantial shift. Besides, it would also signal to European firms that attempts to spend on themselves and getting in front of a pickup in growth would be compensated while stubborn reliance on pay-outs would not.

Friday, April 29, 2016

BHS Collapse - Pension all you Need to Know

BHS
Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Defined Benefit – DB Scheme


Employees provided with financial security when they tend to retire seem to bea useful aim for liable company.Several of Britain’s biggest firms have set up defined benefit – DB pension schemes over the years, which tend to reward the staff based on how much they seem to earn and how long they work. There are around 12 million active members in Britain during the heyday of the DB pension in the 1960s and 70s and it was clear that companies could not afford to support so many people in this way for decades after they had finished working and the long period of strong stock markets had concealed the worst of the problem in the 1980s.

Towards 2007, there were only 2,240 open DB schemes with an addition of 6,250 still paying out though closed to new members. This relates to more than 38,000 less generous defined contribution schemes. As for companies which are left with the gold-plated pensioners, even if they tend to have adequate funds to pay them, the long-term liabilities could be bigger than the business. The RSA insurance firm is just one FTSE 100 firm where its pension fund is many times larger than its own £5bn value of the market.

Pension Fund of Company Has a Deficit of £157m


When a company tends to get ruined, the first thought should be for the workers who will not only lose their jobs but their retirement income could also be at risk. Often a trouble company tends to have pension deficit and so it is the case with BHS, a respected British retailer that has been overtaken by changes in fashion. The present workforce at BHS of about 11,000 is dwarfed by the 20,000 people qualified to claim a pension.

The scheme has resources of over £400m though its deficit between its resources and disabilities is over £200m. It is estimated that the pension fund of the company has a deficit of £157m. Though the company had been struggling financially for some time, it has gone into administration which is a process wherein a company is controlled by a licenced professional who tends to run it in a way protecting creditors as well as the company directors. Presently administrators Duff and Phelps have been running BHS as going concern and if it does not discover new owners, it could begin the process of realising its assets to cope up with its debts.

Possible Buyers Apprehensive


As of March 31, 2015, the company is said to have £435m of pension assets which indicates the scheme was less than 50% subsidized. It is assumed that Sports Direct had held talks regarding buying some of the 164 stores of BHS together with a number of other retail chains who have expressed interest in purchasing part of the company or its estate. However possible buyers are apprehensive by the £571m pension deficit of the firm.

The Pension Protection Fund which was set up in 2005 tends to use an annual levy charge to all companies with DB schemes in order to support the one whose corporate sponsor tends to fail. The PPF has 220,000 current as well as prospective pensioners on record and intends to be self-funding by 2030. Rescue of BHS’s pension is set to be among the top ten largest deals though comfortably within the financial abilities of the lifeboat.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Removing a Toxic Danger from Your Residence


removing_mold
Mold spores can easily creep into your house. These invaders can come in on people's shoes and clothing, sprout because of moisture and water, and also develop because of poor housekeeping and inattentiveness to sanitation. If left unattended, the spores can grow into a toxic problem that can put you and your family at risk. When you are in need of services like inspection, cleaning, and mold remediation Maryland residents can find professionals ready to help you today online.

Diagnosing the Source of the Problem

Mold can grow in unexpected places and in areas of your home where you would never see it. Areas that are exposed to a lot of moisture like crawl spaces and attics are particularly at risk of developing mold.
Along with the attic and crawl spaces, however, other areas in plain sight can also develop mold, leaving you clueless as to how the spores got there or why the fungus continues to thrive. Bathrooms, bedrooms, and even kitchens can have mold in them and come from water spills that were never cleaned up, clothing that had spores on them, and other sources.

Even if you cannot see the mold, you can still have it discovered and treated when you hire professional services designed to trace the problem at its source. The technicians can come in and look in nook and crannies that otherwise may have gone left unnoticed. Once they find the fungus, they can then determine how it got there. You may need to mudjack your foundation, fix leaky shingles, or replace sub-flooring to keep future mold growths at bay.

Treating Your Home

It is crucial that you allow a professional to get rid of the mold for you, particularly if you or your loved ones have sensitive breathing issues and other health concerns. If you pour bleach on the mold, you only spread the spores and also expose yourself to toxic fumes. Likewise, any sponges or towels you use will have the spores on them as well.

A professional technician will have the right equipment and safety gear to get rid of the mold and prevent it from spreading. You also avoid coming into contact with chemicals that can hurt you.

