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Analysis: Investors Consider Battle Plans Amid Risk Of China-Taiwan Conflict

SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) – The threat of China invading Taiwan, long considered a highly improbable event, has moved to the centre of global money managers’ risk radars and is factoring in their investment decisions, analysts say.

Fund managers say they are fielding more queries from clients about the odds of an invasion of Taiwan by China. Although none of them has made specific trades related to that risk, their overall exposure to China has reduced for other geopolitical reasons, and Taiwan figures heavily in asset allocation plans.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Japan’s Lower House Of Parliament Passes Record Budget

TOKYO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Japan’s lower house of parliament passed on Tuesday a record 114.4 trillion yen ($839.3 billion) budget for the next fiscal year, a move that promises to further increase the industrial world’s heaviest debt burden.

The budget for the year beginning in April features record military spending to cope with threats from China and North Korea, as well as record welfare spending for a fast-ageing population.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Banks Pile Into Euro Zone Bond Sales As Rates Shoot Up

Feb 28 (Reuters) – Banks are becoming the leading buyers of some euro zone governments’ bond sales, taking advantage of surging interest rates as the European Central Bank looks to reduce its presence in the market.

Euro zone governments need private buyers to pick up some 400 billion euros ($422 billion) of additional debt this year.

Funding needs remain high due to the energy shock that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while the ECB, a huge buyer in recent years, will soon start reducing the bonds it holds on its 8 trillion euro balance sheet as it tightens monetary policy to contain inflation.

Full coverage: REUTERS

UK Grocery Price Inflation Hits Record 17.1%

LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – British grocery inflation hit 17.1% in the four weeks to Feb. 19, another record high, dealing the latest blow to consumers struggling with a cost-of-living crisis, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Market researcher Kantar said prices are rising fastest in markets such as milk, eggs and margarine.

It said UK households now face an additional 811 pounds ($978) on their annual shopping bills if they don’t change their behaviour to cut costs.

Full coverage: REUTERS

ECB Has Started To Win Inflation Fight, Lane Says

FRANKFURT, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation pressures have begun to ease, including for all-important core prices, but the European Central Bank will not end rate hikes until it is confident price growth is heading back towards 2%, ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane said.

The ECB has raised rates by 3 percentage points since July and promised another half a percentage increase in March, in the hope that more expensive funding will curtail demand enough to get price growth down from levels still above 8%.

Full coverage: REUTERS

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Industry Dynamics

UK Inflation Rate Unexpectedly Rises To 10.4% In February

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) – British inflation unexpectedly rose to 10.4% in February, pushed up by higher food prices and pricier drinks in pubs and restaurants, official data showed on Wednesday, a day before the Bank of England announces its latest interest rate decision. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that the annual CPI rate […]

2023-3-22 | Industry Dynamics

Dollar Pauses, Sterling Drops Ahead Of Fed, BoE

LONDON/SINGAPORE, March 21 (Reuters) – The dollar steadied and sterling fell on Tuesday as traders reckoned banking stress would keep the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England from hiking rates much further, or at all, later in the week. Investors remained concerned over the fate of the banking sector after U.S. lender First Republic shares tumbled […]

2023-3-21 | Industry Dynamics

Analysis: UBS Swallows Doomed Credit Suisse, Casting Shadow Over Switzerland

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) – UBS Group (UBSG.S) emerged as Switzerland’s one and only global bank with a state-backed rescue of its smaller peer Credit Suisse, a risky bet that makes the Swiss economy more dependent on a single lender. The unprecedented move announced late on Sunday in Zurich capped a race against time by regulators to avert a […]

2023-3-20 | Industry Dynamics