Monday, July 26, 2010
A week spent speculating which banks might fail their ‘stress tests'
Political and Economic Developments
The Bank of Canada raised it key rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%; Brazil raised its Selic rate 50 basis points to 10.75%, slightly less than expected on negative inflation in June. UK Q2 GDP came in a better than expected +1.1% Q/Q taking Y/Y growth to +1.6%, helped in part by June Retail Sales which rose by 1.0% M/M and +3.1% Y/Y excluding auto-fuel. No doubt the football World Cup had an effect, but this keeps it at the average of the last decade. With June Core CPI also running at +3.1% Y/Y (RPI +5.0% Y/Y and among the highest in two decades) yet Gilts maturing within 9 years yielding under 3.00%, real interest rates are decidedly negative. Pity then that National Savings and Investments was forced to withdraw its index-linked securities (RPI +1.00% per annum) to all new investors, the first time in their 35-year history, because of huge inflows. Hometrack has annual house prices rising by under 3.00% or shrinking since December 2007, Rightmove suggests +3.7% Y/Y, though the Halifax and Nationwide calculate 6.3% and 8.7% respectively. Gains on main homes tax free. German and Eurozone Purchasing Managers’ Indices, IFO and Consumer Confidence Surveys all upbeat versus June’s.