Weekly Financial News Report

February 12 2016

News:

Past week market changes:

Gold (To: $1,154.50) (+3.34%)
Qatar (+2.38%)
UAE (+2.13%)
Johannesburg (+1.24%)
China (+0.95%)
Oil (To: $32.31) (-10.23%)
Germany (-5.22%)
France (-4.90%)
Japan (-3.99%)
UK (-3.87%)
USA (-3.10%)
Hong Kong (-2.01%)
India (-1.02%)
Saudi (-0.39%)

GBP/ZAR R22.98

USD/ZAR R15.89

GBP/USD $1.44

AUD/USD $0.70

EUR/USD $1.13

Past week’s market news:

  • The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January helping to push the country’s unemployment rate down to 4.9% its lowest level since early 2008, also the average hourly wage rose by 0.5%, to $25.39 in the USA.
  • The Eurozone entered its fourth year of recovery.
  • For a sixth consecutive month, China’s manufacturing sector contracted, reaching its lowest level since 2012.
  • British Telecom reports best quarterly profits in seven years.
  • BP has announced thousands of fresh job cuts as it crashed to a £3.6bn ($5.2bn) annual loss for 2015.
  • Eurozone unemployment at lowest since September 2011.
  • Shell has confirmed it is slashing 10,000 jobs.
  • Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse announced on Thursday it would make 4,000 job cuts.
  • Goldman Sachs Video: Oil storage at capacity – Head of Commodity Research Goldman Sachs on CNBC http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/25/crude-storage-at-capacity-goldmans-currie.html

 

 

September 9 2015

News:

Past week market changes:

Japan (-7.02%)
India (-4.51%)
Hong Kong (-3.57%)
USA (-3.40%)
UK (-3.28%)
France (-3.25%)
Germany (-2.53%)
China (-2.23%)
South Africa (-1.73%)
UAE (-1.69%)
Gold (To: $1,120.97) (-1.28%)
Oil (To: $49.86) (-0.38%)

GBP/ZAR R21.01

USD/ZAR R13.68

GBP/USD $1.53

AUD/USD $0.70

EUR/USD $1.11

Past weeks market news:

  • During the first six months of this year, trading volumes in European equity surged by as much as 28% compared to 2014, hitting totals of €6.36 trillion, seeing US banks dominating the charts.
  • The Athex, the main stock index in Athens finished its first day of trading after a five-week close with a decline of 16.23%.
  • In roughly three weeks, the value of China’s and Russia’s gold reserves have fallen by US$5.4 billion, however China bought 19 tonnes of gold last month.
–          Twitter shares hit an all-time low, wiping off over 10% of their value in one week.

–          Global demand for oil is currently growing at its fastest pace in five years.

–          Greece caught investors off guard as it revealed that its economy has grown in the second quarter, thereby marking the end of a short-lived recession.

–          The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped to a four year low.

–          Greece repaid €3.4 bn to the European Central Bank (ECB).

–          China’s Black Monday – what the stock market slide means for mortgages, pensions and investments: Black Monday spelled bad news for global markets, after an 8.5 per cent fall in the Shanghai index sent the FTSE 100 down more than 4 per cent in a day, wiping $74 billion in value from the UK’s top 100 companies…Read More HERE.

–          Switzerland unexpectedly avoided a recession last quarter as investment and private consumption helped return the economy to growth.

–          Eurozone unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in three years, hitting 10.9 per cent in July.

–          Slowing growth in China and ongoing stock market doubt pose a threat to global economic growth, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

 

 

August 2 2015

News:

Past week market changes:

China (+2.87%)
UAE (+1.87%)
Gold (Now: 1095.8) (-4.28%)
UK (-2.88%)
Germany (-2.79%)
USA (-2.21%)
France (-1.31%)
India (-1.23%)
Hong Kong (-1.13%)
Oil (Now: 52.21) (-1.01%)
Japan (-0.52%)

 

GBP/ZAR R19.82

USD/ZAR R12.69

GBP/USD $1.56

AUD/USD $0.73

EUR/USD $1.09

 

Past weeks market news:

 

Eurozone leaders have reached a compromise deal over a new Greek rescue plan after an agreement done by Angela Merkel, François Hollande and Alexis Tsipras.

The UK’s annual inflation rate sank back to zero during the month of June.

UK property prices kept rising throughout the beginning of this year up to May, by 5.7%.

For the first time since 2013, unemployment in the UK unexpectedly rose in the three months to May.

Janet Yellen has said that the US Federal Reserve is still very much on course with boosting interest rates later this year.

Last week, european stocks are on an eight session winning streak as world-wide optimistic drive from easing Greek tensions, a more steady Chinese market and a well-received US earnings season.

British asset managers fork out £2 billion annually to keep in line with regulations from the European Union.

US oil dropped below $50 a barrel and gold traded near a five-year low when a selloff that’s seen commodities drop to the lowest in 13 years.

Apple Inc shares slumped nearly 7% in after-hours trading as its fourth-quarter revenue forecast fell short of estimates and it missed some targets for iPhone sales.

Microsoft has announced a net loss of $3.2bn in Q2.

After years of negotiations, BP has settled the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

Swiss bank UBS saw its profits soar over 50% in the second quarter compared to last year.

UK mortgage approvals surged more than experts predicted last month in a sign of sustained momentum in the housing market.

The strength of the US economy and the job market continue to improve, according to a policy statement released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

 

 

 

July 3 2015

Past week market changes:

France (+5.06%)
Germany (+4.10%)
UAE (+3.72%)
Japan (+2.64%)
India (+1.81%)
Oil (to: $58.79) (+1.43%)
UK (+0.64%)
China (-6.37%)
Gold (to: $1,171.01) (-2.43%)
USA (-0.40%)
Hong Kong (-0.36%)

GBP/ZAR R19.18

USD/ZAR R12.27

GBP/USD $1.56

AUD/USD $0.75

EUR/USD $1.11

Past weeks market news:

The latest deadline has come and gone but there is yet to be a satisfying resolution to the Greek saga, according to various news sources, including the BBC and the Financial Times (FT).

In truth, it is a climax which has been expected for years but Greece’s exit from the Eurozone seems to only be a matter of time now…Read More

Sanctions imposed on Russia last year in the wake of the superpower’s illegal invasion of Ukraine have been extended until the end of January 2016 by EU foreign ministers.

A report has revealed that some of Britain’s largest companies are running retirement schemes with dangerously large deficits…Read More

Even if Greece fails to make a payment to the International Monetary Fund due at the end of June, ratings firms likely won’t describe the country as “in default.”

 

 

June 12 2015

Past week market changes:

China (+8.92%)
UAE (+1.32%)
Oil (to: $59.84) (-4.80%)
India (-3.81%)
UK (-2.57%)
Germany (-1.90%)
France (-1.74%)
Gold (to: $1,189.97) (-1.72%)
USA (-0.69%)
Hong Kong (-0.60%)
Japan (-0.50%)

GBP/ZAR R19.35

USD/ZAR R12.42

GBP/USD $1.55

AUD/USD $0.77

EUR/USD $1.12

Past weeks market news:

The European Central Bank has decided to keep its interest rate unchanged at 0.05% across the 19 countries that use the euro currency.

The US economy created 280,000 jobs last month, up from 221,000 in April, the Bureau of Labour said on Friday, the unemployment rate was 5.5%.

The share sell off by the government for Lloyds Banking Group, originally intended to end by June 30th, is going to be extended to the very end of 2015, December 31st, according to reports by Reuters.

Quantitative easing (QE) by the European Central Bank is putting additional pressure on insurance companies and pension funds which are already having a tough time due to low interest rates.

According to a survey by asset management firm Franklin Templeton Investments, despite being the riskiest asset class in 2015, equities will be providing the best returns for investors for the next ten years, meaning that they are going to attract the biggest allocation.

HSBC will this week set out plans to cut thousands more jobs across its global workforce.

The European Central Bank is set to raise its inflation forecast on Wednesday, saying that its trillion euro-plus asset buying program is already paying off, and may urge Greece to accept a new deal.

Eurozone companies created jobs at the fastest pace in four years last month, according to an influential survey.

Last week, the Bank of France announced that it predicted the country’s economy would begin to pick up again in 2015 with growth of 1.2% after three years of virtual stagnation.

Greece has told the International Monetary Fund that it will delay Friday’s €300m (£216m) debt repayment and bundle all four of its June payments together.

 

 

June 7 2015

Past week market changes:

Nikkei (+1.47%)
Oil to $59.82 (-5.44%)
Germany (-3.40%)
France (-2.62%)
UAE (-2.17%)
Hong Kong (-2.03%)
Gold to $1189.97 (-1.35%)
China (-0.98%)
USA (-0.88%)
UK (-0.67%)
India (-0.46%)

 

GBP/ZAR R19.20

USD/ZAR R12.57

GBP/USD $1.52

AUD/USD $0.76

EUR/USD $1.11

 

Past weeks market news:

Greece has threatened to default on €1.6bn (£1.14bn) of debt repayment due on international bailout loans next month, claiming it does not have the funds to satisfy creditors at the same time as paying wages and pensions.

High unemployment rates in Europe a serious threat to the region’s long-term economic health, central bankers and economists warned during a weekend conference held by the European Central Bank.

A new report says that the UK government is going to be facing an uphill battle to slash the country’s still hefty deficit by Chancellor George Osborne’s targets.

The EU and Switzerland’s work to try and end tax evasion has taken a leap forward as the two have come together to sign an agreement that intends on putting a clamp down on tax evasion.

To make a considerable difference to the markets, the UK GDP would have needed a considerable revision upwards, however, according to Reuters there has been no change to the pace of growth.

Japan’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level since the late 1990s with job vacancies at their highest in 23 years.

Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has warned that a UK exit from the European Union would be “disastrous” for both Britain and Germany.

India’s economy grew 7.5% in Q1, higher than the previous quarter and above expectations.

 

 

 

May 28 2015

Past week market changes:

China (+8.10%)
Germany (+3.21%)
France (+2.99%)
Japan (+2.69%)
India (+2.32%)
UAE (+1.44%)
UK (+1.02%)
Hong Kong (+0.61%)
USA (+0.16%)
Oil  (+0.02%) to $ 64.40
Gold  (-1.29%) to $1,206.20

 

GBP/ZAR R18.49

USD/ZAR R12.10

GBP/USD $1.52

AUD/USD $0.76

EUR/USD $1.08

 

Past weeks market news:

 

UK inflation drops to the negative for the first time since 1960, according to the latest reports from the Financial Times, UK inflation for the month of April has registered at 0.2%, hitting the same note as April but failing to reach expectations of a rise to 0.4%…Read More HERE.

Interest rates have been kept at a historical low of 0.5% as the Bank of England announced its first post-election policy decision.

UK taxpayers make £170 million profit in Lloyds sell off, Lloyds Banking Group has been recovering well over recent quarters making up considerable ground after being brought to its knees by the financial crisis, as share prices rise the UK government has taken advantage and made the decision to reduce its stake in the bank.

Crisis-stricken Greece has fallen back into recession, after the economy contracted by 0.2% in the first three months of the year, but although this recession has yet again hit Greece, it doesn’t seem to be worrying Greek equity and bond investors in the slightest.

Mortgage enquiries jump more than 50% since UK election reports deVere UK, with over a week gone since the UK general election which saw incumbent Prime Minister win an unlikely outright majority in the House of Commons, mortgage enquiries have seen a rise of more than 50%, according to deVere UK Mortgages…Read More HERE.

Goldman Sachs expects oil at $45 by October, Oil prices have recovered with an astonishing speed in the past few weeks, with prices bouncing by more than a third from recent lows…Read More HERE

 

 

May 8 2015

Past week market changes:

Oil (+1.50%) to $63.75
China (+1.09%)
Hong Kong (+0.26%)
Germany (-3.02%
France (-2.98%)
Japan (-2.44%)
India (-1.55%)
UK (-1.20%)
Gold  (-0.45%) to $1,173.09
USA (-0.44%)
UAE (-0.41%)

GBP/ZAR R18.61

USD/ZAR R12.04

GBP/USD $1.54

AUD/USD $0.79

EUR/USD $1.11

Past week market news:

The US economy in the first three months of the year only grew at an annual rate of just 0.2%, far lower than expectations of 1% growth.

The Greek government rearranged its bailout negotiating team, reducing the influence of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who has been criticised for failing to put forward a reform agenda, acceptable to the country’s European creditors.

UK Q1 GDP expanded 0.3% – the slowest rate since Q4 2012 – reflecting a contraction in construction and industrial activity.

Russia’s central bank cut its key interest rate by 150 basis points to 12.5% to offer some relief to the country’s economy as inflation stabilises.

Labour is set to announce plans to scrap stamp duty on homes worth up to £300,000 for first-time buyers.

Brent crude prices held near a 4-1/2 month high above $65 a barrel last Monday.

In the first three months of this year tech giant Apple sold 61.1 million iPhones hitting profits of a staggering £8.9 billion, a 33% rise on the figure from 2014 reports the BBC.

British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to not increase taxes if the Conservative party are re-elected in the May 7 general elections.

British consumer morale held steady at its highest level in more than 12 years in April.

The eurozone’s recent spell of deflation ended this month.

 

 

April 30 2015

News:

Past week market changes:

China (+2.48%)
Oil (+2.21%) to $62.51
Japan (+1.87%)
USD (+1.75%)
Hong Kong (+1.47%)
France (+1.13%)
UK (+1.09%)
Germany (+1.05%)
UAE (+0.18%)
India (-3.53%)
Gold (-2.15%) to $1,178.34

 

GBP/ZAR R18.20

USD/ZAR R11.90

GBP/USD $1.52

AUD/USD $0.79

EUR/USD $1.09

 

Past week market news:

 

The UK’s headline rate of inflation has remained at 0% in March, but will begin to turn “slightly negative” in the next few months but only for a brief period of time.

Low inflation and stronger eurozone growth should help the UK economy expand 2.8% this year despite political uncertainty ahead of the election, according to EY.

British pensions expert, Ros Altmann, will become the new financial services minister in the event that David Cameron’s Conservative Party wins the upcoming general election.

Three out of four home loan enquiries for UK properties in the first quarter of 2015 at deVere Mortgages were from overseas buyers.

The possible formation of a minority government in the UK following May’s general election will likely lead to a “clear” decline in the pound.

In terms of growth, the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) is likely to better the European Union in 10 to 15 years’ time.

In the upcoming UK election, a considerable amount of British expats worldwide, currently a population of 7 million in total, will be considering dropping their UK domicile status in favour of a foreign one should Labour emerge victorious.

In the first three months of 2015, the Russian economy contracted by 2% for the first time since 2009.

Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petrobras has taken a $2bn (£1.3bn) charge for costs related to corruption.

Changes to the amount high-earners can save into their pensions will spark an exodus of doctors, dentists and consultants from the NHS, according to experts.

 

 

April 23 2015

Past week market changes:

China (+6.27%)
Oil (+5.84%) to $59.98
UAE (+2.09%)
Hong Kong (+1.40%)
Germany (-5.54%)
France (-1.85%)
India (-1.51%)
UK (-1.34%)
Japan (-1.28%)
USA (-0.99%)
Gold (-0.25%) to $ 1,204.28

 

GBP/ZAR R18.33

USD/ZAR R12.18

GBP/USD $1.50

AUD/USD $0.77

EUR/USD $1.08

 

Past week market news:

 

During the past week, the Greek government denied reports that it asked the International Monetary Fund to delay its loan repayment of €195.1 billion due on 1st May.

Greek 10-year bond yields ended last week at over 12.5%, and S&P downgraded Greece’s credit rating.

Athens sold 812.5 million euros ($859 million) of three-month Treasury bills last week.

The UK unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, its lowest level since July 2008.

The cost of living in the US rose in March for a third month, signalling inflation is starting to firm.

The UK’s Conservatives said last week that they will take family homes out of inheritance tax by introducing a new allowance which effectively increases the threshold for tax to £1m.

In March, the headline rate of inflation in the UK remained at zero, this is the lowest figure recorded since official monitoring began in 1989, according to the Financial Times.

Toyota announced it will end a three-year, self-imposed break from expansion by building a new $1bn (£672m) plant in Mexico.

President Vladimir Putin said last Thursday Russia’s economy could return to growth in less than two years, even though he considers it unlikely that the West will lift economic sanctions over the Ukraine crisis soon.

 

 

April 17 2015

Past week market changes:

Hong Kong (+7.90%)
China (+4.41%)
Oil (+3.87%) to $55.99
UK (+3.75%)
Germany (+3.40%)
France (+3.28%)
Japan (+2.43%)
India (+2.19%)
USA (+1.70%)
Gold (+0.83%) to $1,207.24
UAE (+0.46%)

 

GBP/ZAR R17.87

USD/ZAR R11.96

GBP/USD $1.49

AUD/USD $0.77

EUR/USD $1.07

 

Past week market news:

 

Hong Kong shares closed the week at a seven-year high as mainland Chinese investors poured money into the market.

Greece met its debt repayment of €450 million to the IMF, but other, much larger, repayments are due within the next few weeks. The country has been given six working days to come up with proposals for a reform agenda.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met Vladimir Putin in Moscow, though he did not ask for financial aid from Russia.

