Currencies

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 […]

Continue Reading

Banks

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, […]

Continue Reading

Currencies

Euro suffers worst month against the pound since financial crisis

Political risks are still all the rage in the currency markets. The euro has suffered its worst slump against the pound since 2009 in November, as investors hone in on a series of looming battles between eurosceptic populists and establishment parties at the ballot box. The single currency has shed 4.5 per cent against sterling […]

Continue Reading

Banks

Carney: UK is ‘investment banker for Europe’

The governor of the Bank of England has repeated his calls for a “smooth and orderly” UK exit from the EU, saying that a transition out of the bloc will happen, it was just a case of “when and how”. Responding to the BoE’s latest bank stress tests, where lenders overall emerged with more resilient […]

Continue Reading

Currencies

China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Currencies, Equities

Crude rebound fails to lift energy stocks


Posted on December 31, 2015

©Getty

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.