Posts from Tuesday Feb 19 2013

The Closer


FT markets round-up: “A stronger-than-expected reading of German economic sentiment helped boost demand for global assets, pushing stocks on Wall Street to a fresh five-year high. News that the Zew survey covering Europe’s biggest economy rose from 35 in January to 48.2 this month helped counteract some of the recent poor data from the continent. That supported many stock barometers as they pushed back towards cyclical highs. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 closed 1.1 per cent higher. Every sub-sector gained ground apart from mobile telecoms, which was dragged down by Vodafone after the heavyweight was downgraded by a broker. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 returned to the trading fold after Monday’s Presidents’ Day holiday and added 10 points to 1,530, shrugging off easing housebuilder confidence in February and feeding off more merger talk that left the index on at a fresh 5-year high by closing time. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also rose to close to its highest level since November 2000.” (Financial TimesRead more

A eurozone safe against, or is it safe for, sovereign holdouts? Part two

So, do you believe that “exceptional and unique” story about sovereign debt restructuring in the eurozone?

Then, as advised in a recent paper by Lee Buchheit, Mitu Gulati, and Ignacio Tirado — which we’re revisiting as Cyprus bailout talks heat up — stop reading here. Read more

Skidelsky on robots and more leisure

Love him or loathe him, Robert Skidelsky’s prose always makes for a good read.

His latest offering comes by way of Project Syndicate and relates to the issue of robots and the rise of automation. To what degree are we really approaching a leisure society and how best to respond to the changes afoot? Read more

A eurozone safe against, or is it safe for, sovereign holdouts? Part one

So, you’re wondering what kind of crisis Cyprus is. And you’ve watched the success of Nicos Anastasiades in the presidential elections so far. Anastasiades is not the kind of guy to demonise creditors for the sake of it, but he will have tough negotiations ahead of him of he wins. Read more

EU carbon market gets a reprieve

The European parliament’s environment committee voted in favour of a plan to allow “backloading” of carbon permits. It’s the somewhat significant vote that follows the less significant vote by another committee in January, which helped prompt a big crash in carbon markets at the time.

It’s curious that in this little corner of EU co-ordination, a little good news doesn’t even provide a brief rally; prices fell more than 20 per cent after news of the vote. Read more

Markets Live: Tuesday, 19th February, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Cyprus almost over first hurdle || Banks in the US can still become bigger to fail || BP squares up to US government in court over Deepwater || EU sets up working group on debt redemption || China tightens controls on housing loans || Google vs European privacy regulators || And Google to open stores? || Obamacare concerns || Potential OfficeMax & Office Depot tie-up || The Giving Pledge expands Read more

How not to speak to your regulator

We don’t often write about ferries and transport infrastructure here, but this statement demands an exception.

Eurotunnel is not surprised at the position of the Competition Commission, but will challenge the provisional findings which conclude that the addition of the new operator, MyFerryLink, would be detrimental to competition and could lead to an increase in prices.

You see’s it’s the tone. Snark is our job. It’s not becoming of a listed entity that only exists because of the billions of tax payers £s poured into it. Read more

Cyprus: new face, much the same problem

Cyprus is almost over the first hurdle — the pro-bailout Nicos Anastasiades handily won the first round of the island’s presidential elections last week. As the FT notes, he will face Stavros Malas, the Akel (Cyprus communist) party candidate, who won 27 per cent, in the run-off on February 24 and it’s pretty likely Anastasiades will come out on top.

What is less likely, is that there will be a sudden move towards that €17bn-ish international bailout Cyprus has hankering for. It’s not as if there has been unseemly speed so far: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

– Are the largest firms insulated from exchange rate movements?

– A war declaration on trolls.

– Putting the rise in food stamp usage in perspective. Read more

The 6am Cut London

Asian markets mixed || Aso says no intentions to buy foreign bonds || Cameron calls for faster RBS reforms || Nestle ensnared in horse meat scandal || Key EU ETS decision today || Fed exit worries || Nat Rothschild’s chances of Bumi win hit by share sale || EU weighs new Google crackdown || BP gears up for big Deepwater Horizon trial || Fear losing ground to greed Read more