Bank of Japan: The Bank of Japan kept its key interest rate at around 0 to 0.1% today.
In a commentary on the economic outlook, the bank said: "Japan's economy is gradually emerging from the current deceleration phase. As the growth rate of the global economy has started increasing again led by emerging and commodity-exporting economies, Japan's exports and production are showing signs of resuming an uptrend. Business fixed investment has started to pick up. The employment and income situation has remained severe, but the degree of severity has eased somewhat.
As for private consumption, demand for some goods has suffered a reverse after the sharp increase seen previously. Housing investment has started to pick up. Meanwhile, financial conditions have continued to ease further. The year-on-year rate of decline in the CPI (excluding fresh food) has continued to slow as a trend."
China Inflation: China reported today that inflation moderated
slightly in January but remained at 4.9%, compared with the official 4% target.
Barclays: UK bank Barclays, reported today that its annual net profit
surged 36% to £3.56bn in 2010.
"Barclays delivered a significant increase in profit, despite continued economic challenges in our principal markets: historically low interest rates; sluggish volumes in many market segments; and considerable regulatory uncertainty," the new American chief executive, Bob Diamond, said.
NBC's Richard Engel has the latest on the unrest in Bahrain and CNBC's Scott Cohn has the latest on the search for former Egypt president Mubarak's millions:
Euro area GDP growth in Q4 set to disappoint: Davy economist, Conall Mac Coille, comments -- "Asian stock markets rose this morning (February 15th) following news that CPI inflation in China was 4.9% in January, weaker than the 5.4% figure the market had expected. That said, output price inflation was 6.6% in January, considerably stronger than the market had expected, indicating that inflationary issues will remain a concern. So stock markets will remain focused on the potential for a tightening of monetary policy in response to price pressures in China.
Today sees the release of euro area GDP for the fourth quarter of 2010. Euro area GDP growth is expected to be 0.4% in Q4, up slightly from growth of 0.3% in Q3. However, the Q4 figures released early this morning for Germany and France indicated that expectations for the euro area are likely to be disappointed. GDP growth in Germany was 0.4%, slightly weaker than the 0.5% expected. Growth in France was just 0.3%, considerably weaker than the 0.6% expected. Q4 GDP data for Austria, Greece, Italy are released later today and for other individual euro area countries later in the week. But given the large weight of the core economies, the aggregate euro area GDP number released later this morning is unlikely to meet market expectations.
Stock markets will have to weigh the positive news from China against the less favourable euro area Q4 GDP numbers. That said, poor weather conditions are likely to have pushed down on activity in Q4. For example, the construction sector detracted from growth in Germany. Purchasing manager indices for January indicate that growth remained robust going into Q1 in both the services and manufacturing sectors. So the euro area Q4 GDP data are unlikely to weigh heavily on stock markets."
Economic View: Room for manoeuvre on EU interest rate; Goodbody economist, Juliet Tennent, comments - - "There was further political rhetoric ahead of the Ecofin meeting in Brussels yesterday, with the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Oli Rehn, suggesting that while there is no room for a unilateral re-negotiation of the EU/IMF deal with Ireland, there may be room for maneuver on the interest rate.
He also reiterated that any change to the existing interest rate would be as part of an EU wide agreement and not specifically in response to pressure from Ireland. While the lowering of the interest rate would clearly be helpful to Ireland (a 1% reduction equates to €675m saving per annum) it is only part of an overall solution that is necessary (see our note on Irish Debt Dynamics of the 8th February).
Indeed a resolution to the European debt crises remains under negotiation and yields on peripheral bonds have been moving upwards recently, as markets get impatient with the slow pace of progress. In this regard a small step was taken at yesterday’s Ecofin meeting, with European finance ministers agreeing, as part of a comprehensive permanent package expected to be finalized by the end of March, to double the lending capacity of the European Financial Stability Facility to €500bn in 2013."
Callum Henderson, global head of FX research at Standard Chartered, speaks to CNBC's Oriel Morrison about the impact of China's weaker-than-expected inflation data on the currency markets:
In New York Monday, the Dow fell 5 points or 0.045 to 12,268.
The S&P 500 added 0.24% and the Nasdaq added 0.28%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific rose 0.1% Tuesday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.20%; China's Shanghai Composite was flat; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 0.10% and India's Sensex gained 0.37%.
In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up 0.17% in early trading Tuesday.
The ISEQ has dipped 0.11% in Dublin.
CRH fell 1.27%; Greencore rose 0.93%.
The euro is trading at $1.3486 and at £0.8405.
For live currency updates, check the right-hand column of the Finfacts home page.
The US dollar fell to $1.6038 per euro on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - an-all time record.
The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for dry commodities, hit an all-time High of 11,771 on the 21st of May, 2008. From that time it reversed and on the 5th of December, 2008 it hit a low of 663 - - close to a 1986 low.
The BDI closed at 3,005 on Thursday, Dec 31st - - a rise of 289% in 2009. The index averaged 59% lower in 2009 than a year earlier.
On Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index fell for the 35th straight session, by 9 points, or 0.537%, to 1,700 points, Bloomberg report.
On Friday July16th, the BDI rose 20 points or 1.12% to 1,700 to break the 35-session losing streak.
On Friday last week, the BDI rose 42 points or 3.70% to 1,178.
The Financial Times reported
earlier in January, that Australia’s flooding and fears of ship oversupply has
pushed down a gauge of the cost of hiring ships to carry coal, iron ore and
other dry bulk by nearly half since October to the lowest level since the
aftermath of the financial crisis. The Baltic Dry index, the widely watched
measure of dry bulk charter rates, fell to 1,453, nearly half the 2,784 peak
reached on October 27, 2010.
margin between the US benchmark WTI (West Texas Intermediate) used on the New
York Mercantile Exchange and Brent is almost at $19 a barrel.
The spot price of an oz of gold is trading in New York at $1,364.70, up $2.70 from Monday's close.
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