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IFX Darika
post Feb 13 2010, 05:29 PM
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Dollar Hits Fresh Highs Versus Slumping Euro

Risk averse traders continued to flock to the relative safety of the dollar on Friday, with the world's de facto reserve currency enjoying a solid bid amid growing speculation the steam has run out of the global recovery.

The buck hit a fresh 9-month high again the euro, which has been hammered amid concerns that Greek debt problems will spread to other fragile economies without meaningful intervention on the part of more stable euro area nations.

However, with the eurozone struggling with anemic economic growth, major economies may be hesitant to drastically boost spending in order to prevent the Greek contagion.

European officials offered vague promises to support Greece on Thursday, and are expected to detail an aid package sometime next week.

Meanwhile, encouraging US retails sales data was overshadowed by news that China is engineering a soft slowdown of its economy.

A report from the Commerce Department on Friday showed that retail sales increased by 0.5 percent in January following a revised 0.1 percent decrease in December.

Adding to worries about the sustainability of the global recovery, China, now the engine of global growth, hiked its reserve requirement on banks in order to stem lending.

Even with the Dow taking back most of a 160 point drop in early dealing, the dollar sustained most of its gains against the euro.

The dollar rose to 1.3531 versus the euro, its highest level since last May, then backed off a penny to 1.3650.

At the same time, the buck extended this week's run of choppy trading versus the sterling, bouncing back and forth near 1.5600. The buck touched an 8-month high of 1.5533 a week ago, but has since risen no further.

The dollar also remained directionless against the yen, hanging around the Y90 mark.

The eurozone continued to lag behind the global economic recovery in the fourth quarter of 2009. Gross domestic product across the eurozone grew by only 0.1% in the fourth quarter compared to the previous three-month period.

The German economy, Europe's largest, unexpectedly stagnated in the fourth quarter as final consumption expenditure and investment failed to support growth.

Better-than-forecast French growth figures may have prevented the eurozone economy from sliding back into contraction mode.

Greece, saw its output shrink by 0.8% in the fourth quarter, casting doubts about the Greek public's willingness to accept cost cutting measures aimed at getting the nation's debt under control.

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IFX Tatyana
post Feb 15 2010, 01:21 PM
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Euro Mixed Against Majors

The euro traded mixed against other major currencies during early European deals on Monday. The euro pared its recent gains against the pound and the franc, but declined against the yen. However, the euro recovered its recent losses against the U.S. dollar.

European stocks rose today in early trade, with banks and commodity stocks taking the lead as investors awaited the euro zone finance ministers meeting.

In early deals, Germany's DAX climbed 0.5%, France's CAC-40 index jumped 0.8% and U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.7%.

The euro pared its recent gains against the pound during early European session on Monday. The euro slipped to 0.8673 at 4:00 am ET, moving down from 0.8705 hit earlier. Presently, The euro-pound pair is trading near Fridays' New York session close of 0.8674.

The euro lost some its late Asian session gains versus the Swiss currency during early European deals on Monday. Moving down from a high of 1.4681 touched at 12:55 am ET, the euro reached a low of 1.4655 at 4:30 am ET. As of now, the euro is trading at 1.4656 against the franc, compared to Friday's New York session close of 1.4666.

On Monday, against the yen, the euro extended its Asian session's downtrend during early European deals. At 4:30 am ET, the euro fell to 122.43 against the yen. The current quote for the euro-yen pair is 122.45, compared to Friday's close of 122.67.

The euro recovered its recent losses against the U.S. dollar during early European deals on Monday. The euro drifted higher to 1.3610 at 4:15 am ET, moving up from 1.3594 hit earlier. As of now, the euro is worth 1.3608 against the greenback, compared to Friday's close of 1.3623.

The U.S. financial markets are closed today in observance of Presidents Day.

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IFX Tatyana
post Feb 17 2010, 05:00 PM
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ECB's Quaden: No Plans To Raise Key Rate

The European Central Bank currently has no plans to raise interest rates as there is no imminent risks of inflation and it would withdraw emergency support measures gradually, Governing Council member Guy Quaden said Wednesday.

There is "no reason to raise interest rates at the moment," Quaden said in Brussels. "We don't see any risks for the moment."

The central bank has kept its interest rate at a record low of 1% since May 2009 to support the economy in battling a severe downturn. The bank also injected billions of euros to maintain liquidity in the region's banking system.

