Offshore Capitalist

Category Archives: World Markets

IMF’s Regional Outlook Shows Asia Leading Global Recovery

Asia is leading the global recovery and the region’s contribution to global growth will continue to exceed that of other regions in the next two years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today in its latest Regional Economic Outlook (REO) for Asia and the Pacific. The IMF revised upward its growth forecast for Asia to [...]

A quick look at the gold chart

The current five year gold futures chart.
Click the pic to view full size.

Ratings Firms’ Influence Under Fire

The ratings agencies played a substantial role in the 2008 financial crisis.  Now some criticize their actions in the Greek/European debt crisis…
An interesting article.. click the link at the bottom to see the full original.
WallStreetJournal:  Europeans took aim Wednesday at debt-rating agencies, accusing them of worsening the plight of financially-stretched governments such as Greece that [...]

World Economy Continues to Defy the Pessimists

Morningstar:  The recovery phase tends to be one of the longer phases of the cycle and this time should prove no different.
Against a backdrop of continuing concerns about rising government budget deficits, tougher financial regulation and the return of protectionism, global economic activity continues to come in stronger than expected. Indicators of global activity such [...]

Global recovery better than expected – IMF

Transcript of a Press Briefing on the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook
Global recovery has evolved better than we expected. We now forecast global growth to reach 4.2 percent in 2010, which is an upward revision of .3 percent from our January forecast, and to reach 4.3 percent in 2011.
Alongside growth, global trade has also [...]

Pound Rises Against Euro as Recovery Optimism Gathers Momentum

April 24 (Bloomberg) — The pound rose against the euro for the fifth week in six as data indicated the recovery from Britain’s worst recession on record is gathering momentum and the Bank of England may move to withdraw stimulus measures.
The pound also advanced against the Japanese yen as reports showed mortgage approvals rose more [...]

Global financial leaders cheered by recovery signs

WASHINGTON — Despite a deepening Greek debt crisis, global financial leaders declared Friday that the world’s economy is recovering faster than expected from the worst recession in decades.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 major economies credited the massive amounts of government stimulus that have been provided. Their joint statement did not [...]

China currency move a matter for medium-term – IMF

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China recognises the need to let its currency appreciate for the good of its domestic economy but the move will only come in the “medium term”, the International Monetary Fund’s Asia director said on Saturday.
IMF Asia Director Anoop Singh told Reuters that China and other export-focussed Asian countries have been compelled by [...]

Eight of the 10 best-performing currencies are from emerging markets

NEW YORK TRADERS in currency options are showing that emerging economies have become safer relative to developed nations than at any time in almost two years.
Three-month implied volatility for the seven biggest developing country currencies fell to 10% in March compared with 11.4% for industrialised nations, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co indexes. The gap [...]

European Investment Funds Show Strong Start to 2010

European investment funds saw a strong start in 2010, with long-term funds enjoying a monthly level of net inflows unsurpassed in any single month of 2009, according to the Investment Fund Industry Fact Sheet for January, published today by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).
Low returns from money market funds and bank deposits, [...]

Economic Recovery In U.K. To Remain Sluggish In 2010: CBI

The recovery in the U.K. economy is expected to remain sluggish during 2010, the Confederation of British Industry said on Monday.
In its latest economic forecast, the CBI said the economy will grow in the first two quarters of 2010, by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively, and by a slightly faster 0.5% in the next two quarters. [...]

U.S. Stocks Outlook Is ‘Quite Positive’ for Legg Mason’s Miller

March 22 (Bloomberg) — Legg Mason Inc.’s Bill Miller said he has a “quite positive” outlook for U.S. stocks and favors technology and financial companies because of their valuations.
Technology companies are his largest holding because they are “very cheap,” said Miller, chief investment officer of U.S.-based Legg Mason Capital Management, with $16.9 billion in assets. [...]

Bank’s Sentance sees some risk of double-dip – Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England policymaker Andrew Sentance said he saw encouraging signs of a pick up in the UK and the world economy, but warned that there was still a risk that a financial shock could derail the recovery.
In an interview with CNBC broadcast on Friday, which largely reiterated a speech he gave [...]

