Did ‘Olympic effect’ lift UK out of recession?

On October 25, 2012, in Uncategorized, by simondixon

Did 'Olympic effect' lift UK out of recession?

The pound advanced in forex trading this afternoon (October 25th) following the news the UK has been hoisted out of the double-dip recession – and it seems the Olympic effect has helped the country return to growth.

According to the Office for National Statistics' data for the July-September period, the economy expanded by one per cent over this timeframe.

Furthermore, the sale of Olympic and Paralympic tickets accounted for 0.2 percentage points of this growth.

Another factor affecting gross domestic product data early in the third quarter is the bounce-back after losing a working day in June owing to the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations.

Decision-makers are being realistic about this fresh batch of data, identifying the fact one-offs have helped boost the economy.

Chancellor George Osborne remarked: "There is still a long way to go, but these figures show we are on the right track."

At 16:00 BST, the pound was higher in forex trading against the dollar by 0.5 per cent to £1 buying $1.613, while it advanced versus the euro to €1.244.


Australian wheat harvest expects disappointing output

Wheat futures have slipped in Europe this morning (October 23rd) as it is anticipated Australia's output levels of the cereal will disappoint.

According to Bloomberg, production in the country – which is the world's second-biggest shipper – will probably decline by 28 per cent to the lowest level in five years following dry weather which has reduced yields.

A median estimate from four analysts and two traders projects the harvest will total 21.2 million metric tonnes in the marketing year 2012-13, missing a government estimate.

Last month, a similar survey predicted output weighing 23.25 million tonnes, while the official forecast was 22.5 million tonnes.

In 2011, Australia shipped out a record crop of 29.5 million tonnes.

At 10:20 BST on the Euronext LIFFE Futures index milling wheat futures slipped by 0.2 per cent to €262.50 per metric tonne and feed wheat futures retreated by 0.7 per cent to £204.50 per metric tonne.


BP expected to sell TNK-BP share to Rosneft

On October 18, 2012, in Uncategorized, by simondixon

BP expected to sell TNK-BP share to Rosneft

BP is expected to sell its 50 per cent share in its joint venture TNK-BP to Rosneft.

It has been reported today (October 18th) that the state-owned Russian company has shaken hands on the deal and will make an announcement regarding its acquisition imminently.

The purchase would make Rosneft the world's largest publically trading oil mining company, accelerating its daily oil barrel output to a higher level than the industry's current leading force ExxonMobil.

According to Reuters, an anonymous source close to the deal confirmed BP received an offer for half of TKN-BP, with this certainly coming from Rosneft because the only other potential buyer – oligarch-led AAR – pulled out of bidding yesterday.

Furthermore, the four tycoons of AAR have signed a memorandum of understanding that they will sell their 50 per cent stake to Rosneft at a later date.

What remains to be seen is how much cash will be offered in the deal and whether BP will end up with a ten or 20 per cent share in Rosneft.


FTSE 100 news: UK construction fell in August

On October 12, 2012, in Uncategorized, by simondixon

FTSE 100 news: UK construction fell in August

UK construction fell 11.6 per cent in the year to August, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

The figure dropped by 0.9 per cent between July and August, partially reversing the 2.1 per cent month-on-month increase of July.

Output on a quarterly basis was 11.9 per cent lower in the three months between June and August this year than in the same period last year.

The largest contributory factor was the drop in new work, which fell 15.6 per cent.

Such figures are not seasonally adjusted and partly reflect factors such as the extra bank holiday in June.

Overall, however, the slump in construction activity has contributed significantly to Britain's slide back into recession, putting pressure on the value of stocks and shares in turn.

At 16:38 BST today the FTSE 100 news was gloomy, with the index having fallen 27.42 points since the start of trading to 5802.33.


JP Morgan: The global outlook ‘looks bleak’

On October 12, 2012, in Uncategorized, by simondixon

JP Morgan: The global outlook 'looks bleak'

"Bleak" was the word used by JP Morgan to describe the outlook for the world economy revealed in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) latest global growth forecasts.

The IMF projected global growth of 3.3 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent in 2013, compared to its July forecasts of 3.5 per cent and 3.9 per cent.

Fixed income manager at JP Morgan Nick Gartside noted many individual countries have worsened outlooks, from projections of the UK economy shrinking rather than growing over the course of 2012 to a higher debt to GDP ratio in Spain.

He remarked: "All this begs the question whether central banks are pushing on a string? So far, the impact of a quite extraordinary amount of stimulus, both conventional and unconventional, seems to be having little impact."

In its report, the IMF placed the blame for the unpromising situation at the door of the most advanced economies and their governments.

It said they had not taken the adequate policy steps to rebuild confidence in their medium term prospects.


NFU: UK food prices to rise following wet summer

On October 11, 2012, in Uncategorized, by simondixon

NFU: UK food prices to rise following wet summer

Food prices are to go up over the coming months because of the wet weather and subsequent flooding that has taken place in many locations this summer.

This year has seen the wettest summer since 1912 and the National Farmers' Union said English wheat yields have fallen by almost 15 per cent compared to the five-year average.

Production has also dipped to levels last seen in the 1980s, which will undoubtedly have an effect on consumers buying products such as bread and cereals, while fresh vegetables are smaller and less plentiful than usual.

The British Retail Consortium's Richard Dodd told BBC News: "Whilst retailers are certainly doing all they can to protect customers from the full impact of that, of course some of that inevitably will impact on shop prices."

News of reduced harvests has also taken its toll on stocks and shares, with milling wheat futures on the Euronext LIFFE Futures index stalling this week.