With regard to wiping out emergency measures, Quaden, who also heads the National Bank of Belgium, said a gradual approach would be the best. He noted that a delayed withdrawal may bring negative consequences. According to the central banker, the Eurozone recovery is fragile as it was led by huge fiscal stimuli and unemployment would keep rising as firms continue to suffer.


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IFX Tatyana
post Feb 22 2010, 04:19 PM
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Dollar On Pause Near 9-Month Highs

The dollar was little changed versus other major currencies Monday morning in New York, holding onto most of its strong recent gains versus the struggling euro.

The buck hit new 9-month highs last week amid speculation the Federal Reserve may be getting set to tighten monetary policy following a surprise move to raise the discount lending rate to banks.</p>

With Europe mired in debt problems and experience sluggish growth, the dollar has surged over the past few months.

The buck was at 1.3590 versus the euro this morning, having touched as high as 1.3440 last week.

Against the sterling, the dollar was steady at 1.5456, pulling back a penny from Friday's highest mark since last May.

At the same time, the dollar drifted slightly lower versus the yen, easing to 91.20 from a monthly high above 92.

With no major economic data on tap for the day, traders will focus on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's appearance before the House Financial Services Committee.

Later this week, the markets will be treated to preliminary fourth quarter growth figures, as well as data on housing and employment.

In economic news from overseas, Greece will meet its very ambitious deficit-reduction goals and the country's government is prepared to take additional measures, Greek central bank governor George Provopoulos said in an interview with Bloomberg.

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IFX Darika
post Feb 23 2010, 02:39 PM
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Euro Eases From Multi-day Highs Against Most Majors

In early European deals on Monday, the euro eased from an early Asian session's multi-day highs against the dollar, the yen and the pound as investors remain concerned about sovereign debt problems.

Research firm DBS said today that the euro's direction this week depends on two key events, namely the Greek bond issue and the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony.

Early this week, Greece is expected to announce details on its plan to issue 10-year bonds, while Bernanke is expected to deliver his semi-annual congressional testimony on February 24 and 25.

The firm is of the view that the euro will resume its depreciation if the Greek bond issue causes widening of Greek credit default swap and if Bernanke relays more optimism about recovery, while also showing patience on rate hikes.

The euro that rose to an 11-day high of 0.8819 against the pound in early Asian deals on Monday showed choppy trading in late Asian deals but fell during the early European session. As of now, the euro-pound pair is worth 0.8795, down from Friday's close of 0.8805.

Against the franc, the euro declined to 1.4649 at 4:25 am ET, from an early Asian session high of 1.4668. As of now, the euro-franc pair is trading near Friday's close of 1.4649.

Monday morning in Asia, the euro strengthened to an 18-day high against the Japanese currency, but pared gains during late trading and extended its slide in early European deals. At 4:30 am ET, the euro-yen pair was worth 124.71, compared to Friday's close of 124.67.

Moving down from an Asian session's multi-day high of 1.3665 against the U.S. dollar, the euro touched a low of 1.3618 at 4:35 am ET. At present, the euro-dollar pair is trading at 1.3617, compared Friday's close of 1.3587.

Looking ahead, San Francisco Federal Reserve President Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak at the University of San Diego at 10:30 am ET.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Prospects for Employment Growth: Is Additional Stimulus Needed?" at 11 am ET.

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IFX Tatyana
post Feb 23 2010, 05:10 PM
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Australia Better Prepared To Accommodate Mining Boom, Battellino Says

Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Ric Battellino said on Tuesday that the country was better prepared to deal with a mining boom than in the past because of its floating exchange rate and tighter monetary and fiscal policy frameworks.

But the rapid emergence of China and India means the current mining surge could be a lot longer than previous booms, he said.

In a speech to the Sydney Institute, Battellino said the current boom began in 2005 before being held back by the global financial crisis and that now, the dynamics of a boom are starting to reappear.

"History tells us that mining booms are periods of significant economic change and that they can pose complex challenges for policy makers," said Battellino.

"Key among these is the need to ensure flexibility in the economy and maintain disciplined macroeconomic policies in order to contain the inflationary forces generated by the boom."

Battellino did not elaborate on the outlook for monetary policy, with the RBA's March rate setting meeting fast approaching.

"In the 30 years since the previous boom, the Australian economy has developed in ways that should make it better able to accommodate the surge in mining activity that is currently under way," said Battellino.

