Morning Call

The Mayor of London election campaign is in full swing, with radio and television coverage of debates between the incumbent Boris Johnson and his challenger Ken Livingstone. For those unfamiliar with Mayor of London post, it was created in 2000 after the London devolution referendum. The reason for its high profile nature of the post is that London is the bread winner of the UK. It is densely populated and filled with well paid professionals who pay a considerable contribution to the treasur…

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Economic data released this morning shows that the UK economy has entered a technical recession. This is deemed as two consecutive quarters with negative GDP. Economists has expected slight growth, compared to the actual shrinking of the economy. The Office for National Statistics said that the negative growth was due to a sharp fall in construction output. This is a disappointing release for the Chancellor George Osborne as the shadow of recession covers the country once again.…

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AFTER trading individual equities, retail traders are usually inclined to dabble in trading their indices. So what is an equity index, how are they priced and what are they actually trading? An equity index is a benchmark value of a basket of stocks. Each index will clearly define what its constituents are and how it is calculated. The most popular equity indices receive considerable coverage within the media, especially when they can easily summarise a country’s economy,…

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The UK financial services regulator announced yesterday that they had arrested a trader in a suspected unauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme. With the assistance of the City of London Police, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) today executed a search warrant at one address in East London in connection with an investigation into a suspectedunauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme. A 23 year old man was arrested on suspicion of committing offences under the Financial…

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The latestquarterlysurvey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said the the UK economy has shown a few signs of improvement in the last three months. It is refreshing to see an article that ispositive, as the majority of articles highlight the potential fallout from a Euro-zone breakup. The BCC expects economic growth of 0.3% in the quarter 1 of 2012, which is in contrast to the announcement of the OECD last week which predicts the UK economy to contract. This would be quarter on quar…

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The part of George Osborne’s budget that still seems to be causing a political stir is that of the adding VAT to ‘hot’ food sold in retail outlets. VAT previously wasn’t added to ‘hot’ food from retail outlets such as Greggs, however the Chancellor announced that no longer would the pasty loving British be able to shy away from adding to the public purse. The backlash andridiculous pictures of Labour leaders eating pasties has covered the newspapers. It se…

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It came to light after the European close, the tax payer backed bank Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is in talks with the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth to purchase a stake. Though these are high level talks, it has been announced that they are inpreliminarystages and the deal is not imminent. The coverage of the deal has been met with mixed reviews, the average purchase price of the government share of 82% was at roughly 49.9p and the share closed at 27.75p yesterday. The treasury does need to beg…

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The UK regulator has fined the Queens bank Coutts & Co, part of the government back Royal Bank of Scotland £8.75M. This is due to failing to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective ant-money laundering systems and controls, specifically relating to high risk customers and Politically Exposed Persons. Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime, said: Coutts’ failings were significant, widespread and unacceptable. Its…

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The long awaited UK Budget for 2012 was released yesterday, with many headline grabbing announcements tactically leaked to the press prior to the occasion. The Chancellor announcing the budget is almost comical at moments due to the pantomime behaviour of the political parties in the House of Commons. At times they argued like school boys, both jeering each other withsound bitesto fill the newspaper opinion columns. However beneath all of the political rhetoric, the Budget is a key factor of…

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Asian equities overnight have fallen after disappointing earnings from Chinese companies and Australia, a key trading partner of China, has cut its commodity sales forecast on concerns of the slowing Chinese economy. A decrease in inventories led to WTI Crude gaining during Asian trading. The City of London’s eyes this morning are on the Chancellor George Osborne’s 2012 Budget. With some headline parts of the Budgettacticallyleaked prior to the actual announcement, traders…

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During the Asian session equities have fallen as China has raised fuel prices, adding to concern that the powerhouse of the Far East is slowing down combined with a Federal Reserve official stating that “..the US rebound still faces risks.“ The UK government has been dealt a setback at is new flagship credit scheme for small businesses has failed to get all of the UK’s major bankson board. HSBC will not be participating in the National Loan GuaranteeScheme(NLGS) which…

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On Wednesday is George Osborne’s eagerly anticipated budget for the UK, with the UK’s credit rating on negative outlook and stuttering growth, the global community is watching closely to see what new measures the Chancellor will undertake. A highly politicised issue is whether Osborne will alter the countries top income tax rate of 50p, though critics say this is a fair policy. There is little room formanoeuvre, with many factors beyond the governments control, such as rising Oil…

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It’s the end of the week and a possitive one for the equity markets in Europe and the US. On Thursday stocks rallied for a third consecutive day with the Stoxx Europe 600 reaching its highest level since July 2010. The FTSE 100 closed down 0.2%. In the US data from the jobs market and manufacturing added to optimism that the worlds largest economy is starting to gain some momentum. This morning Goldman Sachs O’Neill said that“..the US housing market is bottoming out,&…

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The better than expected US retail sales combined with the outcome of the Fed’s stress tests led to a strong close in the US with equity markets closing at multi year highs. In Asia equities followed their American counterparts and rallied with the regional index the MSCI set for its highest close in two weeks. The latest round of stress test’s on US banks paves the way for dividends to enable the backs to return cash to shareholders. 15 out of 19 institutions passed the te…

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Overnight Asian equity markets rose after the Japanese economy shrank less than the government estimate, which saw the regional benchmark index rising after a three consecutive negative sessions. The Yen weakened against all the majors after Japan announced a record current-account deficit. A committee of UK MPs and peers have warned that ministers should detail plans for the scenario of a Euro-zone break-up“as a matter of urgency”.The National Security Strategy believe tha…

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