MADRID | The Corner | February 25, 2015 | Spanish telecom giant Telefonica reported a drop of 34.7% in net profit, although investors celebrated revenue picture brightening up. Elsewhere, the Spanish Producer Price Index falls again, registering a drop of 2.8% for January.
Guest post by Benjamin Cole via Historinhas | What to make of the recent dust-up around Rogoff World, in which the U.S. would pursue a cashless, deflationary federal police state characterized by negative interest rates? Harvard don Ken Rogoff has suggested this is the best macroeconomic option going forward. My take-away? The economics profession is deep into dementia.
The launch of the Hong Kong – Shanghai Stock Connect gives foreign investors unprecedented access to the Chinese stock market by simply opening an account in Hong Kong. While the new scheme provides undoubted opportunity, systemic flaws in China continue to cause concern.
By Sreekala Kochugovindan, Anando Maitra (Barclays) | History highlights the importance of the business cycle in determining the effect of rising rates on asset returns, a topic we discussed in depth in Scenarios for a shifting bond landscape. We examined US data since 1925 and selected episodes where US Treasuries sold off by more than 5% in one year. The results were pretty mixed, with equity returns ranging between plus and minus 50% and providing no consistent pattern.
MADRID | The Corner | US corporate results from the third quarter might be around +4%/5% (earnings per share), but it is highly probable that European results will be weak. Also, there should not be great expectations on central banks to save the situation this time, except, possibly, a more “dovish” refocusing by the American Fed (the US central bank delayed an interest rate increase or even tapering, which would give support to markets).
MADRID | By Julia Pastor | As expected, ECB’s September TLTRO will not make big headlines. 255 European banks borrowed €82.6bn of liquidity below consensus estimate of €100-150bn. Although the Frankfurt-based institution doesn’t provide a geographical breakdown, banks in Italy and Spain were among the leading borrowers (40% of the total) to trim funding costs. Spanish entities are thought to have asked half of those €30bn at their disposal, although some entities “are not willing to disclose how much they asked for,” an ECB source confirmed to The Corner.
MADRID | The Corner | While bonds are considering a world without growth nor inflation, equities seem much more optimistic. On their Monday comment, JPMorgan analysts point out that, on a global level, monetary policies are still increasingly more expansionary in aggregate form.
MADRID | The Corner | UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by 1.9% in the year to June 2014, up from 1.5% in May, according to official data released on Tuesday, almost reaching the Bank of England’s 2% target and strenghtening the case for a rise in interest rates which have been held at a record low of 0.5%.
WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | The Monty Python are back in London, and one of their most famous sketches revolves around the phrase “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.” The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is like the Spanish Inquisition, only less funny and more predictable than the British surreal comedy group: it is the bearer of orthodoxy, even if it means sending everybody to the stake. Its prescriptions are suicidal in economic terms, wrong from a moral point of view, and unjust from a societal perspective.
ZURICH | By UBS analysts | On 5 June, the ECB delivered a comprehensive monetary policy package, comprising cuts in the refi rate (from 0.25% to 0.15%), the deposit rate (from zero to -0.1%) and the marginal lending facility (from 0.75% to 0.4%). The ECB also rolled out the ‘full allotment mode’ – the commitment to supply unlimited liquidity (against adequate collateral) at the refi rate – from July 2015 to December 2016, and it will inject liquidity by ending the sterilisation of the Securities Markets Programme (SMP) portfolio.