The central banker said the floating exchange rate is a key difference from the past while goods and labor markets are more flexible, and monetary and fiscal policy frameworks are more "soundly based".

"This gives grounds for confidence that we can do better this time, but the task will not be without challenges," Battellino said.

Australia was the first major economy to raise interest rates in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The country's economy has been shielded from the worst of the worldwide recession, thanks to continuing strong demand from China for its abundant mineral resources and active stimulus measures implemented on the domestic front.

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IFX Tatyana
post Feb 24 2010, 04:17 PM
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Euro Mixed Against Majors Following Economic Reports


During early European deals on Wednesday, the euro showed mixed trading against other major currencies amid various economic reports, which include German final GDP for the fourth quarter, GfK consumer confidence index for March, Italy's retail sales and the Euro-zone industrial new orders for December.

While the euro gained against the dollar and the pound, it recovers recent losses against the yen. On the other hand, the euro showed choppy trading against the franc.

German gross domestic product was flat in the three months through December period, the Federal Statistical Office said, confirming preliminary estimates. The stall in German growth follows two quarters of expansion in Europe's largest economy.

Meanwhile, market research group GfK said today that consumer confidence among Germans is likely to decline going into March, as worries over unemployment weigh on consumers. The forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator, based on a survey of about 2,000 Germans, fell to 3.2 in March from an upwardly revised 3.3 in February. This was better than consensus forecasts for a reading of 3.

At 5:25 am ET, the euro reached 0.8786 against the pound, up from yesterday's close of 0.8758. As of now, the euro-pound pair is worth 0.878.

The euro showed range-bound trading against the Swiss currency. The euro bounced between 1.4638 and 1.4650. The euro-franc pair is now trading near Tuesday's close of 1.4643.

The euro staged a recovery against the Japanese yen. Moving up from a low of 121.64 hit at 4:00 am ET, the euro soared to 122.16 at 5:10 am ET. The current quote for the euro-yen pair is 122.12, up from yesterday's close of 121.88.

Against the U.S. dollar, the euro that bounced between 1.351 and 1.355 moved off the range around 5:10 am ET. The euro-greenback pair, which closed yesterday's deals at 1.3511, is now worth 1.3564.

From the U.S., the new home sales report for the month of January is slated for release at 10:00 am ET.

Investors also remain cautious as the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to deliver his semiannual report on the economy today and tomorrow. He is expected to shed light on how soon key U.S. rates may start to rise, after the surprise increase last week in the rate the Fed charges banks for emergency loans.


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IFX Tatyana
post Feb 26 2010, 05:50 PM
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U.K. Q4 GDP Grows Better Than Estimated


The British economy recovered from recession at a quicker than estimated pace in the fourth quarter mainly due to an upward revision in service sector output. Still, the outlook remains uncertain.

The quarterly growth was revised up to 0.3% from 0.1%, the Office for National Statistics reported Friday. Economists were expecting a sequential increase of 0.2%. The growth follows six quarters of contraction, which made it the longest recession since records began in 1955. In the second and third quarters, the economy had contracted 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively.

Jonathan Loynes, an economist at Capital Economics said, "The upward revision to GDP growth is clearly welcome." But the recovery is very fragile and the outlook is very weak, he said.

Output of production and services industries contributed to the upward revision in the fourth quarter. The volume of output in the production industries climbed 0.4%, within which manufacturing rose 0.8%. Output of the service industries increased 0.5%. By contrast, construction output dipped 1%.

Household spending rose 0.4% quarter-on-quarter and government final consumption expenditure increased 1.2%. Meanwhile, gross fixed capital formation fell 3.1% and inventories continued to decline, down GBP 2.8 billion on the quarter.

Loynes noted that the breakdown of growth by expenditure components brought little encouragement regarding the sustainability of the recovery over the coming quarters. Although household spending posted a quarterly increase, some of this is likely to have reflected the bringing forward of spending ahead of the rise in value added tax and the effects of the car scrappage scheme, he said.

Further, the trade deficit in real terms widened to GBP 8.3 billion in the fourth quarter from GBP 7.7 billion in the previous quarter. Exports of goods and services climbed 3.7% and increase in imports was 4.1%.

