Will manifestos move the UK election dial?

By Mike Peacock
April 13, 2015

Labour leader Miliband speaks at a joint news conference in Edinburgh

Britain’s main political parties will publish their election manifestos this week after what seems likes weeks of campaigning already, none of which has significantly shifted the polls putting the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour party neck-and-neck.
Labour will launch its manifesto today with the Conservatives following on Tuesday.

Greeks seeking Russian gifts?

By Mike Peacock
April 8, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras addresses a news conference after an EU leaders summit in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in Moscow.

There has been talk from some in his Syriza party that Russia could be a substitute for EU support. Western sanctions over Ukraine leave it in no position to give Greece funding though the agriculture minister said Moscow could consider removing Greece, Hungary and Cyprus from its ban on most Western food imports, imposed in response to sanctions imposed by the EU and United States.

Completing the Q1 euro zone picture

By Mike Peacock
April 7, 2015

Shoppers look for goods in a Karstadt hot deal department store in  in Frankfurt/Oder

Service sector PMI surveys for euro zone members, Britain and others in March will complete a first quarter picture which has generally shown the currency bloc outperforming the United States and China.

Reading the ECB runes

By Mike Peacock
April 2, 2015

European Central Bank President Draghi and Vice President Constancio leave after addressing an ECB news conferenc in Frankfurt

The European Central Bank will release minutes – or what it likes to call its account – of the last policy meeting after which it launched into quantitative easing.

Greek talks stymied

By Mike Peacock
April 1, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis walks past  Eurogroup Chairman Dijsselbloem at a euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Greek negotiations are not moving much and an agreement before the Easter break looks increasingly unlikely.

Change in Nigeria?

By Mike Peacock
March 31, 2015

All Progressives Congresses presidential candidate and Nigeria's former military ruler Muhammodu Buhari addresses a news conference outside his house after he voted in Daura

A result in Nigeria’s close-fought election is due to be announced later. With votes from only six of 36 states uncounted, opposition contender Muhammadu Buhari has a lead of over 2.5 million votes over President Goodluck Jonathan.

Greek plan – a detailed programme or vague list of ideas?

By Mike Peacock
March 30, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras leave after addressing news conference in Berlin

The Greek government has sent a reform package to its EU and International Monetary Fund creditors, hoping it will unlock desperately needed funds to stave off bankruptcy.

Yemen slides into civil war

By Mike Peacock
March 26, 2015

A Houthi fighter walks on a vehicle damaged by an air strike at a residential area near Sanaa Airport

Dramatic escalation in Yemen overnight with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launching military operations including air strikes in Yemen to counter Iran-allied forces besieging the southern city of Aden where the U.S.-backed president is holed up.

Waiting for the Greek list

By Mike Peacock
March 25, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras leave after addressing news conference in Berlin

The Greek government could produce at any time a list of economic reforms which it hopes will prompt a flood of funds from its creditors.

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.