Mold is a toxic fungus that can put your health at risk. You can have it detected and treated thoroughly by hiring a service to treat your home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yellen The US is not a ‘Bubble Economy'

Yellen

Yellen – Rebuffing Political Rhetoric – Bubble Ready to Burst


Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair had touted recently on the strength of the United States economy, rebuffing political rhetoric recommending a bubble was ready to burst. Yellen noticing a healing labour market and a 5% headline unemployment number, had commented, `I certainly wouldn’t describe this as a bubble economy. Yellen had been on a panel with the earlier Fed Chairs Ben Bernanke, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan at the International House in New York and the U.S. central bank heads had discussions on the U.S. economy as well as monetary policy all over the world.

Yellen’s comment came soon after the Republican presidential contender Donald Trump’s disagreement that an economic bubble would erupt. She noted that she did not see `imbalances’ like `clearly overvalues’ asset prices. Though Volcker acknowledged that he saw some overextended pieces of the financial system he agreed stating that he does not believe that a bubble exists. Yellen adds that the global economy has been seen as a comparatively weak growth inspite of the positive signs in the U.S. Restrained approach had been taken by the Fed on raising interest rates this year after raising its target for the first time in almost a decade, in December.

Fed to Watch Carefully – Occurring in Economy


This year the policy committee of the bank now tend to project two rate hikes. Yellen has stated that she does not consider the decision taken in December as a mistake, since indicators during that time portrayed substantial progress towards the Fed’s labour market as well as inflation goals. Going ahead, he noticed the Fed would watch very carefully what is occurring in the economy.

The Fed had dealt with drooping global economy and U.S. inflation below its target, since it decides on how quickly to increase rates. The tightening path of the Fed came as other central banks all over the world including those in Europe and Japan tend to have eased. The policy committee would meet next on April 26 and 27. Some of the observers of the Fed have quizzed on how the central bank would react to a probable recession with policy already accommodative.

Yellen’s Comments – U.S. Stock Market Futures Dropped


On Thursday, Bernanke noticed that the fiscal policy `does not have a role to play’ on top of monetary policy. Greenspan added that the monetary policy should not have the whole load of battling an economic slowdown but he warned against creating more debt with increased government spending.

Yellen had also addressed a recent crusade by Minneapolis Fed President Neel, Kashkari who had floated breaking up large banks to increase financial system stability. She had observed that she shared the concern of Kashkari regarding ending firms’ `too big to fail’ status. However, she stated that the policies such as capital and liquidity needs and stress tests have improved the safety and soundness of the banking system. She commented that she feels more positive on the progress made.

She was also of the belief that the issue is within the purview of Kashkari, noticing that the decentralized structure of the Fed enables independent views. In the wake of Ms Yellen’s comment, the U.S. stock market futures dropped as traders processed signs from the Fed chairman that she would be willing to follow increases in interest rates in the future.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Taking a Complicated Financial Case to Court


Court cases that involve financial matters tend to always be delicate, if not heated and highly contested. You need the judge and jury to side with you if you hope to protect your assets and money. However, many juries lack the inside financial know-how when they are first seated for your case. You need someone to come to court to back up your argument and evidence. Along with retaining an attorney with this experience, you likewise may need to retain a consultant to provide advantages like expert witness testimony and explanations about why your argument is factual and deserving of the court's favor. You can retain this help today by going online and finding out more about the consultation services.

Explanations for Complicated Financial Matters

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The consultant can help in cases that involve financial matters like bankruptcy, loans, and other banking practices. The service also may come in handy for cases that center on collection or credit issues.

The consultant can work with your attorney and you to ensure that your case is as solid as it can be before it goes before the judge and jury. You may be able to protect your own finances with this additional legal help.

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Financial cases need to be competently presented in court. You can make your case stronger with the professional consultation services of a financial expert.

Friday, April 1, 2016

UK Inflation Rate Stays at 0.3%

uk

UK Inflations Unchanged at 0.3%


According to the Office for National Statistics – ONS, UK inflation, measured by the Consumer Prices Index remained unchanged at 0.3% in February. There was a big rise in vegetables though the transport cost had dropped as per ONS. The annual inflation was below the target of 2% of Bank of England for two years and last year it had been zero. Last month the Bank had stated that it predicted inflation to remain below 1% this year.

Other figures of ONS published at the same time showed that Chancellor George Osborne had been close to missing his target in cutting the budget deficit of the country in 2015-16 financial years. According to ONS, borrowing of the government dropped than anticipated in February which brought the overall deficit so far to £70 for the 11 months of the year, as against the chancellor’s full-year target of £72.2bn.