ING Bank NV's James Knightley said although the GDP number is encouraging, the first quarter of 2010 started poorly with retail sales plunging and lending data stalling. As such, the expected momentum into 2010 may be falling, the economist said. He expects some of the weakness to be weather related, but election uncertainty and the implications for taxes and public sector employment is likely to keep sentiment and activity subdued.

Annually, GDP was down 3.3% in the fourth quarter, revised from 3.2% fall estimated initially. The consensus forecast was for a 3.1% fall.

According to Daiwa Capital Markets Europe's Colin Ellis, GDP in the first quarter of this year could be weak, especially given the bad weather in January. The economist reckoned that April's preliminary GDP data for first quarter of 2010 could show a weakening in economic growth, rather than a strengthening.

Capital Economics' Loynes forecast the economy to expand around 1% this year. With a major fiscal squeeze looming, a further loosening of monetary policy may yet be required to prevent the recovery from petering out altogether.


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IFX Tatyana
post Mar 2 2010, 03:23 PM
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Japan Unemployment Rate 4.9% In January


Japan's unemployment rate came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.9 percent in January, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Tuesday, beating expectations for a steady performance after showing 5.1 percent in December.

The number of employed persons in January was 62.13 million, a decrease of 790 thousand or 1.3 percent from the previous year.

The number of unemployed persons in January was 3.23 million, an increase of 460 thousand or 16.6 percent from the previous year.

Commenting on the data at a regularly scheduled press conference, Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan said the numbers show that the labor market is "improving somewhat."

The job-to-applicant ratio was unchanged at 0.46, falling shy of expectations for a mark of 0.47.

Also, household spending was weaker than expected in January, adding just 1.7 percent on year versus expectations for a 2.5 percent gain after climbing an annual 2.1 percent in December.

The propensity to consume was up 1.7 points on year to 88.8 percent.

Also on Tuesday, the Bank of Japan said that the monetary base in Japan was up 2.2 percent on year in February to 95.69 trillion yen, after adding an annual 4.9 percent in January.

Banknotes in circulation were up 0.1 percent, while coins in circulation shed 0.7 percent.

The current account balance jumped an annual 15.3 percent to 1.48 trillion yen, including a 15.7 percent surge in reserve balances.

Seasonally adjusted, the monetary base was down 16.8 percent to 94.97 trillion yen.


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IFX Darika
post Mar 2 2010, 05:18 PM
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Dollar Mixed As Economic Picture Remains Murky

The dollar briefly touched a fresh 9-month high versus the euro and kept most of its dramatic recent gains against the sterling Tuesday morning in New York, with markets waiting for further clues about the condition of the US economy.

A string of lackluster economic data released over the past few weeks has fueled concerns that the robust growth seen in the fourth quarter of 2009 was a temporary result of massive government spending.

However, the economies in Europe remain even more distressed, making the dollar an attractive alternative to the euro and sterling.

An overnight surge brought the dollar to 1.3434 versus the euro, its highest level since last May. However, the buck quickly turned back to trade at 1.3550.

Tuesday, a flash report from the Eurostat showed that consumer price inflation in the euro area stood at 0.9% in February, down from 1% in January.

The dollar consolidated its gains against the sterling, holding near 1.4950. Yesterday, the dollar skyrocketed to 1.4790 amid concerns about the British economy.

U.K. construction activity contracted in February, a survey conducted by the Markit Economics showed Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted CIPS/Markit Construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell slightly to 48.5 in February from 48.6 in January.

David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said, "While the UK economy slowly pulls into recovery mode, the construction sector has now been confined in recession territory for two years and is still very fragile."

Elsewhere, Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan said the government will not demand the Bank of Japan to purchase bonds directly from the government.

The dollar saw little movement against the yen, staying near 89 for a fourth day.

Conversely, the dollar remained under heavy pressure against its Canadian counterpart, hitting 7-week low of C$1.0340.

The Bank of Canada will make its interest rate announcement this morning. Economists expect the target for the key overnight rate to remain unchanged at 0.25 per cent.

Individual automakers are scheduled to release their monthly U.S. sales results for February. The data will reveal the unit sales of domestically produced cars and light duty trucks, including sports utility vehicles and mini-vans, during the month.

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IFX Tatyana
post Mar 5 2010, 12:33 PM
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China Targeting 8% GDP Growth This Year: PM


China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said Friday his country was seeking an 8% annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP), an inflation rate of about 3% and a basically stable Yuan currency for 2010, the year in which China is set to overtake Japan to become the world's second-largest economy.

