Global Investing

Three snapshots for Monday

March 12, 2012

China’s trade balance plunged $31.5 billion into the red in February as imports swamped exports.  It followed reports on Friday that inflation cooled in February while retail sales and industrial output fell below forecast, all pointing to a gradual cooling.

Oil prices — Geopolitics or growth?

March 5, 2012

It’s the economy, stupid. Or isn’t it?

Brent crude has risen 15 percent since the end of last year, focusing people’s minds on the potential this has to choke off the recovery in world growth. But some reckon it is the recovery that’s at least partly responsible for the surging oil prices — economic data from United States and Germany has been strong of late. There are hopes that France and the United Kingdom may escape recession after all. And growth in the developing world has been robust.

The missing barrels of oil

February 24, 2012

Where are the missing barrels of oil, asks Barclays Capital.

Oil inventories in the United States rose sharply last week, with demand for oil products  such as gasoline at the lowest in 15 years and crude stockpiles at the highest since last September. Americans, pinched in the wallet, are clearly cutting back on fuel use.

Being chic and not saving

February 23, 2012

Japanese people are generally regarded as saving a lot and not spending much, but in olden times when Tokyo was called Edo (until the mid-19th century), it was considered iki (chic or sophisticated) not to keep one’s earnings overnight.

Beneath the Greek bailout hopes…

February 17, 2012

Who’s tired of the ”Markets up on Greece, markets down on Greece” headlines of the past few weeks? (I am.)

A scar on Bahrain’s financial marketplace

February 16, 2012

Bahrain’s civil unrest — which had a one-year anniversary this week — has taken a toll on the local economy and left a deep scar on the Gulf state’s aspiration to become an international financial hub.

Euro periphery: Lehman-type shock still on cards

February 13, 2012

The passing of Greek austerity measures is fuelling a rally in peripheral debt today with Italian, Spanish and Portuguese yields falling across the curve.

Facial, massage, dating… In search of recession-proof industries

February 8, 2012

Facial, massage and dating… what do they have in common?

These are the industries which seem to be recession-proof and saw improved sales and revenues in recent months.

Iran looms larger on Gulf radar screens

January 19, 2012

Tensions over Iran may be helping to push up oil prices as traders worry about a widespread embargo on the country’s crude oil but markets in neighbouring Gulf energy-rich economies are not benefiting.

from MacroScope:

Are Treasuries the new JGBs?

December 21, 2011

Anemic economic growth in the United States has sparked fears the country was entering a Japan-style “lost decade.” The comparison also has implications for government bond markets. Some traders see the U.S. Treasury market’s new, lower-yielding structure as eerily reminiscent of trading patterns seen in JGBs (Japanese government bonds). Says George Goncalves at Nomura: