Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Forget the stock market for a moment, and
celebrate the Christmas season with your family and friends.
May this Christmas
Brings health, wealth and peace to your home
And make your Christmas a fun filed Celebration
Merry Christmas and Happy new Year

Merry Christmas 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fed Rate Increase, what will happen?

Fed Rate Increase, Janet Yellen, Fed rate

It is expected that the Federal Reserve will be hiking the interest rate, this will be the 1st rate increase for the past 9 years. For 7 years the Fed's key rate were at a record low near zero level.

People are asking "How fast and far will the Fed rate will be raise in the coming months?

The Fed is expected to gradually nudge up the rate — 0.25 percentage points at a time, from the near-zero level. Will be sure after a policy statement, economic forecasts and a news conference by Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday.


The U.S. unemployment rate is at 7 year low of 5% with a strong job hiring. This is seen as the final seal for a rate increase. Investors will look to see if the Fed spells out what would constitute further gains in hiring to justify more rate increases in 2016.


The Fed wants to maintain inflation target of 2%, which is not being attained since prices are rising too slowly. Inflation that rise too slow is a sign of underlying economic weakness. It can also cause consumers to delay purchases and make debt repayments more burdensome.

The Fed's key inflation gauge has increased just 0.2% over the 12 months that ended in October. Testifying to Congress this month, Yellen suggested that inflation was being held back by shrunken energy prices and a rising dollar value that reduces import prices.

Economists will monitor how much confidence the Fed signals about the likelihood of inflation going higher. Conversely, they will look for any word on how a persistently low inflation rate might affect the pace of future rate hikes.


The Fed had been expected to start raising rates back in September, unfortunately it was halted by China's surprise devaluation of its currency. The Fed chose to hold off on hiking rates. Feds monitors overseas economic weakness and a higher dollar will hurt US manufacturers by making their goods more expensive in other countries.


If the Fed increase the rates this Wednesday, future increases will be slow and incremental since Yellen rejected the possibility bringing back the old formula they used from 2004 to 2006, when it raised its target for the federal funds rate by a quarter-point at 17 consecutive meetings.

What is it for you?

Don't expect abrupt changes for the mean time. Once it is increased you will see:

- A slightly higher yield in your savings accounts and certificates of deposit, however it will still be small.
- cost of borrowing will rise, but only slightly, with variable effects on what banks charge for credit cards, home equity lines of credit, adjustable-rate mortgages, auto loans and some student loans.

According to, the average bank interest rate is 0.08% for savings account and 0.10 % for money market deposit account.

The average yield on a one-year certificate of deposit is just 0.27% compared with about 3% or higher in 2008.

-  Bond prices tend to fall if there are rate hikes.
- Home Mortgages has no direct link to Fed interest rates, the Fed controls a key short-term rate, while 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are generally priced off the 10-year Treasury bond, which is influenced by a variety of factors, not just short-term rates but also the outlook for inflation and long-term economic growth here and abroad.

Still, some home loans are more directly influenced by the Fed’s action, including adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit, which generally carry variable rates.

- Credit card debts with variable rates that averages about 15% today can expect their rates to rise within one or two monthly cycles.

- Student loans, federal loans carry a fixed rate, but the crop of new loans reprice each July based on the 10-year Treasury bond. Private student loans generally base their fixed and variable rates on the Libor index, which generally tends to track the Fed funds rate pretty closely.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Europe shares Are Up

Shares in Europe are more up beat at the start of trading on Monday, which uplifted by gains on US stocks and a weaker euro. The US dollar is up due to the jobs data last Friday which added more job bolstered investor confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy.

Share in Asia was lower since investors are showing caution on Chinese economic data due late this week which is expected to show the world's second-largest economy is still sluggish.

Crude oil prices held near their lowest levels of the year after OPEC failed to agree on output targets that could cut a global glut of supply.

Market moves this week may be muted as investors digest the European Central Bank's moves last week to stimulate growth and inflation, which disappointed many, and look ahead to next week's U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting, at which rates are expected to rise for the first time since 2006.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 stocks index .FTEU3 rose 1.3% as a weaker euro lifted exporters. Germany's DAX .GDAXI added 1.6%. European shares closed at three-week lows on Friday after the euro soared in reaction to Thursday's ECB decision.

Sweden's Electrolux (ELUXb.ST) was down by 11% after its $3.3 billion deal to buy General Electric's (GE.N) appliance business fell through.

Wall Street had a 2% gain last Friday that lifted European equity investors' spirits. That followed data showing 211,000 new U.S. jobs were created in November, which cemented already firm expectations the Fed would raise interest rates on Dec. 16 and was perceived as a sign of the U.S. economy's strength.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wall St Unchanged; Disney, retailers are down

Wall St, business, finance, icome

The Dow Jones industrial average are down 14.9 points (0.08%), to 17,798.49, the S&P 500 gained 1.24 points, or 0.06%, to 2,090.11 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.38 points, or 0.22%, to 5,127.53.

United States Stock indexes closed and there are minimal changes in light trading on Friday. Consumer stocks fell as investors worried about early reports on the holiday shopping season, and Disney’s subscriber losses weighed on the market.

US stock markets closed 3 hours earlier after the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Most traders are in day off for the holidays.

Trading volume was a little light with 2.79 billion shares changing hands on US exchanges, compared with the 7 billion average for the previous seven sessions.

Because of the drop of Walt Disney shares it cost close to 24 points off the Dow. Walt Disney shares fell $3.54, or 3%, to $115.13 after it reported this week that subscribers at ESPN, of which it is a majority owner, fell by 3 million in the fiscal year ended October 3.

The S&P’s energy index lost 0.7%, more than any other sector, after oil producers and other energy companies fell along with the price of crude oil. Chevron lost 50 cents, or 0.6%, to end at $90.37.

U.S. crude-oil futures slipped 3.1% to settle at $41.71 a barrel.

Shares of several retailers fell as investors braced for data on the key holiday-shopping period. Wal-Mart Stores fell 35 cents, or 0.6%, to 59.89. Urban Outfitters fell 66 cents, or 2.7%, to 23.65, while Gap lost 70 cents, or 2.5%, to 27.36.

