Posts belonging to Category currencies



The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged

Rate cuts are on the way

The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday but signaled that it’s prepared to start cutting rates if needed to protect the U.S. economy from trade conflicts and other threats.

The Fed kept its benchmark rate — which influences many consumer and business loans — in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, where it’s been since December.

It issued a statement saying that because “uncertainties” have increased, it would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” That language echoed a remark Chairman Jerome Powell made two weeks ago that analysts interpreted as a signal that rate cuts were on the way.

http://www.abcnews.go.com

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Libra Is Coming

Everything We Know So Far

Codenamed Libra and possibly named GlobalCoin, Facebook’s big blockchain play will reportedly create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and beyond. Here’s what we know right now. Facebook’s long-rumored cryptocurrency is about to get its big debut. The formal launch is expected sometime in 2020 after a testing phase later this year, but the social network is gearing up to officially announce it with a white paper on Tuesday laying out the basics of its crypto token. Here’s everything we know so far.

We’ve heard rumblings about a secret blockchain project since last May, when Cheddar’s Alex Heath reported that Facebook had been exploring blockchain and the creation of its own cryptocurrency for use within its apps since 2017. Facebook’s goal is to launch a virtual token allowing the company’s billions of users across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp to make digital payments. This includes both internally among other users within Facebook’s app ecosystem, and externally on e-commerce purchases and third-party services without ever leaving their Facebook-owned app of choice. The BBC reported it’ll be called GlobalCoin, but personally I’m still pulling for Facebucks.

http://www.pcmag.com

 

US economy grows by 3.2% in the first quarter

Exports rose 3.7% in the first quarter, while imports decreased by 3.7%

The U.S. economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter and posted its best growth to start a year in four years.

First-quarter gross domestic product expanded by 3.2%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday in its initial read of the economy for that period. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected growth of 2.5%. It was the first time since 2015 that first-quarter GDP topped 3%.

http://www.cnbc.com

Revoke Article 50 petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled hits 5 million signatures

One million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

An online petition calling on the government to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit has attracted more than 5 million signatures. The petition, started in late February, became the most popular petition ever submitted to the parliament website after it hit over 4 million signatures on Saturday. The record-breaking number came as an estimated one million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

The parliament website has crashed numerous time since the petition leapt in popularity on Wednesday following Theresa May’s appeal to the British people to support her as she demanded MPs back her deal. But Ms May rejected the message of the petition on Thursday, when a No 10 spokesperson said failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”.

https://www.independant.co.uk/

MPs overwhelmingly back Brexit delay

The short delay could last until June 30

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next week. Lawmakers approved by 412 votes to 202 a motion setting out the option to ask the EU for a short delay if parliament can agree on a Brexit deal by March 20 — or a longer delay if no deal can be agreed in time.

The vote makes it likely that the March 29 departure date set down in law, which May has repeatedly emphasised, is likely to be missed, although it is unclear by how long.

The short delay envisaged in the motion could last until June 30, but the longer extension is not currently time-limited. Either would require unanimous approval from the other 27 EU members, whose leaders meet in a summit next Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com

No deal Brexit ruled out by MPs in all circumstances

Chaos deepens

Theresa May will attempt one final desperate roll of the dice on her Brexit deal, issuing a stark warning to mutinous Brexiters that they must approve her offer by next week or face a long article 50 extension.

The prime minister was humiliated yet again amid chaotic scenes on Wednesday night in parliament, as her cabinet ruptured three ways and MPs inflicted two more defeats on the government to demand no deal should be taken off the table permanently.

In an unprecedented night of Tory splits, four cabinet ministers, Amber Rudd, David Mundell, David Gauke and Greg Clark, defied their party’s last-minute whip and refused to vote against the government’s own motion, after it was amended to rule out any prospect of no-deal Brexit.

http://www.theguardian.com

Brexit could be stopped by the end of the week, warns Jeremy Hunt

Europhile MPs could be two thirds of the way to win

Europhile MPs could be two thirds of the way to stopping Brexit by the end of this week, Jeremy Hunt has warned. The Foreign Secretary said there was now “wind in the sails” of Remain-backing MPs as he issued a direct plea to Tory Eurosceptics to vote for Theresa May’s deal on Tuesday.

He said Leave voters would ultimately hold the Conservative Party responsible for failing to deliver on the 2016 EU referendum result and the electoral consequences would be “devastating”. Mr Hunt’s intervention came as the UK and EU remained locked in a Brexit stalemate with no immediate prospect of a solution being agreed on the crunch issue of the backstop.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

ECB move sends stocks lower

Dollar climbs

A gauge of global stock markets stumbled on Thursday while the U.S. dollar rose, as the European Central Bank postponed interest rate hikes to 2020 and launched a new round of cheap loans to banks in an effort to spark the euro zone economy. Equities had drifted lower over the past several sessions before the session’s sharp drop, sparked by the ECB’s change of direction just months after it wound down its massive quantitative easing program.

