Renminbi strengthens further despite gains by dollar

The renminbi on track for a fourth day of firming against the dollar on Wednesday after China’s central bank once again pushed the currency’s trading band (marginally) stronger. The onshore exchange rate (CNY) for the reniminbi was 0.28 per cent stronger at Rmb6.8855 in afternoon trade, bringing it 0.53 per cent firmer since it last […]

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Sales in Rocket Internet’s portfolio companies rise 30%

Revenues at Rocket Internet rose strongly at its portfolio companies in the first nine months of the year as the German tech group said it was making strides on the “path towards profitability”. Sales at its main companies increased 30.6 per cent to €1.58bn while losses narrowed. Rocket said the adjusted margin for earnings before […]

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Spanish construction rebuilds after market collapse

Property developer Olivier Crambade founded Therus Invest in Madrid in 2004 to build offices and retail space. For five years business went quite well, and Therus developed and sold more than €300m of properties. Then Spain’s economy imploded, taking property with it, and Mr Crambade spent six years tending to Dhamma Energy, a solar energy […]

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Nomura rounds up markets’ biggest misses in 2016

Forecasting markets a year in advance is never easy, but with “year-ahead investment themes” season well underway, Nomura has provided a handy reminder of quite how difficult it is, with an overview of markets’ biggest hits and misses (OK, mostly misses) from the start of 2016. The biggest miss among analysts, according to Nomura’s Sam […]

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RBS falls 2% after failing BoE stress test

Royal Bank of Scotland shares have slipped 2 per cent in early trading this morning, after the state-controlled lender emerged as the biggest loser in the Bank of England’s latest round of annual stress tests. The lender has now given regulators a plan to bulk up its capital levels by cutting costs and selling assets, […]

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Categorized | Currencies, Equities

Crude rebound fails to lift energy stocks

Posted on December 31, 2015


A rebound in crude prices failed to offer relief to energy stocks on Thursday, as Europe’s equities indices were muted in thin volume ahead of the early end of the last trading day of 2016.

Oil’s steep slide has overshadowed markets, stoking concern not just about its immediate implications for stocks in the sector, but also on the outlook for inflation in developed markets. Brent crude, the international marker, rose 0.7 per cent to $36.73, with Nymex West Texas Intermediate up 0.4 per cent at $36.7.

    But oil majors found little cheer, with Brent’s tumble over 2015 at more than 37 per cent. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell fell 0.8 per cent on Thursday. BP was down 0.3 per cent, as was France’s Total.

    The FTSE 100 in London slipped 0.2 per cent, to take its decline for the calendar year to 4.7 per cent. The CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.4 per cent, trimming its wider gain for 2016 to 9.4 per cent. Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30 remained closed for the new year’s eve public holiday, leaving it up 9.6 per cent since January.

    The Europe-wide Euro Stoxx 600 was down 0.2 per cent.

    On currencies markets, the dollar was holding its ground, with the euro down 0.1 per cent at $1.0922 and the pound up 0.1 per cent to $1.4826.

    The tone of the final session of the year was steady in Asia, where China’s main indices were mixed.

    The Shanghai Composite fell 0.9 per cent, trimming its gain for 2015 to 9.4 per cent after a year of volatility marked by a sharp slide in August and then a steady recovery from lows. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ticked up 0.2 per cent, leaving it down 7 per cent since January.

    The rouble continued to fall on deepening concern about the consequences of low oil prices on Russia’s oil-dependent economy. The currency weakened by a further 0.7 per cent on Thursday, with Rbs73.7445 required to buy a single dollar, its weakest level on record apart from a brief rout last December that threatened a run on the Russian banking system.