A Look At Sector Performance Over 5 Years

It’s interesting to compare how various sectors (as defined by the IMA) have performed over the last five years.
Here’s a table with sectors ranked by 5-year, 3-year and 1-year performance (at as 12-March-2010).

via IMA Sectors, Fund Returns , Performance.

An ETF for exposure to China blue chips – iShares FTSE Xinhua China 25 (FXC)

The iShares FTSE Xinhua China 25 is an Ireland domiciled ETF that tracks the FTSE Xinhua China 25 index.
index consists 25 of the largest and most liquid Chinese stocks (Red Chips and H shares) listed and
trading on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK). The index is specifically designed for international
investors, combining the ease of [...]

An ETF to track global agribusiness – Powershares Global Agriculture (PSGA)

Invesco Powershares Global Agriculture is an ETF domiciled in Ireland with a principal listing on the London stockmarket. As of 17-Dec-09, the fund has delivered almost 70% performance year-to-date in US dollar terms.
The fund replicates the NASDAQ OMX Global Agriculture Index, which track the performance of the largest and most liquid companies engaged in agriculture [...]

Pension deficits return to haunt blue-chips

As the economic downturn seems to be receding we can stop worrying about whether a company is at risk of going under from the weight of its debts; it’s time to return to our previous concern about whether its pension deficit might do the same job.
Pension deficits among FTSE 100 companies after the third quarter [...]

Dow Jones World Stock Index – Chart

Click the image for full size.
Click the link below for source.
via $DJW – SharpCharts Workbench :

(EEM) iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Chart

The previous post today looked at the underlying index of this ETF – MSCI Emerging Markets index.  The iShares ETF – EEM – tracks the index.  Online charts are more easily found for listed securities than for indices, so let’s look at the MarketWatch chart of EEM.
Of interest is the very strong fall through the [...]

MSCI Emerging Market Index Chart

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets.
As of June 2009 the MSCI Emerging Markets Index consisted of the following 22 emerging market country indices: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, [...]

5 Year Gold Price Chart

Five-year chart of gold price (GC.1) to 4-Dec-2009 (from   To remind yourself what GC.1 is, read this.
Click the image to see full size.
via / Markets data / GC.1:CME: Performance for COMEX GOLD 1 FUTURES CHAIN Front Mon.

Japan’s debt-ridden govt plans new stimulus

Japan’s debt-laden government said Monday it planned a new round of stimulus spending worth more than 31 billion dollars to prop up a feeble economic recovery that is threatened by the strong yen.
Japan, which has this year been digging itself out of its worst post-war recession, now faces the threat of the yen trading at [...]

Australia Increases Benchmark Interest Rate to 3.75%

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) — Australia’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point for an unprecedented third straight month as evidence mounts that the nation’s economy is strengthening.
Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens increased the overnight cash rate target to 3.75 percent from 3.5 percent in Sydney, as forecast by 19 of [...]

Efficient Markets or Herd Mentality? The Future of Economic Forecasting

Ever wonder why you succumbed, yet again, to advertising hype or deceptive packaging and overpaid for a product? Or bought securities that you know were overvalued when the herd instinct was just too strong to resist?
Such irrationality is the focus of behavioral economists, who appear to be gaining greater credibility in macroeconomic circles since the [...]

Oxbridge-Sounding Phone Scammers in Spain Seduce U.K. Investors

Bloomberg — Credit controller Linda Reay was sorting the daily pile of bills back in 2005 at the bed- manufacturing factory where she worked near Carlisle, an industrial city in northwestern England. Then she took a phone call that would destroy her retirement dreams.
The smooth-talking caller identified himself as a London stockbroker named Robert Samuel. [...]

Société Générale tells clients how to prepare for ‘global collapse’

Telegraph — Société Générale has advised clients to be ready for a possible “global economic collapse” over the next two years, mapping a strategy of defensive investments to avoid wealth destruction.
In a report entitled “Worst-case debt scenario”, the bank’s asset team said state rescue packages over the last year have merely transferred private liabilities onto [...]

Recovery still too timid to halt rising unemployment, says OECD Economic Outlook

The economic recovery now spreading across OECD countries is still too timid to halt the continuing rise in unemployment, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook.
The jobless rate is expected to peak in the first half of 2010 in the US, but it may not be until 2011 that unemployment begins to fall in the [...]