April 6th 2015, saw the implementation of new regulations that are said to provide savers with…Read More HERE

Eurozone confidence is at its highest since 2007, according to a manufacturing survey released last week.

Japan’s shares neared a 15-year high last week after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) maintained its asset purchase programme in an effort to boost the economy.

deVere wins award for ‘Excellence in Independent Financial Advice’ – an award in the Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence Awards 2015…Read More HERE

More than $1.5bn (£1bn) was added to the value of Twitter last week following reports Google could launch a bid for the social network.

The UK Labour party, if victorious in the upcoming round of elections, is planning on doing away with non-domicile tax status. This proposal has been criticised heavily, slammed as “reckless” by the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations…Read More HERE

Athens can breathe again, this comes after a report from Reuters which said that the nation was going to pay out the sum of €450 million to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Bank of England (BoE) has decided to keep record low interest rates in place at 0.5%.

The US Treasury have issued a report warning that America cannot be depended on as the only engine of global growth.

 

 

April 10 2015

Past week market changes:

UAE (+3.85%)
Hong Kong (+3.22%)
India  (+2.92%)
Germany (+0.83%)
France (+0.80%)
Japan (+0.77%)
USA (+0.29%)
Oil (-4.67%) to $53.71
UK (-0.31%)
Gold (-0.28%) to $ 1,197.25

 

GBP/ZAR R17.55

USD/ZAR R12.01

GBP/USD $1.46

AUD/USD $0.76

EUR/USD $1.05

 

Past week market news:

 

Employers in the US created 126,000 jobs in March, fewer than forecast, as the unemployment rate held at 5.5%.

The unemployment rate across the Eurozone fell to 11.3%, its lowest level since May 2012.

Muhammadu Buhari the 72-year-old former military ruler won Nigeria’s presidential election, he pledged to restore stability, boost growth and tackle corruption in Africa’s largest economy and Nigerian stocks ended the month up by 8.8%.

British mortgage approvals reached a six-month high in February, rising for a third straight month, according to Bank of England data.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the UK economy grew at a faster rate than previously predicted.

Royal Dutch Shell has received the go-ahead from the US government to restart a controversial oil exploration campaign in the Alaskan Arctic.

The Greek government made “completely unrealistic promises” to voters that it cannot now fulfil, the former European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, has said.

The new UK pension reforms came into effect as of this week but there is concern that thousands of older people will find themselves with far less hope of State support.

Seven out of 10 people find it ‘shocking’ and ‘unfair’ when they realise taking full advantage of the government’s pension freedom reforms could land them with a surprise tax bill.

 

 

April 1 2015

Past week market changes:

Oil (+4.38%) to $56.92
China (+2.04%)
Gold (+1.34%) to $1,200.63
UAE (+1.15%)
Hong Kong (+0.46%)
India (-2.84%)
UK (-2.39%)
USA (-2.23%)
Germany (-1.42%)
Japan (-1.40%)
France (-1.05%)

 

GBP/ZAR R18.00

USD/ZAR R12.16

GBP/USD $1.48

AUD/USD $0.76

EUR/USD $1.08

 

Past week market news:

 

On Friday, the FTSE reached new highs but a leading analyst at one of the world’s leading independent financial advisory organisations has warned that investors should still remain cautious in their investment approach.

According to a study by think tank Open Europe, the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) could see Britain’s gross domestic product taking a permanent hit of 2.2% by 2030.

Wall Street has given tech giant Apple its first market valuation of $1 trillion.

Up to half a million people could be hit by the “mismanaged and rushed” roll-out of the UK government’s landmark pension reforms.

UK inflation rate fell to 0% in February, the lowest since records began.

Tesco is facing more possible legal action from shareholders, potentially worth billions of pounds, over the retailer’s £263m profit mis-statement.

In the UK, even with inflation dropping to zero, interest rates are likely to rise, said Bank of England (BoE) Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik.

Unless fresh aid is secured for Greece, the country is risking running out of funds by April 20th, according to a Reuters report.

Russia’s currency seems to be heading for its longest uninterrupted streak of gains since 2013.

Oil prices touched a two-week high after Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes into Yemen.

 

 

March 24 2015

Past week market changes:

China (+7.25%)
UK (+4.18%)
Gold (+2.70%) to $1,184.75
USA (+2.66%)
Hong Kong (+2.32%)
Japan (+1.59%)
France (+1.54%)
Germany (+1.16%)
Oil (-3.32%) to $53.61
UAE (-1.97%)
India (-0.85%)

 

GBP/ZAR R17.80

USD/ZAR R11.91

GBP/USD $1.49

AUD/USD $0.78

EUR/USD $1.09

 

Past week market news:

 

During this past week European shares reached a 7 and a half year high whilst the US dollar declined against all of its major peers and fell the most since October 2011.

The UK Chancellor George Osborne, raised his forecast for economic growth this year to 2.5% and for next year to 2.3%.

Greece’s Prime Minister met EU partners in Brussels this week in an attempt to unlock more emergency funding but instead received a dressing down from leaders unhappy with the rhetoric and lack of reform from Athens.

China has become the world’s third largest exporter of arms after the US and Russia.

According to reports from the Financial Times, the inflation rate in the Eurozone for February has been confirmed at -0.3%.

British banking giant Barclays paid £16.5m in shares to its top 11 executives.

Britain’s employment rate climbed to a record high.

The UK defence budget is facing a potential £5bn black hole because the government has underestimated the cost of buying weapons.

The UK public sector borrowed £6.9bn in February, less than forecast by economists.

 

 

March 17 2015

Past week market changes:

China (+4.06%)
Germany (+3.04%)
Japan (+1.49%)
France (+0.93%)
Oil (-4.16%) to $57.31
India (-3.21%)
UK (-2.48%)
UAE (-2.40%)
Gold (-1.86%) to $1153.57
Hong Kong  (-1.41%)
USA (-0.86%)

 

GBP/ZAR R18.25

USD/ZAR R12.37

GBP/USD $1.47

AUD/USD $0.76

EUR/USD $1.06

 

Past week market news:

 

A recent boost in Lloyds Banking Group’s share price has seen the British government jumping at the chance to sell off another package of shares worth £500 million.

Last Monday was the day the landmark bond-buying programme from the European Central Bank (ECB) kicked off.

British airline, Virgin Atlantic, posted its first annual profit in four years with the company announcing its intention to invest more in passenger experience as it celebrates 30 years since its foundation.

Should Britain decide to leave the European Union, it stands a good chance of being left with no friends or influence, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, in fact, the UK would become somewhat of a North Korea of Europe, he also said.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has described his country as the most bankrupt in the world and said European leaders knew all along that Athens would never repay its debts.

Data released last week has shown that China’s economy had slowed down in the first two months of the year for the first time since the global financial crisis eight years ago.

A stress test carried out by the US Federal Reserve, designed to measure whether lenders can endure another financial crisis, has revealed that Santander and Deutsche Bank are not yet strong enough.

The Central Bank in South Korea has driven down its lending rate to a record low of 1.75%.

Today, a long-awaited law was passed through parliament in India that will allow foreign investors to increase stakes in local insurers.

Despite the dramatic slide in oil prices, UK oil and gas companies are expected to create 8,000 jobs over the next two years.

The oil market best brace itself for more volatility as the fallout of the price collapse “has yet to run its course”, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

 

 

March 10 2015

Past week market changes:

Japan

India

France

Germany

UK

USA

(+0.92​%)(+0.78%)(+0.26%)(+1.31%)(-0.50%)(-1.58%)
China (-2.09%)
Hong Kong (-2.66%)
Gold (-3.15%) to $1,175.75
Brent Crude (-3.62%) to $59.82

 

GBP/ZAR R18.45

USD/ZAR R12.23

GBP/USD $1.50

AUD/USD $0.76

EUR/USD $1.07

 

Past week market news:

 

British house prices fell in February for the first time in five months, taking the annual rate of increase to its lowest since September 2013, figures from mortgage lender Nationwide showed last Monday.

UK-listed lender Barclays’ investment bank has a potential fine looming over its head on the suspected manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

More than half of Britain’s over 50s would consider living overseas during their retirement, according to a survey conducted by deVere Group.

Confidence in Greece is on the rise and the bond market is feeling the positivity as lenders look more at ease thanks to the ongoing talks between the new Greek government and the EU on negotiating a third rescue package.

Australia’s economy grew 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014 from what it was a year earlier, however also marks the slowest pace of annual growth for the country in 2014.

The UK government has announced that it is selling its 40% stake in the cross-Channel train operator Eurostar to an Anglo-Canadian consortium for £757.1m.

Although still more than 2% below their 2009-2010 peak, average household incomes are back to pre-crisis levels, research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed.

US businesses added more than 200,000 jobs in February for the 13th straight month.

Virgin Money, the Richard Branson-backed UK challenger bank has reported a massive 127% rise in pre-tax profits for 2014.

The eurozone’s key interest rate has been kept unchanged at 0.05% by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Reports have confirmed that the Eurozone economy has expanded by 0.3% in final quarter of 2014.

 

 

March 4 2015

News:

Past week market changes:

Germany (+3.18%)
Japan (+2.54%)
France (+2.50%)
China (+1.95%)
Oil (+1.72%) to $62.04
UAE (+0.84%)
Gold  (+0.82%) to $1,216.57
UK (+0.45%)
USA (-0.27%)
India (-0.04%)
Hong Kong (-0.04%)

 

GBP/ZAR R18.07

USD/ZAR R11.75

GBP/USD $1.53

AUD/USD $0.78

EUR/USD $1.11

 

Past week market news:

 

US equities posted strong gains in February.

European markets recorded their best start to the year since 1986 and on Friday European stocks hit a fresh seven year intraday high.

The Japanese ended the month at a 15-year high.

Oil registered its biggest monthly gain since 2009 and its first monthly rise since last summer.

Figures issued by the Office for National Statistics reveal that UK government finances showed a surplus of £8.8bn in January in what is the highest surplus for seven years.

HSBC, the global bank currently at the centre of a tax scandal, has blamed a 17% fall in annual profits on the cost of its past mistakes.

Mark Carney made no changes to his position on inflation, reiterating that it will return to the 2% target within two years, according to the Financial Times.

So far this year, Apple has clocked gains of 20% on their shares, the firm is reaching heights never before seen as it market valuation goes beyond $770 billion, more than the entire S&P 600 small-cap index.

The pensions industry in the UK is accusing the government of failing to organise all the different rules for the launch of its overhaul of the retirement market due to happen in six weeks’ time.

The two top HSBC bosses have apologised for “unacceptable” practices at its Swiss private bank which was exposed to have helped clients avoid tax.

It looks like the UK government could soon be offloading the rest of its stake in Lloyds Banking Group as the firm reports that it is enjoying a huge fourfold surge in profits.

 

 

February 25 2015

Past week market changes:

Japan (+2.28%)
France (+1.37%)
USA (+1.27%)
China (+1.12%)
Germany (+0.66%)
UK (+0.61%)
Hong Kong (+0.56%)
OilGold (-2.11%) to $60.09(-2.23%) to $1200.97

 

GBP/ZAR R17.88

USD/ZAR R11.58

GBP/USD $1.54

AUD/USD $0.77

EUR/USD $1.13

 

Past week market news:

 

Japan’s economy has emerged from recession in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to official data released last Monday but the recovery was at a pace well below expectations as the economy continues to struggle to gain momentum.

The eurozone’s trade surplus was unexpectedly strong in December, rocketing to a new record high of €23.3bn in the last month of the year.

Last Tuesday saw prices for Brent crude oil rise to over $62 a barrel, this comes after warnings from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that supplies are dwindling in the Middle East.

According to the BBC, the new British bank Aldermore more than doubled its profits during 2014.

Swiss police searched offices of the Geneva subsidiary of HSBC bank in an inquiry into alleged money-laundering, the offices in Switzerland were raided by prosecutors investigating the scandal over the banks past actions in helping overseas clients avoid taxes.

Tullow Oil led the UK’s FTSE 100 index towards record territory, as London’s benchmark index rose within 30 points of its all-time historical high.

The US Federal reserve said interest rates are unlikely to be raised any time soon.

Germany rejected a Greek request for a six-month extension to its Eurozone loan programme.

 

 

 

February 17 2015

Past week market changes:

China (+4.16%)
USA (+2.02%)
Japan (+1.50%)
France (+1.46%)
India (+1.31%)
Germany (+1.08%)
Oil (+0.90%) to $55.83
Oil (+0.29%)
UAE (+0.12%)
Hong Kong (+0.01%)
Gold (-0.09%) to $1,232.54

 

GBP/ZAR R17.87

USD/ZAR R11.61

GBP/USD $1.53

AUD/USD $0.78

EUR/USD $1.14

 

Past week market news:

 

All eyes were on Europe this week, where investors’ morale received a boost both from both a cease fire agreement in Ukraine and continued hopes for a resolution of the situation in Greece.

Cheaper oil, a weaker euro and the European sovereign bond-buying programme have led to expectations that the eurozone will record its strongest annual growth this year since 2010.

The Bank of England expects inflation to head towards the 2% target in three years and economic growth to gain momentum.

Sentiment in the eurozone improved strongly in February for the fourth straight month.

The UK is drawing up emergency plans for what to do in the event of Greece leaving the EU.

HSBC is most likely facing fresh legal action in the UK and US after the bank was hit by claims that it conspired in tax-dodging by clients of its Swiss operations.

The boss of HM Revenue & Customs appeared before a panel of MPs on Wednesday and will face questions about its role in the HSBC tax evasion row.

Lower oil prices will not give a “significant boost” to global growth in the next two years, Moody’s said.

Apple has become the first US company in history to achieve a value of more than $700bn.

Japanese shares hit a seven-and-a-half-year high last week.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) agreed on a $17.5bn (£11.5bn) loan to Ukraine.

Global gold demand fell 4% last year to its lowest level since 2010.

 

 

 

 

February 11 2015

Past week market changes:

Oil (+18.14%) to $55.43
USA (+3.03%)
France (+1.88%)
UK (+1.54%)
Germany (+1.42%)
UAE (+1.23%)
Hong Kong (+0.70%)
China (-4.19%)
Gold (-3.11%) to $1,233.61
India (-1.59%)
Japan (-0.15%)

 

GBP/ZAR R17.56

USD/ZAR R11.54

GBP/USD $1.52

AUD/USD $0.78

EUR/USD $1.13

 

Past week market news:

 

Inflation is at its lowest level since the financial crisis and is likely to fall further in the coming months.

The US housing-led global recovery remains on track, but data has softened in recent months.

Eurozone officials are becoming increasingly worried that Greece will plunge into financial chaos.

Greek banks are finding themselves under pressure as the European Central Bank (ECB) restricts financing by no longer accepting Greek government bonds as collateral for lending to commercial banks.

UBS has found itself in hot water again as US authorities launch yet another investigation into allegations that the bank was aiding clients in tax evasion.

The Eurozone’s growth forecast as a whole was upgraded last week, the European Commission said the decline in oil prices as well as the weakened euro and the aggressive monetary policy will aid the region return to growth.

 

 

January 29 2015

Past week market changes:

France (+5.96%)
Germany (+4.74%)
UK (+4.31%)
Inda (+4.11%)
Japan (+3.84%)
Hong Kong (+3.10%)
USA (+1.60%)
Gold (+1.40%) to $1,292.43
Oil (-3.27%) to $45.49
China (-0.73%)
UAE (-0.62%)

 

GBP/ZAR R17.22

USD/ZAR R11.47

GBP/USD $1.50

USD/AUD $1.26

EUR/USD $1.12

 

Past week market news:

 

Share markets responded positively after the European Central Bank announced larger than expected measures to stimulate the region’s faltering economy and combat the threat of deflation, Starting in March and ending in September 2016,  the ECB plan to purchase €60 billion of public and private sector debt each month.

The Euro fell to an 11-year low of $1.13 against the US dollar on Friday.

Click HERE to find out more about what QE means for Europe.

The International Monetary Fund downgraded its global growth outlook with diminished expectations almost everywhere except the US, Global growth of 3.5% is predicted for this year (down from 3.8%), whilst the projected figure for 2016 is 3.7% (down from 4.0%).

Charity group Oxfam have carried out a study which shows that the world’s wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world’s population.

British investment in China is set to quadruple over the next five years.

British house prices rose at their slowest annual pace since May 2013 at the end of last year.

Russia’s economy is set to shrink by around 5% this year, according to forecasts by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

 

 

January 23 2015

Past week market changes:

Germany (+5.38%)
France (+4.80%)
Gold (+4.58%) to $1,274.6
China (+2.77%)
India (+2.42%)
Hong Kong (+0.77%)
UK (+0.76%)
UAE (+0.03%)
Japan (-1.94%)
USA (-1.24%)
Oil (-0.38%) to $47.61

 

ZAR/GBP R17.55

ZAR/USD R11.57

USD/GBP $1.51

USD/AUD $1.22

 

Past week market news:

 

The Swiss National Bank stunned markets last week by abandoning its three-year-old cap to the Euro and as a result the Swiss Franc surged by more than 20% against the Euro and the Swiss stock-market fell heavily.

The European Central Bank may begin Quantitative Easing this week, after a top European Union lawyer said that the planned bond-buying programme is legal.