J.P. Morgan Chase rose 31 cents, or 0.5%, to 67.17, while Goldman Sachs Group gained 1.32, or 0.7%, to 190.47.

Gold fell 1.3% to $1,056.20 a troy ounce.

Friday, November 20, 2015

China Raided Underground Banking Ring Worth $64 billion

China underground bank, banking ring, Money Laundering

Chinese police has raided the country's largest underground banking ring that involves transactions totaling $64 billion. Those 100 suspects that were arrested are from 8 gangs. Chinese officials believes that the gangs were thought to be linked to a ringleader who allegedly operated multiple shell companies in Hong Kong engaged in money laundering and foreign exchange transactions.

China has strict capital controls, citizens can only move around $50,000 out of the country each year. This restrictions has resulted for gangs to launder money through art pieces or through casinos in southern China which helps citizens to transfer funds in other countries. While some of that money comes from honest earnings, a portion is believed to have been obtained via corruption or fraud.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

GoDaddy Up by 15%; Raises 2015 Revenue Forecast

GoDaddy image

GoDaddy a Web domain marketplace has gain 15%. The launch their public offering last April and in their Initial public offering (IPO) they were able to raise $460 million. Their company is valued at $5.48 billion.

Godaddy (NASDAQ:GDDY) had its price objective boosted by investment analysts at JMP Securities to $38.00 in a research note that was released last Friday on

GDDY's 50-day moving average price is $26.36 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.78. The 12-month mean target is $33.45, which means upside potential of 7.97% over the current price. Monness Crespi & Hardt initiated the shares of GDDY in a report on August 12 with "Buy" rating. Godaddy presently has an average rating of "Buy" and an average price target of $34.06. Deutsche Bank upped their price target on Godaddy from $32.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 7th. Godaddy (NASDAQ:GDDY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 4th. The street expected the company to report a loss of $.09 per share on revenue of $408 million, while the company itself expected third quarter revenue to be between $405-410 million.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

 Happy Halloween
Cauldrons and broomsticks take shape in the cold night, making your Halloween full of fun and of  fright, don’t cross any witches or fall under their spell, and your Halloween night will go perfectly well!

Friday, October 23, 2015

China cuts rates again to Induce Economic Growth

Central bank of China decrease interest rates last Friday. This the 6th time they cut it in less than a year. They also lowered the level of cash that banks are required to hold as reserves in an attempt to spur growth in its slowing economic growth.

Monetary policy easing in China which is the 2nd largest economy in the world is at its most aggressive since the 2009 financial crisis, as growth looks set to slip to a 25-year-low this year of under 7 percent.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said they lowered its benchmark lending and deposit rates to stimulate borrowing and spending without squeezing banks' ability to profit from the spread between two rates.

The change, which Beijing had promised to deliver for months, will in theory allow banks to price loans according to their risk, and remove a distortion to the price of credit that analysts say fuels wasteful investment in China.

China's policy loosening came a day after the European Central Bank said it could give a bigger policy jolt to the economy as soon as December to fight falling prices.

China is the latest of the world’s big economies to turn to its central bank to stimulate flagging growth. The Federal Reserve, with rates already near zero, expanded its holdings of government and mortgage bonds through last year to push down long-term interest rates. Now it is grappling with the timing to raise short-term rates.

China’s announcement came one day after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi signaled the ECB could do more to stoke growth and inflation in the euro-zone as early as December.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Online Dating sites Match and Tinder files for IPO

match tinder IPO

Dating sites Match and Tinder wants to go public, soon you will be able to purchase stocks for hooking up. Match Group, the online dating division of IAC/InterActiveCorp, brands include Tinder, OkCupid and Match, has applied with the SEC for an IPO last Friday. It is estimated that they could raise $500 million. No price has yet been set.

The Match will trade under the ticker symbol "MTCH". The company is owned by IAC, the media conglomerate helmed by Barry Diller, which also controls other digital online companies like and Vimeo.

IAC will retain virtually all voting control of Match by offering a non-voting type of stock in the offering.

The paperwork also reveals that Match agreed in July 2015 to acquire PlentyOfFish, another online dating site, for $575 million.

Match and Tinder which are dating sites, have been growing steadily in the past few years. They were able to generate more than $888 million that gave them about $148 million in profit in 2014. In the first six months of 2015, Match generated revenue of $483 million and profit of $49.5 million.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wall Street Down Slightly Amid Factory data Growth Worries

Wall Street, economy, stock, finance

U.S. stocks down a bit, it was pulled down by losses in materials and energy shares because of weak U.S. and China factory data. S&P 500 was trading higher slightly when Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China was capable of maintaining a relatively high growth rate for a long time.

The S&P 500 is down 2.8 percent since Thursday, after the Federal Reserve hold interest rates near zero.

According to reports the U.S. manufacturing growth are at a 2-year low in September, while Chinese factory activity shrank to a 6-1/2 year low in the month.

News report about Boeing Co (BA.N) bagging orders and commitments from China for aircraft valued at about $38 billion at list prices, didn't save their shares it fell 1.7% to $131.67.

The S&P materials index .SPLRCM was down by 2.1%, led the decline for the S&P 500 for a 2nd day, followed by the energy index .SPNY, which was down 1.4%.

U.S. crude oil futures close at negative 4.1%, while shares of Chevron (CVX.N) were at negative 1.5% at $76.12.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 50.58 points, or 0.31%, to 16,279.89, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.98 points, or 0.2%, to 1,938.76 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 3.98 points, or 0.08%, to 4,752.74.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

China Yuan may move Go up or down According to central bank Chief economist

economy, business, finance

China's move to bring down the Yuan last week could lead to similar adjustments, and China's currency is likely to move in both directions as the economy stabilizes, Ma Jun, chief economist at the central bank said on Sunday.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) surprised the global markets by bringing down the yuan CNY=CFXS by nearly 2% last August 11. The PBOC called it a free-market reform but some saw it as the start of a long-term yuan depreciation to spur exports.

A more market-oriented pricing mechanism for the Yuan will help to avoid excessive deviation from the equilibrium level and significantly reduce the possibility of sudden fluctuations, Mr Ma said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday. The economy will probably grow about 7% this year, he said.

