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  • Australian Banks Scrap ATM Fees The four biggest banks in Australia are removing cash withdrawal fees for all local users as they attempt to recover their reputations' status amid increasing political pressure for stricter laws following a series of scandals. Australia's biggest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, announced on Sunday that it would scrap the A$2 or $1.60 fee for all users of its 3.4000 automated teller machines located across the nation. A few hours later, Westpac Banking Corp. and National Australia Bank Ltd. followed suit a few hours later. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. Consumers have long criticized why they need to pay in order to access their own money, so the decision to remove the fees gives the industry, which has been hit by a string of scandals, some positive publicity. Commonwealth Bank has been tackling allegations that it repeatedly broke anti-money laundering laws and is now faced with a civil court case and tw..

    Prime News: Australian Banks Scrap ATM Fees

    Australian Banks Scrap ATM Fees The four biggest banks in Australia are removing cash withdrawal fees for all local users as they attempt to recover their reputations' status amid increasing political pressure for stricter laws following a series of scandals. Australia's biggest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, announced on Sunday that it would scrap the A$2 or $1.60 fee for all users of its 3.4000 automated teller machines located across the nation. A few hours later, Westpac Banking Corp. and National Australia Bank Ltd. followed suit a few hours later. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. Consumers have long criticized why they need to pay in order to access their own money, so the decision to remove the fees gives the industry, which has been hit by a string of scandals, some positive publicity. Commonwealth Bank has been tackling allegations that it repeatedly broke anti-money laundering laws and is now faced with a civil court case and tw..
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  • Euro Slides on Political Uncertainty The euro fell as Angela Merkel's win as German Chancellor was tainted by a worse-than-anticipated result that leaves her with challenging coalition talks. Despite Merkel winning her fourth term in office, the euro ended a two-day rally as her current coalition party, the Social Democratic Party, excluded itself from an agreement with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, making the establishment of a united government more difficult. Merkel will need to reach a consensus with pro-business Free Democratic Party and Green Party in order to form a coalition, a development that may need months. The common currency fell 0.2 percent at $1.1934, increasing the gap between a two-and-a-half year high of $1.2092 hit on September 8, when the ECB policy meeting lifted hopes of currency bulls that the central bank would start unwinding its massive stimulus program. While majority of currency analysts see the euro closing the year above the $1.20 mar..

    Prime News: Euro Slides on Political Uncertainty

    Euro Slides on Political Uncertainty The euro fell as Angela Merkel's win as German Chancellor was tainted by a worse-than-anticipated result that leaves her with challenging coalition talks. Despite Merkel winning her fourth term in office, the euro ended a two-day rally as her current coalition party, the Social Democratic Party, excluded itself from an agreement with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, making the establishment of a united government more difficult. Merkel will need to reach a consensus with pro-business Free Democratic Party and Green Party in order to form a coalition, a development that may need months. The common currency fell 0.2 percent at $1.1934, increasing the gap between a two-and-a-half year high of $1.2092 hit on September 8, when the ECB policy meeting lifted hopes of currency bulls that the central bank would start unwinding its massive stimulus program. While majority of currency analysts see the euro closing the year above the $1.20 mar..
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  • Mixed Canada Economic Data Opens Doors for more Rate Hikes Canadian retail sales volumes dropped in July, indicating a softer pace of expansion at the beginning of the third quarter, although the acceleration in inflation in August still provides the central bank with room to hike interest rates once again. A moderation in growth heading into the third quarter is anticipated following a solid first half of 2017 which made Canada a Group of Seven leader. The strong performance caused the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates twice so far this year. Economists are trying to assess whether the central bank will hike rates once more by the end of the year or wait until 2018 to tighten. Latest data revealed that total retail sales increased 0.4 percent. Although it surpassed expectations, economists expected a 0.2 percent drop in volumes, which implies that economic expansion was probably unchanged in July. The annual inflation rate increased to 1.4 percent in August from 1.2 percent ..

