Weekly Finance Bulletin 15th October 2012
There was a retraction for most global markets last week.
Worries on earnings and growth hit Asia, with Japan and Singapore 3% and 2% respectively as China advanced on easing hopes. Brazil's central bank cut the country's benchmark interest rate to 7.25% midweek, and indicated it was at the end of its rate-easing cycle. Rates have been progressively cut from 12.5% in August 2011.
In the West, Spain once again caused markets to churn uncomfortably. Ratings agency S&P slapped a 2 notch downgrade on Madrid to BBB- with a negative outlook making it prime for junk status. Ironically, Spanish 10yr debt currently hovers just above 5.5% from over 7.5% in July.
Stateside, there was surprise as the number of U.S. workers who filed new applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 30,000, last week to 339,000, the lowest level in more than 4 years. This complimented last week’s jobs numbers as 114,000 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell below 8% for the first time during the Obama administration.
As earnings season kicked off, JP Morgan started things on a good note. Earnings for the giant US bank advanced 34% to $5.71 bln, or $1.40 a share, from $4.26 bln, or $1.02, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue reached $25.15 bln, up 6% from $23.76 bln.
Matters for the EU ended on a PR high as bafflingly the entire bloc won the Nobel Peace Prize. With such social tension on the streets of Madrid and Athens the timing of a ‘Peace’ prize is nothing short of a mockery.
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