Global Economic Prospects 2014

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Prospects Daily: Ukrainian financial markets tumble again amid shattered truce, Singapore revises Q4 GDP from contraction to growth, China’s manufacturing PMI falls to a seven-month low

Financial Markets…Global equities moved lower on Wednesday as downbeat economic data from China and Eurozone and escalating turmoil in Ukraine dampened market sentiment. The benchmark MSCI world stock index dropped 0.5% to a 6-day low, with the MSCI developing-country stock index sliding 1.1%. Meanwhile, U.S. equities opened higher in morning trade with the S&P 500 and the Dow gaining 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively.

Prospects Daily: Ukrainian financial markets slump amid escalating civil unrest, U.K. unemployment at 7.2%, South Africa’s inflation accelerates

Financial Markets…Ukraine’s financial markets slumped on Wednesday amid escalating civil unrest.  The nation’s benchmark stock index tumbled as much as 4.2% before parings the loss to 2.0%, and the yield on the government bonds due in June rose by 1,135 basis points to an all-time high of 34.27%.  Investors are dumping financial assets of Emerging Europe’s riskiest borrowers after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych yesterday banned anti-government protests after clashes in Kiev killed at least 25 people.

Prospects Daily: Kazakhstan devalues its currency by 19%,Yellen: recovery in U.S. labor market far from complete, South Africa’s manufacturing output expands at fast pace in December 2013

Financial Markets… Kazakhstan’s central bank devalued its tenge currency by 19% to 185 per dollar in an effort to hinder foreign speculators and adjust to the currency weakening of its main trading partner Russia. The Russian ruble, which is a reserve currency of Kazakhstan along with dollars and euros, has weakened 5.4% thus far this year. This has put additional pressure on the Kazakhstan currency as Russia accounted for nearly 18 % of Kazakhstan’s total trade, second after the European Union at about 41%.

Prospects Daily: U.S. trade deficit widens more-than-expected, Ghana’s central bank raises lending rate to 18% after imposing foreign exchange controls

High Income Economies…In the week ended February 1stU.S. first-time jobless claims fell more-than-expected to 331,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 351,000. The less volatile four-week moving average inched up to 334,000, an increase of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 333,750. Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also climbed to 2.96 million in the week ended January 25th from the preceding week's revised level of 2.95 million.

Prospects Daily: Ukraine’s currency weakens to five-year low against the U.S. dollar, Japanese service sector slows to 5-month low, Indonesia’s GDP growth slows to four-year low in 2013

Financial Markets… World stock markets were mixed on Wednesday with Asian and European shares posting small gains while U.S. equities opened lower. The MSCI Asia-Pacific stock index advanced 0.8%, after sliding the most since June 20 yesterday, as Japan’s Topix index gained 2.1%. The Japanese gauge declined 13% between January 8th and yesterday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was up just 0.1% as a sharp drop in December retail sales offset an encouraging euro-zone PMI report and relatively calmer conditions in developing-country financial markets.

World Bank published latest commodity prices: February 2014

John Baffes's picture
In January of 2014, energy prices eased by 2.7%, while the non-energy commodities edged down by 0.8%. Food prices were off by 1.6%, while beverages climbed up by 1.8%. Raw materials were off by 0.8% while fertilizers rebounded strongly by 4.2%. Metals eased by 0.7%, while precious metals recovered by 1.8%.
To access recent and long-term historical prices and other commodity-related information, please click here.