Market Analysis

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In countdown to election, rate hike moves to centre stage


LONDON - Britain's politicians and central bankers are watching one another even more closely than usual as the timing of a general election and a headline-making interest rate rise look set to converge.

As ECB agonises over QE, markets are already half way there

LONDON - The European Central Bank has talked up the chances of launching a bond-buying programme to ward off deflation and having led markets down that path there could be a serious adverse reaction if it does not follow through.

Passive funds an active threat for Europe's fund managers

LONDON - Warren Buffett built a fortune of nearly $60 billion from astute stock picking, but when the 83-year-old dies, the vast majority of the money he leaves his wife will be parked in a fund that simply moves in step with an index.


Risk-averse UK investors slash equity holdings in August

LONDON - British investment managers slashed their equity holdings in August and bumped up their bets on bonds as heightened global tensions prompted a move away from risky assets, a poll showed.


Major banks' first-half commodity revenue climbs 21 pct

LONDON - Commodities revenue at the top 10 investment banks climbed by about a fifth in the first half of the year as a cold winter boosted business in U.S. power and gas and some investors returned to the sector, a consultancy said.


The incredible shrinking Bund yield - going, going ... gone?

LONDON - Benchmark 10-year German government borrowing costs have never been lower, and while the prospect of them dwindling to zero and even below is highly unlikely, it is no longer inconceivable.


ECB sees refinancing as big draw for banks seeking cheap money

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank expects banks to flock to its new ultra-long loan offering in September, regardless of the weak economic outlook for the euro zone, primarily because they need to refinance an earlier round of such borrowing.


Stock traders seek edge in pre-market twilight zone

LONDON - On most weekday mornings over the past year, Paris-based financial trader David Sibi has turned on a computer program designed to try and beat the U.S. stock market before it even opens.


'Good news' shock could kill the five-year-old bull market

LONDON - If bad economic news continues to translate into good news for investors, any sharp acceleration of the world economy from here could well kill off the long-running equity bull market.


ECB in policy limbo, boxed in by its own plans

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank is in a policy no man's land, bombarded by news of a stagnating euro zone economy but hesitant to move forward with new stimulus until measures it loaded in June have ignited.




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