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.

Could Yemen prompt an oil rally?

By Mike Peacock
March 27, 2015

 
Shi'ite Muslim rebels hold up their weapons during a rally against air strikes in Sanaa

Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has fled his refuge in Aden for Saudi Arabia as Houthi rebels battled with his forces on the outskirts of the southern port city.

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.

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.

Tsipras seeking mercy from Merkel

By Mike Peacock
March 23, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras, EU Parliament President Schulz and Germany's Chancellor Merkel attend a EU leaders summit in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Angela Merkel in Berlin late today.

The strategy in Athens seems to be to seek mercy from EU leaders, going over the heads of euro zone finance ministers and the European Central Bank and IMF, hoping that they will see the broad political cost of a Greek collapse rather than focus on the nitty gritty of funding and required economic reforms.
That doesn’t look like a winning strategy.

Bibi rides again

By Mike Peacock
March 18, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv

Not for the first time, Benjamin Netanyahu has defied the odds and snatched electoral victory from the jaws of defeat.
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog has just conceded although he has not given up hope of forming a coalition government if Netanyahu fails to.