The borrowing figures could mean that the government could borrow on additional £1.5bn this month if it intends to avoid exceeding the forecast set by the Office for Budget Responsibility during the last week’s Budget. Recent ONS’s release revised January’s borrowing by 2.6bn and even though next month’s figure exceeds the forecast, there is a possibility of waiting longer for confirmation.

Difficulties in Implementing Some of the Planned Budget Cuts


Chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, David Kern, stated that while there is a gradual progress in reducing the deficit, the timetables outlined in the Budget last week tends to be ambitious and the return to surplus could take a bit longer than the chancellor hopes.

He further added that `the difficulties in implementing some of the planned budget cuts would increase the problem’. Under the single Retail Prices Index – RPI measure including housing cost, inflation was 1.3% in February, which also remained unchanged from the previous month. According to the ONS, the biggest downward pressure on the inflation rate was from the transport segment with the changes in prices for items like road passenger transport, second hand cars and bicycles.

There was a drop in prices for toothpaste together with other personal care products, though higher prices for vegetables, milk, eggs and cheese compensated for those declines.

Britain’s vote on European Union Membership – Hit UK Economic Growth


An increase was also seen in hotel accommodation and restaurant bills along with the price of furniture as well as household equipment. Lower oil prices kept a cover on inflation leaving the central bank in no haste to increase the rates beyond 0.5% which remained there for almost seven years. The unmoved level of inflation of February comes after three months of increased consumer prices.

 Clothing prices had been up by 0.4% when compared to last year while gas prices had dropped by 6% over the same period after energy giant E. ON’s decision to reduce the cost of gas by 5.1% for two million customers last month. The inflation announcement was made after the Bank of England had voted to maintain the rates on hold once more this month and cautioned that Britain’s vote on its European Union membership could hit UK economic growth.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

IMF Says World at Risk of 'Economic Derailment’

IMF

Global Economy Faces Rising Risk of Economic Derailment - IMF


The International Monetary Fund – IMF has advised that the global economy tends to face a rising risk of economic derailment. David Lipton, Deputy Director has called for urgent steps to increase global demand. He had mentioned in his speech to the National Association for Business Economics in Washingtonrecently, that they are clearly at a delicate juncture. He warned that the IMF’s latest reading of the global economy indicates once again a weakening baseline.

His comments have come up after weaker than expected trade figures from China portrayed that the exports had plunged by a quarter from a year ago, in February. With the second largest economy of the world often stated as `the engine of global growth’, weaker global demand for its goods seems to be read as an indicator of the general global economic climate. IMF have already mentioned that it would be likely to downgrade the present forecast of 3.4% for global growth when it tend to release in April, the economic predictions. International lender had warned last month, that the world economy seemed to be highly susceptible and had called for new efforts to spur growth.

Downside Risks Clearly Pronounced


Ahead of last month’s Shanghai G20 meeting, in a report, the IMF had mentioned that the group need to plan a co-ordinated stimulus programme since the world growth had reduced and could be derailed by market turbulence, the oil price crash as well as geopolitical conflicts. In his speech in Washington, Mr Lipton had stated that the burden to lift growth falls more squarely on advanced economics which tend to have fiscal room to move.

He added that the `downside risks are clearly much more pronounced than earlier and the case for more forceful and concerted policy action has become more compelling. Moreover risks seemed to have increased further with volatile financial markets and low commodity prices creating fresh concern about the health of the global economy’. A swing of weak economic data had lately been added to these apprehensions and the US ratings agency Moody’s had downgraded its outlook for China from `stable’ to `negative’.

Time to Support Economic Activity


The rising unemployment is also another worry as Beijing tends to slowly shift its economy from over dependence on manufacturing and industry to more services and consumer spending. The economy of China seems to be growing at the slowest rate in 25 years which has resulted in considerable uncertainty in the financial markets all over the world leading to sharp falls in commodity prices.

Lipton has commented that `together with bank repair wherever needed and with adequate targeting on infrastructure, this approach could create jobs and probably reduce public debt-to-GDP ratios in the medium term by motivating nominal GDP as well as support credit and financial stability. On strengthening the global outlook, this coordinated action could hurry healing in the banking sector and prevent continent liabilities for the government which appear in case of inaction.

