NEFS Weekly Market & Finance Wrap Up – Five

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RateMyPlacement and the Nottingham Economics and Finance Society Research Division proudly present the fifth Weekly Market Wrap Up of 2014/15.

Oil rig finance markets

Every week the newsletter rounds up and analyses everything you need to know from the macroeconomic and financial markets from around the world.

Oil prices continue to fall

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) finally met in light of continuously falling oil prices. These have been caused by falling demand and rising supply in the market. OPEC could have restricted supply to bolster prices, but decided against it, with spokespeople pointing out the importance of not being hasty.

Prices have fallen to near $70 per barrel, compared to around $115 per barrel just months ago.  Russia, not an OPEC member, is not pleased with the decision, which puts in jeopardy its largest industry.

Holidays and sales

This week has seen a major holiday and a huge day of sales, impacting retail markets in the western world. Thanksgiving in the US paused markets temporarily, before Black Friday Sales caused huge spending in the UK and US. Retail figures could be interesting for November, while in October Germany and Japan recorded strong and weak data respectively.

Market and interest rate changes

This week saw the People’s Bank of China announce a long anticipated cut in the benchmark interest rate, to 2.75%, in an attempt to soften slower growth. However, looser regulation for banks works in the opposite direction, encouraging saving.

Columbia held rates too, as despite lower oil prices, they are the only country in Latin America hitting their inflation target. The Fed may be moving closer to a rates hike soon, while the Bank of England appears to remain a way off.

Telecoms companies doing well

With the US stronger, investors have tended to invest at home and as such European stocks have been neglected recently. This has given opportunities to some smart investors and has seen strong gains for some telecoms companies, such as Orange and Vodafone.  Their US counterparts have not fared as well.

Scottish devolution

Lord Smith of Kelvin this week announced his proposals for Scottish devolution, following the promises made by the three major political party leaders during Scotland’s referendum on independence.

Powers will include power over welfare and tax policies.  Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to demand some devolution as well, while David Cameron still supports ‘English votes for English laws’.  All this may move the UK further from Union.

Don’t forget to check out all the articles in full; the complete Market Wrap Up can be found at nefs.org.uk/divisions/research/market-wrap-up/. This week our star picks are: United Kingdom, Russia and eastern Europe and tax and regulation. Happy reading!

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