Special Reports

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Commodity dollars bounce back on easing headwinds but outlook remains as clouded as ever – Special Report

Posted on September 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm GMT

Commodity-driven currencies such as the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars are enjoying a bit of a reprieve from an extended sell-off as rekindled hopes of a US-China trade deal and increased stimulus around the world have energized the struggling currencies. But despite early indications that the upcoming trade talks may actually produce substantive progress, the range of factors weighing on the aussie, kiwi and loonie means more downside is likely to come. The ongoing trade war has dented the [..]

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Salvini may have thrown a boomerang – Special Report

Posted on August 26, 2019 at 2:03 pm GMT

Matteo Salvini, the right-wing League Deputy Prime Minister, fired up a political crisis in Italy after pulling support for the coalition government earlier this month, forcing the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to resign and the marriage with the leftist Five Star Movement (M5S) to break down. Starting consultation with the main political parties, President Sergio Matarella will push efforts to form a new alliance and avoid snap elections before the 2020 budget discussions with the EU start. The plan, however, [..]

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Can monetary and fiscal stimulus save the global economy from Trump’s trade war? – Special Report

Posted on August 23, 2019 at 11:04 am GMT

Stock markets around the world have rebounded this week as talk of stimulus in China and Germany has given rise to hopes that pre-emptive action by policymakers can avert a global economic downturn triggered by President Trump’s protectionist policies. But with a US-China trade deal fast slipping away, do governments and central banks have enough firepower to prevent a new global crisis from unfolding? World interest rates have hit rock bottom With interest rates in most advanced economies not recovering [..]

Will German fiscal stimulus be too little, too late? – Special Report

Posted on August 22, 2019 at 9:30 am GMT

The euro area is on the brink of yet another crisis, with Germany likely to enter a technical recession soon, as the export-heavy economy feels the burn of the US-China trade war and of Brexit worries. Although the ECB is preparing another dose of easing, monetary policy is already exhausted, and fiscal policy needs to step up. Sadly, any German stimulus is unlikely to be large and may take long to arrive, so any sustained rebound in the euro seems [..]

As the trade war fires up, what’s next for markets? – Special Report

Posted on August 8, 2019 at 12:36 pm GMT

The trade war between Washington and Beijing has flared up, and looks likely to intensify even further, as Trump may use the conflict to score political points ahead of the 2020 US election. In the markets, while stocks may feel some pain, stimulus by the major central banks will likely offset part of those losses. Instead, a far better proxy for any future escalation may be the Japanese yen, which could appreciate further both through the risk sentiment channel and [..]

What’s next for sterling as Britain flirts with a no-deal Brexit? – Special Report

Posted on July 19, 2019 at 1:22 pm GMT

The British pound remains in the eye of the storm, as markets are waking up to the risk that a no-deal Brexit in October may be incoming Prime Minister Johnson’s preferred route. The coming week will be decisive, as the Cabinet ministers Johnson picks could reveal much about his strategy. As for sterling, the picture remains grim and a revisit of the $1.20 zone – or beyond – shouldn’t be ruled out, with signals for a General Election or a [..]

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As central banks move to cut rates again, how much lower can they go? – Special Report

Posted on July 11, 2019 at 3:10 pm GMT

As sovereign bond yields around the world take a nosedive in anticipation of rate cuts by major central banks, the question once again being asked is how low can interest rates go. With rates in many regions such as Europe and Japan already in negative territory, have central banks run out of adequate scope to conduct effective policy easing? Bond yields tumble on recession fears Slowing growth and worries of a possible recession in the United States and elsewhere have [..]

Gold rides the ‘perfect wave’ higher – Special Report

Posted on June 21, 2019 at 10:57 am GMT

The world’s oldest safe haven recorded extraordinary gains lately, as the ‘perfect combination’ of falling interest rates, a declining dollar, and general risk aversion amid recession and geopolitical fears fueled the rally. Given that these forces seem unlikely to abate anytime soon, the outlook for gold remains bright, with the key risk to this view being a potential trade ‘ceasefire’ that calms markets down. The global economy is clearly losing momentum, with uncertainty emanating from trade tensions holding back business [..]

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May’s “new, bold” Brexit deal is dead on arrival; pound’s outlook turns grim – Special Report

Posted on May 23, 2019 at 7:19 am GMT

Theresa May’s last-ditch attempt to secure support for her hard-fought Brexit deal failed dramatically on Tuesday with the beleaguered UK prime minister facing strong criticism from opposition parties as well as her own MPs. The pound has slumped on the overwhelmingly negative response to May’s tweaked Brexit offer to Parliament as a disorderly exit from the European Union once again started to look like a realistic prospect. After promising a “new, bold offer” on the Brexit deal, May was struggling [..]

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Euro could have a cold June – Special Report

Posted on May 21, 2019 at 2:55 pm GMT

The Eurozone’s currency has been driving on a slippery road for more than a year now and even if the 19-member bloc doubled its growth in the first quarter of 2019, downside risks in both the political and economic spheres continue to linger in the background, flagging another tough month for the euro.  In the first three months of the year, GDP growth in the Eurozone was 0.4% q/q, which was twice the increase in the fourth quarter of 2018 according [..]

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