    Prime News: Mixed Canada Economic Data Opens Doors for more Rate Hikes

    Mixed Canada Economic Data Opens Doors for more Rate Hikes Canadian retail sales volumes dropped in July, indicating a softer pace of expansion at the beginning of the third quarter, although the acceleration in inflation in August still provides the central bank with room to hike interest rates once again. A moderation in growth heading into the third quarter is anticipated following a solid first half of 2017 which made Canada a Group of Seven leader. The strong performance caused the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates twice so far this year. Economists are trying to assess whether the central bank will hike rates once more by the end of the year or wait until 2018 to tighten. Latest data revealed that total retail sales increased 0.4 percent. Although it surpassed expectations, economists expected a 0.2 percent drop in volumes, which implies that economic expansion was probably unchanged in July. The annual inflation rate increased to 1.4 percent in August from 1.2 percent ..
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  • Oil Prices Rise Ahead of OPEC Meeting Oil prices climbed as the market awaits whether major oil producers will extend supply reductions beyond March at a meeting in Vienna later in the day. International benchmark Brent crude futures stood at $56.51 per barrel, higher by 0.14 percent, from their previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.24 percent at $50.67 per barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers are set to meet in Vienna today to discuss a possible extension of the oil supply reduction deal to increase prices. Focus will also be on the fact whether Nigeria and Libya, who have been exempted from the reductions, will join any future cuts. The two OPEC members were invited to the meeting. Despite the OPEC's efforts, prices have remained lower amid rising U.S. oil production. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently reported that U.S. crude production hit 9.51 million bpd in the week ended..

    Prime News: Oil Prices Rise Ahead of OPEC Meeting

    Oil Prices Rise Ahead of OPEC Meeting Oil prices climbed as the market awaits whether major oil producers will extend supply reductions beyond March at a meeting in Vienna later in the day. International benchmark Brent crude futures stood at $56.51 per barrel, higher by 0.14 percent, from their previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.24 percent at $50.67 per barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers are set to meet in Vienna today to discuss a possible extension of the oil supply reduction deal to increase prices. Focus will also be on the fact whether Nigeria and Libya, who have been exempted from the reductions, will join any future cuts. The two OPEC members were invited to the meeting. Despite the OPEC's efforts, prices have remained lower amid rising U.S. oil production. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently reported that U.S. crude production hit 9.51 million bpd in the week ended..
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  • S&P Trims China’s Credit Rating Over Growing Debt Fears S&P Global Ratings trimmed China's sovereign credit rating for the first time since 1999, citing risks from growing debt, and also changed its outlook to stable from negative. The agency cut China's sovereign rating from AA- to A+, putting it in a similar category with countries like the United States and Austria. This is the second downgrade from a major ratings agency for China in 2017. The analyst also lowered their ratings on three foreign banks that operate in China, claiming that it is unlikely for HSBC China, Hang Seng China and DBS Bank China Ltd. to evade default should the nation default on sovereign debt. The downgrade implies declining international confidence that Beijing would be able to reach a balance between maintaining economic expansion and cleaning up its financial sector. The Finance Ministry in Beijing previously refuted the downgrade by Moody's Investors Service, claiming that the compan..

    Prime News: S&P Trims China’s Credit Rating Over Growing Debt Fears

    S&P Trims China’s Credit Rating Over Growing Debt Fears S&P Global Ratings trimmed China's sovereign credit rating for the first time since 1999, citing risks from growing debt, and also changed its outlook to stable from negative. The agency cut China's sovereign rating from AA- to A+, putting it in a similar category with countries like the United States and Austria. This is the second downgrade from a major ratings agency for China in 2017. The analyst also lowered their ratings on three foreign banks that operate in China, claiming that it is unlikely for HSBC China, Hang Seng China and DBS Bank China Ltd. to evade default should the nation default on sovereign debt. The downgrade implies declining international confidence that Beijing would be able to reach a balance between maintaining economic expansion and cleaning up its financial sector. The Finance Ministry in Beijing previously refuted the downgrade by Moody's Investors Service, claiming that the compan..
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  • Eurozone Consumer Morale Increases in September Eurozone consumer morale increased more than expected in September, according to a flash estimate by the European Commission. The European Commission said consumer sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency increased to -1.2 from -1.5 in August. It hit its highest level since April 2001, two years after the euro was launched. Analysts expected the indicator to remain flat from its August reading. The improvement in confidence implies that consumers will continue to spend freely, providing support to an economic recovery that has been strong in the year to date. The increase in morale also likely follows the stable decline in the jobless rate and the first hints of an acceleration in wages. Recent figures revealed that pay during the three months through June was two percent higher than in the same period in 2016, the biggest increase since the first quarter of 2015 and higher from 1.3 percent in the earlier three-month p..

