FT markets round-up:“Efforts by global central bankers to reassure markets that there would be no rush away from accommodative policies helped fuel fresh gains for equities and a rally in US government bonds, although gold sank to its lowest level in nearly three years. Indeed, the gold price tumbled $53, or 4.3 per cent, to $1,224 an ounce, while silver fell 5.5 per cent to $18.56 amid further fretting over Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments last week about “tapering” the central bank’s quantitative easing programme. The dollar, meanwhile, maintained its firmer tone, rising 0.4 per cent against a basket of currencies, with the euro below the $1.30 mark for most of the day after Mario Draghi, ECB president, said the eurozone economic outlook still warranted accommodative settings. His remarks echoed similar comments from David Miles and Sir Mervyn King of the Bank of England.” (Financial Times)
Sluggish growth data give Fed cause for caution on tapering: “The US economy grew at an annualised pace of 1.8 per cent in the first quarter, significantly slower than previously thought, which could give the Federal Reserve some reason for pause as it weighs slowing its support for the recovery. The surprisingly sharp downward revision – from an earlier projection of 2.4 per cent first-quarter gross domestic product growth – offers evidence that US growth remained quite sluggish even as the Federal Reserve began contemplating tapering the tempo of $85bn in monthly bond buys.” (Financial Times)
Italy probes use of derivatives to hedge public debt: “Italy’s judiciary has opened an inquiry into the Treasury’s use of derivatives to hedge public debt after reports that the state faced potential losses of billions of euros on contracts restructured during the eurozone debt crisis last year. Nello Rossi, Rome’s deputy prosecutor, told the Financial Times on Wednesday that he would meet the various institutions involved, including the Treasury, the Bank of Italy and state auditors. He stressed, however, that this was not a criminal investigation.” (Financial Times)
Emerging economies lead switch to renewable energy: “Renewable energy will provide more of the world’s electricity than gas-fired power plants by 2016 the International Energy Agency has said, as sources such as hydro, wind and solar power grow rapidly in emerging economies, especially China. The IEA, a think-tank backed by rich countries’ governments, said it had raised its forecast for growth in renewable energy from last year’s estimate and now expects renewables to provide about 24 per cent of the world’s electricity in three years, just ahead of gas and roughly twice as much as nuclear power.” (Financial Times)
UK spending review: winners/losers here.
Actually, full spending review stuff is here
- – - -
Guthrie spot on on spot king Marc Rich
Does Robert Shrimsley have nothing to fear?
Digital clogs to digital clogs
Not so shiny stuff
For toe-curling intro music and yet some quality audio on Japan, click here