The yuan halted a three-day slide on Aug 14 following its first major devaluation since 1994 after the central bank said it will intervene to prevent excessive swings. Policy makers are trying to balance the need for financial stability with a desire for stronger exports and the yuan's inclusion in the International Monetary Fund's basket of reserve currencies.

"If we want to evaluate the yuan's mid-term trend, it's more important to analyze the fundamentals of the economy, which has shown signs of stabilization and recovery," Mr Ma said in the statement. "Even if the central bank needs to intervene in the market in the future, it could be either way." China's decision on Aug 11 to allow markets greater sway in setting the currency's level triggered the biggest selloff in 21 years and roiled global markets.

The current exchange rate is now more consistent with economic fundamentals, and there is no need to adjust it to boost exports, PBOC Deputy Governor Yi Gang said at a press conference on Aug 13. The central bank has exited regular intervention, and will will act when the market's volatility is excessive, Mr Yi said.

Friday, August 7, 2015

U.S. dollar and Stocks fall flat before U.S. jobs data

Investors on Friday head for safety as the U.S. dollar and world stocks markets fall flat before U.S. jobs data. It is said that the Federal Reserve will use that data to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

In Europe, Germany's export industrial output dropped in June that caused Europe stocks inched down by 0.5%. Top-rated German bond yields were flat at 0.72%

The prospect of higher U.S. rates has sucked funds out of emerging markets. A slump by Chinese stocks and a rout in commodities has also hurt investor demand.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4% and set for its third straight weekly loss. Japan's Nikkei stock index was up 0.3%. The MSCI world index.

In currencies, the dollar index was unchanged at 97.81. The euro was also flat $1.0927 EUR= early in Europe.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Google Stocks Surges, help Nasdaq to close on record high

 Google stocks, finance, investment Schedule

Last Friday Google stocks surges by 16% that helps Nasdaq setting a new record high. The 16% sudden increase in Google's publicly traded stock resulted to additional $65.1 billion in shareholder wealth, on paper.

Google's surge came after the search engine company reported quarterly earnings that exceeded analyst estimates for the first time since late 2013. The company's inability to hit the targets that steer investors had raised doubts about Google that had caused its stock to lag the rest of the market since the end of 2013.

Other players, Honeywell global Inc (HON) were up by 1.9% or $2.04 to $105.61. Yahoo, which holds a large stake in Alibaba, increased by 2%. Consumers remained upbeat about employment and wages. The railroad’s gain helped boost the Dow Jones Transportation Average by 0.7 percent.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Greek financial crisis

Greek financial crisis, Greece, economy, finance, Euro, EU

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Berlin refuse to give Greece an actual debt cut when he arrived at a meeting with his counterparts in the 19-country Eurozone.

He said that without an aid program it is not possible to help Greece within the framework of the Eurozone. Berlin is reluctant to consider a debt cut for Greece. The Greece is asking for a debt relief to be near the top of bailout discussions. It doesn't necessarily mean an actual reduction in the amount owed but an extension to the country's repayment schedule.

Schaeuble said actual debt cuts are banned under European rules.

Lithuania just began using the euro currency this 2015 and doesn't want the 19-country single currency club to start losing members now. Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius said a Greek exit "is not an option for us," as arrived for the meeting of Eurozonefinance ministers in Brussels to discuss a possible new bailout deal for Athens.

Sadzius said he believes common ground can be found. Greece's new finance, Euclid Tsakalotos is set to unveil new proposals to his peers in the Eurozone.

"In politics, there is always room for compromise," said Sadzius. "We believe that the Eurozone should expand rather than contract."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Greek Crisis Weigh Upon German Business Morale

German business, economy, business, finance

German business morale is down again for a 2nd straight month in June according to a survey. Concerns about the Greek debt crisis has been affecting them negatively. The survey which is called the Ifo business climate index was conducted by Ifo Institute for Economic Research. It is based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, it dropped to 107.4 in June from 108.5 in May.

Greece needs cash to save them from defaulting their loan from the IMF next week. Fears about the risk of a default have prompted savers to withdraw billions from Greek banks, forcing the European Central Bank to increase emergency liquidity assistance to keep them afloat.

German economic growth slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter, with no improvement is sight.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

China's stock market Keeps on rising worth over $10 trillion

China stock market, finance, market, economy

Right now China's stock market is worth over $10 trillion with the Shanghai Stock Exchange had a total market cap of $5.9 trillion while the Shenzhen Stock Exchange is at $4.4 trillion (World Federation of Exchanges), meaning there is $10.3 trillion in China's stock market since both the Shanghai and Shenzhen has been surging this year. The benchmark Shanghai Composite is up nearly 60% since January 1, and the Shenzhen Composite has skyrocketed by 120%, easily making it the world's best-performing market.

The crazy rise has pushed the Shanghai Stock Exchange up the ranks to become the world's third-biggest by market cap, behind the New York Stock Exchange at nearly $20 trillion and Nasdaq at $7 trillion.

81% of retail investors in China trade at least once a month, according to a State Street survey published earlier this year. American investors traded just 53% while French investors traded 32% monthly.

Top stock exchanges by market cap:
  1.     New York Stock Exchange - $19.7 trillion
  2.     NASDAQ OMX - $7.4 trillion
  3.     Shanghai Stock Exchange - $5.9 trillion
  4.     Japan Stock Exchange - Tokyo - $5 trillion
  5.     Shenzhen Stock Exchange - $4.4 trillion
  6.     Hong Kong Stock Exchange - $3.96 trillion
  7.     Euronext - $3.5 trillion

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Job Growth is Up by 5.5% in the US

Job Growth, employment, US data

There are concern about US economy is slowing, but this has not affected the job market as the government announce last Friday that businesses 280,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate is up by 5.5% from 5.4%.

