Angela Freyre (Julius Baer) | Russia’s central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate to a post-Soviet low as the economy enters a deep recession fuelled by the fall in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. The bank lowered its key rate by 100 basis points to 4.5%, following a 50 basis-point cut in April.
Shaun Riordan | I have been reading a whole series of market forecasts for 2019. While it is relieving that at last they include political or geopolitical factors, I was struck by those factors, which could have dramatic impact on companies or markets which were left out, or misinterpreted.
Shaun Riordan | Social media companies may be sophisticated in the way they monetise data, but they remain remarkable naïve, almost innocent, when it comes to politics.
Caixin | As two of the most significant economies driving global growth today, commentators often compare the emerging market behemoths, China and India. In recent times, the two countries have eclipsed Brazil, Russia and South Africa, their BRICS counterparts, in terms of economic growth. However, there are significant differences between the two Asian economies.
UBS | Improved EM asset performance this year has been driven by a) the tremendous credit stimulus from China, b) a change in the reaction function of the Fed, which helped EM currencies rally against the USD, and, c) the rebalancing in the oil market. Investors are already questioning the first two, but oil has continued to trade very well.
MADRID | The Corner | The Russian market represents a low proportion of the Eurozone’s goods exports: below 3% for the major economies. In the case of Spain, the percentage is just 1.1%. According to experts at Afi, a decrease in the amount of Russian tourists arriving in Spain could have an impact on the Spanish economy. After all, its current contribution to the sector is just (2.4%), but before last summer, Russian tourism was a spur to Spanish tourism.
ZURICH | UBS analysts | It is too early to buy Russian equities in our view. The failure of the Russian Central Bank to ‘back up’ yesterday’s aggressive rate hike with enough intervention to stabilize the Ruble means currency and market risk is likely not over. The Russian market needs the oil price and the Ruble to bottom out for a sustained rally to begin. MSCI Russia trades at just over 3x forward earnings (v. a long term average of 7.2x), but this is based on a consensus EPS forecast for 2015 of -1% – almost certainly far too high.
Bungling with Russia over Crimea will send the West knocked out with a bloody nose. One way or another, it was a crisis a long time coming. Europe has arguably sleepwalked into a reluctant confrontation with Russia. The continent’s next-door behemoth of a neighbor, saddled by a man it secretly detests the most, is also its largest energy supplier, irascible trading partner and purveyor of most maladies diplomatic.
BRUSSELS | By Jacobo de Regoyos | Europe’s 28 have unanimously requested at their recent summit to the Commission to prepare new economic sanctions against Russia, which will be triggered if the tension in Eastern Ukraine is not reduced. “Further significant steps,” is written on the statement. But nobody really knows how far can go the difficult consensus knitting machine that the European Union has become, divided between the dread to Russia felt by Eastern countries and the economic interests that grip the continental West. (Note from the editor: The cartoon above was published in Chinese official newspaper China Daily).
MADRID | By J. J. Fdez-Figares (LINK) | The main European and American stock markets closed yesterday up in a new session with low activity and reduced volatility, where the investors interpreted the words of the Russian President Putin, in his speech in Crimea, as an attempt to avoid the international isolation of his country as a result of their involvement in Ukraine. Yesterday again the macroeconomic figures published in the Eurozone surprised negatively because to the shrinking economic growth in Germany in the 2Q 2014, the first produced since 1Q 2012 during the euro crisis, the stagnation of the French economy and in the whole of the eurozone during the same period – the German and French economies account for about 50% of the Eurozone.