UK politics thrown up in the air

By Mike Peacock
November 21, 2014

Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, cheers as it is announced that UKIP candidate Mark Reckless won the by-election at Medway Park in Gillingham

As predicted, Britain’s surging anti-EU party UKIP snatched a second parliamentary seat from the ruling Conservatives overnight.

EU uneasy about Hungary’s closeness to Russia

By Mike Peacock
November 19, 2014

Hungary's PM Orban arrives at an EU leaders summit in Brussels

After Germany’s foreign minister saw “no reason for optimism” after talks in Moscow on Tuesday, today Hungary’s Peter Szijjarto meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Violence is on the rise again in eastern Ukraine and tougher sanctions against Russia remain a live possibility although EU foreign ministers limited themselves to targeting a few more Ukrainian separatists earlier this week.

Will Germany’s Q4 get any better?

By Mike Peacock
November 18, 2014

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange

Germany’s ZEW index will give an indication of whether the fourth quarter will be any better for Europe’s largest economy after it barely escaped recession in Q3. In October, the index dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years.

Draghi back in the dock

By Mike Peacock
November 17, 2014

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European Central Bank President Mario Draghi faces lengthy interrogation at the European Parliament today.

The rouble and the hryvnia

By Mike Peacock
November 11, 2014

A reflection of a yearly chart of U.S. dollars and Russian roubles are seen on rouble notes in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw

Ukraine’s currency shed nearly 5 percent on Monday after a weekend that saw the heaviest shelling in a month of the main rebel stronghold in the east and signs that Moscow had dispatched troops and tanks to reinforce separatists. The prospect that a two-month-old ceasefire could collapse has helped drive the currency 12 percent lower since the central bank abandoned an unofficial peg a week ago.

Nearing a gas deal

By Mike Peacock
October 21, 2014

A pressure meter and gas pipes are pictured at Oparivske gas underground storage in Lviv region

Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers are due to meet European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger in Brussels after presidents Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin said they had agreed on the “basic parameters” of a deal to get gas flowing to Ukraine again this winter.

Franco-German meeting

By Mike Peacock
October 20, 2014

German Finance Minister Schaeuble and his French counterpart Sapin attend news briefing after talks in Berlin

The big question of the week is whether financial market gyrations continue, worsen or calm. European stocks are being called higher at the open.

Putin – is he ready to deal?

By Mike Peacock
October 17, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Poroshenko are due to meet on the sidelines of the EU/Asia summit in Milan today to try to find a way out of the Ukraine crisis.

Market selloff – blip or new crisis?

By Mike Peacock
October 16, 2014

A trader watches the screen in his terminal on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York

A two-day summit of EU and Asian leaders, which was going to be most notable for a meeting between the heads of Russia and Ukraine, risks being overtaken by financial market tremors which have spread worldwide.

ECB in the dock

By Mike Peacock
October 14, 2014

Protestors left some barbed wire in front of the euro sign landmark outside the headquarters of the ECB before its monthly news conference in Frankfurt

The European Court of Justice holds a first hearing on the legality of the European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transactions programme. There won’t be anything definitive today but it serves to rekindle debate about the limits of the ECB’s powers.