Oil price fell to a new six-year low, read more HERE

UK inflation fell to its lowest in 15 years, read more HERE

Gold rose to its highest level since October last Tuesday, as nervous investors sought the precious metal as a haven to park cash.

Reports by the Financial Times state that Wall Street analysts are confident that the current bull market in the USA could go up even further during 2015.

 

 

 

December 2 2014

Past week market changes:

ChinaGermany (+7.87%)(+2.55%)
Hong KongIndiaFranceJapan (+2.35%)(+1.27%)(+0.99%)(+0.59%)
USAUK (+0.20%)(-0.42%)
Gold (-1.74%) to $1,182.75
Brent Crude (-12.71%) to $70.15

 

 

ZAR/GBP R17.31

ZAR/USD R11.00

USD/GBP $1.57

USD/AUD $1.17

 

Past week market news:

 

Economic sentiment in the euro area unexpectedly increased in November, it could be seen as a sign that the European Central Bank’s bid to boost growth and inflation starting to have an effect on companies and consumers.

The Scottish parliament will be handed direct control over issues such as income tax, welfare spending and the national voting age under a new deal struck.

German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has proposed trade talks between the European Union and a Russia-led economic bloc so as to maintain dialogue with Russia President Vladimir Putin.

Microsoft’s fortunes in China have been dented after the Chinese government charged it $140m in back taxes and interest in a rare case concerning cross-border tax evasion in the country.

Over an 11 year period, Japanese carmaker Honda has failed to report over 1,700 incidents involving its cars that have resulted in injuries or death.

The third quarter of 2014 was a rough one for Germany, the economy only just managed to scrape by without falling back into recession.

Sanctions amounting to $40bn and a fall in the price of oil estimated at some $100bn a year is costing the Russian government dearly, according to the country’s finance minister Anton Siluanov.

 

 

November 18 2014

 

Past week market changes:

Japan (+3.62%)
China (+2.51%)
Hong Kong (+2.28%)
UAE (+1.77%)
UK (+1.33%)
Gold (+0.64%) to $1,172.75
India (+0.64%)
USA (+0.39%)
France (+0.30%)
Brent Crude (-4.46%) to $77.99
Germany (-0.42%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.29

ZAR/USD R11.05

USD/GBP $1.56

USD/AUD $1.14

 

Past week market news:

 

Brent crude Oil slipped to multi-year lows as a result of tepid demand and growing fears that Saudi Arabia would not curb production to support prices, it fell by $3.60 – or 4.4% – to $77.52, the lowest level that it has been for four years.

The Bank of England said it expects the UK economy to grow 2.9% next year and that inflation would be below previous forecasts, at around 1%.

UK unemployment remained at 6% in the July-September period.

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire the Duracell battery business in a deal valued at US$4.7 billion.

This week kicked off with the announcement of these new rules which now require big banks to hold more money to protect against losses, the capital set aside should be worth between 15% and 20% of the bank’s assets.

Apple Inc has been ordered to face a US federal lawsuit that claims the company is failing to tell consumers that its messaging system would block them from receiving text messages if they switched to Android-based smartphones.

The Bank of England chief is expecting a wage growth of 2% in 2015.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron vowed that if his government comes into power following the next election, it would bring the UK a massive tax cut of £7.2 billion.

The eurozone witnessed a 0.2% growth in the third quarter of this year.

Italy’s economy contracted by 0.1% in the third quarter as the country re-entered a recession.

Figures released last week showed that Greece has finally exited its long and painful recession.

 

 

November 11 2014

Past week market changes:

Japan (+2.84%)
USA (+0.69%)
UK (+0.32%)
India (+0.01%)
UAE (-2.78%)
Oil (-2.47%) to $82.43
Hong Kong (-1.87%)
France (-1.02%)
Germany (-0.38%)
China (-0.08%)
Gold (-0.04%) to $1,165.26

 

ZAR/GBP R17.81

ZAR/USD R11.21

USD/GBP $1.58

USD/AUD $1.15

 

Past week market news:

 

Gold and silver witnessed a plummet in the market after recent events ensured the dollar continued to strengthen.

The US unemployment rate fell to 5.8% – its lowest level since July 2008.

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at 0.05%.

According to reports by the BBC, HSBC has set aside $378 million to cushion the blow of impending legal fees and potential fines as a result of their currency scandal that brought the forex market under unbridled scrutiny.

Eurozone leaders are thinking about a plan that will allow Greece to exit its four-year-old bailout at the end of 2014 by taking approximately €11bn in rescue funds that were not needed.

Data has shown that Australia’s trade deficit had more than doubled to AUD2.26bn in September.

Virgin Money has confirmed that it will list the company on the London stock exchange which will raise £150m.

A study undertaken by the University College London has revealed that over the last decade the United Kingdom received an estimated £20bn more in taxes from EU migrants working and residing in the country than the amount the country has paid for them in benefits.

India’s new finance minister Arun Jaitley has issued a call to all foreign investors talking India up as an up-and-coming and business-friendly country.

David Cameron has been cautioned by two of his closest allies that they would compete against any British attempt to restrict Europe’s rules on free movement of workers.

The European Central Bank stands ready to inject up to €1 trillion of new liquidity into the Eurozone economy.

 

 

 

November 4 2014

Past week market changes:

Japan (+7.34%)
China (+5.12%)
India (+3.78%)
Germany (+3.77%)
Hong Kong (+2.99%)
USA (+2.72%)
France (+2.52%)
UK (+2.47%)
Gold (-5.29%) to $1,165.69
Oil (-0.58%) to $85.85
UAE (-0.18%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.65

ZAR/USD R11.04

USD/GBP $1.59

USD/AUD $1.14

 

Past week market news:

 

Global stock-markets surged towards the end of the week as the US Federal Reserve confirmed the end of its bond-buying programme (Quantitative Easing).

Gold and silver slumped to their lowest since 2010.

The price of oil has fallen 25% from its summer peak.

British infrastructure is getting injected with an investment of £105 billion from China by the year 2025.

The banking sector in Italy is under considerable pressure after news emerged that numerous banks, nine in total, failed the stress tests meant to act as indicators of health in the industry.

For the first time since the financial crisis struck US corporations are beginning to cut back on their cash holdings instead of increasing them, this is a clear sign of confidence coming back to businesses.

In October investors withdrew as much as $9 billion from stocks and shares across Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.

A study by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) has revealed that the UK has the lowest state pension in Europe giving British workers a considerably bigger financial shock than those living in other countries on the continent when they decide to retire.

Lloyds Bank confirmed the closure of 200 branches and also confirmed 9,000 job losses.

RBS the part-nationalised bank posted pre-tax profit of £1.27bn for the three months to September compared to a loss of £634m in the same period last year, however the 81% state-owned bank also set aside £400m for potential settlement costs.

 

 

October 27 2014

Past week market changes:

Japan (+5.22%)
USA (+4.12%)
India (+2.84%)
France (+2.37%)
Germany (+1.55%)
UK (+1.24%)
Hong Kong (+1.21%)
Oil (+1.14%)
UAE (+0.76%)
China (-1.66%)
Gold (-0.21%) to $1.230.74

ZAR/GBP R17.63

ZAR/USD R10.95

USD/GBP $1.61

Past week market news:

Despite US stocks having their best week of the year, markets remained volatile last week.

South Africa cut its growth forecast for 2014 to 1.4%, almost half the level set by the Treasury in February and the lowest since the last recession in 2009.

UK GDP expanded by 0.7% between July-September.

Apple smashed through Wall Street forecasts on revenues, earnings and iPhone sales in its fourth-quarter results.

Stocks are moving higher, and the euro and Bund prices are falling, as traders welcome a report suggesting the European Central Bank will step up its efforts to revitalise the Eurozone economy.

Citigroup chief executive Mike Corbat announced the company’s plans to withdraw its operations from Egypt, Hungary, Japan and eight smaller markets.

Fact: The UK’s pension bill is ballooning beyond belief, it is unsustainable, the Institute of Economic Affairs has proposed a radical but possibly effective solution – cut state pensions in half and slash taxes.

China’s outbound direct investment is for the first time set to exceed investment into the country, highlighting the ongoing shift of global economic influence to the east.

The Bank of England’s deputy governor said on Thursday that borrowers and savers in the UK can expect interest rates to remain low for a prolonged period.

The United Kingdom is set to fork out an extra £1.7bn in European Union funds as a result of the country’s economic success, The news was not well received – British Prime Minister David Cameron has reacted with an outright attack on the surcharge, calling it “completely unjustified.”

2015 will see global banks going through their paces with the US Federal Reserve running its stress tests – banks will be going through simulations of real world scenarios to see how they fare, these include a spike in oil prices, a rise in the US unemployment rate and an increase in risky corporate loans.

The future of Bulawayo: I share my comments on Bulawayo’s economy in light of our recent office opening there with newspaper The Southern Eye, Read HERE and HERE.

 

 

 

October 20 2014

Past week market changes:

Gold (+1.36%) to $1,240.22
Oil (-7.84%) to $83.33
UAE (-6.09%)
France (-5.38%)
Japan (-4.78%)
Germany (-4.69%)
UK (-3.67%)
USA (-3.39%)
Hong Kong (-2.69%)
India (-2.39%)
China (-1.38%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.80

ZAR/USD R11.03

USD/GBP $1.61

 

Past week market news:

 

An all round bad week for equity markets, concerns about growth in Germany and China, the end of QE in the US, geopolitical tension and Ebola fears have combined to hurt the share markets in recent weeks – however, it’s not unusual to have more than one correction in the course of a bull market.

Fresh concerns over global growth took a chunk out of oil prices, seeing Brent crude oil at its lowest since December 2010.

deVere Group expands in Africa with a second Zimbabwe office, read HERE and HERE.

Financial Times reported that steel prices in China are now as cheap as cabbage!

Beware the implications of new freedoms set out in the UK’s Pensions Bill, Read HERE.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment company sold more than 245 million shares in supermarket giant Tesco.

Financial Times – just 6 months to act on coming UK pension changes, read HERE.

The truth behind UK pensions: see HERE.

 

 

 

October 14 2014

Past week market changes:

Gold (+2.32%) to $1,221.68
China (+0.45%)
France (-4.86%)
Germany (-4.42%)
USA (-3.14%)
UK (-2.88%)
Japan (-2.60%)
Oil (-2.36%) to $ 88.61
India (-1.02%)
UAE (-0.66%)

ZAR/GBP R17.73

ZAR/USD R11.04

USD/GBP $1.60

 

Past week market news:

 

Standard & Poor’s downgraded its outlook for France to negative from stable.

The International Monetary Fund estimated that the world economy will grow 3.8% in 2014.

The second quarter of this year saw the UK’s economy expanding at a faster rate than previously expected.

Appetite for growth in Africa huge: Development and economic growth in African countries has been rapid in recent years, five of the fastest growing economies in the world, including the Congo and Mozambique, are in Africa… Read More HERE

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money, announced plans to float shares on the London Stock Exchange raising around £150m.

The US economy showed greater signs of strength in September as the country enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in six years.

HMRC blunders will trigger people to move money out of Britain… Read more HERE

The global GDP prediction for 2014 has been revised down to 3.3% from 3.4%.

On Friday, crude oil prices plummeted to the lowest in almost four years on the back of concerns over the global economic slowdown.

 

 

September 23 2014

Past week market changes:

JapanGermanyOil (+2.34%)(+1.53%)(+1.32%) to $98.39
USA (+1.25%)
UKFrance (+0.45%)(+0.44%)
India (+0.11%)
GoldHong Kong (-0.95%) to $1219.75(-1.18%)

 

ZAR/GBP R18.18

ZAR/USD R11.09

USD/GBP $1.63

 

Past week market news:

 

Scotland votes NO: The historic referendum that could have brought massive changes to the global status quo has come to an end and the 307-year union remains intact, much to the relief of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and numerous other world leaders.

It is now official: According to a statement from the US Federal Reserve, following a two-day meeting of the policy committee, the central bank will be cutting off monetary stimulus in October.

August has seen the UK’s inflation on the decline as the cost of petrol, food and non-alcoholic drinks fell from 1.6% to 1.5%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The Eurozone has seen its inflation rate revised by Eurostat, the Eurozone’s statistical office, from the flash estimate of 0.3% to 0.4%, reports The Financial Times.

Despite its lagging growth compared to developing countries, the US still holds the helm as the top destination for wealthy Asian entrepreneurs, according to the latest report by Barclays Wealth.

According to deVere United Kingdom, Britain’s civil servants and military personnel should expect to see their retirement planning options restricted from next April.…Read More.

In the last year Asia has made more billionaires than any other part of the world, according to The Financial Times, the region is responsible for nearly one third of the 12% rise in global billionaire wealth of $7.3 trillion.

 

 

 

 

September 15 2014

Past week market changes:

Japan (+1.78%)
UAE (+0.37%)
China (+0.24%)
India (+0.13%)
Oil (-3.07%) to $96.31
Gold (-2.86%) to $1,230.4
Hong Kong (-2.55%)
USA (-1.10%)
France (-1.00%)
Germany (-0.98%)
UK (-0.70%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.85

ZAR/USD R11.00

USD/GBP $1.62

 

Past week market news:

 

Investors were cautious last week as they considered the likelihood of a US Federal Reserve interest rate increase in mid-2015.

Concerns about Scotland’s upcoming referendum on independence from the United Kingdom and new sanctions on Russia also weighed on sentiment.

The United States imposed new restrictions on Russia’s largest bank – Sberbank.

Prime Minister David Cameron begged Scots last Tuesday not to vote for independence in this week’s referendum, pledging to do everything he could to keep the kingdom united.

The ‘cataclysmic’ impact of Scottish independence could lead to a ‘run on UK assets’ threatening savings and pensions of ordinary families, Japan’s biggest bank Nomura has warned.

Half of the entire continent of Africa – that’s 100 million active users – are now on Facebook, with 80% of African users connected to the social networking website via mobile.

Facebook’s market capitalisation topped $200bn for the first time on Monday, meaning that the social network is now worth more than Toyota, Coca-Cola and Bank of America, and stands on a par with HSBC.

Nearly a third of people in the UK say they would be happy to pay for pensions advice, according to a new report published last week by Scottish Widows.

Apple’s stock price was close to a record high as anticipation mounts for the bigger-screen iPhones, a wearable device and a mobile-payments system.

Goldman Sachs has called for ‘the end of the Iron Age’, as miners battle iron ore prices at five-year lows.

Workers face higher interest rates next spring before they receive rises in real wages, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned.

More than half of Chinese people think their country could go to war with Japan in the future, a new poll revealed Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs’ asset-management arm has been appointed to manage $2 billion of the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s money, as well as advise on $98 billion more.

 

 

September 8 2014

Past week market changes:

China (+4.93%)
Germany (+2.92%)
France (+2.41%)
Hong Kong (+2.01%)
Japan (+1.58%)
India (+1.46%)
UAE (+1.15%)
UK (+0.52%)
USA (+0.22%)
Gold (-2.43%) to $1,266.67
Oil (-1.69%) to $99.36

 

ZAR/GBP R17.37

ZAR/USD R10.75

USD/GBP $1.61

 

Past week market news:

 

The Bank of England maintained its Bank Rate at 0.5%, where it has been since March 2009.

In the United States, the unemployment rate dropping to 6.1%.

Eurozone inflation rate worryingly low at 0.3% and a further Interest rate drop from 0.15% to 0.05%.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs believe the euro is on its way to parity with the dollar by the end of 2017, with its recent decline signalling the beginning of a long drive down.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted he will not resign if Scotland votes for independence, as opinion polls narrow ahead of the September 18 referendum.

Danish toy manufacturer Lego Group has taken the title of the biggest toymaker in the world in terms of revenue and profit.

BP could be fined up to $18bn for 2010 oil spill.

 

 

September 3 2014

Past week market changes:

France (+3.02%)
Germany (+1.40%)
India (+0.83%)
USA (+0.75%)
UK (+0.66%)
Gold (+0.67%) to $1,285.75
Oil (+0.55%) to $103.19
Japan (-0.74%)
Hong Kong (-1.47%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.70

ZAR/USD R10.68

USD/GBP $1.65

Past week market news:

Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent said the rate of Britain’s wage growth was not guaranteed to increase any time soon, despite indications of skill shortages.

UK insurer Friends Life Group Ltd. has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore a sale of its international business.

A Yes vote in next month’s Scottish referendum risks “capital flight” from the country leaving its financial system in a “parlous state”, warns Douglas Flint, the chairman of HSBC.

The Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls submitted the government’s resignation to President Francois Hollande.

120 Scottish business leaders have written an open letter to the people of Scotland, urging them to ensure the country can “keep flourishing” within the UK.

The scrapping of higher-rate tax relief on UK pensions would prompt more middle class earners to transfer their pension pots out of Britain… Read More.

After fleeing the country to avoid prison sentences, five of Britain’s most wanted international tax criminals have been brought back to the UK to face the HMRC who said the tax dodgers collectively cost the UK more than £844 million.

Several Nigerian oilfields owned by a Royal Dutch Shell-led consortium are close to being sold for about $5bn to domestic buyers.