In his annual "state of the Union" address to the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, he also said that Beijing would maintain an appropriately flexible monetary stance and an active fiscal policy.

Expressing satisfaction over the country escaping, relatively unscathed, from the global financial crisis, Wen warned the nearly 3,000 delegates against complacency, and vowed to reverse the widening income gap between the rich and the poor as the country continued its economic advance.

"We must not interpret the economic turnaround as a fundamental improvement in the economic situation," he said, adding: "There is insufficient internal impetus driving economic growth."

Asserting that China needed to concentrate on restructuring the economy, Wen said: "This is a crucial year for.accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development."

After property prices peaked in 21 months in January, he set a target of 7.5 trillion yuan (?750 billion USD 1128 billion) for lending.

However, the premier did not announce any roll-back in the massive 4.0 trillion yuan (?400 billion USD 602 billion) stimulus package that spurred a rebound and helped to ensure the economy grow by 8.7 per cent last year.

The premier unveiled increases of 8.8 per cent on social spending and 12.8 per cent on rural outlays, as he pledged to expand pensions, raise health-and-social-security outlays to avert instability in the economy.

Wen warned of the latent risk in China's banks, and promised to crack down on property-speculation. He also cited excess capacity in manufacturing and weak support for the rural income growth. He urged Chinese firms to improve their ability to innovate and produce high-tech and high-quality products.

In his wide-ranging speech to the rubber-stamp parliament, the premier dwelt on high areas of concern among his 1.3 billion fellow-citizens: soaring house prices, jobs, inflation and corruption. He said: "Everything we do, we do to ensure that the people live a happier life with more dignity."

After the recent ethnic riots in Tibet and the Muslim far western Xinjiang province, the premier lay emphasis on the need to ensure minorities felt a "sense of citizenship", saying: "The Chinese nation's life, strength and hope lie in promoting solidarity, (and) achieving common progress of our ethnic groups."

Wen's speech came a day after Beijing announced an increase of 7.5 per cent in its defense budget for 2010, a reduction of 50 per cent compared to last year's planned growth of 14.9 per cent--the slowest pace of expansion in more than a decade.

Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), told a press conference Thursday in Beijing that the planned defense budget was 532.115 billion yuan (about USD 78 billion), an increase of about 37 billion yuan from last year's figure.

This marks the first time that China's defense budget growth rate rose less than 10 per cent after more than 20 years of double-digit increases.

Defense-spending would account for 6.4 per cent of the country's total fiscal expenditure in 2010, the same as last year, he said, adding, as a proportion of the GDP, China was still spending less than many other countries, including the United States.

China's defense expenditure in recent years accounted for about 1.4 per cent of its GDP, he said, noting that ratio was four per cent for the United States, and more than two per cent for the United Kingdom, France and Russia.

Taking into account China's large population, its vast territory, and its long coastline, the country's defense budget was "comparatively low," Li said. But he pointed out that the figures were tentative until the budget plan was approved at the NPC annual session due to open Friday in Beijing.

The spokesman said the increased budget would be mainly used to support military reforms and improve its capability to deal with various security threats and complete diversified tasks. A part of the money would be used to raise the living standards of servicemen, he added.

Li also claimed that China was increasing transparency on its expenditure on defense after Washington repeatedly urged Beijing to be more open about its rapidly-rising military-spending. As a part of this exercise, he said his country was submitting defense budgets to the NPC annual sessions for approval, issuing white papers every two years on its national defense, and establishing a spokesperson system and websites for its Defense Ministry.

Asserting that the only purpose of China's military strength was to safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the NPC spokesman added Beijing had always taken the path of peaceful development in line with its national defense policy.


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dice735
post Mar 9 2010, 02:08 PM
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any news about swiss franc? cpi had to be released today..
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IFX Tatyana
post Mar 9 2010, 05:29 PM
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Greek PM Calls For U.S. To Help Regulate Speculators


Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday, where he will appeal for assistance in regulating the currency traders and hedge funds that have bet against Greek debt.

Greece recently announced measures to resolve its debt issues, hoping to attract aid from its European neighbors.

While Papandreou did not come to Washington looking for a hand out, he stressed the U.S. must play a vital role in stopping "unprincipled speculators" from aggravating the Greek debt problems, doing damage to already frail global financial markets.

