International News (Issue 354) – 5 June 2015

There was quite a lot about this week internationally, so in turn I’ll reference the comings and goings by country/continent in bullet point form:

a) EUROPE – rising inflation figures saw European bond markets routed, as I highlighted in the text above. Shares suffered against this backdrop, alongside the continued angst surrounding Greece and its debt negotiations.

Overnight Greece confirmed, despite the recent protestations to the contrary, that they would bundle their immediate IMF debt repayment due today in with the payments due later in the month. Frankly, we are no closer to understanding the likely outcome of Greece’s teetering debt pile this week than we were last.

Economic improvement in the Eurozone continues to improve, and purchasing manager indices all point to ongoing domestic strength – exactly what we want to here.

b) US – improving economic momentum, which again seems to point to the recent downshift in growth as being temporary only and largely oil sector related.

The biggest feature of the US market this week was the announcement of several major mergers, notably the Direct-TV and T-Mobile USA deal (worth $70bn), and the rumoured Vodafone/Liberty Global deal (worth $150bn).

c) ASIA/China – China rose another 7% this week as investors continued to see signs of policy support and improving economic data as constructive for share prices.

Thursday saw an intraday fall of 5% initially before the market closed up on the day, and I have to say this type of volatility is rarely a positive sign, particularly after such a strong gain (China shares +57% year-to-date).

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