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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_node_status::operator_form() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::operator_form(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/ on line 14.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_api_filter_handler::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/date/includes/ on line 578.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of uc_product_handler_field_price::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/ubercart/uc_product/views/ on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of uc_product_handler_field_weight::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/ubercart/uc_product/views/ on line 61.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/ on line 48.
  • strict warning: Declaration of semanticviews_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/semanticviews/ on line 232.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/includes/ on line 653.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
Weekly Summary

Weekly Summary

(March 2014) Global stockmarkets fell sharply in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, and then rallied as the threat of a full-scale invasion receded. The rouble tumbled to an all-time low against the dollar, prompting the Russian central bank to raise its key interest rate from 5.5% to 7%. Meanwhile, Li Keqiang, China's premier, told a session of the National People's Congress, the parliament, that China must “declare war” on pollution. In the US nonfarm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February, and the unemployment rate, at 6.7%, changed little according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday, allaying fears that the jobs market was slowing.
(March 2014) Japan-based Mt. Gox, once the dominant exchange for bitcoin trading, on Friday said more than $470m of the virtual currency disappeared and teh firm filed for bankruptcy confirming that 750,000 of its customers' bitcoins, as well as about 100,000 of its own had vanished. Meanwhile, Citigroup said it suspected an employee in the alleged theft of $400m from the bank in Mexico. US GDP data for the fourth quarter was revised down to a 2.4% annualised rate in the fourth quarter. An earlier estimate put growth at 3.2%. Ireland's Central Statistics Office reported that 61,000 jobs were added in 2013.  In other news, the total number of Irish home mortgages issued in 2013 was 14,985, down from 15,881 or 5.6% on 2012. The level in 2013 was at the lowest since 1973 - - a 40-year low.
(February 2014) Facebook agreed a $19bn deal to buy WhatsApp, a mobile internet-based messaging service. WhatsApp was launched in 2009 and it's stunning rise has coincided with the takeoff of smartphones. The 55-employee firm has 450m monthly users and handles 50bn messages a day. Meanwhile, the US Federal Communications Commission said it would not challenge a court ruling that rejected regulations on “net neutrality”, a policy under which broadband providers must treat all traffic as equal and cannot discriminate against companies that operate bandwidth-heavy services, such as Netflix, the film streaming service. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve minutes of policy meetings in 2008, released on Friday, showed that two days after it was agreed to let Lehman Brothers, the investment bank collapse in September 2008, officials were sanguine ahead of the impending massive escalation of the financial crisis. "I think that our policy is looking actually pretty good," Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, said of the level of interest rates at a closed-door Fed policy meeting on September 16, 2008. Officials decided at the meeting to hold interest rates steady at 2%. Bernanke didn't realise he would soon have to agree unprecedented measures to save the system.
(February 2014) Portugal’s sale of long-term bonds at auction was almost three times oversubscribed last week. Portugal is hoping to follow Ireland and make a clean exit from its bail-out programme this year. Year-on-year growth of 1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013 outstripped every other Eurozone member, including Germany, while quarterly growth of 0.5%, topped only by the Netherlands, compared with only a 0.1% increase. In 2009-2013, export growth of 24.2% over the four years to December and a 5.1% contraction in imports resulted in Portugal’s first current account surplus in two decades. Exports now account for 41% of gross domestic product, compared with 28% in 2008.
(February 2014) The biggest sell-off in emerging-market currencies for years had been triggered by Argentina’s decision to devalue the peso by letting it fall against the dollar; it fell by 15% over a few days to January 24 and in the past week, Turkey’s central bank at a midnight meeting more than doubled its key interest rate to 10%; South Africa raised its main rate by half a percentage point, to 5.5% and India increased its rate for the third time since September by a quarter of a percentage point, to 8%, in response to an annual rate of 9.87% in December. On Thursday, a survey of Chinese manufacturing gauge fell to a six-month low in January as output and orders slowed, adding to signs that government efforts to rein in excessive credit will cool growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
(January 2014) Global growth is expected to increase in 2014 after having been stuck in low gear in 2013, says the IMF’s latest WEO Update. The IMF forecasts global growth to average 3.7% in 2014―up from 3% in 2013―and to rise to 3.9% in 2015. An emerging markets' rout saw the Argentine peso tumble 18% against the US dollar; the South African rand and Russian rouble plunged to five-year lows and the MSCI Emerging Markets stock index extend its losses so far this year to 5.3%. Over the a 12-month period, the Argentine peso, Brazil's real and the Turkish lira lost 84%, 36% and 22% of their value against the dollar, respectively.
(January 2014) Bids valued at €14bn were made for the new Irish 10-year bond issue on Wednesday and the National Treasury Management Agency said €3.5bn was raised. Bond yields have fallen to the lowest since 2006 while Spanish and Italian yield spreads with the 10-year German bund fell to below 2%. The latest US jobs report showed total payroll gains fell to just 74,000 in December. This is well below monthly payroll gains earlier in the year, which averaged 192,000. Meanwhile, China sold 18m cars last year, up 16%, to remain the industry’s top market, selling 10 times as many cars as in India. China also has claimed that it is "very likely" that it overtook the US as the world's top trading nation, a title the US has held for decades. According to the latest data, China's total goods trade grew at an annual rate of 7.6% to $4.16tn last year, while the US will release it full-year figures in February, but its goods trade (exports + imports) for the first 11 months of 2013 totalled $3.5tn.
(January 2014) This week included the year end and reports that global share prices rose 20% in 2013; Irish shares increased on average by 33.6% while sovereign bond investors returns were 47% for Greece, 11.7% for Ireland and 11% for Spanish bonds. Spanish unemployment fell 107,570 last month, in the biggest decline since June, the ministry of labour said while 10-year bond spreads for Spanish and Italian bonds fell below 2% for the first time in years.
(December 2013) Ireland exited the 3-year international bailout at the weekend with financial targets met but with the opportunity of the crisis to put significant reforms in place, wasted The World Trade Organisation concluded the first global trade deal since it was founded in 2004; Germany's left-of-centre Social Democrats on Saturday approved a governing deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in a mail-in referendum. In Washington DC, the US House of Representatives passed a budget agreement that adopts deficit-reduction measures over a decade to offset more spending on domestic and defense programs in the near term. The Senate will vote on the bill in the coming week.
(December 2013) Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, revealed his latest plans to revolutionize delivery services: A helicopter drone designed to bring you your packages in 30 minutes or less; the European Commission fined five banks €1.7bn in total for participating in cartels to fix the Euribor and the Yen LIBOR rates; the US added 203,000 jobs in November suggesting an acceleration in hiring since the summer months and real US gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annualised 3.6% in the third quarter of 2013; George Osborne, UK chancellor of the exchequer, forecast that Britain will run a budget surplus by 2018 for the first time this century as he declared in his Autumn Statement that “Britain’s economic plan is working” and Mario Draghi, ECB president, acknowledged that the Eurozone economy was "subdued."