A number of European leaders are pointing to speculators as the main reason that Greek financing costs have skyrocketed. For its part, profligate Greece has run up a deficit that is 12.7% of GDP, far beyond the 3% limit set by euro area nations.

"Unprincipled speculators are making billions every day by betting on a Greek default," said Papandreou, after meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday.

"That is why Europe and America must say 'enough is enough' to those speculators who only place value on immediate returns, with utter disregard for the consequences on the larger economic system - not to mention the human consequences of lost jobs, foreclosed homes, and decimated pensions," he added.

Papandreou stressed that speculation does not allow Greece to borrow at the same rates other European Union countries and the Eurozone countries borrow at, a situation that is unsustainable within a common currency.

"We're not asking for money," Papandreou insisted. "We're not asking for bailouts. We're simply saying what we want to be is equal partners, as we have taken these measures on the market to be able to get what others also can get, which is basically normal rates of borrowing."

Secretary Clinton commended the prime minister for "moving quickly to put in place changes that are called for given the economic consequences of the fiscal situation that he inherited."

"What I think Greece is looking for...is that the United States, working in the G-20, will make some of the changes in regulatory regimes governing some of these financial instruments that have been used to the detriment not only of Greece, but of other countries, including our own."

Prior to remarking on the Greek debt crisis, Clinton congratulated Iraq on holding parliamentary elections. In a lighter moment, she quipped that Greece, as the birthplace of democracy, should get a royalty any time there's a democratic election anywhere in the world.

"It would help my deficit, too," Papandreou joked.

Papandreou will meet today with President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.


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IFX Tatyana
post Mar 9 2010, 05:44 PM
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QUOTE (dice735 @ Mar 9 2010, 04:08 PM) *
any news about swiss franc? cpi had to be released today..



Swiss Inflation Eases Slightly In February

Switzerland's consumer price index, or CPI, rose 0.9% on an annual basis in February, the Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday. Economists had forecast a rate of 1%, the same as in January. A year ago, inflation was 0.2% in February.
The CPI recorded a slight increase of 0.1% on a monthly basis. It was expected to rise by 0.2%.

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dice735
post Mar 10 2010, 08:35 AM
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0.9%?? ohmy.gif oh damage!
anyway, thank you for update miss Tatyana.
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IFX Tatyana
post Mar 11 2010, 04:17 PM
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You are very welcome. Follow the freshest news at instaforex.com



Regards, news editor Tatyana Tokarchuk


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IFX Tatyana
post Mar 11 2010, 04:42 PM
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First-Time Jobless Claims Show Modest Decrease, Continuing Claims Rise


While the Labor Department released a report Thursday morning showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 6th, the report also showed an increase in continuing claims.

The report showed that initial jobless claims edged down to 462,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 468,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to slip to 460,000 from the 469,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Peter Boockvar, equity strategist for Miller Tabak, said, "Due to the noise around the snow storms, it's best to look at the 4-week average, which smoothes out the data."

The less volatile four-week moving average rose to 475,500 from the previous week's revised average of 470,500. With the increase, the moving average reached its highest level since late November of 2009.

Additionally, the Labor Department said that continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment help, rose to 4.558 million in the week ended February 27th from the preceding week's revised level of 4.521 million.

With the increase, continuing claims bounced off the more than one-year low set in the previous week, which was the lowest level since claims came in at 4.487 million in the week ended January 3rd, 2009.

On the other hand, the report also showed that those receiving emergency unemployment compensation fell by almost 160 thousand in the week ended February 20th to 5.528 million. Those receiving extended benefits also fell by about 15 thousand in the week.

Boockvar said, "We hope this category begins to fall due to recipients finding new jobs rather than from exhaustion of benefits, but the hiring outlook still remains uncertain."

Last Friday, the Labor Department released a report showing that payroll employment showed a relatively modest decrease in the month of February, despite the impact of severe winter weather.

The report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 36,000 jobs in February following a revised decrease of 26,000 jobs in January. Economists had expected a more substantial loss of about 68,000 jobs compared to the loss of 20,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

While the Labor Department acknowledged that the data was impacted by the severe snowstorms in early February, it said it is not possible to precisely quantify the net impact of the storms.

The Labor Department also said that the unemployment rate in February remained unchanged from the previous month at 9.7 percent. The unemployment rate had been expected to tick up to 9.8 percent.