Newly elected Narendra Modi on India put into play a campaign that will see 75 million poor Indian households getting their own bank accounts, this is in the bid to get everyone in the country into the formal financial system.

Consumer prices in the 18 eurozone countries rose by just 0.3% year-on-year in August as inflation dropped to a fresh five-year low.

 

 

 

August 26 2014

Past week market changes:

Germany (+2.71%)
France (+1.88%)
USA (+1.71%)
Japan (+1.44%)
UK (+1.29%)
India (+1.21%)
UAE (+0.69%)
China (+0.63%)
Hong Kong (+0.63%)
Gold (-2.05%) to $1278.3
Oil (-0.84%) to $100.18

 

ZAR/GBP R17.74

ZAR/USD R10.70

USD/GBP $1.65

 

Past week market news:

 

Markets rise despite renewed tension in Ukraine.

The US employment rate is at 6.2% compared to 11.5% in the Euro area.

Inflation in the UK fell to 1.6% from 1.9% in June, the Office for National Statistics said, lower than the 1.8% forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Nato’s secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that if Scotland chooses to go its own way, it would have to apply for membership in Nato as a new state.

Goldman Sachs’ junior bankers in the US will see their salaries rise by 20%, with some first-year employees receiving salaries of up to $85,000.

Around 500 British citizens have pledged their allegiance to the terrorist ISIS organisation, accounting for one out of every four out of the 2,000 foreign fighters across Europe.

Aberdeen is a stronghold for the Italian mafia, according to EU-funded researchers from the Transcrime Centre.

With over £1m worth of donations given through charity site JustGiving, Bedford has been named the most charitable town in the UK – A total of 41,631 people with a Bedford postcode donated a total of £1,145,970 to charitable causes.

In Bangladesh the government is considering its very first sovereign bonds sale to an international market, according to reports Bangladesh can raise $2-$3 billion from the sale, as a result, Goldman Sachs, the world’s leading investment bank, has said that it is looking to advise the government on the steps ahead.

Deutsche Bank has sold its North American natural gas trading book to Morgan Stanley.

In the first half of 2014, the troubled Co-op Bank has seen a mass of nearly 30,000 current account customers leave them.

 

 

August 5 2014

Past week market movements:

Hong Kong (+2.23%)
JapanGold (+1.05%)(-0.73%) to $1,285.25
India (-0.89%)
France (-1.95%)
Oil (-2.19%) to $106.02
USA (-2.41%)
Germany (-2.45%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.99

ZAR/USD R10.67

USD/GBP $1.68

 

Lloyds Banking Group has been fined £218m by UK and US regulators over manipulation of the Libor benchmark. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined Lloyds £105m, the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission fined Lloyds the balance.

The number of active users on Twitter has risen by 24% and sent share prices soaring – but the company’s quarterly loss widened to $145m from a $42m loss in the same period last year.

Morgan Stanley told junior bankers and junior workers on its capital-markets desks it will raise their base salaries by as much as 25%, in a bid to “enhance the work experience” for some of the firm’s younger employees.

After seven long years of financial and economic crisis that forced the European Central Bank to slash interest rates below zero, lending conditions in the eurozone are easing, according to the ECB’s closely watched quarterly lending survey.

The US economy grew 4% in the second quarter, beating all analysts’ expectations and confirming that recovery is firmly back on track.

The second quarter results for BNP Paribas have been hit by a massive loss of €4.32 billion. This came following a fine of €6.65 billion which was awarded in July.

Inflation in the 18-nation-euro-area has dropped by a further 0.1% compared to last month, from 0.4% to 0.5%.

 

 

July 29 2014

Past week market movements:

Hong Kong (+3.25%)
India (+1.89%)
Japan (+1.59%)
Oil (+1.07%) to $108.39
UK (+0.62%)
USA (+0.01%)
France (-0.11%)
Germany (-0.78%)
Gold (-0.96%) to $1,294.75

 

ZAR/GBP R17.94

ZAR/USD R10.55

USD/GBP $1.69

 

Equities researchers at Macquarie have reaffirmed Morgan Stanley’s ‘outperform’ rating in a research report issued on Friday.

The UK’s GDP growth will hit 3.1% this year, spurred by strong capital investment by businesses, according to the EY Item Club, but said interest rates will not rise until the first quarter of 2015.

Chancellor George Osborne said that Britain was prepared to take an economic hit from imposing further sanctions against Russia because the costs of not acting would be greater.

The second quarter of this year has been a good one for investment firms, looking at fee revenue, JPMorgan Chase takes the top spot with a rise of 3% on the last year, earning $1.8 billion during the three month period.

France has been under increasing pressure from the US and other Nato allies with regards to the controversial €1.2 billion contract it has with Russia which concerns the supply of a helicopter assault ship to Russia.

Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, the head of France’s ruling Socialist party, accused Britain’s David Cameron for criticising the sale of two Mistral-class warships by France to Russia when so many Russian oligarchs had “sought refuge in London”.

The first 50 bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine are being flown into the Netherlands today to begin the process of identification.

On Thursday morning the European Central Bank announced that anonymous hackers had breached its security.

Moody’s Investors Service raised its outlook on Morgan Stanley from stable to positive, saying the firm continues to make progress on strengthening its profitability.

The UK economy grew by 0.8% during the second quarter of 2014, 0.2% ahead of its pre-crisis peak in early 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated.

Citing the impact of heightened geopolitical tensions on inflation risk, Russia’s central bank unexpectedly lifted its key benchmark interest rate to 8%.

More U.S. firms expected to quit America due to ‘uncompetitive’ tax rate. READ HERE

 

 

July 21 2014

Past week market movements:

UAE (+3.97%)
India (+2.47%)
Hong Kong (+0.95%)
UK (+0.89%)
China (+0.59%)
Germany (+0.56%)
USA (+0.54%)
France (+0.44%)
Japan (+0.34%)
Oil (+0.01%) to $105.83
Gold (-2.08%) to $1,307.65

 

ZAR/GBP R18.15

ZAR/USD R10.62

USD/GBP $1.70

 

The markets were positive positive over the week despite worries over implications surrounding the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crash near the Russia-Ukraine border and the conflict in Gaza.

US President Obama said Russia would face new economic sanctions unless it backed a cease-fire and international probe of the crash site.

Morgan Stanley has hired five leading financial advisers, who collectively produced nearly $7 million in revenue in the last twelve months.

A quarter of UK consumers would consider using a pure digital bank – a bank with no branches or call centres that is only accessible via laptops and mobile devices.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to quit before the end of her term to chair the European Council, according to reports in Der Spiegel.

Shanghai looks set to become the headquarters of a development bank being launched by the BRICS emerging market nations (Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa).

Strategist David Kostin, in a new note to clients, said that he predicts the S&P 500 to end the year at 2,050.

Trading revenue for both JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. beat expectations in the second quarter.

Apple has sealed a groundbreaking alliance with former rival IBM to turn its gadgets into fully business-friendly devices.

Scottish independence could see the value of sterling drop by up to 10%, according to a study by economists at Morgan Stanley in London.

Bank of America reported $2.3bn in net income in the second quarter, a decrease of 43% from a year ago, as it took on $4bn in legal expenses.

Morgan Stanley was the last of the big banks to release its second quarter earnings report, but it was one worth waiting for –  not only did its profit rise above analyst expectations, but it more than doubled by 131%.

Malta’s Finance Minister visits deVere Group’s administrative hub – click HERE to see the photos and news video.

Four out of five American expats thinking about giving up passport due to FATCA – deVere Group survey – See more HERE .

 

 

July 15 2014

Past week market movements:

Gold (+1.13%) to $1,335.4
India (-3.61%)
Germany (-3.42%)
France (-3.41%)
Oil (-3.04%) to $105.82
UK (-2.56%)
Japan (-1.77%)
Hong Kong (-1.33%)
USD (-0.90%)
China (-0.60%)
UAE (-0.05%)

 

ZAR/GBP R18.33

ZAR/USD R10.69

USD/GBP $1.71

 

Global investment bank Goldman Sachs is keeping to its name as a worldwide entity and moving further into Europe as it expands its wealth management business on the continent.

Will Swiss banks freeze US accounts over tax evasion? Find out HERE

Britain’s main financial regulators, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, have given the green light to five new banks to compete in the UK: Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, FCMB, UBA Capital and Paragon Bank.

Goldman Sachs has announced a revised prediction for the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate policies, the banking giant now expects the Fed to raise interest rates in the third quarter of 2015.

The British Chambers of Commerce’s second quarter economic survey advised the Bank of England not to make any hasty decisions on raising interest rates in the very short-term.

Scottish independence would cause more damage to the UK than the banking crash in 2008, Alistair Darling has warned.

According to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, an investigation into competition in the cash savings market, savers are earning poorer returns than necessary from their bank accounts.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has hired UBS’ former China Chairman David Li to lead the Wall Street firm’s operations in the Asian nation.

The era of loose monetary policy is drawing to an end for the US, with the Federal Reserve detailing plans of how to ease its asset purchasing programme in October during its last policy meeting.

Interest rates and monetary policy have been kept on hold by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.

Although Britain continued to run a large trade deficit in May, there was little sign that the economic recovery over the past year has caused a rise in imports and increased it.

 

 

 

July 7 2014

Past week market movements:

India (+3.43%)
UAE (+2.65%)
Japan (+2.27%)
Germany (+1.98%)
UK (+1.60%)
Hong Kong (+1.40%)
USA (+1.25%)
China (+1.25%)
France (+0.72%)
Gold (+0.08%) to $1,320.49
Oil (-3.23%) to $109.03

 

ZAR/GBP R18.45

ZAR/USD R10.8

USD/GBP $1.71

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 17,000 for the first time, setting a record high for the 13th time this year. The S&P 500 also finished above its previous high for the 24th time in 2014.

The US economy added 288,000 jobs in June exceeding expectations, the unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, the lowest level since September 2008.

ECB president Mario Draghi said Eurozone interest rates will stay at 0.15% for an “extended period” of time.

In Germany, the parliament approved the country’s first minimum wage, set at €8.50 an hour.

Average UK house prices rose above their peak of 2007 after prices climbed 11.8% from a year earlier, the average UK property was valued at £188,903, but in London it surpassed £400,000 for the first time.

Britain’s aerospace industry, a sector which now generates revenue of almost £28 billion a year, has grown ten times faster than the wider UK economy.

The Bank of England’s departing deputy governor Charles Bean that interest rates in the UK won’t remain below their historical average indefinitely, and were likely to eventually rise to the 5% level that prevailed before the financial crisis.

Germany’s powerful finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Berlin will do everything in its power to keep the UK part of the European union and described a British exit as ‘unimaginable’.

Goldman Sachs has revised its UK economic growth prediction, issuing a bullish (growth) upgrade.

More than $1bn will be invested by ExxonMobil in its refinery in Antwerp, Belgium.

Macau is now the world’s fourth richest territory per person, according to the World Bank, beating Switzerland to fifth place thanks to an incoming wave of mainland Chinese gamblers and tourists.

Jobs are being created in the UK construction sector at a record pace, according to June’s monthly survey of construction industry purchasing managers.

Deutsche Bank’s bulk commodities trading book, dealing in coal, iron ore and freight forward contracts, has been bought by Morgan Stanley.

 

 

June 30 2014

Past week market movements:

 

China (+0.49%)
Gold (+0.31%) to $1,319.39
Hong Kong (+0.12%)
India (+0.02%)
USA (+0.10%)
UAE (-2.89%)
France (-2.30%)
Oil (-1.98%) to $112.67
Germany (-1.72%)
Japan (-1.66%)

 

ZAR/GBP R18.09

ZAR/USD R10.61

USD/GBP $1.705

 

Russian stocks headed for the best performance among the world’s major equity markets for the second consecutive month.

Honda and Nissan have added 2.8 million vehicles to the recall that the Japanese carmakers issued last year over a defect in passenger airbags.

The UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that the European Union was ready to impose more sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine if necessary.

Speaking at the parliament in Rome, Italy’s youthful Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that the European Union is behaving like an “old boring aunt” and needs a quick change in direction for it to come back to life.

Morgan Stanley, the world’s largest brokerage received more than 90,000 applications for its summer programme for analysts and associates – but only around 1,000 were accepted, according to an official internal memo.

More than three million British jobs would be at risk if Britain leaves the European Union, an official Treasury analysis has disclosed.

The US economy recorded its worst performance in five years, after it contracted at a much steeper pace than previously estimated in the first quarter.

The imposition of new sanctions by the White House against Russia will harm American workers and cost jobs, according to a number of leading US business groups.

The Bank of England imposed its first limits on how much most people can borrow to buy a home on Thursday, as it tries to stop a repeat of the type of housing bubble seen in the United States and other countries before the 2007 bust.

Britain’s robust first quarter economic growth was supported by the fastest expansion in business investment in two years.

The UK Taxman gets more from the dead and homebuyers than from cigarettes and alcohol

 

June 24 2014

Past week market movements:

 

GoldJapanUSAGermanyUKOil (+3.10%) to $1,312.50(+1.67%)(+1.38%)(+0.75%)(+0.70%)(+0.69%) to $107.26
India (-2.13%)
Hong Kong (-0.54%)
France (-0.04%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.91

ZAR/USD R10.54

USD/GBP $1.6988

 

Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine, this now marks the latest peak in an escalation of the long-running gas row that has added a severe economic dimension to the political troubles plaguing the two nations.

A harsh winter in the first three months of 2014 weakened the first quarter for the US, as a result, it has seen the International Monetary Fund (IMF) knock down the country’s growth forecast.

According to a survey of social attitudes, more than half of Londoners welcome foreigners as good for the economy, compared with just over a quarter of people elsewhere in the UK.

The International Energy Agency has warned that the conflicts in Iraq could endanger the growth of crude oil production capacity over the next five years.

UK inflation fell to its lowest rate in 4 1/2 years in May.

The British embassy in Tehran, which was closed after a raid by extremists in 2011, will be reopened.

JP Morgan launched its very first exchange-traded fund, dipping its toe into the US exchange-traded fund (ETF) arena worth $1.8 trillion.

Employees from ExxonMobil and BP began the process of evacuation from Iraq on Wednesday as Sunni militants battled for control of the north’s main oil facility.

JPMorgan Chase & Co was again ranked the top investment bank by revenue in the first quarter with $5.9 billion.

The US Federal Reserve cut the pace of monthly asset purchases by $10bn, setting the pace of the quantitative easing programme at $35bn a month.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg once boasted that the site would never go down, but had to eat his words when the site suffered an outage for more than 15 minutes on Thursday.

The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has soared to 50 million people for the first time since the Second World War.

Around 5.5 million people have paid the wrong amount of tax, with a significant number facing further payments to HM Revenue & Customs in order to make up the difference.

One of the Canary Wharf district’s most iconic skyscrapers, has been sold by Canary Wharf Group to a partnership led by Chinese state-backed insurer China Life.

 

 

June 17 2014

Past week market movements:

 

Oil (+3.77%) to $106.5
Gold (+1.8%) to $1,273
Hong Kong (+1.6%)
Japan (+0.14%)
India (-0.66%)
USA (-0.68%)
Germany (-0.74%)
France (-0.83%)
UK (-1.17%)

 

ZAR/GBP R18.22

ZAR/USD R10.74

USD/GBP $1.69

 

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has apologised to UK Chancellor George Osborne for the agency’s modest estimation over Britain’s economic growth.

China’s renminbi and other Asian currencies are looking particularly enticing for Russia as fears that western sanctions may freeze Russian firms out of the US dollar market.

A growing number of US firms are setting up partial operations in the UK, in order to benefit from its relatively low corporation tax regime.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley said on Monday they now expect the first Bank of England rate hike in the UK to come in the first quarter of 2015, rather than the second quarter as previously expected.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has moved up in the rankings of the S&P 500 in terms of largest market capitalisation, taking the number 12 spot.

The appointment of federalist Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, despite the support from some like Angela Merkel, has not been welcomed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

UK economy surpasses pre-recession peak, for the three months ending May, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research forecasts 0.9% growth after estimating 1.1%.

Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland are to form part of a formal investigation by the European Commission.

Emirates Airline had cancelled a $16bn order for 70 new Airbus A350 passenger jets.

Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein said that China’s growth was ‘good for everybody’, as the creation of wealth ultimately ‘trickles across the world’.

Chancellor George Osborne is taking a stand against wrong doing in the financial sector by introducing a number of measures that make certain actions and behaviour by banks and their employees criminal.

Parts of the UK are getting “out of control” in terms of property price rises said UK Business Secretary Vince Cable.

More than half of Ecuador’s gold reserves will be transferred to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for the next three years to give the government easier access to cash.

One of America’s most prominent ‘superlawyers’ is challenging the highly controversial Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and trying to prevent it from coming into effect on July 1.

Initial compensation payments of $50,000 (£30,000) have started being trickled out to the families of passengers on board the missing Malaysian passenger plane MH370.

China and Britain will sign business deals worth at least $30 billion this week during a visit to London by China’s Premier Li Keqiang.