However, wages is barely rising above inflation, because of a limited the economy’s growth. Education and health has contributed an additional 592,000 jobs (2.8% gain). Healthcare has been boosted by the medical demands of aging population and the expansion of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

People who were surveyed said they had to skip some medical care for lack of money, and could not cover an unexpected emergency that cost $400.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Cable TV and Internet are not Good

Customer Satisfaction Ratings, cable tv, internet

Almost all the Cable TV providers got the lowest scores possible for value. Customers seems always dissatisfied with pay TV and Internet providers, they consistently receive poor ratings. Most of the complaint are rising monthly bills, poor customer service and little flexibility in packages. It has plagued major players like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and others.

In the latest Consumer Reports survey, it asked customers to rate TV, Internet, and phone services, as well as bundled packages, and the ratings for value was so bad 38 out of the 39 Internet services, and 20 out of the 24 TV providers, received the lowest possible scores possible and 19 out of the 20 bundles have also received poor scores.

Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are in the bottom of the pack along with Comcast.

Here's the report

Thursday, May 21, 2015

U.S. jobless claims Up to 274,000

U.S. jobless claims, jobless, claims

US citizens who are filing new claims for unemployment benefits went up last week. The initial jobless claims went up by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 in the week ended May 16 according to the Labor Department. The forecast was 271,000.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fed rate hike likely in June According to Policymakers

- Fed have 2 more months of data before next meeting
- Williams: Don't want to be locked into set pace of rate hikes
- Markets are discounting June rate hike, see December likely

The Federal Reserve is likey to raise interest rates this coming June, according to 2 top US central bankers last Friday. As long as economic data strengthens as expected from a dismal first quarter. It came from the hawkish-leaning chief of the Cleveland Fed and from the centrist head of the San Francisco Fed.

The Fed has maintained the interest rates near zero since December 2008. The key, both Loretta Mester, president of the Cleveland Fed, and John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, said, is that by a quirk of the calendar there will be two more months of data for many of the key gauges the Fed follows, including the US jobless rate, jobs gains, retail sales and others. All scheduled Fed policy meetings, including the next one, in June, are "on the table," Mester told reporters in Philadelphia. "There are a whole bunch of data releases that will come out between now and June. But to me the employment reports will be indicative of a lot."

The US economy's weak winter performance, including near-zero growth in gross domestic product, has pushed back market expectations for a policy tightening to September or December, when key Fed meetings are also scheduled. Yet the Fed has telegraphed a rate hike this year, and unemployment, at 5.5 percent, is not too far from what many economists believe represents full employment.

"I agree with the way my colleague Loretta Mester put it," Williams told reporters after a speech at Chapman University, repeating Mester's phrase that all meetings are "on the table." "Really positive data trends, improvement in the labor market, signs that improve the confidence and the expectation that inflation will move back to 2 percent - I mean could imagine that constellation of data coming in, whether before June or meetings right after that too," Williams said. "But that would require the data to be good."

Both Mester and Williams pointed to recent data showing inflation may be firming, suggested they are gaining confidence it is heading toward the Fed's 2 percent target. Looking beyond the Fed's first rate hike, Williams said the US central bank should put some "space" between the start of policy normalization and the decision to allow the Fed's giant balance sheet to shrink.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

China's Foreign Direct Investment is Up by 2.2% in March at $12.4 billion

China has gained $12.4 billion of foreign direct investment in March which is up by 2.2% from a year earlier according to the Ministry of Commerce. Last February they have tallied $8.56 billion FDI which is  0.9% higher than a year earlier. China first quarter (January-March) FDI for the year 2015 is up by 11.3% at $34.88 billion.

This is good news considering a series of bad news about China economy, like slowing industrial activity and decreasing GDP.

Investment from European countries posted large year-on-year gains in the 1st quarter of 2015, with France and UK investment up 40% and 259% respectively. In aggregate, European Union countries invested $2.02 billion, up 30.5%.

Friday, April 3, 2015

McDonald's Raises Wage by $1 an hour, Workers say not Enough

McDonald, McDonald wages, McDonald slave

Ronald McDonald won't happy about this news. McDonald's announced that they will be increasing the wages for their 90,000 employees of about at least $1 an hour more than the minimum wage. However, workers and labor groups are not happy about the increase they say that the pay-increase plan is too little for too few people. Since the pay hike will not cover the employees at franchises, which make up 90% of McDonald's roughly 14,000 U.S. stores. The pay hike will start July 1.

Organizers are planning a massive rally scheduled on April 15, they are fighting for a $15 hourly minimum wage.

The company said that by the end of 2016, the average hourly wage for McDonald's workers at those stores will be more than $10 an hour, up from $9 an hour.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gold at 2 and half week high, Euro Gains Against Dollar

Hong Kong Gold

Gold prices surge ended lower on Wednesday after surging in a 5 day rally and ended close to 2 and a half week high Tuesday as a result of expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates until September. Also the U.S. dollar index has been weak recently that prop up the prices of precious metals.

Both Gold and silver have gained some momentum, the April Comex gold was last up $5.10 at $1,192.80 an ounce, it peaked at $1,195.30. May Comex silver was last up $0.049 at $16.94 an ounce. The Gold's 5-day rally that started when the U.S. Federal Reserve last week warn about the U.S. economy and the pace of any rate-hike.

Analyst expects the price of Gold could go up to $1,200 in the immediate future and $1,240 in the next quarter.

The demand for gold which do not pay interest had been hurt by expectations of a near-term rate hike, however it all change when the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised investors by indicating that they won't rush raising the interest rates. They may hold it to current level up to at least September.

A weaker dollar also makes bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies, and increases its appeal as a hedge.

The Euro has edged out the US dollar early Wednesday. It went up sharply against the dollar about 0.5% in early European trade to $1.0966, well above its recent 12-year low of under $1.05.

The euro also gained against the yen and the British pound. Brent crude oil rose 0.1% to $55.14 a barrel.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ericsson To Downsize 2,200 Swedish Jobs to Cut Cost

Ericsson, business, finance

Ericsson AB will be downsizing their workforce and about 2,200 jobs in Sweden will be cut to cut cost which is part of the company's cost-reduction plan to improve profitability as a result of slowing sales. The majority of it will be in the research and development and supply functions, it is about 2% of the company's workforce. The plan was announced back in November to lessen spending by 9 billion kronor ($1 billion) over three years.

