Currency concerns everywhere

By Mike Peacock
March 24, 2015

A bureau de change operator counts U.S. currency notes in Abuja

Currency concerns in the central banking world have come to the fore again.

Sweden cut interest rates further into negative territory out of the blue last week, fearing its strong currency will engender deflation. The Swiss National Bank said it would aim to weaken what it sees as a “significantly overvalued” franc. And the Bank of England flagged the risk that sterling could strengthen further and leave inflation below target for longer.

Euro zone private lending set to take a small, but crucial, step up

March 23, 2015

RTR4MHNF.jpgThe recent green shoots emerging out of the euro zone economy could look a little more leafy on Thursday when data is likely to show a long-awaited recovery in private bank lending is starting to pick up pace.

Tsipras seeking mercy from Merkel

By Mike Peacock
March 23, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras, EU Parliament President Schulz and Germany's Chancellor Merkel attend a EU leaders summit in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Angela Merkel in Berlin late today.

The strategy in Athens seems to be to seek mercy from EU leaders, going over the heads of euro zone finance ministers and the European Central Bank and IMF, hoping that they will see the broad political cost of a Greek collapse rather than focus on the nitty gritty of funding and required economic reforms.
That doesn’t look like a winning strategy.

Differing accounts after late-night Greek talks

March 20, 2015

Hollande, Merkel, Dijsselbloem, Juncker, Tsipras, Tusk and officials during an EU leaders summit in Brussel

After late-night talks in Brussels with key EU leaders and institutional chiefs, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras assured his creditors that he would soon present a full set of economic reforms in order to unlock cash to stave off bankruptcy.

Brazil’s job market hints at more painful downturn

March 19, 2015

A job promoter sits close to list of job offers posted along a main street in downtown Sao Paulo

The rapid erosion of Brazil’s job market is taking most economists by surprise, an analysis of Reuters Polls data shows, in a worrying sign that already-grim expectations for Latin America’s largest economy have not been pessimistic enough.

Tsipras’ High Noon

By Mike Peacock
March 19, 2015

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EU leaders gather for a two-day summit with Greece and Ukraine eclipsing the official economic and energy policy agenda.

Patient: Fed may drop the word, not the idea

March 18, 2015

RTR4R4RY.jpgFed Chair Janet Yellen may signal later today that she is no longer patient about when to consider raising rates but any eventual hike is likely to come after June, judging by how many key economic reports so far this year have undercut expectations.

Bibi rides again

By Mike Peacock
March 18, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv

Not for the first time, Benjamin Netanyahu has defied the odds and snatched electoral victory from the jaws of defeat.
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog has just conceded although he has not given up hope of forming a coalition government if Netanyahu fails to.

Decision day in Israel

By Mike Peacock
March 17, 2015

Combination picture of Isaac Herzog, co-leader of the centre-left Zionist Union party, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israelis are going to the polls with the last opinion polls suggesting momentum had shifted to opposition Zionist Union after weeks of running neck-and-neck with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.

Euro may not be on a one-way road to parity

March 17, 2015

RTR4SXKP.jpgSigns the euro zone economy may have turned a corner just as many begin to question the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike could soon put a floor under the euro after a 13 percent plunge so far this year.