 

 

 

June 9 2014

Past week market movements:

 

India (+4.87%)
Japan (+3.04%)
France (+1.36%)
USA (+1.34%)
Gold (+0.65%) to $1,252.71
Germany (+0.44%)
UK (+0.20%)
UAE (-1.98%)
Oil (-0.71%) to $109.23
Hong Kong (-0.57%)
China (-0.45%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.79

ZAR/USD R10.58

USD/GBP $1.68

 

The European Central Bank on Thursday introduced a raft of measures aimed at stimulating the Eurozone economy, including negative interest rates, the deposit rate already at zero, was reduced to minus 0.1% – commercial banks will now be charged for parking surplus funds with the ECB.

The European Central Bank also slashed the benchmark rate to 0.15% from 0.25%.

The US economy added 217,000 jobs in May.

The Bank of England kept interest rates at 0.5%.

RUSSIA was again in the spotlight regarding the situation in the Ukraine, the 3 months to the end of April the Russian market lost 10.9%, currently things stand in positive territory, posting a +12.1% return during May.

British Retail Consortium’s Payments Survey 2013 – customers are using less cash than ever as retailers make it easier and more convenient to shop and pay using alternative methods.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair warned that it would be “complacent and dangerous” to ignore the rise of far-right Eurosceptic parties, but leaving the EU would be damaging to the British national interest.

In response to reigniting tension between Ukraine and Russia, President Barack Obama has said that the US will be increasing its military presence in Europe.

Transatlantic trade talks could be jeopardised if the US pushed ahead with a $10bn-plus fine for BNP Paribas, France warned on Tuesday.

US President Barack Obama on Thursday advised Scotland to vote ‘No’ to independence, and Britain to remain a member of the European Union.

 

 

June 2 2014

Past week market movements:

 

UAE (+6.65%)
Germany (+1.79%)
USA (+1.21%)
Japan (+1.18%)
France (+0.59%)
Hong Kong (+0.50%)
UK (+0.42%)
China (+0.23%)
Gold (-3.72%) to $1,244.66
India (-1.93%)
Oil (-0.88%) to $110.01

 

ZAR/GBP R17.74

ZAR/USD R10.59

USD/GBP $1.67

 

The S&P 500 rose 2.1% during May, its fourth monthly gain in a row.

Goldended the week at its lowest level since February.

Apple is not satisfied with the £71 million Samsung was ordered to pay by a US jury during the latest trial. So much so that the tech giant is now asking for a retrial.

Goldman Sachs New Zealand Holdings posted a 63% percent jump in revenue in 2013.

UK tax inspectors have collected a record £23.9bn over the past year, £3.2bn more than the previous year and nearly £1bn above the target set by the chancellor.

About 25% of Lloyds Banking Group’s TSB business will be floated on the London Stock Exchange next month, the remainder to be sold before the end of 2015.

iPhone’s could soon be able to double as a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances, as Apple prepares a new household software platform as part of its drive into ‘the internet of things’.

Ex-broker Darin DeMizio is being sued by Morgan Stanley for the amount of $3.6 million.

In the last financial year French authorities overestimated the country’s tax income by a landslide, as a result it is now facing a massive €14 billion black hole in its public finances.

Tesco has signed a joint venture in China to create the country’s largest food retailer.

The  UK is currently experiencing the strongest rate of economic growth since records began approximately 10 years ago.

 

 

May 27 2014

Past week market movements:

 

Japan (+2.59%)
India (+2.37%)
Germany (+1.44%)
USA (+1.21%)
Hong Kong (+1.11%)
France (+0.83%)
China (+0.40%)
UAE (-1.21%)
Oil (-0.64%) to $110.99
UK (-0.58%)
Gold (-0.09%) to $1,292.81

 

ZAR/GBP R17.55

ZAR/USD R10.44

USD/GBP $1.68

 

The S&P 500 closed above 1,900 for the first time on Friday.

The Bank of England said the case for an interest rate increase is strengthening as the economy recovers.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, has brought in Qatar’s royal family as a major new investor as it seeks to raise €8bn in new equity capital.

Jerome Kerviel, the French rogue trader convicted for his role in the near collapse of Société Générale bank, has been detained.

Hayman Capital Management, a hedge fund based in Dallas, has bought up a stake in the struggling Co-operative Bank.

The US is filing charges against a number of members of the Chinese military, and will be accusing them of hacking into the systems of American companies in order to steal trade secrets.

The investigation by US regulators into Credit Suisse is coming to a conclusion as the bank has pleaded guilty to an “extensive and wide-ranging conspiracy” to aide its clients in tax evasion.

Morgan Stanley to raise growth forecasts for the world’s second-most populous nation, India.

Two currency traders have been suspended by Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest lender, for allegedly trying to manipulate exchange rates.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has managed to wrangle a multi-billion dollar 30-year gas deal with China.

UK faces a bumpy recovery with rising interest rates likely to trigger shocks along the way.

Barclays has been hit with a £26m fine by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after one of its traders manipulated the setting of the price of gold in order to avoid paying out on a $1.8m client order.

 

 

 

May 19 2014

Past week market movements:

 

India (+4.90%)
Hong Kong (+3.89%)
Oil (+2.42%)to $111.7
China (+0.76%)
UAE (+0.67%)
UK (+0.61%)
Germany (+0.50%)
Gold (+0.45%) to $1,293.93
Japan (-0.73%)
France (-0.47%)
USA (-0.03%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.44

ZAR/USD R10.38

USD/GBP $1.68

 

In the United States, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit record highs before ending the week lower.

In the UK, the unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, its lowest level in more than five years.

The Bank of England said it was still in no rush to increase interest rates because the recovery in the British economy remains in its early stages.

Britain officially has more billionaires per capita than any other country, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, the city of London has more billionaires than any other city in the world with 72 – far ahead of its nearest rival which has 48.

Premier league football club Aston Villa is being sold by its American owner Randy Lerner.

Chrysler lost more than $7m every day during the first quarter, amid ongoing costs for its merger with Italy’s Fiat.

Former CEO of Barclays Plc will be questioned by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into fees paid to Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund in 2008.

Morgan Stanley predicts Indian economy will surpass $5 trillion in just over a decade.

Sony recorded a $1.26bn loss for its last financial year, even though it broke records when it came to Playstation sales.

The US’ biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., has agreed to buy Argentine government bonds due in from Repsol for $2 billion.

The first quarter of 2014 was a positive one for Germany, its economy now stands as the Eurozone’s largest.

Household wealth in London rises 5-times faster than UK average.

Stock volatility is at relatively mild levels, a situation that’s expected to continue for the near future, according to Goldman Sachs.

Morgan Stanley has sold 150 billion yen ($1.5 billion) of Samurai bonds.

 

 

 

May 12 2014

Past week market movements:

 

India (+2.63%)
France (+0.43%)
Germany (+0.27%)
Hong Kong (-1.79%)
Japan (-1.78%)
Gold (-1.11%) to $1,288.15
China (-0.75%)
Oil (-0.70%) to $109.06
UAE (-0.25%)
USA (-0.14%)
UK (-0.12%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.47

ZAR/USD R10.34

USD/GBP $1.68

 

The European Central Bank kept interest rates at a record low of 0.25%.

With unemployment now sitting below the bank’s 7% threshold, the Bank of England is no longer bound to keep its historically low interest rate of 0.5%, however it did end up keeping its key interest rate at 0.5%.

The 17th of May is the day Portugal will exit its three-year €78 billion bailout.

Barclays has reported a 5% fall in adjusted pre-tax profits for the first quarter of 2014, dragged down by a 28% slump in revenue from its investment banking business.

A new poll of English, Welsh and Northern Irish businesses conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce has revealed that that an overwhelming majority of businesses in those regions are pro-union and want Scotland to remain in the UK.

USA Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen has warned in testimony to Congress that the slowdown in the US housing market could endanger growth in the world’s largest economy.

The UK has been ranked as No.2 among European countries and sixth overall in a global education league table.

Expensive and unprofitable projects could see oil explorers such as Exxon Mobil and OAO Rosneft wasting up to $1.1 trillion of investors’ cash through 2025.

 

 

 

May 4 2014

Past week market movements:

UK (+2.05%)
Germany (+1.64%)
USA (+0.95%)
France (+0.33%)
Japan (+0.20%)
Hong Kong (+0.17%)
Gold (+0.04%) to $1,302.57
UAE (-1.84%)
India (-1.25%)
China (-0.50%)
Oil (-0.32%) to $109.83

 

ZAR/GBP R17.75

ZAR/USD R10.52

USD/GBP $1.68

 

The US economy added 288,000 jobs in April beating expectations, the unemployment rate also fell to 6.3%.

In the UK, the April house priced index from Nationwide showed that prices has soared 10.9% over the past year.

Britain’s leading boardrooms have to crack down on bonuses to restore public trust and defuse the threat of fresh legislation to limit executive pay.

The UK government borrowed £107.7bn in the financial year to April 2014, lower than the £115.1bn amount it borrowed the previous year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pointed to domestic issues such as stubborn fiscal deficits and increasingly high levels of public debt as a cause for concern for sub-Saharan African countries.

HSBC Holding Plc’s global headquarters, London’s largest and most expensive office building, is up for sale and could fetch over £1.1 billion pounds.

Starbucks’ turnover dropped last year for the first time since 1998.

A two-letter web address – Mi.com – has been bought by Chinese smartphone firm Xiaomi for $3.6m (£2.1m), making it the most expensive domain name purchased in 2014.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has announced that the economic outlook for the next three months in the UK is “exceptionally strong and broad-based”.

The latest wave of sanctions on Russia from the US have seen seven more people in Putin’s inner circle targeted, along with 17 more companies.

The US is close to losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year.

Between 20,000 and 40,000 jobs will move to England if Scotland breaks away from the rest of the UK.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Russia is already in recession as a result of the effects of the crisis in Ukraine.

The International Monetary Fund has also signed off on a $17bn rescue package for Ukraine that will immediately disperse $3.2bn to the crisis-hit country.

In a remarkable turnaround, Portugal appears to be set to exit its three-year €78bn bailout.

The government has approved expansion plans to double the size of Luton Airport, which could mean up to 45,000 extra flights and more than 5,000 new jobs.

 

 

 

April 23 2014

Past week market movements:

 

Japan (+3.98%)
USA (+2.71%)
Oil (+2.27%)to $ 110.24
France (+1.51%)
Germany (+1.01%)
UK (+0.97%)
India (+0.00%)
China (-1.54%)
Gold (-1.47%) to $ 1,298.90
Hong Kong (-1.06%)
UAE (-0.12%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.77

ZAR/USD R10.60

USD/GBP $1.68

 

For the first time since 2008, pay increases in the UK are set to outstrip inflation as the economy gathers pace and unemployment continues to fall, the UK unemployment rate declined below the 7% threshold during the three months to February.

A Chinese luxury department store chain has bought a majority stake in House of Fraser, valuing the British department store group at about £480 million.

Around 11 million adults in the UK still don’t use the internet and are in danger of being “digitally excluded” as more public services go online.

Facebook users will soon start being able to store their money on the social network alongside photos and status updates, as the social network prepares to start providing financial services.

The Bank of England’s base interest rate will be hiked from its record low to 2.6% within three years, according to Ernst & Young.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the First Sea Lord, has claimed that Scottish independence would damage the “very heart” of Britain’s maritime forces.

UK inflation continued its downward descent, falling to 1.6% in March from 1.7% a month earlier to a new four-year low.

Europe has adopted new currency rules designed to make banks safer and financial markets more transparent.

Sir Alex Ferguson is to auction his 5,000-strong collection of vintage wines, which have a pre-sale estimated value of £3m.

After it moves its European headquarters to London from Amsterdam at the end of this year, Starbucks has promised that it will pay more taxes in the UK.

The Co-operative Group rounded off the worst crisis in the organisation’s 150-year history by reporting a record annual loss of £2.5 billion.

Morgan Stanley’s first quarter income rose 49% to $1.5bn compared with the same period last year, while earnings per share rose 47%.

 

 

 

April 14 2014

Past week market movements:

 

Germany (-0.9%)
USA (-2.35%)
UK (-2.00%)
Japan (-7.33%)
Hong Kong (+2.19%)
France (+3.28%)
Gold (+1.6%) to $1,318
India (+1.21 %)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.89

ZAR/USD R10.86

USD/GBP $1.67

 

Japan’s biggest pharmaceutical company, Takeda, has been ordered to pay $6bn in punitive damages for hiding a possible link between a best-selling diabetes drug and bladder cancer.

The International Monetary Fund predicted on Tuesday that Britain will be the fastest growing leading rich economy this year.

With data from rich nations such as the US and UK showing a steady recovery, the International Monetary Fund said that the risks of going through another global downturn have been reduced dramatically.

Greece managed to raise €3bn in a five-year bond deal after attracting more than €20bn in orders for its anxiously awaited return to the bond market.

A new, landmark analysis of Tamiflu, a drug stockpiled by governments worldwide to prepare for flu pandemics, indicates that the drug is no more effective than paracetamol.

 

 

April 7 2014

Past week market movements:

 

Japan (+2.50%)
Hong Kong (+2.01%)
France (+1.66%)
UK (+1.21%)
Germany (+1.13%)
Gold (+1.07%) to $ 1,305.61
China (+0.84%)
UAE (+0.46%)
USA (+0.40%)
India (+0.09%)
Brent Crude (-0.21%) to $ 106.86

 

ZAR/GBP R17.46

ZAR/USD R10.51

USD/GBP $1.66

 

US economy added 192,000 new jobs in March with the unemployment rate remaining at 6.7%.

The European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged at 0.25% even after inflation in the euro area weakened to 0.5% in March.

In the UK, the coming days will be much welcomed by some as Chancellor George Osborne claims British citizens are about to be on the receiving end of the biggest tax cuts in 20 years.

Eurozone finance ministers have signed off on €8.3bn in long-delayed bailout aid for Greece, ending a six-month stand-off between Athens and its international lenders.

Sports Direct shareholders have blocked the move to award founder Mike Ashley with a proposed £73 million bonus package.

How taxpayers were fleeced in the Royal Mail float: It was revealed last week that investors who were offered extra shares in the £3.3bn Royal Mail flotation in a “gentleman’s agreement” to stay in for the long term sold them almost instantly…Read More

 

March 31 2014

Past week market movements:

 

Japan (+3.32%)
Hong Kong (+2.93%)
India (+2.69%)
Germany (+2.61%)
France (+1.75%)
UAE (+1.25%)
UK (+0.89%)
USA (Dow) (+0.12%)
Gold (-3.24%) to $1,291.80
Oil (-0.93%) to $107.09
USA (S&P 500) (-0.48%)
China (-0.29%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.63

ZAR/USD R10.59

USD/GBP $1.66

 

The US branches of HSBC, RBS and Santander failed the Federal Reserve’s test of financial stability.

The G7 announced that it will not participate in the June Sochi Summit and that Russia has been officially suspended from the G7 until it “changes course” on Ukraine.

S&P downgraded Brazil’s credit rating to BBB minus, its lowest investment-grade rating.

Annual inflation in the UK declined to 1.7%, leading investors to believe that the Bank of England will keep interest rates low for longer.

Russia raised its flag over yet another military base in Crimea, as US President Barack Obama and his international allies prepared for the G7 meeting.

Co-op Bank has admitted that it needs to raise another £400m in capital.

It was been officially confirmed that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ended up in the southern Indian Ocean, bringing to an end the mystery of what happened to the plane that vanished.

Russia predicts $70 billion asset loss for first quarter after investors have been reacting to the Russian-Ukrainian standoff.

The US will be receiving hundreds of kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium and highly-enriched uranium from Belgium, Italy and Japan as it plans to secure the world’s nuclear material.

One of BP’s US refineries leaked an undisclosed amount of crude oil into Lake Michigan, during a disruption in the refining process last Monday afternoon.

Lloyds Banking Group could be returning to the private sector before next year’s general election, as the UK government sold another £4.2bn worth of its shares.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Santander UK £12.4m for giving its customers poor advice.

A $14-$18 billion bailout agreement to avert Ukraine’s bankruptcy was announced by the International Monetary Fund on Thursday.

Access to YouTube has been blocked in Turkey, a day after a court ordered the suspension of a ban on Twitter.

BlackBerry Ltd has reported a fourth-quarter loss of $423 million.

 

 

March 24 2014

Past week market movements:

 

Germany (+3.16%)
France (+2.82%)
China (+2.16%)
USA (+1.48%)
UAE (+1.12%)
UK (+0.45%)
Gold (-2.98%) to $1,335.1
Oil (-0.81%) to $108.1
Japan (-0.72%)
Hong Kong (-0.48%)
India (-0.26%)

 

ZAR/GBP R17.87

ZAR/USD R10.84

USD/GBP $1.64

 

Commodities have outperformed stocks since the start of the year. However, we expect the US economy to bounce back strongly.

Following their latest meeting, the US Federal Reserve left its interest rate range unchanged at zero to 0.25%. At the same time, it reduced stimulus by another US$10 billion and indicated that further cuts will be at a measured pace. Officials predicted their target interest rate would be 1% at the end of 2015 and 2.25% a year later.

In Europe, Vladimir Putin signed a treaty formally annexing Ukraine’s Crimea region following the referendum last week-end. In response, the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Russian and Crimean officials involved in the country’s seizure. Separately, S&P lowered Russia’s credit rating, stating that heightened geopolitical risk could reduce the flow of potential investment and trigger rising capital outflows.