The ECB’s move puts it in sync with other central banks around the world that have been taking a dovish tack, including the Bank of Canada earlier this week. The ECB also cut its growth and inflation estimates for 2019 as well as those for 2020 and 2021, raising alarm bells for investors once again over global growth.

http://www.reuters.com/

U.S. and China said to appear close to deal to roll back tariffs

Formal trade deal could be sealed at a summit around March 27

The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday.acebook would have various options to go to after the currency has been launched.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could seal a formal trade deal at a summit around March 27 given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

https://www.reuters.com/

Theresa May could introduce a martial law under a no-deal Brexit

How would no deal affect UK citizens in the EU?

The UK government’s Brexit withdrawal deal offers temporary guarantees for Britons living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens in the UK.

But it still requires approval by the UK Parliament and European Parliament to become law. So what happens if the UK reaches the 29 March Brexit deadline still with no deal? A whole host of things would change overnight under that scenario, what critics call the “cliff edge”. But here we will focus on the situation of Britons living in another EU country (in the EU27).

About 1.3m UK-born people are resident in the EU27, while the UK hosts about 3.2m EU27 nationals. The withdrawal deal enables them to keep their current freedom of movement and other EU citizenship rights, until 31 December 2020, when the Brexit transition period ends. As for no deal, there is huge uncertainty about what it will mean for Britons living in France, Spain, Germany and elsewhere.

The priority for most will be to register as residents, but the rules – including deadlines for paperwork – vary from country to country.

http://bbc.com

Beijing is ready to dig in for a war of attrition with the United States on trade

The US government wants China to change practices

The Trump administration launched its biggest barrage of tariffs yet just as top executives and policymakers were gathering for the start of a World Economic Forum event in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on Tuesday. China said later it would retaliate with more tariffs of its own. The trade war dominated discussions at the “summerDavos,” as the event is known, and few participants predicted a swift resolution to the conflict.

“China is growing concerned that the US motivation is now trying to keep China down and contain it,” said Timothy Stratford, a managing partner at law firm Covington & Burling in Beijing. “I expect that we’re going to have a deadlock for some time.”

The US government wants China to change practices that it says disadvantage American businesses, accusing Beijing of overseeing the theft of US intellectual property and boosting Chinese companies through aggressive industrial policies. The Chinese government dismisses the criticism as groundless, even though American and European firms operating in China frequently complain about the issues.

https://www.cnn.com/

Brexit deal will be certainly rejected by Parliament today

Theresa May tries to limit the loss scale

Ahead of a vote on her Brexit plan that could go down to a humiliating defeat in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain was fighting on Monday less to avert the loss than to limit its scale.

In that vein, Mrs. May enlisted fresh promises from Europe’s most senior officials through an exchange of letters and warned supporters of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union that the whole project would be threatened if her deal was voted down as expected.

Neither tactic looked likely to change the overall outcome, but if Mrs. May can curb the magnitude of any defeat to manageable proportions, she could avert an immediate political meltdown. That, given the precarious state of events, would be a victory of sorts.

https://www.nytimes.com/

Fed Chairman Powell says he is ‘very worried’ about growing amount of U.S. debt

Ballooning amount

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is concerned about the ballooning amount of United States debt.

“I’m very worried about it,” Powell said at The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. “From the Fed’s standpoint, we’re really looking at a business cycle length: that’s our frame of reference. The long-run fiscal, nonsustainability of the U.S. federal government isn’t really something that plays into the medium term that is relevant for our policy decisions.”

However, “it’s a long-run issue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face,” he added.

https://www.cnbc.com/

BREXIT: Britons would now vote to stay in EU

Britons want as well a second referendum

More Britons want to remain a member of the European Union than leave, according to a survey published on Sunday which also showed voters want to make the final decision themselves.

Britain is due leave the EU on March 29, but Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to get her exit deal approved by parliament, opening up huge uncertainty over whether a deal is possible, or even whether the country will leave at all.

The survey by polling firm YouGov showed that if a referendum were held immediately, 46 percent would vote to remain, 39 percent would vote to leave, and the rest either did not know, would not vote, or refused to answer the question.

The survey showed 41 percent thought the final decision about Brexit should be made by a new public vote versus 36 percent who believe it should be up to parliament. Removing those who are undecided, the split was 53 percent in favor of another referendum and 47 percent against.

https://www.reuters.com/

Machines driving a ‘fire sale’ is a top market risk in 2019

30-item list of the most important drivers of financial markets risks

Deutsche Bank has produced a 30-item list of the risks it thinks will be the most important drivers of financial markets next year. Produced by Torsten Slok, Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist, the list spans everything from a market “fire sale” driven by trading algorithms to Britain leaving the EU without a Brexit deal.

After a turbulent 2018, which has seen stocks swing violently, it is time to look ahead to what might be in store as we head into the new year. With 2019 less than two weeks away,

Obvious worries, like the US-China trade war and the Fed’s continued increases in interest rates, feature prominently, but more esoteric risks, such as a house price crash in Australia also appear.

Check out the full list.

http://businessinsider.com