Sep 2, 2013 08:26 UTC

Emerging market currency rescue is a pipe dream

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Can emerging markets fight back against currency speculators? An idea floated by India to mount a joint defence has a certain charm. After a rout in the rupee the past three months, New Delhi wants other developing countries to help in a coordinated intervention in offshore foreign exchange markets, Reuters reported on Aug. 31. In reality, it sounds unworkable.

Aug 30, 2013 15:57 UTC

Review: Thatcher’s determination battled her flaws

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

The first volume of Charles Moore’s authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher covers the British prime minister’s life “From Grantham to the Falklands”. In his recounting of her childhood and early years in power, Moore shows her great determination, which was often needed to overcome previous mistakes.

Aug 30, 2013 14:52 UTC

Belarus-Russia spat clears way for potash plunge

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By Kevin Allison

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

Before the arrest of a top Russian fertiliser executive in Belarus this week, there was a slim chance that two of the world’s biggest potash producers might revive their alliance setting the prices of the soil nutrient. The ensuing diplomatic bust-up between Minsk and Moscow now makes reconciliation unlikely. Farmers and consumers will benefit from lower potash prices.

Aug 30, 2013 09:59 UTC

China growth index: Good month for train-spotters

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

Breakingviews’ forward guide to China’s economy has picked up, including rail freight volumes, an important sign of domestic demand. Summer’s PMI readings also improved. But most of the alternative growth indicators remain negative. Things are far from full steam ahead.

Aug 30, 2013 09:56 UTC

Xiaomi can’t afford to let its hype go to waste

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By John Foley

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

Xiaomi has poached one of Google’s top executives – but can it steal Silicon Valley’s tech crown? The Chinese smartphone maker already outsold Apple’s iPhone in the Chinese market in the second quarter of 2013. Its valuation has ballooned from $4 billion to $10 billion in a year, based on a recent capital increase. Hiring former Googler Hugo Barra will fuel the hype; Xiaomi shouldn’t waste it.

Aug 29, 2013 13:32 UTC

Fracking may change U.S. foreign policy for good

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By Rob Cox and Christopher Swann
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

 

Fracking may be changing U.S. foreign policy. The abundant supply of hydrocarbons made accessible by hydraulic fracturing has nudged the United States the closest it’s been to energy independence in a generation and also creates a buffer for the global oil price. While all of this is relatively recent, the shift may give Uncle Sam new latitude in handling knotty affairs in Syria and throughout the Middle East.

Aug 29, 2013 10:46 UTC

The euro’s serene summer may come to an abrupt end

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

The euro has been a haven of stability during a summer that has seen government bond yields leap, stocks crumble, and emerging markets slide. But the mood is souring. Some investors are so convinced the currency will weaken against the dollar that they are paying hefty premiums to express their bearishness in the options market.

Aug 29, 2013 09:28 UTC

Currency market’s rude wakeup call stirs Indonesia

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

It took a rude wakeup call from the currency market to stir Indonesia’s central bank. At an emergency meeting on Aug. 29, the monetary authority raised its benchmark and overnight deposit rates. It’s a decision Bank Indonesia should have made at its last official gathering less than two weeks ago. An obsession with economic growth stayed its hand.

Aug 28, 2013 14:27 UTC

West faces only high-cost options in Syria

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By Una Galani

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

Western powers readying to strike Syria must weigh the price of doing nothing against the likely negative impact from an intervention. The form of the military action will matter, but in this sectarian war, all options are fraught with risks.

Aug 28, 2013 09:41 UTC

China’s consumers aren’t living up to sales pitch

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By John Foley

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

Consumer brands in China are finding their rewards aren’t quite as advertised. Growth in purchases of a wide range of goods has slowed sharply over the past year, and companies ranging from Samsonite to Apple are reporting disappointing Chinese sales figures. Consumers in the world’s second-largest economy will have their day, but the idea they alone can sustain growth looks threadbare.