Ericsson is the world’s largest manufacturer of wireless networks. Their goal is to boost earnings since their main rivals Nokia Oyj and Huawei Technologies Co. are beating them out in sales growth amid a prolonged period of slow industry wide expansion. The company predicts that the wireless-network gear market will grow at an average 2 to 4% a year through 2017.

About half of the positions affected by the cutbacks are in Stockholm, while Ericsson will shut its operations in Katrineholm, according to Ericsson. They have also axed 1,550 jobs in the Sweden back in 2012. Fourth-quarter sales per worker totaled about $77,500, compared with $87,000 at Finnish rival Nokia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

U.S. Economy Slows Down to 2.2%

The U.S. economy growth is slower than what was initially thought in the 4th quarter of 2014, since decrease in stockpiling by businesses and a weak trade balance affected the economy.

The country's economic output is up at the rate of 2.2% in the 4th quarter of 2014, last month the initial estimate of was 2.6%. The revision also represented a steep deceleration from the blistering 5% annual rate of growth reported in the third quarter of 2014.

Economists on Wall Street has already expecting the revision even before the announcement, they even expected that it should be at 2%. The Commerce Department released the revision on Friday, it is the 2nd of 3 estimates that are revised as more data comes in. The final estimate will be out by late March.

The cause of the revision is due to slow additions to inventories by businesses than first estimated, removing 0.7% from the headline number for growth even though other underlying components like demand from consumers remained healthy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

US Dollar Holds Ground as Federal Reserve Set for Another Rate Hike

US dollar, greenback, economy, finance

The US Dollar continue to stay strong while the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates this year. On Thursday, the greenback is up for more than a week versus other currency as a result of dropping jobless claims and belief that the U.S. economic growth is outpacing other developed nations.

Against the Euro the U.S. dollar is $1.1365 per euro as of 8:46 a.m., it gained 0.3% when the German Finance Ministry rejected Greece’s proposal for an extension to its rescue loans before adopting the stance that the approach stood as the basis of negotiations. The U.S. dollar gained 0.1% against the Yen at 119.03.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.5 percent to 1,167.35 on Thursday, its biggest gain since Feb. 11.

The jobless claims were down by 21,000 to 283,000 in the week ended February 14, from 304,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 290,000.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Philippines is now the Call-Center Capital of the World - LA TIMES

Philippines, Call-Center, BPO, data entry, call center

Presently, the outsourcing industry in the Philippines is the number 1 choice for employment among young Filipinos. More than 1 million strong Filipinos are now now working for a call center or other outsourcing business, which serves mostly US companies.

Philippines has cheap labor, highly skilled labor market, and can speak and understand English well which are invaluable to a growing list of U.S. companies. US Companies use them to perform customer service for their company, generate sales leads, data entry, format documents and read medical scans and legal briefs.

Filipinos work the nightshifts and handles angry Americans, they earn about $700 a month, more than many general physicians earn in the Philippines.

Philippines call-center industry has already overtaken India as the call-center capital of the world, though India is still the top information technology outsourcing destination.

By the year 2016, experts said that the Philippines BPO industry will be able to achieve $25 billion in revenue, that will be about 10% of the Philippines economy and as much as the total amount expected to be sent home by the 11 million Filipino nurses, sailors, musicians and others working overseas.


Friday, January 30, 2015

China is now the top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) Overtakes US

Shanghai China

China is now the top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) overtaking the United States, for the first time since 2003.

In 2014, foreign direct investment to China reached $128bn (£84,8bn), while $86bn in the US, according to the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development.

The growth in China's foreign investment has helped the services sector while the manufacturing slowed down due to falling orders. Globally, foreign investment fell by 8% to a total of $1.26tn last year.

That was the second lowest level since the start of the financial crisis, partly due to the "fragility" of the global economy last year amid geopolitical risks.

In the United States foreign investment dropped. The FDI flows to developed countries is down by 14% to about $511 billion, significantly affected by a large divestment in the United States.

US investment fell by two-thirds last year, mainly due to US firm Verizon buying back $130bn worth of shares in a joint venture from Vodafone in the UK.

The US is now third in the world for foreign investment, behind China and Hong Kong.

Its foreign investment fell by 63% last year, compared to 2013.


Top destinations for foreign direct investment in 2014

Hong Kong

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Economic Ranking of 300 World Cities 2014

Venetian Macau

Macau topped the 300 economic performance among 300 world cities for 2014. Macau a territory of China that is famous for gambling. The ranking was done by Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase it is based on growth in employment and in economic output per person. Cities in China and Turkey dominated the top of the rankings.

Bangkok, Thailand is in the last spot mainly because of the political uncertainties in the country. Macau on the other hand enjoyed a tourism boom with visitors coming from all over the world enjoying their tourist spots and casinos.

Cities in rich countries usually lag behind. But U.S. and British cities showed improvement with 3 cities in the U.S. Austin and Houston, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina are in the top 50. In the United Kingdom, London came in No. 26, Manchester No. 60.

27 of the to 50 cities are in China. Increasingly, strong growth occurred in the traditionally underdeveloped cities of China's interior, rather than its booming coastal cities. Land-locked Changsha, for instance, enjoyed economic growth per person of 8.6 percent last year and wound up No. 15 in the overall rankings.

Four cities in Turkey made the top 10 namely, Izmir, Istanbul, Bursa and Ankara.

