Nov 21, 2013 16:41 UTC

Gold hasn’t melted down to its base yet

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By Ian Campbell

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Gold’s meltdown is not over. Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus have pushed the precious metal’s price down to just under $1,250 per ounce – 35 percent below its 2011 peak. When the Fed actually starts tapering its bond purchases, investors will keep fleeing. That will leave the price of bullion relying heavily on demand from the jewellery trade.

Nov 21, 2013 16:35 UTC

Bitcoin attention may flip its investor base

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By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
All the official attention being garnered by bitcoin could flip its investor base. Congressional hearings held this week confer a certain sort of legitimacy on the shadowy but high-flying virtual currency. Ardent inflationista and libertarian bitcoin backers won’t much like the arrival of rules and regulations. They could, however, inadvertently attract the masses.

Bitcoin was created as a means of digital payment. Initially, a handful of programmers collected the nerd cash for solving mathematical problems related to network stability and security. Interest now extends far beyond young basement dwellers.

Nov 21, 2013 01:54 UTC

Asia’s fear of Fed is now infecting more economies

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

After a rough summer, Asian markets are calm once again. But beneath the surface, the fear of what the Federal Reserve may do next is beginning to spread beyond India and Indonesia.

Nov 20, 2013 11:39 UTC

Equity optimists may fast create a crowded trade

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

Many large institutional asset managers expect developed stocks to march higher next year. They predict that companies will ramp up capital expenditure and fiscal policy will become less restrictive. That may well happen. The risk is that too much money is chasing the same idea. Crowded trades are rarely safe bets.

Nov 20, 2013 05:43 UTC

Chinese “fixers” speak to Wall Street weakness

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By John Foley 

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

Wall Street banks used to argue privately that hiring consultants in China was the only way to get ahead. Now their worth is under the spotlight, after the New York Times reported that JPMorgan Chase paid $1.8 million to a two-person consultancy run by the daughter of Wen Jiabao, then China’s premier. The real mystery is why banks that have been in China for so long still need the extra help.

Nov 19, 2013 08:09 UTC

Aussie dairy battle needs cheap debt to stack up

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Australia’s dairy battle needs cheap debt to stack up. Three bids in as many days for Australia’s Warrnambool have lifted the price tag above A$500 million ($469 million). Local cost savings and projections of China’s thirst for foreign milk help justify the frenzy. But the investment case rests on low borrowing costs.

Nov 18, 2013 18:58 UTC

Derivatives detail could sink bank wind-down plans

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

A seemingly small derivatives detail could sink global bank wind-down plans. American and European regulators want to standardize contracts to help cross-border lenders fail smoothly. If the problem isn’t fixed, investors could undermine financial stability by calling in swaps. It’s a reminder of how much work still needs to be done to end too big to fail.

Nov 18, 2013 17:04 UTC

Markets may underrate ECB’s propensity to act

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

It is as if the European Central Bank’s unexpected rate cut had never happened. Within a fortnight, markets seem not to be counting on any further easing of monetary policy in the foreseeable future. Perhaps investors don’t believe the key people at the ECB can deliver on commitments to do more if necessary. If so, they’re missing something. The majority is starting to rule at the ECB.

Nov 18, 2013 04:24 UTC

The ‘Abe put’ will keep Japanese equities buoyed

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Say sayonara to the “Bernanke put” and hello to Shinzo Abe’s alternative. While the Federal Reserve chairman developed a reputation for supporting the price of bonds, the Japanese prime minister’s reforms are designed to push up stock prices.

Nov 15, 2013 15:30 UTC

China fuels optimists, leaves room for pessimists

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

China’s long-awaited blueprint for reform is epic, ambitious, detailed and vague. A sixty-point document issued by the ruling Communist Party on Nov. 15 covers everything from relaxing the hated one-child policy to opening up the financial sector and squeezing more dividends out of state-owned enterprises. It’s enough to restore investors’ faith, if not yet to help them allocate their assets.