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Turkish Consumer Confidence Improves In June

Turkey’s consumer confidence improved in June, survey results from the Turkish Statistical Institute showed on Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index rose to 81.7 in June from 77.3 in May.

The survey was carried out in cooperation with the Turkish Statistical Institute and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.

The assessment of the present financial situation of household fell to 61.0 in June from 61.5 in May.

The financial situation expectation of households increased to 82.9 in June from 76.6 in the previous month.

The general economic situation expectation index grew to 86.0 in June from 78.8 in the prior month.

Assessment on spending money on durable goods index over next 12 months rose to 96.9 from 92.2 in May.

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UK Budget Deficit Narrows In May

The UK budget deficit narrowed in May from the last year, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday.

Public sector net borrowing decreased to GBP 24.33 billion in May from GBP 43.76 billion in the previous year. The deficit was also below the economists’ forecast of GBP 26.1 billion.

Nonetheless, this was the second highest May borrowing since records began in 1993.

In the financial year-to-May, PSNB was estimated at GBP 53.4 billion, the second-highest financial year-to-May borrowing since monthly records began in 1993 and was GBP 37.7 billion less than in the same period last year.

Excluding banks, public sector net debt came in at GBP 2,195.8 billion at the end of May, or around 99.2 percent of GDP, the highest ratio since the 99.5 percent recorded in March 1962.

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(Australia) Westpac Leading Index Signals Above Trend Growth

Australia’s economy is set to log a more sustainable above trend growth through the remainder of 2021 and 2022, according to Westpac report, released Wednesday.

The six-month annualized growth rate in the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, slowed to 1.47 percent in May from 2.86 percent in April.

Over the second half of 2021, Westpac expects that annualised pace to slow further to 4.5 percent, while the next year growth is forecast at a more normal but still healthy 3.2 percent.

The second half growth forecast is still well above trend but more in line with the six month annualized growth rate of 1.47 percent which the leading index has printed for May.

The index growth rate has moderated to 1.47 percent in May from just under 5 percent six months ago.

Two components account for most of the move, namely US industrial production and total hours worked. Both saw extremely strong ‘reopening rebounds’ as COVID restrictions were eased late last year.

Other components showed a more mixed performances over the six month period. On the plus side, commodity prices continued to surge. Most other components tended to follow the wider them of normalising growth.

Bill Evans, chief economist at Westpac said, given the improved pulse of the economic data in 2021, as signaled by the Leading Index, it seems unlikely that the central bank would expect to have to wait until 2025 before it achieves the objectives necessary to justify the first cash rate increase since November 2010.

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Australia Business Conditions At Record High: NAB

Australia’s business conditions rose to a record high in May, while business sentiment weakened moderately from the previous month, survey results from National Australia Bank showed on Tuesday.

The business conditions index climbed to 37 in May from 32 in the prior month. Meanwhile, the business confidence indicator came in at 20 in May, down from a record high of 23 in the previous month.

The survey showed that the employment, profitability and trading sub-components all reset last month’s highs – with trading conditions at exceptional levels. Forward orders also remained at a record level.

The survey measure of reported capex rose further suggesting that the strong rise over 2021 is more than just a rebound from disruptions to activity and uncertainty during 2020. Overall, this was another very strong read for the business sector – and forward indicators point to ongoing strength in the near-term, NAB Group Chief Economist, Alan Oster, said. This is a pleasing result coming after last week’s national accounts which showed that the economy has now surpassed its pre-COVID level. The economy now appears to be entering a new period of growth after a very rapid rebound, Oster added.

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German Retail Sales Down More Than Expected In April

Germany’s retail sales declined more than expected in April, data released by Destatis revealed on Wednesday.

Retail sales declined 5.5 percent on a monthly basis, reversing March’s 7.7 percent increase. Economists had forecast sales to drop 2 percent in April.

On a yearly basis, growth in retail sales slowed to 4.4 percent from 11.6 percent in March. This was slower than the expected expansion of 10.1 percent.

Destatis said the federal emergency brake in the second half of April and the Easter business in March 2021 are very likely to have been the main reasons for the decline in sales.

Food, beverages and tobacco sales slid 3.4 percent from the last year, while non-food store sales surged 10.6 percent in April.

Compared to February 2020, the month before the crisis, retail sales were calendar and seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent lower in April. In nominal terms, retail sales decreased 5.4 percent on month, while turnover advanced 5.8 percent annually in April.

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M&S Slips To Loss In FY21 On Weak Revenues

Retailer Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MAKSY.PK, MAKSF.PK, MKS.L) reported Wednesday that its 53-week fiscal 2021 loss before tax was 209.4 million pounds, compared to profit of 67.2 million pounds in the 52-week last year.

