Gas talks resume

By Mike Peacock
May 30, 2014

Fresh talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission in Berlin will aim to resolve a gas price dispute that Moscow has warned could make it cut off supplies next week.

PMIs next signpost for ECB

By Mike Peacock
May 22, 2014

Following a mixed bag of euro zone GDP data last week which showed Germany charging on and Spain holding its own but France stagnating and Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands slipping back into contraction, flash PMI surveys for the euro zone, Germany and France certainly have the power to jolt the markets today.

Putin desperately seeking gas deal

By Mike Peacock
May 20, 2014

Ukraine seems to be in something of a holding pattern before Sunday’s election though the question of how those polls can be securely conducted in parts of the country where pro-Russian rebels want to secede remains a very live one.

Why EU elections can matter

By Mike Peacock
May 19, 2014

Some interesting action over the weekend: in a foretaste of this week’s EU elections, Greece’s leftist, anti-bailout Syriza party performed strongly in the first round of local elections on Sunday, capitalizing on voter anger at ongoing government austerity policies.

France flatlining

By Mike Peacock
May 15, 2014

We get a flood of EU GDP reports today. Germany’s figure, just out, has marginally exceeded forecasts with quarterly growth of 0.8 percent but France is underperforming again and stagnated in the first three months of the year, missing estimates of 0.2 percent growth.

Strong euro may be a monster Draghi can’t tame

May 13, 2014

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), addresses the media during his monthly news conference at the ECB headquarters in FrankfurtECB President Mario Draghi may have created a monster when he declared nearly two years ago that he will do “whatever it takes” to save the euro.

Ukraine fissure

By Mike Peacock
May 12, 2014

Pro-Moscow rebels declared a resounding victory in Sunday’s referendum on self-rule for eastern Ukraine, with some saying that meant independence and others eventual union with Russia. On the ground, fighting appears to be getting increasingly out of control.

Will sanctions bite?

By Mike Peacock
April 30, 2014

Financial markets may view the latest sanctions against Russia as feeble, but the reaction from Moscow – Vladimir Putin threatened to reconsider Western participation in energy deals and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said they were the work of weak politicians – suggests otherwise.

More hope than conviction for euro zone inflation rebound

April 29, 2014

ECB President Mario Draghi has a friend in euro zone economists of late. They tend to line up and take his view, at least when it comes to forecasting inflation.

Obama impatient with EU over Russia

By Mike Peacock
April 28, 2014

The G7 has said tougher sanctions on Russia could be imposed as soon as today. EU ambassadors  are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels.