Market Updates

“Italy’s Election…..”

Italy will go to the polls on the 4th March. The latest polls point to a hung parliament, where no one party or coalition has a majority to form a government. Should this happen, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, will call on parties to form a broader coalition of pre-election adversaries which could include the ruling centre-left Democratic Party and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

“The Job Market In France ….”

The unemployment rate in France dropped below nine per cent for the first time since 2009. The rate fell to 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year from 9.6 per cent in the previous three months according to national statistics office INSEE. This was the steepest drop since the 2008 financial crisis.

“The International Monetary Fund and Christine Lagarde…..”

According to Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), sharp swings in global financial markets in the past few days are not worrying since economic growth is strong but reforms are still needed to avert future crises. She further added that economies are also supported by plenty of financing available.

“Volatility Surge …..”

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX index) which is a gauge of market expectations of near-term volatility breached 50 to touch its highest level since the China devaluation of the yuan in 2015. What has begun with rising bond yields became a selloff across the global equity markets last week, as investors feared the return of inflation and higher rates which could erode profitability for companies already trading at high valuations.

“At Yellen’s Last Meeting, Rates left unchanged…..”

The policy meeting held on Wednesday was the last one for Janet Yellen as Fed Chair and head of the central Bank. The Committee had unanimously selected Powell to succeed Yellen, effective 3rd February. Powell who is a Fed governor has worked closely with Yellen, was nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the US Senate.

“Greece Credit Rating Raised….”

S&P Global Ratings upgraded the country’s credit ratings for the first time in two years by raising it one level, helping the government’s plan to continue a bond-market comeback this year. The country’s long-term foreign currency debt was upgraded to B with a positive outlook from B-, according to S&P.

“Bitcoin’s Stumble…..”

This week saw major digital currencies suffering declines, with the bitcoin dropping below $10,000 bringing its loss to almost 50 percent from a record a month ago as scrutiny from regulators around the world weighs on the digital coin craze. Other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and litecoin also stumbled.

“Euro-Area Inflation …..”

As the year came to an end and with solid economic growth, euro area inflation slowed to 1.4 percent in December from 1.5 percent in November. The data highlights the difficulty for the ECB in judging when to withdraw from the stimulus measures, although …..

“Storm In The US …..”

A massive storm is threatening Eastern United States with flooding, snow, ice and high winds. In view of this, thousands of flights have been cancelled and weather warnings issued. Schools in New York and Boston are closed.

“Trump’s First Major Legislative Win…..”

On Friday President Trump signed the Republican tax overhaul bill giving a major tax cut to US corporations along with a package of temporary cuts to other businesses and most individuals. Before signing the legislation Trump told reporters …..

“The Catalan Vote…..”

Catalan election on 21st December gave voters another chance to express their view as to whether the region will persist with its drive for independence or remain within Spain. The vote was called in October when the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy fired the Catalan government …..

“Bitcoin Futures Contracts…..”

On Sunday the trading in bitcoin futures started on Cboe Global Markets Inc. This is a milestone in the digital currency world which has been spurred in part by bitcoin’s rise this year. What are futures contracts? Futures contracts derive their value …..

Timberland Finance,
Aragon House Business Centre,
Dragonara Road,
St Julian’s, STJ 3140,