Although Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia lat Sunday, the referendum was condemned by the EU and US as illegal.

Hours after announcing further Russian sanctions, EU leaders signed a historic agreement cementing closer relations with the Ukraine.

Voting has begun in Venice and the surrounding region on whether to break away from the rest of Italy.

The UK’s five richest families are wealthier than the poorest 20% of the population, a new Oxfam report shows.

China’s Alibaba will float on an American stock market in what could be the biggest initial public share offering of all time raising $15 Billion.

A new 12-sided pound coin will be launched in 2017, and it is said to be the hardest in the world to fake.

A financial black hole worth £1,000 per person would befall a budget set up by an independent Scotland, Chancellor George Osborne warned.

Twitter, the popular social media platform has been blocked in Turkey after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to eradicate the social media site.

 

 

 

March 17 2014

Past week market movements:

Gold (+3.02%) to $1,376.15
Japan (-6.20%)
Hong Kong (-4.95%)
France (-3.44%)
Germany (-3.15%)
FTSE 100 (-2.75%)
China (-2.60%)
UAE (-2.55%)
USA (-2.35%)
Oil (-0.96%) to $108.98
Inda (-0.50%)

ZAR/GBP R17.82

ZAR/USD R10.72

USD/GBP $1.66

During the week, markets were unsettled by rising tension between Ukraine and Russia and concerns about a slowdown in China but yet another record close just shy of 1,900 brought the USA’s S&P 500 bull market into its sixth year.

Britain’s economy will surpass its pre-crisis peak earlier than expected, according to surveys.

Global debt nearly doubled to $100tn after governments used record low interest rates to borrow their way out of the financial crisis.

As it steels itself to reveal record losses, the Co-operative Group is defending its plans to give a significant boost to the pay of its senior team.

Several of the mobile phones belonging to passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were connecting when called by relatives, but the calls were not picked up.

A £6bn tax raid is being planned by the UK’s Labour party on bankers and prime property owners.

Marijuana use made headlines recently after US President Barack Obama said it was no more dangerous than alcohol.

100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, 6 billion hours of video are watched every month.

British taxpayers are being kept firmly in the dark regarding the extent of spending cuts and tax hikes which will be needed to support pension and social obligations for the aged.

Search widens as evidence mounts that Flight 370 could have kept going long after disappearing.

Nearly four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP’s ban on exploring for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and winning US government contracts has been lifted.

March 10 2014

Past week market movements:

India (+3.79%)
Japan (+2.92%)
USA (+1.00%)
Gold (+0.76%) to $1,335.84
Oil (+0.24%) to $110.04
China (+0.08%)
Germany (-3.52%)
UK (-1.42%)
UAE (-0.96%)
Japan (-0.95%)
Hong Kong (-0.77%)

ZAR/GBP R17.88

ZAR/USD R10.7

USD/GBP $1.66

During the week, markets responded to political developments in the Ukraine.

In the United States, the economy added 175,000 new jobs in February.

The European Central Bank kept its key interest rate at 0.25%.

The Bank of England kept its monetary policy unchanged, with interest rates held at 0.5%.

Markets on Monday were spooked by the escalating tensions between Russia and its neighbour Ukraine, Russian assets tumbled and the central bank hiked interest rates.

Bank of Ireland has become the country’s first lender to return to profit since the start of Ireland’s financial crisis.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has regained the top spot as the world’s richest person.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has compiled a list ranking 131 of the most expensive cities all over the world, for 2014, topping that list as the most costly metropolis to call home is Singapore.

The effect of immigration on the UK labour market is much smaller than initially thought – something which Downing Street has attempted to hide – according to the BBC’s Newsnight programme.

Standard Chartered reported its first fall in profits for a decade.

The EU has unveiled its new aid package for Ukraine, totalling at least €11bn.

Prime Minister David Cameron has backed a proposal that will increase the national minimum wage by 3%.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested Turkey could ban Facebook and YouTube after elections this month.

March 3 2014

Past week market movements:

India (+2.03%)
UAE (+1.79%)
USA (+1.36%)
Hong Kong (+1.19%)
France (+0.62%)
Gold (+0.44%) to $1325.70
Germany (+0.36%)
China (-2.72%)
UK (-0.41%)
Brent Crude (-0.18%) to $109.78
Japan (-0.17%)

ZAR/GBP R18

ZAR/USD R10.8

USD/GBP $1.67

The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday, as most equity markets posted monthly gains.

Scottish independence would be bad for British business, according to two-thirds of FTSE 100 chairmen.

The European Union’s top economic official has warned that financial aid ‘in billions’ would be vital to save Ukraine from going bankrupt, as Western leaders rushed to come up with a rescue deal.

German chancellor Angela Merkel will urge Britain to stay at the heart of the European Union in a speech to both houses of Parliament – the first by a German leader to both houses since 1986. Speaking in the Royal Gallery at Westminster, she made a historic address to both Houses of Parliament. She urged the UK to join her in the task of reforming Europe.

HSBC admitted that it missed its targets, reporting a 10% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profits in the three months to December.

A formal arrest warrant has been issued for Ukraine’s overthrown president Viktor Yanukovich, who has not been seen since last Friday evening.

British Airways beat competition from more than 1,500 companies including Apple, Coca-Cola and the BBC, to be voted the UK’s favourite brand in the latest annual Consumer Superbrands survey.

Figures last Monday showed that eurozone inflation was slightly higher than originally thought in January.

Mark Zuckerberg: WhatsApp worth more than £11.4 billion.

With President Viktor Yanukovich ousted and the opposition taking his place, Russia is showing no signs of reprieve as it denounces all those involved.

Foreign banks with branches in Britain could be barred from operating in the City, as concerns mount over their poor standards of regulation.

Chancellor George Osborne is under pressure from Tory MPs to use next month’s Budget to announce pre-election tax cuts.

China’s currency caps biggest decline in nearly ten years.

The MtGox bitcoin exchange has filed for bankruptcy protection, only days after the site went offline.

Legislators in Crimea called a referendum on the autonomous peninsula’s future, after pro-Russian gunmen seized the regional parliament in Simferopol.

Britain’s trillion-pound government debt will rise by more than 100 billion pounds in September.

February 24 2014

Past week market movements:

Japan (+3.86%)
UK (+2.62%)
India (+1.64%)
Hong Kong (+1.21%)
France (+0.94%)
Brent Crude Oil ((+0.72%) to $110.37
UAE (+0.47%)
Gold (+0.25%) to $1,319.93
USD (-0.32%)
China (-0.10%)
Germany (-0.06%)

ZAR/GBP R18.1

ZAR/USD R10.9

USD/GBP $1.66

UK inflation fell to 1.9% in January – its lowest annual level since November 2009 – and below the 2% target set by the Bank of England.

According to the World Gold Council, overall demand for bullion fell 15% in 2013.

Last year, China overtook India as the world’s largest consumer of gold as purchases of jewellery, bars and coins rose 32% to a record 1,066 tonnes.

The possibility of Scottish Independence is becoming more distinct as time progresses and Nationalists gain more of a following.

Ferrari has confirmed that the UK has the biggest passion for the luxury cars in Europe, with more Ferraris sold in Britain than anywhere else on the continent.

The Government has granted Scotland permission to issue its own bonds worth up to £2.2bn on the international bond markets.

UK unemployment rate inched up to 7.2% from 7.1%.

European migrants must be able to prove that they are earning at least £149 a week before they can access a range of benefits when coming to the UK, as the minimum earnings threshold comes into force on March 1st.

Facebook acquires WhatsApp for £11.4 billion.

The Bank of England has made revisions to its growth forecasts for 2014, raising the rate from 2.8% to 3.4%.

According to reports, $20 billion, equivalent to £12 billion, in oil revenue has gone missing in Nigeria.

Royal Bank of Scotland is preparing for its new phase of life as a much smaller UK retail and commercial bank, with staff numbers expected to be slashed by at least 30,000 in the coming years.

The UK is facing fines of up to £300mil a year from the European Commission after it failed to cut levels of a gas that are believed to cause early death and affect the growth of children’s lungs.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has been told to “wake up” to the economic damage his independence plan is causing the country.

The deterioration of the political crisis in Ukraine put the nation at risk of defaulting, according to credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. S&P cut Ukraine to CCC, eight levels below an investment rating.

February 17 2014

Past week market movements:

Germany (+3.88%)
China (+3.49%)
Honk Hong (+3.06%)
Gold (+2.73%) to $1,297.43
France (+2.65%)
Dow Jones USA (+1.48%)
FTSE 100 UK (+1.40%)
UAE (+1.37%)
Brent Crude (-1.47%) to $109.93
Japan (-1.03%)

ZAR/GBP R18.2

ZAR/USD R10.8

USD/GBP $1.67

The United States approved a bill raising the United States’ debt ceiling for one more year in order to avoid a default on government debt.

The Eurozone economy grew by 0.3% in the last quarter of 2013, posting its third consecutive quarter of growth.

The International Monetary Fund agreed to disburse €910 million to Portugal under its bailout programme after the country satisfied the requirements of its latest review.

The jobless rate in Greece rose to 28% with youth unemployment now standing at 61.4%.

Russian authorities are getting ready to crack down on Bitcoin, warning that those who use “cryptocurrencies” are breaking the law.

The eurozone’s new chief banking regulator Danièle Nouy has warned that some of the region’s lenders have no future and should be allowed to die.

Nissan is now Japan’s least profitable carmaker at a time when the weaker yen is driving up earnings at most of the nation’s exporters.

UK’s freak weather bill could go over £1 billion.

Last  week Barclays Bank announced that as many as 27,000 client files containing personal and financial information were taken from the bank, this was followed by a lower-than-estimated pre-tax profits announcement, added to this there was the admission that as many as 7,000 employees will be losing their jobs in the course of 2014, despite all of this the bank has said it will be boosting staff bonuses by 10%.

Britain’s economy is still too weak for the Bank of England to risk any interest rate rise in the near future, Governor Mark Carney said.

Around 1.9 million of Toyota’s best-selling Prius hybrid cars are being recalled because of a software fault that may cause the vehicle to suddenly slow down.

Spencer Dale, a chief economist at the Bank of England said the Bank does not know where to set interest rates to sustain Britain’s economic recovery.

Lloyds Banking Group swung back into profit on Thursday as the part-owned government bank starts its preparations to make a comeback within the private sector.

The possibility of an independent Scotland joining a currency union with the UK was firmly ruled out by Chancellor George Osborne, who used a speech in Edinburgh to call on Scotland to ‘choose to stay within our family’.

February 10 2014

Past week markets movements:

Japan (+3.20%)
India (+3.02%)
UK (+2.35%)
Gold (+1.97%) to $1,267.13
Hong Kong (+1.88%)
Dow  Jones (USA) (+1.15%)
Brent Crude Oil (+1.12%) to $110.69
Shanghai (+1.05%)
Germany (+0.92%)
S&P 500 (USA) (+0.43%)
UAE (-2.62%)
France (-0.10%)

ZAR/GBP R18.2

ZAR/USD R11.1

USD/GBP $1.64

UK expected to be confirmed as fastest growing economy in Western Europe.

UK economy expands at fastest rate since 2007.

Shell sells stake in Brazil oil field to Qatar petroleum company for $1bn.

BoE governor says plans for independent Scotland to share sterling need ‘careful consideration’.

Fed tapers bond-buying program to $65 billion.

Eurozone inflation dropped again in January.

Spain announced that it had no intention of interfering in Scotland’s push for independence and is willing to consider an eventual Scottish application to join the EU as a separate state.

Budget carrier Ryanair has reported a £29m loss for the last three months of last year, due to the Ireland-based airline’s discounting of seat prices to help boost passenger numbers.

Lloyds Banking Group confirms share sale: It had previously been said that Lloyds Banking Group was planning a share sale that would see it returning the government’s 32.7% stake to private investors. Now, the bank has confirmed plans, outlining that the selloff will likely happen in April.

Twitter loses £396 million in 2013.

Business activity in China’s service sector expanded at its slowest pace in two and a half years in January.

January 28 2014

All major markets fell last week between -1% to -2%.

The ZAR dropped to R18.6 to the pound and R11 to the dollar.

Two HSBC foreign exchange traders suspendedAs the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority pushes on with its investigations regarding the global currency rigging scandal, which started in October 2013, fines are being issued for many of the world’s leading banks. The major financial entities currently being probed by the authorities includes; UBS, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC.

Chinese growth rate at its slowest since 1999.

The UK has projected growth for 2014 at 1.9%, however, it seems the British economic rally is going better than previously thought as the International Monetary Fund is poised to bolster that forecast to 2.4%, the highest of all major economies.

Bosses at IBM, the world’s biggest computer-services provider, are leading by example as the chief executive and senior management announce that they will not be cashing in their bonuses for the year 2013.

According to the latest research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the UK’s bosses are among the most confident in the world. In fact, according to the report, 93% of the nation’s chief executives are confident about their firm’s financial prospects for 2014.

UK unemployment rate plunges to 7.1%.

Manchester United has been pushed out of the top three in Deloitte’s football rich list by Bayern Munich for the first time.

Strong growth was recorded across eurozone during the first few weeks of 2014, tarnished only by a continued downturn in France, surveys showed on Thursday.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, warned on Thursday that a broad range of jobs that once seemed beyond the reach of automation are at risk of being wiped out by technological advances.

The Bitcoin has officially made its way into Las Vegas establishments, including shops, restaurants and hotels who have all started to accept the cyber-currency.

After years of struggling in which inflation always remained below price hikes and tax increases, the UK Treasury has finally issued some good news for families across the nation – 90% of the UK’s workers have seen their take-home pay increase in the past year.

January 20 2014

European markets rose +2% for the week.

UK rose +1.3%.

America finished unchanged +/- 0.2%.

Gold rose +0.5% to $1252.

Oil rose +2.7 to $109.

ZAR/GBP R17.8.

ZAR/USD R10.8.

The December UK consumer price index hit the Bank of England’s 2.0% inflation target for the first time in more than four years.

The World Bank raised its growth projections for the global economy.

Google was awarded nearly 2,000 patents in the US last year, almost double the number of all previous years combined, according to an analysis of patent office filings.

Disruptions in oil markets following renewed battles in Iraq: This month, the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lost control of the city of Fallujah to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group that wants to establish a strict religious state.

The Dubai Financial Market has rocketed to a six-year high, adding a further 1.2% last Wednesday, which takes its gains over the past 12 months to an astonishing 108%.

Although Scotland’s economy gathered pace last year, it still lags behind the overall UK growth rate of recovery, according to official figures published on Wednesday.

UK Chancellor George Osborne is warning the European Union that it is falling behind India and China in terms of competitiveness and must reform if it wants to halt the decline.

UK Chancellor George Osborne has called for the minimum wage to be increased to its pre-recession value of £7 per hour.

Shopping with tablets and smartphones increased 18% in the past year, and mobile devices are used for nearly 6% of all retail sales, according to the latest figures from e-tail industry body.

January 14 2014

Major news over the Christmas period:

Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond has partnered up with Ashish Thakkar, chief executive of Mara Group and Africa’s youngest billionaire, in his first major banking venture following his dramatic departure.

UK State pensions will cost £438 billion in 50 years’ time.

According to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the UK’s economic recovery is going to hit pre-crisis levels around the third quarter of 2014, meaning GDP levels will be reaching the highs recorded before the financial crisis hit in 2008.

Shameful statistics have just been revealed that over 1.5 million British pensioners are currently living in food poverty. More specifically, about a quarter of over-65s have had to cut back on their food intake, the reason behind this, of course, is that the cost of living has continued to rise significantly over the last few years, however, the rate of income has lagged behind heavily.

European financial watchdogs sound alarm on Bitcoin.

In a milestone for eurozone efforts to resolve its own debt crisis, Ireland has officially ended its bailout after three years, finance minister Michael Noonan said.

People born in the 1960s and 1970s will only be wealthier than the previous generation in retirement if they inherit money, a new study has shown.

Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it monitors users’ private messages and profits by sharing the data it gathers with aggregators, advertisers and marketers.

Co-op Bank to be under investigation by regulators.

Apple has announced that it sold $10bn (£6.1bn) of apps last year, including $1bn (£610m) in December alone.

Last December, the US Federal Reserve announced that it was cutting back its $85 billion monthly bond buying program by $10 billion, equivalent to £6.1 billion. This marks the beginning of a series of steps in which monetary stimulus will be tapered.

For the first time last year, China became the world’s biggest trader in goods, overtaking the US for all of 2013 and rounding off a banner year with extremely strong trade figures.

December 9 2013

Most major market slightly down for the past week between -0.5% (UK) and -3.4% (France).

Gold fell once again by -2% to $1,228.

Oil rose by +0.9% to $112.

David Cameron is in China once more on another trade mission as he seeks to create a “partnership for growth and reform” between the latter and the UK.

The battle over sovereignty of the Falklands continues between the UK and Argentina.

Thai authorities have ordered security forces to stand down to avoid further aggravating the country’s biggest political crisis in years.

The Chinese renminbi has overtaken the Euro as the second most used currency for trade finance by value.

Sales of BlackBerry smartphones in the US, China, Spain and Japan have fallen to nearly zero, according to new data.

UK construction grows at fastest rate in six years.

Chancellor George Osborne will announce later that the date to raise the retirement age to 68 to draw a state pension will be brought forward to the mid-2030s.

The European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged at the current record low of 0.25%.

UK Chancellor George Osborne triumphantly declared that Britain’s economic plan was working in his Autumn Statement, predicting a budget surplus by 2018 for the first time since 2000.

The dreams of Brazil’s epic World Cup experience are being eaten away it seems. Earlier this week, it was revealed by Fifa, football’s ruling body, that three of the stadiums being built to host the events would not be ready.

The move to introduce a new tax on foreign property investors could be a very bad move for the UK’s government, according to various analysts.

December 2 2013

Global stocks approach best levels in nearly six years Global stocks have moved to their best levels in nearly six years as Iran’s nuclear deal flattened oil prices, giving investors’ appetite for risk a further boost.

UK shoppers to spend £1.4bn more this Christmas Retailers in the UK are awaiting Christmas profits to improve by around £1.4bn this Christmas, according to new research by Deloitte.

The global recovery is well on its way now according to many experts. However it has now been revealed that Australia may be left behind in the rally as we break into the new year.

European Union: US gaining unfair access to EU citizen’s data – The handling of online data has always been a very sensitive issue among businesses and users alike. However, this has become especially so since the revelation of spying across governments the world over.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is cracking down on European Union immigration and has called for new rules to stop “vast migrations”.

The newly-privatised Royal Mail doubled its operating profit but saw parcels growth slacken in the first half of the year.

Latvia’s government has fallen with the resignation of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, who stepped down following the collapse of a supermarket in Riga last Thursday.

Bitcoin virtual currency now worth over £600.

Brazil interest rates driven up to 10% – Sky rocketing inflation is causing massive waves in Brazil. Since last year, consumer prices have shot up by 5.8%, way beyond the previous target set by policymakers at 4.5%.

Earlier this week, Greece’s government announced that it was expecting the nation to pull out of recession next year with a 0.6% growth for 2014.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poors has downgraded the Netherlands from AAA to AA+, citing weakening growth prospects.

November 25 2013

The Dow Jones finished the week above 16,000, the S&P 500 closed above 1,800 for the first time and many European markets touched multi-year highs.

China and Japan finished the week with +2.8% and +1.4% respectively.

The UK major market was flat and closed slightly down at -0.29%.

Gold fell another -3.56% to $1241.

Sony sold one million units of its new PlayStation 4 game console in the first 24 hours of its release in the US and Canada – sales were matched by Microsoft’s XBOX One, which was made available simultaneously in 13 countries at launch.

Growth worries resurfaced after the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) lowered its global growth forecasts for this next year and next, citing slowing growth in emerging markets.

Repeated announcements of the UK’s strong recovery is providing people with a distinct amount of security. As a result, spending has increased somewhat and sentiment has been growing ever more positive. However, the Bank of England’s director of markets Paul Fisher seems to be touching the breaks a little, warning that the UK’s economy is a ‘long way’ from normality.

Emirates Airlines have gone on a shopping spree for planes, buying 150 Boeing 777 mini jumbos and a further 50 Airbus A380 super jumbos to add to their 200-strong fleet.

For the first time in its history, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose above 1,800 as global equities rallied on China’s pledge to expand economic freedoms.

About one million widows of employees in the private sector could lose their historic right to a pension, if a proposal from the Department for Work and Pensions Is adopted.

2014 will see global spending on prescription medicines accelerate past $1tn for the first time, as more innovative drugs are launched and health expenditure in emerging markets rises.

Bitcoin’s value soars after Senate hearing – The value of the virtual currency has soared to over $900 (£559).

European banks are ramping up their repayments to the European Central Bank as they seek to shape up their balance sheets before the key stress tests by regulators take place next year.

The French economy has been far from glittering over the recent couple of months. With competitiveness falling well behind that of its European counterparts and performance continuing to dip.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) was allowed to analyse and store the phone, internet and email records of British citizens who were not suspected of any wrongdoing, new documents reveal.

November 18 2013

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 ended the week at record highs.

All major established and emerging markets were up for the past week between +0.2% to +7%.

The UK main market closed down -0.2% and India -1.3%.

Gold closed up +0.2% to $1287.

Oil closed up +3.8 to $108.

Japan closed up +7% for the past week and has grown year to date by +48%.

Inflation in the USA has been running below the Federal Reserve’s goal of 2% and is expected to continue to do so for some time.

Barack Obama celebrated the fifth anniversary of his first election win earlier this month. Despite taking over in the midst of the financial crisis, Obama and his administration have overseen a renaissance of the US economy, reflected by a respectable cumulative return of over 100 per cent from the S&P 500.

Markets under George W. Bush, fared considerably worse – following the delayed election results on 12 December 2000, the S&P 500 delivered negative returns of -0.78 per cent over the next five years.

Bank of America is set to pay the US government $864m (£540m) in compensation for losses over home loans that were sold to it by the bank’s Countrywide Financial unit.

Sanctions on Iran will be tightened in order to prevent Washington giving away too much in a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme, US lawmakers said last Sunday.

According to recent industry reports, Apple is currently developing a curved screen for future versions of its famous iPhone.

While previous forecasts predicted a 2.5% inflation rate for October, the UK’s inflation rate actually dropped to 2.2% in the month of October compared to September’s 2.7%.

The newly-built One World Trade Center in New York has been officially declared the tallest building in the US, at 1,776ft (541m).

The London Stock Exchange reported a 6% rise in profits during the financial first half of the year.

Britain’s unemployment rate fell to 7.6%, the lowest level of unemployment in more than three years.

The tallest residential tower in Europe is set to be built in London’s Canary Wharf district and will offer luxury apartments targeted towards the extremely rich.

China’s Communist Party has announced that it will loosen its strict one-child policy, as well as abolish labour camps, according to official state media reports.

London will become one of the first cities in the world to have its own internet domain suffix – .london. Thousands of businesses have already expressed interest in web addresses ending “.london”

November 11 2013

The Dow Jones ended the week at a record high with America and Germany the only 2 risers for the week up +1% each.

The rest of Europe and the far east fell for this past week between -0.3% to -2.5%.

Gold fell -1.87% to $1285.

Oil fell -1.55% to $104.

The US economy created 204,000 new jobs in October.

The European Central Bank surprisingly cut its key interest rate to a record low of 0.25% amid very low inflation and record high unemployment.

Standard and Poor’s cut France’s sovereign credit rating to AA from AA+.

The world’s second largest economy, China, continues to show promising signs of economic recovery with its service sector growing at its fastest pace in 12 months, according to readings for October.

BlackBerry’s shares have fallen 16% to their lowest point in over ten years, after the struggling smartphone maker announced that it its plan to sell itself to its major shareholder was off.

A leading thinktank has warned that although UK growth is set to pick up next year, it will remain overly-dependent on consumer spending.

HSBC confirms it’s under investigation over Forex manipulation.

Foreign banks in India will now find it easier than ever to expand their presence in the country, after India’s central bank unveiled a more relaxed set of rules on opening up branches.

Nearly one out of every three English councils is planning to increase council tax next year, a survey published by the Local Government Chronicle suggests.

The world is currently embroiled in spying cases being exposed across nations and continents. Now, Apple has revealed governments all over the globe have approached the company, requesting it to hand over customer data. In the six months to the end of June, Apple received as many as 2,000 requests.

An ongoing investigation on former Greek finance minister Yannos Papantoniou and his wife Roula Kourakou has uncovered serious indications of tax evasion, reaching a massive sum of approximately €3 million between the years 2000 and 2010.

November 4 2013

All major equity/share markets rose for the past week.

Established markets up between +0.2 to +0.3%

Emerging markets rose by between +1% to +2.5%

Gold again fell -2.7% to $1309

For the month of October: United Statesall three indices were up during October S&P 500 (+4.6%), NASDAQ (+3.9%), Dow Jones (+2.8%). Asia Australia (+4.0%), South Korea (+1.7%), Hong Kong (+1.5%), Japan (-0.9%), China (-1.5%). EuropeMain indices advanced during the month. Germany (+5.1%), UK (+4.2%), France (+3.8%).

European economic confidence improved for the sixth consecutive month to the strongest level since mid-2011, according to a survey from the European Commission.

The September unemployment rate in the Eurozone however was unchanged at a record high of 12.2%.

A test run of Twitter’s share sale was ‘a success’, according to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone has been tapped by US intelligence agents since 2002 – three years before she even became chancellor, according to claims in German publications.

Five years after the global financial crisis, chief financial officers (CFOs) from around the globe see economic growth improving over the next six months and are looking to expand their companies’ workforce.

Japanese carmaker Toyota remained at first place this year, beating General Motors and Volkswagen in global sales figures from January to September.

Between December 10, 2012 and January 8 this year, the US National Security Agency (NSA) tracked over 60 million phone calls in Spain, Spanish newspaper El Mundo said last Monday.

Almost of a third (30%) of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatches sold in Best Buy locations in the US are being returned.

Lloyds Banking Group, like many other banks in the UK in the recent past, was fined billions for mis-selling PPI insurance and interest-rate hedging products to its clients.

Barclays, the third-largest bank in the UK, has announced that it is cooperating with regulators as they investigate the manipulation of benchmark currency exchange rates by several major banks.

Most City business and financial services leaders want Britain to remain part of the European Union, but have insisted that the bloc consisting of 28 member states needs to change.

Facebook soared on Wall Street after the social media giant announced better-than-expected financial results for the third quarter. The company’s stocks sky rocketed by a massive 18% to £36.16.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted on Thursday that US’ National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance of foreign countries and governments had “reached too far”.

October 28 2013

Established market rose up +1 to +1.7% for the week.

Gold rose +2.3% to $1346.

Emerging markets fell between -1 to -3% for the week.

Oil fell -3.6% to $106.

The former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan has warned that the eurozone crisis is far from over.

The Co-operative Bank has revealed that the cost of a series of failings will be up to £105 million more than expected.

The UK economy grew at the fastest pace in more than three years.

HTC is developing a smartwatch that uses Android software and can take pictures.

House building in the UK has continued to recover, with growth being reported for the first time since the beginning of the market crash six years ago.

Apple’s brand-new iPad Air tablet, unveiled last week, is 20% thinner than the previous version, weighs just 1lb and is less than a third of an inch thick.

John Hourican, the former investment banking chief at Royal Bank of Scotland has been appointed as head of the Bank of Cyprus.

The European Central Bank has pledged to submit the eurozone’s top banks to a comprehensive batch of tests next year.

Spain has finally emerged from a two-year recession – its second since 2008 – that saw it reach record figures of unemployment and debt.

British retailers such as Sports Direct, ASOS and Home Retail Group have all reported solid sales figures, saying they were ready for the gruelling build-up to the all-important Christmas trading period.

Lloyds Banking Group is in talks to sell its asset management business Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) to Aberdeen Asset Management.

Samsung was fined just over $340,000 after it was caught paying for false praise and negative comments about competitors.

The upcoming Twitter IPO continues to dominate headlines today as the social media giant unveils its prices for the 70 million shares that will soon be up for grabs.

October 21 2013

The US debt ceiling has been lifted and a default on US Treasuries averted, the deal reached by Congress at the eleventh hour will: Fund the government through to 15 January 2014 at the post-sequester level of US$986bn, Extend the debt limit through to 7 February 2014.

Markets as a whole were positive for last week with The S&P 500 closing the week at a record high.

Established and emerging markets were up between +1% to +3.2%.

Gold rose by +3.8% to $1,316.

Oil however fell by -2% to $109.85.

China’s economy grew 7.8% in the July-September period.

Britain’s unemployment count declined 41,700 to 1.35 million in September — the lowest figure since January 2009. The monthly decline was the sharpest since June 1997.

UK Chancellor George Osborne has announced that Britain will be easing its visa requirements for Chinese businessmen and tourists.

Britain’s first nuclear power station since 1995 is ‘extremely close’ to being officially announced, according to Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

The US government’s triple-A credit rating is being reviewed for a possible downgrade by the Fitch credit rating agency.

China has opened its gates to Britain, allowing the UK to take part in a programme that allows offshore yuan to be invested in Chinese securities.

As it prepares for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, social media giant Twitter revealed on Tuesday that its quarterly losses had tripled although its user base had grown.

British inflation rate remains stable at 2.7%.

Ireland has announced that it will be closing a legal loophole that enabled Apple to save up to $44bn in offshore income taxes.

iPhone 5c demand is weak: Apple cuts orders: The release of the new iPhone models in September was not met with as much excitement as previous events.

Prince Charles has been very vocal about issues such as the environment and sustainability. However, as he nears his 65th birthday, the royal seems to be becoming increasingly concerned with the pension sector.

Google shares hit record highs: Google beat expectations for the third quarter after reporting a profit of $2.97bn during the July-September period.

885,000 Toyota vehicles are being recalled by the company, as it seeks to fix a problem that could cause water to leak from the air conditioning unit.

Microsoft has released the Windows 8.1 update, which seeks to address some of the criticisms levelled at the original version of Windows 8.

Morgan Stanley posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as stock trading revenue jumped by an impressive 31%.

Prince Charles speaks out on UK pension system: Prince Charles has been very vocal about issues such as the environment and sustainability. However, as he nears his 65th birthday, the royal seems to be becoming increasingly concerned with the pension sector.

October 7 2013

In the US, disagreements over federal spending meant that the US Congress failed to pass a budget before the fiscal year ended on 30th September, leading to a partial shutdown of the government for the first time in 17 years. There are fears that the political stalemate could drag on especially with the debt ceiling negotiations looming.

All global markets were down between -0.3 to -5% this past week apart from India and China which rose +0.9% and +0.7% respectively.

Gold was down -2.14% to $1,311.09.

Brent Crude Oil down -0.23% to $110.94.

Twitter released details for its initial public offering of stock, saying it hopes to raise up to $1bn from, the stock market listing.

London remains at the top of a six-monthly ranking of global financial centres by a consultancy firm, against a backdrop of merits as a money-making centre.

The European Central Bank now has more scope to maintain its loose monetary policy after figures showed that in September, Euro-zone inflation fell faster than expected to its 3.5 year low.

Bank of England figures published earlier today show that mortgage approvals in the UK soared to their highest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Google’s latest accounts revealed that the company paid less than £12 million in corporation tax last year on bumper UK sales of £3 billion, consequently coming subject to renewed outrage.

Minimum wage is due for an increase in the UK. The adult rate is to see an increase of 12p an hour to £6.31, but is it enough?

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is confident that as Apple stock is down 30% since its record, it is now prime time for the company to buy back its stock – in a move that will boost its value.

The European Central Bank has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%, holding off on more stimulus for the Euro-zone economy as it monitors the tentative recovery.

BoE to stress-test UK banks every year: In a move to enhance the stability of the financial system, the Bank of England has published proposals for a framework to become one of the most important parts of its role: to prevent another financial crisis, through a yearly stress test of the UK’s largest banks.

September 30 2013

Market movements for week ending 27 September:

America, Europe and Asia as a whole were down -1% as was the World index.

Oil fell -0.5% to $108.6.

Gold fell -.06% to $1,341.

GBP/USD closed at $1.61.

ZAR/USD was R10.08.

ZAR/GBP was R16.29.

America’s first benchmark lending rate is expected to occur in 2015, according to most Federal Reserve policy makers, with a target of 2% by the end of 2016.

In its first three days alone, Apple sold nine million of its new iPhone models, iPhone 5S and 5C, beating previous launches of iPhones.

The once-dominant but now seriously-troubled smartphones maker, BlackBerry, has remarkably found a buyer willing to fork our $4.7 billion, or $9 per share, after the company put itself up for sale in August.

The Smith Institute, an independent think tank, believes that most Britons are not good at planning for old age, as only 40% of those aged between 30 and 60 have a financial plan for retirement.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier today that the Chinese Government could finally unblock Facebook, Twitter and other websites in a free-trade zone.

The French Government’s budget for 2014 revealed how the Euro-zone economy will hit a record in public debt next year, 95.1% of GDP, above previous estimates.

The Treasury Secretary has warned policy makers that the largest economy in the world is about to breach its debt limit, leaving the Government with half the money needed to pay its bills.

US economy grew 2.5% in Q2

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has reclaimed the title of world’s richest person, from Mexico’s Carlos Slim, with a net worth of $72 billion.

UK Chancellor George Osborne has filed a case at the European Court of Justice against the EU for capping bankers’ bonuses.

Paul Konigsberg, 77, the accountant for many of Bernie Madoff’s wealthiest clients has been indicted on charges that he helped carry out the massive Ponzi scam by falsifying account statements and trading records.

September 23 2013

Generally a good week for global markets on the back of good news from the Federal Reserve.

The USA and UK rose by +0.2% to 1.2%.

Europe rose by +2%.

Hong Kong/Japan/India + 3%.

Gold +1.6%

Oil fell -2.7%.

Tony Abbott was sworn in as Australia’s 28th Prime Minister, and pledged to scrap the tax on carbon emissions introduced by the previous government and further toughen the country’s asylum policy.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal believes that Twitter is a strategic investment and as such, he said will not give up any of his $300 million stake when the website goes public.

The Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground in January 2012, killing 32 passengers, was lifted free of the rocks in an ongoing salvaging operation that lasted up to 12 hours.

Several people were shot dead in an attack on one of America’s biggest naval command bases.

UK investors had a lot to celebrate last week. The Government has started the first stages of the reprivatisation of high street lender Lloyds Banking Group and banked a whopping £61m profit.

Prices are still rising faster than wages in the UK, as the consumer price index rose to 2.7% in August, whilst wage rose 1% on average over the same period.

The Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras has said the debt-ridden country could return to pre-crisis living standards within six years.

Microsoft has announced a new $40bn buyback program as well as a dividend increase, confirming the software giant’s commitment to investing in its own stock.

Minutes of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting in September showed that the UK economy is believed to be onto better prospects.

A survey by HSBC found that one in five Britons fear that they will never be able to afford to properly retire from work because of shortfalls in their pensions and savings.

Shadow Pensions Minister Gregg McClymont vows that if the Labour party is elected to power in 2015, it will force pension providers to tell savers what they will be really charged.

The Irish Republic’s economy grew by 0.4% in the second quarter of 2013, marking a significant end to the recession in which it slipped back in 2010.

The long awaited iPhone 5C and 5S have gone on sale, with eager shoppers – many of whom had camped out – flooding into Apple’s flagship stores.

Eight men were arrested on suspicion of stealing £1.3m from a Barclays bank branch by tapping into its computers, and are being questioned about conspiracy to steal and defraud UK banks.

September 16 2013

In the news last week, developments in Syria competed for investor attention with concerns over a reduction in stimulus from the US Federal Reserve. Data suggested that US economic growth has slowed in the third quarter.

Equity markets were broadly up across the world, established markets up +1 to 2% and emerging markets up +3 to 5%.

Commodities fell though with Gold losing -5% to $1,308 and oil -3% to $111.

Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, believes that the country’s six-year long recession will end in 2014, saying that Greece is now “an island of stability in an increasingly unstable region”.

Chancellor George Osborne is confident that the UK economy is turning the corner and is due to declare decisive victory over the Labour party later today.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, called for international talks in Moscow to avert a military strike and put Syria’s two-year-old conflict to rest. At the same time US President Barack Obama agreed to freeze plans for a US military strike against Syria, at least for now, as long as the country agrees to hand over its stockpile of chemical weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a direct and clear message to the US, saying that a military strike could unleash a new wave of international terrorism and later on in the week Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad had confirmed that he is placing his country’s chemical weapons under international control.

The Bank of England is set to go green by 2016, with the introduction of a plastic polymer bank note that has a less environmental impact than a paper bank note.

Last week, Apple launched its new flagship smartphone sporting a fingerprint sensor, an improved camera and up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

80% of UK firms don’t want to leave the EU.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Analysts believe that the FTSE 100 will rise to 7,400 in 2014 – as stocks continue to be supported by the strengthening economy.

Economists believe that the UK economy is heading for its fastest expansion since before the financial crisis, subsequently upgrading their forecasts for growth through 2015.

September 9 2013

A good week for global equity markets as a whole, established markets rising between +1 to + 3%.

Emerging markets also rose between +2 to +7% for the week.

The USD to ZAR was at a high of R10.3 and the GBP to ZAR went to R16.1.

A document unveiled by British Prime Minister David Cameron last week, estimates that Scottish households will be better off if they reject independence.

Computing giant Microsoft is buying Nokia’s brand of low to mid-level smartphones and getting access to the company’s patents, for a price tag of more than €5 billion.

UK Chancellor George Osborne seriously hopes that factory growth will help rebalance the economy – after it was announced that manufacturing output in the UK grew at its strongest pace for nearly two decades in August.

Property analysts warned British homeowners who are caught in the mansion tax trap that they could end up paying out more in taxes than they did to buy the property.

The booming UK digital economy will need three quarters of a million skilled workers by 2017 to help power UK firms, as the digital world is to continue growing.

The annual Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, released today by the World Economic Forum, showed that Switzerland has retained its top ranking in terms of its competitiveness globally.

The photography pioneer that invented the digital camera has successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plan to launch a new Kodak – a smaller digital imaging company.

Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Gear Smartwatch beating rivals Microsoft and Apple.

World leaders arrived in St Petersburg, Russia on Wednesday for a G20 summit, meant to focus on global economic uncertainty – however, international disagreement on Syria is quickly becoming the central theme.

A Resolution Foundation report revealed that a growing number of Britons are receiving less cash than they need to meet the ever-rising living costs – as inflation has been running higher than wage growth for many years.

According to the Trades Union Congress’s annual PensionsWatch survey, the average pension pot of a FTSE 100 Director increased by £400,000 last year, to a whopping £4.73 million.

US expats continue to renounce citizenship as FATCA weighs in: As of 8th August 2013, the total of names published in the Federal Register topped 1,000 for the quarter, for the first time ever, as the July 1st, 2014 deadline continues to loom.

The global economy is improving but it’s still too early to declare an end to crisis, leaders at the Group of 20 meeting in Russia said last week.

A state media report has just revealed that the Egyptian government will press ahead with the legal dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, as the army continues to portray its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as a fight against terrorism.

September 2 2013

Stocks dropped sharply in the mid-week due to possible military intervention by the West against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces after a chemical weapons attack. Obama announced that he would seek congress approval before the US initiated a strike, which will add further uncertainty and could unnerve the markets in the week ahead as congress will only reconvene on the 9th of September.

Established markets fell between -1% to -3% for this past week.

Oil rose +4% to $115.

Gold rose +1.24% to $1394.

GBP/ZAR = R15.8

USD/ZAR = R10.2

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is reminding policy makers that the clock is ticking – the US will reach its debt limit by mid-October.

Samsung has confirmed that its Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be officially launched in Berlin on September 4th.

Apple is about to introduce an iPhone trade-in program that will allow users to trade up from an old model to a new one.

The governments of 74 countries have asked Facebook for information on more than 38,000 users in the first half of 2013 alone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Greece should never have been allowed into the eurozone and blamed former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for accepting the country in.

Britain’s Co-operative Group took a £700m hit on losses for bad loans, technology problems and customer compensation.

Economic confidence in the eurozone soared to a two-year high in August.

France has stated that it still backs action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for an apparent poison gas attack on civilians, despite a British parliamentary vote against it.

August 26 2013

The Indian rupee hit more new lows against the US dollar, continuing its rapid descent despite measures by the government to curb its decline, while India’s richest man loses $5.6 billion as Rupee tumbles – The Rupee’s slump to record lows erased almost a quarter off the fortune of Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India.

The Central Bank of Germany, the Bundesbank, said in its monthly report on Monday that the European Union’s largest economy, Germany, – should stabilise to normal growth in 2013.

Women in UK receive £142,000 less in bonuses than men – The Chartered Management Institute revealed stark evidence that shows how women in the UK still earn less than their counterparts.

Despite the fact that Android and Microsoft are both gaining an ever-growing share of the prestigious smartphone operating system market, Apple is still succeeding in winning over customers from Samsung.

Hampshire scientists claim to have finally understood how turbulence works – a breakthrough that is set to save the aviation industry billions of pounds in fuel costs.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has joined a chorus of people who believe that Greece will need more money to fill a forthcoming funding gap and also Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras declared that Greece is much likely to require a third consecutive bail-out.

The International Consortium of British Pensioners, a group representing British pensioners abroad, is calling for the UK to be suspended from the Commonwealth.

August 19 2013

A good rise for commodities this past week but a drop for the USA and UK.

Gold up +4.12%

Oil up +1.45%

USA and UK down -1 to -2% for the week.

The S&P 500 Index suffered its biggest drop in nearly two months on Thursday, however, the S&P 500 is currently only 3.1% below the record high it established earlier on in the month.

Commodities gained some 2% this week. Precious metals rallied the most, up 5%, followed by energy, agriculture and then base metals. There is some evidence in the gold market that demand is starting to stabilise.

The recession in Greece eased in the second quarter to an unadjusted -4.6% from a year ago following a 5.6% contraction in the first quarter. The Greek economy is now in its sixth year of recession.

Thailand has been one of the best performing markets this year but has been sold down in recent months.

Workers in the UK are facing one of the sharpest falls in their wage amongst the European Union – official figures show.

Greece got a massive slap in the face from Germany last Monday, when its Finance Ministry steadfastly rejected any further debt relief for Greece.

Economists predict that inflation will continue pushing up prices at petrol pumps and leading to rising rail fares in the UK.

An Internal Revenue Service list revealed that a record number of people have renounced their US citizenship this year – as a direct result of a global crackdown on tax evaders.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn says he has built up a large stake in Apple, whose shares he described as extremely undervalued.

The US government is being sued by BP after it banned the company from obtaining new federal contracts in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion.

The proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways has been blocked in a lawsuit by the US government.

Facebook is in the process of developing an application exclusively for celebrity use, which is currently being tested by a small group of VIPs.

PC maker Dell has reported a fall of 72% in the second quarter, impacted by a decline in global PC sales.

The pace of US consumer price inflation lifted in July, pushing the annual rate of inflation to 2%.

Samsung is apparently launching a wristwatch-like device that can make phone calls, surf the Web and handle e-mails next month.

HMRC to target buy-to-let investors: HM Revenue and Customs is setting its radar on buy-to-let investors who fail to declare their income as it was found that there were 617 tax evasion prosecutions in 2012-13, double the amount found in the year before. It seems that HMRC is therefore increasingly focusing on smaller tax evaders in order to meet its target.

August 5 2013

Equity market were broadly up for the past week (USA / UK / EU / Far East) all up between 1 to 2%.

Gold however fell -1.66% to $1,309.

Oil rose +1.45% to $108.5.

The Bank of England left interest rates at 0.5%.

Eurozone economic confidence strengthened for a third month to a 15-month high in July.

Barclays revealed that it plans to issue £5.8 billion in new shares in an effort to build cash and refill a capital shortfall created by new regulatory demands.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management is anticipating an end to the persisting recession in Europe – significantly increasing its exposure to European equities.

In historic documents published online for the first time last week, it was revealed that the Bank of England had a role in one of the most controversial episodes in its history – helping the Nazis sell gold before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Pension experts are adamant believers that young professionals face huge financial pressures because a pensions crisis is inevitable for them – leaving them to struggle to make ends meet in old age.

The majority of British expats who are overseas residents want to stay put and cannot see themselves returning back to Britain, as expat life suits them more, according to a new poll.

US stocks on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied last night, sending the index above 1,700 for the first time.

Zimbabwe stock exchange plunges 11% after Presidential result: Shortly after it was announced that President Robert Mugabe yet again won a presidential election, to extend his 33 years in power, Zimbabwe’s main stock index plunged…Read More

July 29 2013

A relatively quiet week in the markets this past week, Gold still sitting at the $1330 level and the major global markets not making much movement.

Looking at the month of July, the UK market has since recovered the majority of its losses it made during the month of June, I am looking to see it surpass its highs to confirm a bull/growth market.

Apple’s profits fell by almost $2bn as it witnessed a decrease in the number of iPads and Macs it sold during this quarter.

EU plans to cut credit and debit card fees, however, there is disagreement over the potential impact it could have on the EU’s economy.

As of 2017, Jane Austen will be the face of the new £10 banknote.

Shares in Facebook have soared by 18% as it beats expected earnings on the back of stronger than expected mobile ad sales.

Samsung stated that net profit was £7 billion in the April to June quarter (Q2), a 50% jump from a year ago. Simultaneously, Apple suffered a 22% loss in the same period.

The European Commission today released its third review of the second Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece – concluding that the Greek economy is making slow progress.

July 22 2013

A good week for most of the markets as The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured investors the US central bank would only reduce its stimulus efforts if the economy allowed it to do so.

Quarterly results from major banks beat expectations, example being JP Morgan (the largest US bank by assets) whose profits rose 31% in the second quarter.

Global markets across the board were up between 1 – 2%

Gold also rose by 1.23% and is now trading above the $1300 level (as of today $1334).

The cap on benefits in the UK for people aged 16 to 64 began last week.

Britain’s largest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, was accused of bribing doctors with cash and sexual favours in return for prescribing the company’s drugs.

The Office for National Statistics in London announced last week that in June, UK unemployment claims fell at their fastest pace in three years.

The number of people saving into a company pension plan in the UK is at the lowest than it has been at any point for the past 60 years.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday decided to fine Barclays and four of its traders $453m (£300m) for alleged involvement in energy market manipulation.

Goldman Sachs hit a massive $1.93 billion in net income for the second quarter of 2013 – overshadowing Analyst forecasts and more than doubling its result for the same period last year.

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family who came to the rescue of Barclays Bank with a £3.5 billion capital injection at the height of the financial crisis, has sold his stake in the UK bank.

Detroit formally filed for bankruptcy last week as it found itself sinking under huge debts – becoming the largest US city ever to take such a drastic measure.

The Chinese government has set 7% growth as the bottom line for tolerance of an economic slowdown.

The brighter business mood in France has prompted the government to declare the recession over as confidence among industry leaders climbs to its highest level in over a year.

July 8 2013

A good week of recovery for markets all round, UK and US markets rising 2 to 3%.

Japan recovered by 4.4%.

Gold rose slightly to $1212 (up by 1.7%).

Oil rose to $107 (up 4.6%).

Certainty grew regarding the outlook for the US economic recovery. From a high of $1.5 trillion in 2009, it’s estimated the fiscal deficit will fall to US$640 billion this year.

Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union and the first state to be added since 2007.

Brent Crude oil prices rose during the week as political unrest in Egypt fuelled concerns of oil supply disruptions in the Middle East.

In currency news, the Rand went back above the R10 mark closing the week at R10.2 to the USD, it also remained above R15 to the GBP closing the week at R15.2 for £1

GBP however dropped below 1.5 to the US dollar and closed at $1.48

July 1 2013

A good recovery week for global markets with major Asian markets up 2 to 3%, US markets up 1% and EU markets up 1 to 2%.

Gold took another dive this past week losing 8.66% and finishing under the $1200 level – its lowest in 3 years and worst quarter performance since 1920 (22% decline since April this year).

Oil however, rose by 1%.

76-year-old former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in jail after being convicted in a sex trial.

The latest edition of The Banker’s Top 1,000 World Banks showed that ICBC (The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) jumped to the top spot earning it the world’s richest bank title overtaking JP Morgan and Bank of America.

According to its latest filings, Apple did not pay any UK corporation tax for 2012 after making $15 billion profit from EU sales alone.

Despite a slowdown in Europe’s top economies, latest data shows that the super rich in Europe increased their wealth last year. Their combined fortunes surged 13% to $3.4 trillion. Full article: https://www.devere-group.com/news/Super-rich-Europe-richer-high-net-worth-estate-planning.aspx

June 24 2013

Quite a rough week for the markets created by some bad news coming out of America.

The US markets fell broadly 2%

Gold plummeted down 7.4%

The UK markets were down 3%

Emerging markets China and India also fell between 2 – 4%

Japan however rose by 4%

In currency news the USD to ZAR remains above the R10 mark as well as the GBP to ZAR is R15.6

Saudi Arabia has changed its weekend to Friday and Saturday in a move that sets the largest Arab economy closer to opening of its $400 billion stock market to foreign investors.

Fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana have been sentenced to prison for tax fraud after failing to pay the Italian authorities EUR408 million

UK inflation rises to 2.7%

Deloitte is banned from New York for 1 year after regulators criticised its work with banks on anti-money laundering issues.

Nelson Mandela’s condition in hospital has become critical.

June 17 2013

Major USA and European markets down for the past week between 1 and 2%

Gold slightly up at +0.4% for the week

Brent Crude Oil up 2.86%

The UAE and Qatar have been upgraded from frontier to emerging market status

Greece has been downgraded from its developed market classification

South Africa, under United Nations protocols, has agreed to repatriate Libyan funds and assets that were hidden in the country during the rule of Gaddafi

The USD to Rand is just under the R10 to $1 mark but the GBP to Rand remains above the R15.5 region

 

June 10 2013

American Markets up just under 1% for the past week.

Brent Crude oil up 1.96% to $103.38.

Gold remained flat.

UK market (FTSE100) fell -2.76%.

The USA added 175,000 jobs in May. At the same time, the unemployment rate edged up to 7.6%.

In Europe, both the Bank of England and the ECB (European Central Bank) left their respective interest rates unchanged at 0.5%.

The unemployment rate in France jumped to 10.8% in the first quarter of 2013 – its highest level since 1998.

During a trip to Japan, Francios Hollande (French President) told Japanese business leaders that the crisis in Europe was finally over.

Rand to Dollar still above R10.  Rand to Pound edged up to R15.65 (today at R15.78)

The UK’s NHS pension scheme has liabilities (deficit) of £247 Billion! This is a UK taxpayer funded scheme and holds no investable assets. This means that future retirees of the scheme are highly unlikely to have a pension!

Swiss Bank UBS is under investigation from the French authorities for opening undeclared Swiss bank accounts for French citizens.

Nelson Mandela Hospitalised for a third day for lung infection.

Zimbabwe has been in default to international creditors since 1999 with $10.7 billion outstanding and has accepted the International Monetary Fund program to help settle the debt.  The IMF monitored plan will allow it to borrow from the World Bank and African Development Bank.

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