Check out the list below:

1 Macau Macau 8.00% 4.20% 10
2 Turkey Izmir 2.00% 6.60% 8
3 Turkey Istanbul 2.00% 6.50% 17
4 Turkey Bursa 1.80% 6.40% 20
5 UAE Dubai 4.50% 4.70% 172
6 China Kunming 8.10% 2.90% 9
7 China Hangzhou 7.00% 3.30% 6
8 China Xiamen 8.60% 2.60% 1
9 Turkey Ankara 1.10% 5.70% 27
10 China Fuzhou 8.00% 2.70% 13
11 China Wulumuqi 7.40% 2.70% 15
12 Hungary Budapest 2.40% 4.70% 160
13 China Wuhan 9.30% 1.90% 29
14 China Ningbo 6.80% 2.80% 21
15 China Changsha 8.60% 1.80% 25
16 China Chengdu 8.10% 1.90% 18
17 China Wenzhou 6.60% 2.50% 26
18 India Delhi 4.40% 3.30% 36
19 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 4.10% 3.40% 4
20 China Hefei 9.50% 1.00% 14
21 China Nanning 7.20% 1.90% 2
22 China Nantong 6.90% 1.90% 12
23 Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City 3.90% 3.10% 46
24 China Xuzhou 6.90% 1.80% 5
25 Saudi Arabia Riyadh 1.90% 3.90% 79
26 United Kingdom London 2.50% 3.60% 85
27 China Jinan 7.10% 1.70% 53
28 China Suzhou 6.70% 1.70% 7
29 China Qingdao 7.10% 1.60% 24
30 Bulgaria Sofia 2.50% 3.40% 261
31 China Huhehaote 7.80% 1.20% 33
32 India Kolkata 4.70% 2.50% 68
33 China Changzhou 6.80% 1.60% 16
34 Indonesia Jakarta 4.30% 2.60% 42
35 Saudi Arabia Jeddah-Mecca 2.40% 3.40% 153
36 China Tangshan 6.90% 1.50% 37
37 China Dongying 6.50% 1.70% 11
38 USA Austin 1.90% 3.60% 65
39 USA Houston 1.60% 3.70% 74
40 China Chongqing 7.30% 1.20% 28
41 USA Raleigh 0.80% 4.00% 112
42 China Baotou 7.50% 1.10% 23
43 China Yantai 6.80% 1.40% 30
44 China Nanjing 6.50% 1.50% 22
45 China Zhongshan 5.80% 1.80% 19
46 Colombia Medellin 4.20% 2.40% 57
47 Malaysia George Town 3.80% 2.60% 52
48 Peru Lima 2.90% 2.90% 54
49 USA Fresno -0.90% 4.50% 196
50 China Zibo 6.60% 1.30% 35
51 China Wuxi 6.40% 1.30% 3
52 India Mumbai 4.60% 2.10% 67
53 Canada Calgary 3.10% 2.70% 115
54 China Zhengzhou 7.80% 0.70% 38
55 China Nanchang 6.60% 1.20% 40
56 China Shijiazhuang 6.50% 1.20% 45
57 India Chennai 5.20% 1.70% 66
58 China Foshan 5.60% 1.50% 61
59 South Korea Daejon 3.00% 2.60% 90
60 United Kingdom Manchester 2.60% 2.80% 236
61 Singapore Singapore 1.80% 3.10% 48
62 Canada Edmonton -0.60% 4.00% 71
63 USA Dallas 0.80% 3.40% 94
64 China Shenzhen 5.10% 1.60% 31
65 USA Baton Rouge 1.50% 3.00% 138
66 USA Oklahoma City 1.80% 2.90% 103
67 China Beijing 4.70% 1.60% 58
68 USA Las Vegas 1.30% 3.00% 210
69 USA Grand Rapids 0.60% 3.30% 73
70 China Dongguan 5.20% 1.40% 80
71 United Kingdom Edinburgh 1.50% 2.90% 187
72 USA San Jose 0.20% 3.40% 72
73 USA Orlando 0.10% 3.50% 147
74 Canada Vancouver 3.70% 1.90% 132
75 Australia Perth 3.40% 2.10% 64
76 India Hyderabad (IN) 4.20% 1.70% 82
77 China Guangzhou 4.90% 1.40% 34
78 Egypt Alexandria 0.90% 3.00% 170
79 United Kingdom Bristol 2.10% 2.50% 269
80 Canada Quebec City 2.10% 2.40% 145
81 United Kingdom Liverpool 2.40% 2.30% 217
82 Egypt Cairo 0.70% 3.00% 41
83 USA Jacksonville 0.60% 3.00% 194
84 United Kingdom Nottingham-Derby 2.60% 2.20% 226
85 China Taiyuan 5.60% 0.90% 55
86 USA Nashville 0.70% 2.90% 76
87 India Bangalore 4.30% 1.40% 98
88 Colombia Bogota 3.20% 1.80% 60
89 South Korea Gwangju 2.80% 2.00% 89
90 China Zhuhai 4.40% 1.30% 50
91 United Kingdom Portsmouth-Southampton 2.10% 2.20% 227
92 China Shanghai 5.20% 0.90% 129
93 South Korea Daegu 3.10% 1.80% 84
94 Taiwan Taoyuan 3.70% 1.50% 59
95 USA Denver 0.80% 2.70% 116
96 United Kingdom Birmingham (UK) 2.20% 2.10% 206
97 Kuwait Kuwait 0.60% 2.70% 77
98 China Xi'an 7.20% 0.00% 49
99 USA Knoxville 1.30% 2.40% 183
100 USA Atlanta 1.50% 2.30% 169
101 United Kingdom Glasgow 2.60% 1.80% 290
102 China Changchun 7.20% -0.10% 44
103 USA Riverside 0.20% 2.80% 182
104 USA Portland 0.60% 2.60% 91
105 South Korea Seoul-Incheon 2.70% 1.70% 88
106 United Kingdom Leeds-Bradford 2.00% 2.00% 271
107 Morocco Casablanca 1.90% 2.10% 146
108 Poland Cracow 3.70% 1.30% 257
109 China Shenyang 6.70% 0.00% 39
110 USA Charlotte 1.10% 2.30% 110
111 USA Greenville 0.70% 2.40% 121
112 United Kingdom Sheffield 2.10% 1.80% 273
113 United Kingdom Newcastle 1.90% 1.90% 240
114 Australia Brisbane -0.40% 2.80% 180
115 USA Seattle 0.10% 2.50% 137
116 USA Miami -0.50% 2.80% 161
117 Taiwan Hsinchu 3.50% 1.10% 70
118 USA Salt Lake City -0.20% 2.70% 97
119 Poland Katowice-Ostrava 3.50% 1.10% 163
120 China Dalian 6.50% -0.20% 32
121 South Korea Busan-Ulsan 2.80% 1.30% 106
122 USA Sacramento 1.10% 2.00% 216
123 Portugal Lisbon 1.30% 2.00% 292
124 United Kingdom Cardiff-Newport 1.70% 1.70% 272
125 USA San Francisco -0.50% 2.60% 118
126 China Anshan 6.30% -0.30% 47
127 Taiwan Tainan 3.60% 0.90% 93
128 Taiwan Taichung 3.10% 1.00% 87
129 Portugal Porto 1.00% 1.90% 294
130 Taiwan Kaohsiung 3.50% 0.90% 101
131 USA San Antonio -0.20% 2.40% 107
132 Poland Warsaw 1.90% 1.50% 127
133 USA Phoenix 0.70% 2.00% 159
134 Ireland Dublin 1.70% 1.50% 288
135 Taiwan Taipei 2.90% 1.00% 86
136 USA Milwaukee 1.30% 1.60% 211
137 UAE Abu Dhabi 0.30% 2.10% 78
138 USA Durham 1.20% 1.70% 231
139 Philippines Manila 4.10% 0.50% 69
140 USA Indianapolis 0.60% 1.90% 144
141 USA Tampa 0.70% 1.80% 171
142 USA San Diego -0.40% 2.30% 162
143 China Shantou 4.00% 0.40% 56
144 USA Madison 0.30% 2.00% 168
145 New Zealand Auckland 2.40% 1.10% 105
146 USA Des Moines 0.00% 2.00% 139
147 Mexico Mexico City 1.60% 1.40% 96
148 USA Los Angeles 0.10% 2.00% 164
149 USA Tucson 1.20% 1.40% 228
150 Mexico Guadalajara 0.80% 1.50% 114
151 USA Baltimore 1.00% 1.50% 157
152 China Tianjin 3.30% 0.50% 43
153 USA Boston 0.50% 1.60% 149
154 Sweden Stockholm 0.90% 1.50% 130