Obama: Too much debt could fuel double-dip recession

BEIJING, Nov 18 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession.
With the U.S. unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, Obama told Fox News his administration faces [...]

Bear market rally nearing its end, says Barry Ritholz

Barry Ritholz, author of the best-selling book Bailout Nation, thinks the market moves of this year signify a typical bear market rally and there are more choppy waters approaching.
Speaking at the Citywire Fund Selector Forum on Wednesday evening, Ritholz, who is CEO and director of equity research at FusionIQ in NewYork, dismissed the idea that [...]

IMF chief keeps up pressure on China to let yuan rise

International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday again urged Beijing to let the yuan rise “sooner rather than later”, saying it would benefit both China and the global economy.
“The renminbi (yuan) is undervalued. It’s not only in the interests of the global economy but also in the interests of China to have a revaluation,” [...]

Britain’s biggest pension schemes battle £44 billion deficit

Is your company pension scheme your only retirement plan?  Are you confident that your employer will still be around when you retire, to pay your pension?  Are you confident the company actually has the resources to cover it’s pension committment?  REALLY?  Think Lehmans, think Enron, think…
A vast underestimation of obligations has left some of Britain’s [...]

Bernanke Says ‘Not Obvious’ Asset Prices Misaligned

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said it’s “not obvious” that asset prices in the U.S. are out of line with underlying values after a 64 percent jump in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index from its March low.
“It is inherently extraordinarily difficult to know whether an asset’s price is in [...]

Skandia survey suggests continued confidence in offshore products

In a recent survey conducted by Skandia International of nearly 700 advisers – 300 overseas and 400 in the UK – around 80 per cent agree that consumer confidence in offshore products remains high. Some 79 per cent of advisers in the UK believe investors remain confident in offshore investment or are unaffected by the [...]

FSA to get powers to curb UK banker bonuses – Darling

LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – City regulators are to be given new powers to stop bankers receiving bonuses that “would cause instability” to the financial system, British finance minister Alistair Darling said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph he said banking needed to change and that financiers had to see themselves [...]

China rounds on U.S. rates as global economic risk

BEIJING (Reuters) – Ultra-low interest rates in the United States are fuelling speculation in overseas asset markets and threatening the global economic recovery, a senior Chinese official said on Sunday.
In unusually blunt criticism of U.S. monetary policy on the day that President Barack Obama arrives in China for a visit, Chinese banking regulator Liu Mingkang [...]

Research tells me something I already knew

A significant number of my clients are couples, who make investment decisions as a team.  It is common for each partner to have a different attitude towards investment risk.  I have long felt that couples often make more ‘well rounded’ balanced and structured investment decisions than individuals.  Some research just out seems pertinent.
Abstract from the [...]

Ron Paul: Be Prepared for the Worst

Any number of pundits claim that we have now passed the worst of the recession. Green shoots of recovery are supposedly popping up all around the country, and the economy is expected to resume growing soon at an annual rate of 3% to 4%. Many of these are the same people who insisted that the [...]

Eurozone emerges from recession

The eurozone economy has emerged from recession after growing between July and September, figures have shown.
The 16 nations that use the euro collectively grew 0.4%, after shrinking by 0.2% between April and June.
The French and German economies both grew for a second consecutive quarter, confirming the eurozone’s two largest economies are out of recession.
However, both [...]

US trade gap widens unexpectedly

The US trade deficit unexpectedly widened in September by the largest amount in 10 years, figures show.
The trade gap, the difference between US imports and exports, grew 18.2% to $36.5bn (£21.9bn) from August.
Imports rose 5.8%, the biggest jump since 1993 and an indication that consumer spending is recovering.
Separately, US consumer confidence figures unexpectedly fell. The [...]

APEC Wary of Withdrawing Stimulus Too Early, Too Late

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) — Asia-Pacific leaders said the withdrawal of economic stimulus packages is all about timing: too early and the recovery stalls, too late and resultant stock and property bubbles may trigger a fresh financial crisis.
“It is premature to talk about recovery of the global economy,” Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said in a speech [...]

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