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IFX Darika
post Mar 11 2010, 05:52 PM
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China Inflation Picks Up To 2.7% In February

China's consumer price inflation rate accelerated more than expected in February, increasing the pressure on its central bank to raise interest rates amid fears the economy may be overheating.

Consumer prices increased 2.7% year-on-year in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said, exceeding expectations for a 2.5% increase following the 1.5% growth in the previous month.

The rise in prices was mainly driven by a 6.2% surge in food prices. Non-food prices climbed 1%.On a monthly basis, the consumer price index rose 1.2% in February.

In the first two months of the year, consumer prices increased 2.1% compared with the same period a year ago. Economists look for the combined inflation data for the first two months as it smoothes the distortion caused by the Chinese New Year holiday.

The pickup in the inflation rate adds to worries that China's economy may be expanding too quickly.

However, a spokesman for the statistical office said inflation will ease in March as weather conditions improve, bringing down food prices.

Figures released today by the People's Bank of China showed that bank lending was down sharply in February, as the government seeks to rein in runaway growth in the economy.

Chinese banks extended CNY 700.1 billion in new local-currency loans in February, down from the CNY 1.39 trillion lent in January.

M2 money supply - the broadest measure of money supply in the country - surged up 25.5% year-on-year in February, slower than the 26% increase in the previous month.

Separately, the statistical bureau said that producer prices surged 5.4% annually in February. The growth exceeded expectations for a 5.1% increase and follows the 4.3% growth in the previous month.

Industrial production in China increased 12.8% year-on-year in February. This came below forecasts for a 19.5% increase.

In the first two months of the year, industrial production increased 20.7% compared to the same period a year ago.

The statistical bureau also announced that retail sales were up 22.1% annually in February, also exceeding expectations for a 18.7% gain. In the first two months, retail sales were up 17.9%.

Meanwhile, urban investments in fixed assets in the first two months of 2010 increased 26.6%, above expectations for 25.6% growth.

A separate real estate report from the statistical office showed that property prices in 70 major cities across the country were up 10.7% year-on-year in February, faster than the 9.5% increase in the previous month.

Housing prices were up 13% year-on-year in February, faster than the 11.3% increase in January, the statistical office said.

Property sales in the first two months of the year soared 70.2% compared to the same period a year ago.

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IFX Tatyana
post Mar 16 2010, 05:33 PM
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Euro Gains On Dollar Despite Specter Of Deflation


The euro was mixed on Tuesday, firming up against the dollar despite concerns about deflation in the Euro zone.

Eurozone core inflation dropped to an all-time low in February, suggesting that deflationary pressures persist in the 16-nation economy.

Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, stood at 0.8% in February, down from 0.9% in January, data released by the Eurostat showed Tuesday. That was in line with the consensus forecast and was the lowest rate since comparable data was compiled in 1990.

However, this morning's economic news will likely be overshadowed by the Federal Reserve's latest statement on interest rates, which is expected at around 2:15 pm ET.

While the Fed is expected to keep interest rates near zero, the accompanying statement will garner significant attention for subtle changes the central bank's assessment of the US economy and timeline for future rate hikes.

Yesterday, European finance ministers worked out a strategy for emergency loans to Greece, in case the country's $6.6 billion tax hikes and wage cut plans fail. Standard & Poor's affirmed the nation's credit ratings.

The euro rose to 1.3740 versus the dollar, staying away from a 9-month low of 1.3434 set earlier this month.

The euro slipped to .9054 versus the sterling, but remained within hailing distance of its 2010 highs above .9150.

In news from the US, new residential construction showed a notable decrease in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday. Analysts say the data was impacted by unusually bad winter weather in the Northeast.

The report showed that housing starts fell 5.9 percent to an annual rate of 575,000 in February from the revised January estimate of 611,000.


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IFX Darika
post Mar 17 2010, 04:54 PM
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Latvia Will Adopt Euro In 2014

The Latvian government has said the baltic country will officially adopt the euro on January 1, 2014.

The Latvian Cabinet of Ministers said the country must meet several criteria of the Maastricht Treaty before adopting the common currency.

The country's budget deficit must below 3% of the gross domestic product and total government debt must not exceed 60% of GDP.

After the common currency is adopted, both the lat and the euro will be in circulation within Latvia in order to ensure a smooth transition.

In order to quicken the process, change will only be given in euros during the transition period, the government said.

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