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Single currency under pressure benefits Swiss franc

Two regimes alternatively prevail in the currency market. In the first regime, that we call “fundamental”, currencies move in line with economic data and monetary policy developments and expectations. In the second regime, that we call “crisis”, market participants focus on risks. Regimes switch rapidly from one to another, and usually in the wake of […]

Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship

Perspectives is also about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. This unique group of business leaders employs millions of people and generates a substantial proportion of the world’s wealth. Entrepreneurs create successful companies that continue to grow and get passed down through the generations, often then becoming family-owned businesses. Behind each entrepreneur are some remarkable and inspiring stories. […]

Insight: Green shoots in alternative investments

The past 12 months have seen the continued mixed fortunes of the alternative investment industry evident since 2007. Hedge fund assets under management have grown again, but are still below the peak of 2007. Private equity bottomed-out at the end of 2009 but has yet to resume consistent growth. But the case for continuing to […]

China, a new global leader is emerging

For almost one year, the Chinese equity market has been struggling with a dreadful combination: persistent inflationary pressures and the risk of a serious economic slowdown resulting from the PBoC monetary policy tightening. However, the Chinese economic growth is the strongest in the world, with a rate of more than 9%. The future of China […]

Euro area: Fiscal crisis

To summarise an extensive research note published today, the whole euro area is in a very difficult situation. One year after the €110bn 3-year international aid package had been approved to help the Greek government, doubts about the country’s ability to honour its debt have resurfaced again. With the exception of some short periods of […]

United States: Retail sales

Nominal retail sales rose by 0.5% m-o-m in April, slightly below consensus expectations (+0.6%). However, March’s figure was revised up from +0.4% to +0.9% and February’s reading from +1.1% to +1.3%.  Between December-February and March-April, retail sales increased by 11.2% annualised, following +10.2% between September-November and December- February. Short-term movements in nominal retail sales are […]

United States: Trade balance

The US trade deficit (trade of goods and services) widened substantially to $48.2bn in March from 45.4bn in February (revised from 45.8bn), and was above consensus expectations ($47.0bn). The increase was exclusively linked to a sharp bounce in the value of petroleum-product imports. Excluding petroleum products, the trade deficit was actually down m-o-m: $16.9bn in […]

United States: employment report

Non-farm payroll employment rose by a strong 244,000 m-o-m in April, above consensus expectations of an increase of 185,000. Moreover, March was revised up (from +216,000 to +221,000) and February as well (from 194,000 to 235,000). Net revisions thus cumulated to a positive +46,000.  In April, employment continued to contract in the government sector (-24,000 […]

ECB Press conference

As expected the ECB’s Governing Council decided yesterday to leave its official interest rate unchanged. The wording appeared very dovish as Jean-Claude Trichet refrained from using “strong vigilance” – a key word to announce a rate increase at the next meeting. Moreover, referring to conditions, he said that they were “still accommodative” instead of a somewhat […]

United States: ISM manufacturing survey

After rebounding sharply between September 2010 and February 2011, the ISM manufacturing index stabilised at a high level in March and declined modestly in April. The global index eased from 61.2 points in March to 60.4 in April, but was above consensus expectations of 59.5.  The output sub-index, which skyrocketed to 69.0 in March, fell […]

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