On a 52-week basis, the loss before tax in fiscal 2021 was 201.2 million pounds.

Loss per share for 53 weeks were 10.1 pence and 52 weeks were 9.8 pence, while last year’s profit was 1.3 pence.

Profit before tax & adjusting items was 50.3 million pounds for 53 weeks and 41.6 million for 52 weeks, while last year’s adjusted profit was 403.1 million pounds.

Adjusted basic earnings per share were 1.4 pence for 53 weeks and 1.1 pence for 52 weeks, compared to 16.7 pence a year ago.

Group revenue before adjusting items was 9.12 billion pounds. On a 52-week basis, group revenue fell 11.9 percent to 8.97 billion pounds from last year’s 10.18 billion pounds.Ocado Retail delivered 43.7 percent revenue growth over the 52 weeks.

The company noted that overall trading for the first six weeks of the financial year and since reopening has been ahead of the comparable period two years ago in 2019/20.

Marks & Spencer said, “While encouraging, it is unclear how the recovery will develop and if consumer activity will sustain. International markets continue to face headwinds with ongoing disruption and the material costs of Brexit which we are working to mitigate. At this early stage our central case is that we will generate profit before tax and adjusting items between £300-350m and as capital expenditure recovers towards pre-pandemic levels, our ambition is for a further reduction in net debt.”

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Japanese bank Nomura says it’s facing a loss of $2 billion as a hedge fund blow up

  • Japanese investment bank Nomura announced on Monday it’s facing a $2 billion loss on a US client.
  • Nomura said in a press release it didn’t believe the loss would impact the company’s solvency.
  • The announcement follows a wild week for markets dominated by a reported liquidation of positions held by Archegos Capital Management.

Japanese bank Nomura announced on Monday that it is facing a $2 billion loss.

The financial hit, it said in a statement, came out of “a significant loss arising from transactions with a US client.” The firm declined to name the client.

Nomura said it would no longer be issuing planned US dollar senior notes, noting that “an event that occurred after pricing that could impact the company’s consolidated financial results,” according to Reuters.

Following the news, Nomura’s shares were trading down 15% Monday morning.

The loss follows a wild week for markets dominated by a reported liquidation of positions held by Archegos Capital Management, an investment firm led by Tiger Asia founder Bill Hwang. The liquidation appears to have been led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The two investment banks sold billions of dollars worth media and Chinese stocks, with ViacomCBS and Discovery dropping as much as 35% on the heavy selling. Chinese companies Tencent, Baidu, and Vipshop also saw a major drop. Market watchers told The Wall Street Journal the “size and speed” of the sell-off was “unprecedented.”

Despite the sell-off, the market saw a last-minute rally on Friday, with the Dow ending up 450 points and the S&P 500 closing at a record high.

Nomura said the $2 billion loss shouldn’t impact operations.

“As of the end of December 2020, Nomura maintained a consolidated Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of over 17 percent, which is substantially higher than the minimum regulatory requirement,” the statement continued. “Accordingly, there will be no issues related to the operations or financial soundness of Nomura Holdings or its US subsidiary.”

Nomura operates in 30 countries worldwide, as has total assets of $432.2 billion.

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Danish Retail Sales Decline At Softer Pace

Denmark retail sales declined for the third month in a row in January, albeit at a softer pace, figures from the Statistics Denmark showed on Wednesday.

Retail sales declined a seasonally adjusted 5.0 percent month-on-month in January, following a 8.3 percent decrease in December.

Sales of clothing and other goods decreased 43.3 percent monthly in January and those of other consumables decreased 7.1 percent.

Meanwhile, sales of food and grocery grew 2.8 percent.

On an annual basis, retail sales dropped 7.6 percent in January, after a 1.3 percent gain in the previous month.

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German Q4 GDP Grows More Than Estimated

The German economy grew more than initially estimated in the fourth quarter, revised data from Destatis showed on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.3 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter instead of 0.1 percent estimated previously. However, this was much slower than the 8.5 percent rebound seen in the third quarter.

On a yearly basis, the decline in GDP slowed to 3.7 percent from 4 percent. The fourth quarter rate was revised from -3.9 percent.

The price-adjusted GDP dropped by revised 2.7 percent annually after easing 3.9 percent in the third quarter. According to flash estimate, GDP was down 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

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UK unemployment rate hits 4-year high in final quarter of 2020 but data shows ‘tentative’ signs of stabilizing

  • The UK unemployment rate rose to 5.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020, the highest since 2016.
  • Yet company payrolls rose in January, when the UK went into national lockdown, suggesting the jobs markets may be stabilizing.
  • The UK suffered the worst slump out of the G7 in 2020 and has seen more than 120,000 deaths.

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