 Moreover it would also have considerable positive spill-overs to susceptible emerging economics comprising of commodity exporters which would be unable to participate in the fiscal expansion, directly. He added that at the recent G20 meetings in China, he thinks that `there was broad recognition of these risks and priorities and now is the time to support economic activity and put the global economy on a sounder footing’.

40 Banks Test Bitcoin Tech for Trading Bonds

Bitcoin

Consortium of 40 Banks Test Using Blockchain


A consortium of 40 main banks comprising of Goldman Sachs and Barclays tested a way to trade fixed income assets by using the blockchain, which is a technology that tends to strengthens bitcoin in an attempt to emphasize how serious the biggest lenders in the world are regarding the technology.

R3 CEV, the financial technology firm that had brought the banks together last year to work on blockchain applications had made the announcement recently.Blockchain tends to work like a large decentralized ledger for the digital currency bitcoin, records each transaction and stores the information on a global network which cannot be tampered. But most of the experts agree that the technology does not seem close to mass adoption and is in the trial stage.

The technology could be applied to wide selection of uses and especially for financial firms; the most interesting parts would involve the clearing of trades. Experts state that the blockchain would enable a huge number of transaction settlements in a matter of minute or even in seconds together with it being very secure since each transaction tends to be recorded and is unable to be tampered. Presently some trades tend to take day in the settling process.

Smart Contract – Computer Code


Supporting this is the idea of `smart contracts, a computer code which would only perform when the terms of a contract are fulfilled. For instance, a trade may be carried out once the money from the buyer is received,all of which would be done automatically and there would not be any dispute since the same has been recorded in the blockchain.

A number of distributed ledger companies had worked with the banks for this test namely Chain, Eris Industries, Ethereum, IBM and Intel. The institutions had done an assessment of each smart contraction solution to trade fixed income of the company.

David Rutter, R3 CEO and a former executive at London based electronic brokerage ICAP had stated in a statement that `this development tends to support the belief of R3 that close collaboration among global financial institutions and technology providers will create significant momentum behind the adoption of distributed ledger solutions across the industry. R3’s website mentioned that its mission is `building and empowering the next generation of global financial services technology’.

Blockchain – Probable Disruptive Force in Finance


These technologies represent a new frontier of innovation and would dramatically improve the way the financial services industry operates, in the same way as the advent of electronic trading decades ago delivered huge advancement in efficiency, transparency, scalability and security’.Banks do not seem to be the only ones interested in technology. Nasdaq used the blockchain, last month to enable international resident of Estonia to vote in shareholder meeting while they were abroad and tested the blockchain for trading shares.

Bitcoin could have risen to more than 35% this year, though it is the fundamental technology behind the crypto currency which is moving the world’s main banks. Blockchain has been indicated as a probable disruptive force in finance by main institutions which tend to claim bitcoin as just the opening act in something bigger.

Friday, March 18, 2016

How Robots will Kill the 'Gig Economy

Gig Economy

Gig Economy – Cease to Exist in 20 Years


According to new report from venture backed start-up Thumbtack, an online marketplace which tends to help skilled workers locate customers, the so-called gig economy would cease to exist in 20 years. The study has forecast that logistic companies from start-ups like Uber right to tech giants like Amazon would be replacing drivers as well as delivery workers with autonomous vehicles and drones.

The study discovered that extremely skilled workers like lawyers and accountants would no longer be assured of jobs at big firms - will be the new gig economy workers. Jon Lieber, chief economist at Thumbtack and Lucas Puente, an economic analyst at the firm had mentioned in a report that `the gig economy known will not last.

 In the past few years, analysts and reports have obsessively focused on transportation technology platforms such as Uber and Lyft and delivery technology platforms like Instacart and the workers required for these on-demand services. The fine focus on low-skilled `gigs’ tends to miss a larger story. The rather commoditized, interchangeable services seem to supplement income, not generating middle class lifestyles. Besides, these jobs are probably going to be automated over a period of time and performed by self-driving cars and drones'.

Autonomous Driving Technology – Reduce Death/Transportation Affordable


Uber had been frank with regards to its plans in replacing drivers with robots over a period of time. An Uber spokesperson informed CNBC that `autonomous driving technology has the ability to drastically reduce deaths in cars, making transportation even more affordable. That it is an exciting future and one Uber plans to be part of, but that transition for technical, regulatory as well as adoption reasons, at scale, would take some time. The spokesperson stated that `in the meanwhile, the focus is providing flexible work opportunities for many people in the world as possible’.

