Moment of truth in Ukraine

By Mike Peacock
August 12, 2014

A Ukrainian serviceman guards a checkpoint near Donetsk

Financial markets perked up on Monday after Russia called off military exercises near the Ukraine border but was the confidence well founded?

End game in east Ukraine?

By Mike Peacock
August 11, 2014

A Ukrainian serviceman sits on a military armoured vehicle near Donetsk

Ukrainian government forces say they are preparing for the final stage of recapturing the city of Donetsk from pro-Russian separatist rebels after shelling its outskirts and making significant gains over the weekend.

When Mario met Jean-Claude

By Mike Peacock
August 6, 2014

European Central Bank President Draghi and Eurogroup President -Juncker talk during a news conference in Nicosia, Cyprus

A day before the European Central Bank’s monthly policy meeting, ECB President Mario Draghi will travel to Luxembourg for talks with incoming European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Oh to be a fly on the wall.

The Scottish question

By Mike Peacock
August 5, 2014

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond smiles as he watches a diving event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh

Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond and former British finance minister Alistair Darling, who is fronting the campaign to remain part of the United Kingdom, go head-to-head in the first and possibly only live television debate of the campaign. It is a bigger moment for Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, who must garner a shift in the polls which consistently put his “Yes” campaign significantly behind with the referendum only six weeks away.

ECB’s fingers crossed for private loans growth

August 4, 2014

Mostly bereft of policy options except for outright quantitative easing, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hopes that hundreds of billions of euros more in cheap loans to banks will boost inflation.

A reminder that all is not well in the euro zone

By Mike Peacock
August 4, 2014

Bank of Portugal Governor Costa arrives to read a statement in Lisbon

A reminder that while the euro zone crisis may be in abeyance, it still has the ability to bite.

Britain’s export recovery looking a little more elusive

August 1, 2014

It looks like Britain might have to wait a while longer before its much-touted export recovery materialises.

Q3 rebound but at cost of price cutting?

By Mike Peacock
August 1, 2014

A woman walks past a shop in Madrid

Manufacturing PMI surveys across the euro zone and for Britain are due. The emerging pattern is of an improving third quarter after a generally poor second three months of the year.

Another month, another downside surprise on euro zone inflation

July 31, 2014

sale signsNobody except a born pessimist ever expects a bad situation to get incrementally worse.

Euro zone inflation to fall further?

By Mike Peacock
July 31, 2014

draghi.jpg

Euro zone inflation is the big figure of the day. The consensus forecast is it for hold at a paltry 0.5 percent. Germany’s rate came in as predicted at 0.8 percent on Wednesday but Spain’s was well short at -0.3 percent. So there is clearly a risk that inflation for the currency bloc as a whole falls even further.