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December 2013

Prospects Daily: S&P cuts EU credit rating, U.S. GDP growth at 2-year high, India’s leading economic index falls

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Financial Markets… Rating agency Standard & Poor’s cut its triple A credit rating of the European Union by one level on Friday, citing the deteriorating overall creditworthiness of the bloc’s 28 member nations.  S&P also said in a statement that disagreements among EU member leaders over the common budget process weighed on the downgrade.  The downgrade came after the agency stripped its AAA rating on the Netherlands last month, and today’s rating action leave just six EU member countries with a top credit rating, including Germany, Luxembourg, and F

Prospects Daily: Global stocks mixed as tapering begins,Turkey’s markets come under pressure

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Financial Markets…The path of global stocks was somewhat mixed on Thursday following the Federal Reserve’s decision to start to reduce its massive stimulus program.  Developed-country stocks rallied with Japanese and European shares posting big gains amid the Fed-inspired stock rally.  In contrast, U.S. equities opened slightly lower in morning trade session, after both the S&P 500 and the Dow reaching record highs overnight, as investors gauged a mixed set of data, including U.S.

Prospects Daily: Ukraine’s dollar bonds extend record gains, U.S. housing starts at a 5-year high, India’s central bank leaves key interest rates unchanged

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Financial Markets… Global stocks inched higher on Wednesday along with the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields as investors awaited the Federal Reserve decision on the future of its stimulus program.  The benchmark MSCI world stock index gained 0.4% as Japan’s Nikkei 225 index and German’s DAX index climbed 2% and 1.5%, respectively, helped by weakening yen and robust German business sentiment.  U.S.

Prospects Daily: Developing-country stocks advance, German economic confidence highest in 7 years,Turkish monetary policy unchanged

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Financial Markets…The dollar rose slightly against the euro but fell versus the yen on Tuesday ahead of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting that investors hope will finally clarify when it plans to reduce its quantitative easing program.  The speculation over the timing of the Fed’s QE tapering has dominated market sentiment worldwide for months as investors worry an end of cheap money may trigger a tumultuous reaction from global financial markets.  The greenback slid 0.1% to 102.97 yen, after reaching a five-year high of 103.92 yen last week, while it gained 0.1% to $

Prospects Daily: The euro strengthens against the US dollar for seventh consecutive day, Greek unemployment rate edges up, South Africa’s annual headline inflation slows for third consecutive month while retail sales strengthen

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Financial Markets… The euro strengthened for a seven consecutive day against the dollar today, supported by a combination of higher short-term rates in the Eurozone and a growing expectation European policy makers will maintain key policy rates low for the time being but not cut them. The 17-nation common currency rose 0.2% versus the dollar to $1.3788, after touching nearly a six-week high of $1.38 earlier. The euro gained 0.1% against the yen to 141.59, extending its year-to-date to more than 23%.

Prospects Daily: Global equities advance on better-than-expected China’s export data, Japan’s GDP growth slows, China’s annual headline inflation eases while the trade surplus widens to record level

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Financial Markets…Global equities advanced on Monday despite weaker stocks in most European markets as better-than-expected Chinese exports data added to optimism on the global economy. In Asia, Japan’s Topix index and South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 1.6% and 1%, respectively. Meanwhile, European shares were mostly lower after Eurozone investor sentiment fell unexpectedly in December from near an 18-motnh high in November. Upbeat sentiment following Chinese trade data boosted developing-country shares with India’s Sensex index rising to a record high. U.S.

Prospects Daily: US Treasuries remain under pressure, ECB and BoE leave key rates unchanged, South Africa’s business confidence falls for second consecutive month

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Financial Markets…U.S. Treasury prices fell for a second day on Thursday as stronger-than-forecasted economic growth and unexpected decrease in weekly jobless claims added to speculation the Federal Reserve is likely to slow its stimulus program in coming months. The benchmark 10-year yields climbed 4 basis points to an 11-week high of 2.87%. Meanwhile, U.S. equities remained under pressure today, after falling four straight days, as the S&P 500 slide as much as 0.4% and the Dow rose less than 0.1% in the morning trade amid strong U.S. data.

World Bank published latest commodity prices: December 2013

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In November of 2013, both energy prices (2.2%) and the non-energy commodities were down (1.2%). Food prices were off by 0.9%, beverages by 1.9%, raw materials by 1.2%, while fertilizers declined 2.2%. Metals eased by 1.1%, while precious metals dropped by 2.2%.
To access recent and long-term historical prices and other commodity-related information, please click here.

Prospects Daily: US Treasuries fall after strong job data, US private-sector employment increases more than expected in November, Growth in China’s services industry ease slightly

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Financial Markets…U.S. Treasuries fell on Wednesday, with the benchmark long-term yield rising to a near 3-month high, after a larger-than-expected rise in U.S. private-sector payrolls prompted speculations the Federal Reserves will scale back its stimulus program as soon as this month or next. The U.S. 10-year bond yield widened as much as 7 basis points to 2.84% in morning trade, the highest level since September 18.

Prospects Daily: Global equities start the month on weaker note, Eurozone manufacturing sentiment at 29-month high, India’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index improves

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Financial Markets…Global equities started December on a cautious note, after they outperformed other global assets for a third month in November, as disappointing economic figures from France and Spain, heightened geopolitical risk in Ukraine and Thailand, lingering territorial dispute in the South China sea offset signs of strengthening  manufacturing activity in China, the U.K., and Germany.  An encouraging reading on China’s factory activity got the nation’s stock markets off to a relatively strong note, but later lost ground after a relaxation of 14-mont