According to Oxford academics Car Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, around half of U.S. jobs seem to be at high risk of computerization over the next 20 years. Their discoveries had been published in 2013 and are unchanged, but there are some limitations like resistance from stakeholders and relative wage levels which would determine if a job is in fact automated, according to Osborne.

Estimates on how many jobs robots will ultimately displace would vary widely. Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder mentioned in a report that `forecast of 16% of jobs would disappear owing to automation technologies between now and 2025.

Supervised by `Robo-Boss’ by 2018


However that jobs equivalent to 9% of present day’s jobs would be created. Physical robots need repair and maintenance professional, one of the several job categories which would grow around in a much automated world’. From the global point of view, over 3 million workers would be supervised by a `robo-boss’ toward 2018, as predicted late last year by research and advisory firm Gartner.

Osborne has stated that jobs which are least likely to be automated initially are those which need a high level of creativity or emotional intelligence. For instance, school teacher jobs seem to be comparatively safe due to the elevated level of social intelligence needed to teach as well as mentor children.

 The Oxford study found positions which seem mostly susceptible to automation comprise of telemarketers, watch repairer, tax preparers, insurance underwriters, cargo and freight agents and others. In each category, some jobs would be automated very soon. Osborne states that `this gig economy is being pursued via digital platform and is actually getting individuals to automate themselves out of a job by delivering data back to the platform which could be utilised in providing an automated substitute.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Asian Shares Slip, Though China Ekes Out Gain

Asian_market

Shares of China Eked Gains


Shares of China have eked out gains though most of the Asian markets have reviewed some of their latest rally, with traders assimilating weaker than expected trade data from the mainland. A market analyst at IG, Angus Nicholson had informed sources that plenty of the latest rally in stocks had been driven by major reversal or short covering in financials, materials as well as energy. However, he mentioned that momentum decreasing in the other sectors have now been falling in these sectors also.

The trade data of China that was released at about 10.30 a.m. SIN/HK time was also not positive for sentiments with the February exports dropping to 25.4% in terms of U.S. dollar, while imports fell by 13.8%, with the drops wider than anticipations. Since 2009, the decline in exports had been the largest on year drop according to Reuters.

 The Chinese markets ended higher with the Shanghai composite ending up 2.57, or 0.1% at 2,899.91 with the Shenzhen composite up 8.89 points or 0.51% at 1,750.56. Nicholson had noted that the foreign exchange reserves data of China, released overnight would probably have totally reassured markets around the prospect for further Yuan devaluation.

Official Data Released – Marked Fourth Straight Month of Decline


An official data released recently after the market close, portrayed foreign currency reserves on the mainland dropped to $3.2 trillion towards the end of February, declining from $3.23 trillion the earlier month, thus marking the fourth straight month of decline. However, the pace of outflows slackened substantially and the February figure was in line with analysts’ potentials portrayed in Reuter’s poll.Among other markets, benchmark of Japan, Nikkei 225 closed down 128.17 points or 0.76 percent at 16,783.15 extending Monday’s drop of 0.6%.

Reuters had reported revised government data, before the market opened, showing Japan’s economy had shrank at an annualized 1.1% in the final quarter of 2015 which was revised up from a initial reading of 1.4% contraction. Through the Korean Strait, the Kospi had closed down 11.75% or 0.60% at 1,946.12 while in Hong Kong; the Hang Seng index had closed down 148.14 points of 0.73% to 20,011.58.

Main Miners – Australia, Given up on Early Gains


The main miners in Australia had given up on early gains with Rio Tinto closing at 2.60% BHP Billiton less by 1.83% with iron ore producer Fortescue dropping 9.42% after surging almost 24% on Monday. Fortescue had announced before the market open that it had been in talks with Vale in order to work together to blend iron ore to meet up the demands of its consumers.

 According to the announcement there was a possibility of seeing the Brazilian miner take a 5-15% minority stake in Australian miner. On the other hand, Gold miners saw an uptick with the shares of Newscrest closing at 1.30% while Alacer Gold added 0.72%. HK/SIN time spot gold traded high at $1,269.57 for an ounce though below the Friday peak of $1,279.60, which was the highest since February 3, 2015 as of 3.13 p.m. U.S. gold for April delivery had gained overnight by 0.5% to $1,269.90 an ounce.

Suzuki Motor, Japanese automaker had closed at 3.76% after a report in the Nikkei stating that the company would issue 200 billion yen in zero-coupon convertible bonds, using most of the profits in spreading its setup in India.