155 Norway Oslo 1.40% 1.20% 166
156 Kazakhstan Almaty 2.60% 0.70% 51
157 South Africa East Rand 0.10% 1.80% 131
158 USA Tulsa 0.80% 1.40% 202
159 USA Springfield 1.70% 1.00% 175
160 Chile Santiago 1.20% 1.20% 62
161 Czech Republic Prague 1.90% 0.90% 265
162 Brazil Rio de Janeiro -0.20% 1.80% 133
163 South Africa Pretoria -0.90% 2.00% 150
164 Israel Tel Aviv 1.40% 1.00% 75
165 Sweden Gothenburg 1.00% 1.10% 141
166 USA Minneapolis -0.10% 1.60% 148
167 Germany Munich 0.90% 1.10% 124
168 USA Honolulu 1.40% 1.00% 185
169 Germany Nurnberg-Furth 1.60% 0.90% 135
170 Switzerland Zurich 0.40% 1.30% 174
171 Germany Berlin 1.10% 1.00% 143
172 China Haerbin 6.10% -1.10% 95
173 South Africa Johannesburg -1.30% 2.00% 152
174 Brazil Fortaleza -0.20% 1.60% 158
175 USA El Paso, TX 0.60% 1.20% 109
176 USA New York 0.10% 1.40% 176
177 Luxembourg Luxembourg-Trier 1.40% 0.90% 181
178 USA Bakersfield -2.40% 2.40% 108
179 Germany Hannover 1.40% 0.80% 188
180 Austria Linz 0.80% 1.10% 167
181 Brazil Curitiba -0.50% 1.60% 119
182 Spain Madrid 1.40% 0.80% 295
183 Austria Vienna-Bratislava 0.60% 1.20% 213
184 USA Worcester 0.90% 1.00% 155
185 Switzerland Geneve-Annemasse 0.30% 1.30% 128
186 USA Louisville 0.20% 1.30% 142
187 Brazil Belo Horizonte -0.30% 1.50% 102
188 South Africa Cape Town -1.20% 1.90% 179
189 Germany Leipzig-Halle 1.50% 0.70% 156
190 USA Richmond -0.30% 1.50% 186
191 Germany Hamburg 0.80% 1.00% 199
192 Germany Karlsruhe 1.20% 0.80% 165
193 Brazil Grande Vitoria -0.10% 1.30% 122
194 Germany Braunschweig-Wolfsburg 1.40% 0.70% 92
195 Puerto Rico San Juan 0.40% 1.10% 289
196 USA Harrisburg 0.20% 1.20% 246
197 Canada Toronto 1.40% 0.70% 117
198 USA Akron -0.50% 1.40% 200
199 South Africa Durban -1.20% 1.70% 235
200 Brazil Recife 0.20% 1.10% 63
201 Japan Tokyo 0.70% 0.90% 204
202 Germany Bremen 1.20% 0.70% 190
203 USA Chicago 0.70% 0.80% 198
204 Spain Bilbao 1.70% 0.40% 297
205 Germany Frankfurt am Main 0.70% 0.80% 203
206 Australia Sydney 1.40% 0.50% 151
207 Germany Bielefeld-Detmould 1.20% 0.60% 134
208 Germany K÷ln- Dusseldorf 1.00% 0.70% 215
209 Brazil Brasilia -0.70% 1.40% 99
210 Germany Stuttgart 1.10% 0.60% 140
211 USA Oxnard -1.00% 1.50% 222
212 USA Greensboro 0.70% 0.70% 250
213 USA Cincinnati -1.20% 1.50% 178
214 USA Little Rock 0.50% 0.80% 224
215 Spain Barcelona 1.20% 0.40% 296
216 USA Omaha -0.10% 1.00% 191
217 USA Birmingham (US) 0.40% 0.80% 220
218 Russia Moscow 0.00% 0.90% 120
219 Mexico Monterrey 0.50% 0.70% 113
220 Germany Saarbrucken 1.40% 0.30% 225
221 Israel Haifa 1.50% 0.30% 81
222 Japan Hamamatsu 1.70% 0.20% 244
223 Japan Shizuoka 1.70% 0.10% 245
224 Japan Nagoya 1.00% 0.40% 252
225 USA New Haven 0.50% 0.60% 223
226 USA Providence -0.70% 1.10% 207
227 Australia Melbourne 1.10% 0.30% 154
228 USA Columbia -0.10% 0.80% 205
229 Canada Ottawa 0.10% 0.70% 238
230 Mexico Puebla 0.00% 0.80% 83
231 Japan Kumamoto 1.30% 0.20% 232
232 Japan Kitakyushu-Fukuoka 0.90% 0.30% 219
233 France Toulouse -0.10% 0.70% 197
234 USA New Orleans -2.00% 1.50% 229
235 USA Memphis -0.20% 0.70% 270
236 USA Albany 0.10% 0.60% 234
237 USA Detroit 0.80% 0.30% 104
238 USA Buffalo -0.10% 0.60% 230
239 USA Hartford 0.30% 0.40% 258
240 Spain Seville 0.90% 0.10% 299
241 Japan Sendai 0.80% 0.20% 268
242 Hong Kong Hong Kong 1.20% 0.00% 100
243 Japan Kagoshima 1.30% 0.00% 208
244 France Nantes -0.20% 0.60% 201
245 Japan Okayama 1.10% 0.10% 266
246 Denmark Copenhagen-Malm÷ 0.70% 0.20% 256
247 Japan Osaka-Kobe 0.60% 0.20% 267
248 Switzerland Basel-Mulhouse 0.40% 0.30% 214
249 USA St. Louis -2.10% 1.30% 253
250 USA Philadelphia -0.50% 0.70% 248
251 France Bordeaux -0.20% 0.50% 212
252 Spain Valencia 0.90% 0.10% 298
253 USA Pittsburgh 0.00% 0.40% 192
254 Japan Sapporo 0.90% 0.00% 274
255 Japan Niigata 1.20% -0.10% 242
256 USA Rochester -0.10% 0.40% 237
257 USA Bridgeport -0.20% 0.40% 241
258 USA Cleveland -0.90% 0.70% 189
259 France Marseille 0.10% 0.30% 263
260 France Paris 0.30% 0.20% 247
261 Russia Saint Petersburg -0.20% 0.40% 125
262 Belgium Brussels 0.40% 0.00% 262
263 Belgium Aachen-Liege 0.70% -0.10% 243
264 USA Kansas City -1.30% 0.70% 233
265 France Lille 0.40% 0.00% 264
266 Brazil Salvador -0.90% 0.50% 218
267 Japan Hiroshima 0.50% -0.10% 275
268 France Lyon -0.20% 0.20% 239
269 France Nice 0.00% 0.10% 277
270 France Strasbourg 0.00% 0.10% 260
271 Romania Bucharest 1.70% -0.70% 173
272 USA Allentown -0.30% 0.10% 193
273 USA Columbus -1.30% 0.40% 126
274 Italy Rome -0.80% 0.10% 284
275 USA Washington DC -1.50% 0.30% 251
276 Italy Bologna -0.40% -0.10% 255
277 Italy Milano -0.50% -0.20% 283
278 Italy Venice-Padova -0.60% -0.20% 280
279 Canada Winnipeg -0.20% -0.40% 221
280 Greece Athens 0.30% -0.60% 300
281 USA Virginia Beach -1.00% -0.10% 279
282 Finland Helsinki -0.50% -0.30% 278
283 Italy Turin -0.70% -0.30% 282
284 Brazil Sao Paulo -1.50% 0.00% 136
285 Canada Montreal 0.70% -0.90% 184
286 Argentina Buenos Aires -2.80% 0.50% 123
287 USA Dayton -1.70% 0.00% 254
288 Netherlands Eindhoven-Den Bosch 0.70% -1.10% 281
289 Italy Florence -0.60% -0.60% 291
290 Brazil Porto Alegre -1.70% -0.20% 177
291 Brazil Campinas -2.20% 0.00% 195
292 Netherlands Rotterdam-Amsterdam 0.30% -1.20% 287
293 China Daqing 4.00% -2.80% 111
294 USA Syracuse (US) -1.20% -0.70% 276
295 Netherlands Arnhem-Nijmegen 0.00% -1.20% 286
296 Venezuela Caracas -3.50% 0.10% 209
297 Italy Naples -0.70% -1.00% 293
298 USA Albuquerque -2.20% -0.60% 285
299 Australia Adelaide -1.20% -1.10% 249
300 Thailand Bangkok -0.50% -1.70% 259

