In Brief – N.13 – May 17, 2015

Asian stocks could be rising even more as analysts bet on more stimulus from central banks. “Weak data from China makes us think that there’s impending development ahead,” a source said.

Poland has combined robust economic growth with reducing some of the pressures on its environment since it joined the EU in 2004, according to a new OECD report.

Most of the Latin America countries have not yet rebuilt their fiscal space, despite buoyant commodity revenues and relatively strong growth in the aftermath of the crisis, read an IMF report.

NATO and Ukraine established a formal framework for the former’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to act as the Executing Agent for two of the NATO Ukraine Trust Funds.

“While growth in the first quarter of this year was disappointing, (…) the consensus among private forecasters is that our economy will expand at a healthy pace for the rest of the year,” said US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

“I am also absolutely convinced that the worst-case scenario will be avoided,” Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, said about the possibility of a Grexit.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are the three new GOP candidates to enter 2016 presidential race.

The Bank of Russia decided to reduce the key rate from 14.00 to 12.50 percent per annum, taking account of lower inflation risks and persistent risks of considerable economy cooling.

Analysts get growingly concerned by weak and divergent manufacturing PMIs between European countries, particularly between France and Germany.

Moody’s downgraded Greece’s government bond rating to Caa2 from Caa1. The outlook on the rating is negative. Uncertainty on government’s financial policy is the top reason.

Gains for growth and stability from financial deepening remain large for most emerging markets, but there are limits on size and speed, said an IMF note.

The Middle East and North Africa region is experiencing a modest economic recovery, despite the sharp drop in oil prices and deepening conflicts, the IMF wrote in its latest regional assessment.

“We all have a stake in what happens here in Somalia. The world cannot afford to have places on the map that are essentially ungoverned,” stated US Secretary of State John Kerry during a surprise visit to Mogadishu.

For the first time in 5 decades, the US government is allowing ferry service between Florida and Cuba. US Treasury and Commerce departments notified 4 companies of approvals.

“The divergence (between Fed and ECB policies) can be a cause of instability as markets react instantly to any new information and their impact on monetary policy,” said ECB governing council member Christian Noyer.

At a May 5, 2015 meeting in Riyadh, the GCC invited French President François Hollande to participate, making Hollande the first foreign leader to attend GCC summit.

“In an uncertain environment of global economy, monetary policy settings should be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated to minimize negative spillovers,” agreed China, Japan and ROK Finance Ministers.

“European sanctions against Russia, this is 1 million more unemployed in Europe as a whole,” tweeted French Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo. This is the (very) upper bracket, said analysts.

European State bonds’ return rate has jumped sometimes by 50 to 100 percent in just 3 days as tensions about Greece resurfaced. There is something significant shaping around bonds.

Al Qaeda grew stronger – particularly in Syria and Yemen – while our focus was mostly on ISIS in the last 12 months, a security source told Cyceon. “We must reassess,” the source said.

“A combination of responses to distorted incentives by players throughout the financial system created an environment conducive to a crisis,” said Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

“There is still work to be done to address distorted incentives in the financial system. (…) we need to build a financial system that is both more ethical and oriented more to the needs of the real economy,” added IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

One Apple Watch’s costs would be $2.50 for the workforce, $83.70 for the whole production cycle and a final sale price at $349.

The Conservatives won the UK elections in a landslide, likely taking majority at the parliament with 325 seats or more. According to the BBC, far behind came the Labour with 232 seats, the Lib Dems 12, the SNP 56, Plaid Cymru 3, UKIP 2, the Greens one and others 19.

Don’t worry. “We intend to pay every creditor. We certainly intend to pay the IMF and we will pay,” Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told the European Business Summit in Brussels.

No means no. Russia refused the debt restructuring request from Ukraine that must pay back Moscow $3 billion by December 2015. In the end, the EU may advance the sum.

While Secretary of State John Kerry met Saudi counterpart, the US Senate approved Congressional review of Iran nuclear deal. For the Obama administration, the Hill will perhaps be harder to convince than Tehran.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced an interest rates cut by 25 basis points (bps) starting May 11, 2015, the third time since November 2014, to bolster the real economy.

Contraction bis. Difficulties accumulate in China as imports and exports declined 16.2 percent and 6.4 percent year-on-year respectively. The perspective is “negative”, Cyceon keeps warning.

WHO declared Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission, 42 days have passed since the last laboratory-confirmed case was buried on March 28, 2015. The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.

China is a country that has some real strengths but some enormous challenges, a 7 percent growth (…) may be optimistic,” former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told CNBC.

Greece paid about 750 million euros to the IMF on May 12, 2015, a day before it was due. Much remains to be reimbursed and many analysts question the real amount of Greece’s cash reserves.

8 policemen were killed and 37 wounded, 14 “insurgents” were killed and 30 captured, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said as armed group were about to carry attacks in the city of Kumanovo.

Air forces across Europe suspended flights of the Airbus Group NV A400M after one of the military transport aircraft crashed near Seville, Spain, killing 4 people.

Though US light tight oil (LTO) production slows, robust OPEC output bolsters steep oil supply growth,” underlined the latest IEA’s monthly report. Globally, the oil demand forecast is unchanged.

“We are deeply concerned about the US remarks. The US side must make clarification on this,” China’s MFA spokesperson said about US plan to send aircraft and Navy ships to South China Sea.

The Holy See (Vatican) decided to recognize the State of Palestine within the framework of an agreement over the Catholic Church’s status in the Palestinian territories. Israel is disappointed.

Back to recession. In the first three months of 2015, Greece’s GDP posted a quarter-on-quarter contraction of 0.2 per cent after a 0.4-per-cent fall in the fourth quarter, Eurostat said.

There’s something wrong. According to Spanish daily El Mundo, Greece avoided imminent default to the IMF after using its emergency cash account at the IMF which in turn would be ready “to pull the plug on the debt-stricken country.”

European policymakers are making heroic efforts to avoid that situation (of Greece’s default). They (…) try to avoid that in a way that’s sustainable,” said BOE Governor Mark Carney.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concerns about Russian “statements about possible future stationing of nuclear weapons and delivery systems in Crimea.”

Exactly like Cyceon forecast, the US Senate Democrats blocked the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) fast track which is a key priority for President Barack Obama.