International
Markets: German retail sales rose in February
By Finfacts Team
Mar 31, 2014 - 2:25 PM

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Destatis, the German federal statistics office, today reported that retail turnover in February 2014 in Germany increased 2.0 % in real terms and 3.0 % in nominal terms compared with the corresponding month of the previous year. The number of days open for sale was 24 in February 2014 and 24 in February 2013, too. When adjusted for calendar and seasonal variation, the February turnover was in real terms 1.3 % and nominal terms 1.1 % larger than that in January 2014.

Compared with the previous year, turnover in retail trade was in the first two months of 2014 in real terms 1.5 % and in nominal terms 2.6 % larger than that in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Banks: BOI funds Green REIT purchase of Central Park (in a jv) / Looks to expand in UK; Eamonn Hughes and Colm Foley comment - - "CoStar reported on Friday afternoon that Bank of Ireland is set to provide a €150m senior loan facility at 295bps over 3-month Euribor to Green REIT and PIMCO for their share of the Central Park office complex purchase. BOI’s senior loan reflects a 65.3% LTV on the €229.5m price paid to NAMA for the office component of Central Park (Kennedy Wilson purchased the multi-family component for €82m).

Bank of Ireland’s success in winning the loan mandate plays into the theme highlighted in our most recent report that exits of players from Ireland and NAMA’s wind-down will provide lending opportunities for the main domestic banks. As such, the bank may be able to stabilise its loan book earlier than anticipated notwithstanding ongoing declines across the system. Whilst the spread probably highlights a bit more competition in the market, we believe markets are more focused on the volume story bearing in mind the spread is still well above BOI’s average funding cost. For the REITs, ongoing tightening in spreads will be welcome as they move from investing their cash into the leverage phase, prior to full investment.

Elsewhere, for BOI, we note comments from the head of BOI’s UK business (in the Telegraph) that the bank, through its Post Office joint venture, is seeking to position itself as a viable alternative to the UK’s main high street banks.

There is very little new in the article but the business, through the Post Office, in the UK is one of the growth drivers identified by management in the years ahead."

US Markets

In New York Monday, the Dow is up 115 points or 0.70% to 16,427.

Both the S&P 500 added 0.67% and the Nasdaq advanced by 0.88%

US benchmark updates

Asia Markets

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.8% Monday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.90; China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.41%; South Korea's KOSPI advanced 0.23%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.52% and in Mumbai, the Bombay Stock Exchange the S&P BSE India Sensex Index increased 0.21%.

Europe Markets

In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx Europe 600  is up 0.35 in mid afternoon trading Monday.

In Dublin, the ISEQ  has fallen 0.24%

Aer Lingus is down 0.72% and Ryanair has risen 1.04%.

European Benchmarks

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Rates

AIB Daily Report

Bank of Ireland Daily Report

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.3795 and at £0.8293.

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.

Commodities

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for dry commodities, hit an all-time high of 11,771 on May 21, 2008. From that time it reversed and on the 5th of December, 2008 it hit a low of 663 - - close to a 1986 low.

On Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index fell for the 35th straight session, by 9 points, or 3.11%, to 1,619 points, Bloomberg report.

On Friday in London the BDI closed down 39 points or 2.76% to 1,373. The index is down 39.7% year to date.

The index rose by 220% in 2013 to 2,237.

Global rebalancing — the tanker scrapyard index?

Crude oil for May 2014 delivery is trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $101.51 down 16 cents from Friday's close. In London, Brent for May 2014 delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $108.09. The North Sea benchmark accounts for two-thirds of the global market.

Finfacts, July, 15, 2013: US West Texas Intermediate oil benchmark jumps in July - - margin between WTI and Brent falls.

Gold spot price

The spot price of an oz of gold is trading on the CME in Chicago at $1,291.70 down $2.10 from Friday's closing - - the gold price fell 28% in 2013, the biggest annual plunge since 1981.

Gold had hit a record high of $1,921.15 a troy ounce on Sept 06, 2011.

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