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oil company Stocks Rally Put an End to 5-day losing streak

The prices of the crude were up that pulled the stock market out of a 5 day slump. Oil prices were up yesterday as a result of the International Energy Agency statement that drillers will be cutting production this year.

The S&P 500 index increase by 26.75 points or 1.3% that ended at 2,019.42. The Dow Jones industrial average increase by 190.86 points or 1.1% to close at 17,511.57, and the Nasdaq rose 63.56 points or 1.4% to 4,634.38.

Anastasia Amoroso, a global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management said that “There has been a lot of conflicting information to digest, recently”, “Are low oil prices a good or a bad thing?” “For stocks, deflation is not so great.”

Benchmark US crude were up yesterday by $2.44 to close at $48.69 a barrel in New York trading. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many US refineries, added 31 cents to $50.17 in London.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

UK markets Lost more than £30 billion, Euro dips to 9-yr low, Brent crude oil drops below $50

oil, crude oil, euro, Euro, Europe Economy

The world economy is in chaos as the value of UK firms plunge losing more than £30 billion on Monday as world markets felt the effects of Greece potentially leaving the euro currency.

London’s FTSE 100 index lost 130.64 points closing at 6417.16, wiping out around £33.2 billion from the UK’s leading blue chip firms.

The euro has fallen to a 9-year low since the beginning of 2015, as recessions continue to hit the weakest countries in Europe, which includes France, Portugal and Spain. The euro is now worth around $1.186 US dollars. The collapsing oil prices didn't help as investors put their money in safe-haven sovereign debt. Brent crude drops below the $50 barrier, losing more than a dollar to $49.92 a barrel just before 3. a.m. ET, it has reached the levels last seen in May 2009, although prices went back above $50 later.

U.S. futures CLc1 lost 75 cents to under $47.20 a barrel, their lowest since April 2009, after already completing the drop below $50 earlier in the week.