Oct 17, 2014 06:46 UTC

Cheap oil is no tonic for sluggish Asian economies

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By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Cheaper oil won’t be much of a tonic for Asian economies. While painful for exporters, sliding prices should benefit consumers of crude. For most in the region, though, less expensive oil is mainly a sign that growth is stalling.

Oct 16, 2014 14:12 UTC

Weaker euro won’t do much to stoke inflation

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By Swaha Pattanaik

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

The European Central Bank has been egging on the euro’s slide. It has a not-so-secret hope: a cheaper currency will bring some much desired inflation into the euro zone. Good luck.

Oct 16, 2014 06:30 UTC

Real estate rescue may not help China’s developers

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By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

If you cheapen it, they will come. China’s large real estate companies are going all-out to shift their properties, aided by recent reductions in mortgage rates and the relaxation of local restrictions on who can buy. When developers sell more for less, however, there is grief ahead.

Oct 15, 2014 20:31 UTC

Rampant market fear clarifies global divide

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By Richard Beales

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Suddenly, fear has overwhelmed greed. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds slumped below 1.9 percent at one stage on Wednesday, and the 2 percent slide in the S&P 500 Index erased what remained of this year’s gains, although the index ended the trading day down just under 1 percent. It all augurs poorly for the expected end next month of the Federal Reserve bond-buying program. Yet the domestic economy has been steadily improving. Slowing growth elsewhere presents the bigger worry.

COMMENT

Gee, Fischer pulled Israel out of a similar mess. Has anyone thought about giving him more say in the Fed’s decisions?

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Oct 15, 2014 06:47 UTC

CICC loses a princeling, gains investment appeal

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By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

To lose a princeling looks careless, but no worse. That should reassure backers of China International Capital Corp, the Chinese investment bank whose well-connected chief executive has just resigned.

Oct 14, 2014 13:38 UTC

Commodity producer/trader boundary starts to blur

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By Swaha Pattanaik

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Commodity producers and traders were once very different beasts. But the distinctions between the two are increasingly fuzzy.

Oct 14, 2014 06:30 UTC

Japan’s low unemployment masks overtime slump

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By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The canary of Japan’s demand slump is singing “overtime”. The country’s low unemployment and high vacancy rates paint a misleading picture of tranquility. A more accurate gauge of the growing nervousness in the economy is the shrinking market for extra working hours.

Oct 13, 2014 19:07 UTC

Bankers get painful and needed conflicts reminder

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By Reynolds Holding

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Bankers just got handed a painful, and necessary, reminder about conflicts of interest. A $76 million penalty against RBC Capital Markets for working both sides of a deal is the latest blow to skewed loyalties. Even with recent knocks against Goldman Sachs and Barclays, however, it isn’t clear the message is reaching Wall Street.

Oct 13, 2014 14:13 UTC
Edward Hadas

Markets finally side with economy on bad news

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By Edward Hadas

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Market historians could call the last five years the QE period. Quantitative easing, a polite term for money creation by central banks, has pushed free and ultra-cheap money into almost all financial markets, supporting or pushing up prices. The era is coming to a close. As investors overcome their monetary dependence, they have to look at the real economy. It’s not encouraging.

Oct 10, 2014 06:36 UTC

Hong Kong weathers Occupy’s financial disruption

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By Robyn Mak

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Hong Kong’s economy is coping with pro-democracy protests, now heading into their third week. Some retailers and other businesses have suffered and traffic is bad, but the city’s financial system is undisturbed. A prolonged standoff between protesters and the government matters less to investors than the slowdown in consumption and spending in mainland China. Warnings that the movement would threaten Hong Kong’s financial health look misplaced.