Timing of first Bank of England rate hike still a guessing game

February 5, 2015

BA year and a half after Citi became the first major bank to pencil a Bank of England interest rate hike into their forecasts, nobody appears to be any more sure of when this actually will happen.

Another reverse for Greece with Berlin yet to come

By Mike Peacock
February 5, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis answers journlists questions at restaurant in Frankfurt

Last night, after Greece’s new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return for funding, shifting the burden onto Greece’s central bank to finance its lenders, the latest reverse for the country’s new government.

Greeks on tour

By Mike Peacock
February 4, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras gestures during a news conference with his Italian counterpart Renzi at Chigi palace in Rome

The Greek roadshow continues with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. After that, he will head to Paris to see French President Francois Hollande.

Greece – a deal to be done?

By Mike Peacock
February 3, 2015

Greek PM Tsipras attends a memorial ceremony at the Imprisoned Graves in Nicosia

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Rome for talks with Italy’s Matteo Renzi and will be met there by his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who has already been to London and Paris to try the scope for a new debt deal for Greece and reassure investors that there won’t be a default.

Rampant inflation to keep Russian central bank tight

By Mike Peacock
January 30, 2015

Russian roubles are seen in this illustration picture taken in Moscow

Russia’s central bank meets having shoved interest rates up to an eye-watering 17 percent late last year.
The central bank has said rates can only come down if inflation was trending lower. It was running above 11 percent last month and the government expects it to peak at 17 percent.

EU ponders another round of Russia sanctions

By Mike Peacock
January 29, 2015

Ukrainian servicemen sit atop an armored personnel carrier as they patrol Orekhovo village in Luhansk

EU foreign ministers hold an extraordinary meeting today after their leaders have asked them to consider possible new sanctions on Russia. A final decision to impose them is likely to be left to their bosses who meet in next month and again in March.

Russia invites new sanctions

By Mike Peacock
January 28, 2015

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a street near the burning building after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian separatists said they had pushed government troops out of two districts on the outskirts of their main stronghold Donetsk and their aim was to expand control to the entire eastern region.

Ripples from ECB even before it acts

By Mike Peacock
January 20, 2015

Draghi.jpg

The prospect of dramatic European Central Bank action – coupled with the deflationary threat posed by a plunge in the price of oil and the pain it inflicts on oil producing countries – is putting the financial system under growing stress.

Volatility back with a bang

By Mike Peacock
January 16, 2015

The logo of the SNB is seen at the entrance of the SNB in Bern

Volatility is back with a bang.

The Swiss franc leapt by an unprecedented 40 percent at one point after the Swiss National Bank scrapped its currency cap out of the blue. Oil may have bounced but it’s still down the thick end of 60 percent since mid-2014, dragging the rouble and other oil-producer currencies with it. Copper, generally a barometer of world industrial demand, is barely finding its feet after plunging this week.

Politics to trump law in QE decision

By Mike Peacock
January 15, 2015

Deutsche Bundesbank President Weidmann arrives for the annual news conference in Frankfurt

If the law was the ultimate arbiter, the European Central Bank would have the most verdant of green lights for an unlimited bond-buying programme with new money. In reality, politics and German concerns will dictate.