    Prime News: Eurozone Consumer Morale Increases in September

    Eurozone Consumer Morale Increases in September Eurozone consumer morale increased more than expected in September, according to a flash estimate by the European Commission. The European Commission said consumer sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency increased to -1.2 from -1.5 in August. It hit its highest level since April 2001, two years after the euro was launched. Analysts expected the indicator to remain flat from its August reading. The improvement in confidence implies that consumers will continue to spend freely, providing support to an economic recovery that has been strong in the year to date. The increase in morale also likely follows the stable decline in the jobless rate and the first hints of an acceleration in wages. Recent figures revealed that pay during the three months through June was two percent higher than in the same period in 2016, the biggest increase since the first quarter of 2015 and higher from 1.3 percent in the earlier three-month p..
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  • Gold Climbs Amid North Korea Concerns Gold prices rose from a four-week low on Friday as recent tensions between the United States and North Korea caused investors to turn to the safe-haven asset. Spot gold climbed 0.2 percent at $1,293.70 per ounce, after hitting its lowest since Aug. 25 at $1,287.61 in the session earlier. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent at $1,296.60 per ounce. The dollar eased against the yen and versus a basket of six major currencies. U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions against North Korea and Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong Un promised to proceed with its nuclear and missile programmes and said it would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.73 percent to 852.24 tonnes on Thursday from 846.03 tonnes the previous day. ICE Benchmark Administration, a unit of Inter..

    Prime News: Gold Climbs Amid North Korea Concerns

    Gold Climbs Amid North Korea Concerns Gold prices rose from a four-week low on Friday as recent tensions between the United States and North Korea caused investors to turn to the safe-haven asset. Spot gold climbed 0.2 percent at $1,293.70 per ounce, after hitting its lowest since Aug. 25 at $1,287.61 in the session earlier. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent at $1,296.60 per ounce. The dollar eased against the yen and versus a basket of six major currencies. U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions against North Korea and Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong Un promised to proceed with its nuclear and missile programmes and said it would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.73 percent to 852.24 tonnes on Thursday from 846.03 tonnes the previous day. ICE Benchmark Administration, a unit of Inter..
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  • Eurozone Yields Jump after Fed Signals Rate Hike German bond yields rose to their highest since early August after U.S. central bank policymakers indicated that they see another interest rate hike this year and also announced a start of the “Great Unwinding” of a decade of aggressive stimulus. The U.S. Federal Reserve said it will start in October to trim its $4.2 trillion in holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities acquired in the years following the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed's announcement caused the yield on two-year Treasuries to its highest since November 2008, and those on 10-year debt notched a six-week peak of 2.89 percent. Euro zone government bond yields also rose, increasing around 3-5 bps across the board. The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond increased to 0.50 percent, its highest since early August. It retreated by late trade to nearly 0.45 percent, still higher by almost two bps on the day. The gap between U.S. and Ger..

    Prime News: Eurozone Yields Jump after Fed Signals Rate Hike

    Eurozone Yields Jump after Fed Signals Rate Hike German bond yields rose to their highest since early August after U.S. central bank policymakers indicated that they see another interest rate hike this year and also announced a start of the “Great Unwinding” of a decade of aggressive stimulus. The U.S. Federal Reserve said it will start in October to trim its $4.2 trillion in holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities acquired in the years following the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed's announcement caused the yield on two-year Treasuries to its highest since November 2008, and those on 10-year debt notched a six-week peak of 2.89 percent. Euro zone government bond yields also rose, increasing around 3-5 bps across the board. The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond increased to 0.50 percent, its highest since early August. It retreated by late trade to nearly 0.45 percent, still higher by almost two bps on the day. The gap between U.S. and Ger..
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  • Bank of Japan Keeps Policy Steady Japan's central bank chose to hold interest rates steady as a dovish new board member dissented in favour of further monetary easing. The Bank of Japan said overnight interest rates will remain at 0.1 percent, that 10-year bond yields will be capped at around zero percent while the central bank will continue to purchase assets at almost ¥80 trillion a year. New board member Goshi Kataoka voted for more stimulus as the current policy was not loose enough to reach the central bank's two percent inflation target. Kataoka argued that there was little chance of meeting the BOJ's inflation target by the projected time frame of around fiscal 2019, according to the central bank's policy statement. The central bank said the consumer price index is “likely to continue on an uptrend and increase toward two percent.” The CPI currently is at almost 0.5 percent. The BoJ said that the country's economy is “expanding moderately” as “expor..

    Prime News: Bank of Japan Keeps Policy Steady

    Bank of Japan Keeps Policy Steady Japan's central bank chose to hold interest rates steady as a dovish new board member dissented in favour of further monetary easing. The Bank of Japan said overnight interest rates will remain at 0.1 percent, that 10-year bond yields will be capped at around zero percent while the central bank will continue to purchase assets at almost ¥80 trillion a year. New board member Goshi Kataoka voted for more stimulus as the current policy was not loose enough to reach the central bank's two percent inflation target. Kataoka argued that there was little chance of meeting the BOJ's inflation target by the projected time frame of around fiscal 2019, according to the central bank's policy statement. The central bank said the consumer price index is “likely to continue on an uptrend and increase toward two percent.” The CPI currently is at almost 0.5 percent. The BoJ said that the country's economy is “expanding moderately” as “expor..
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