Week End Blog – Week 10

Starting today, I will post a weekly blog that contains some interesting charts of the past week (well, at least in my opinion). Many of these charts can also be found in my Twitter timeline. I hope you find this new blog insightful and informative.

Russian & Ukrainian tensions explode
Both Russian and Ukrainian military forces were getting deployed as political tensions between the two nations exploded at the beginning of the week. Military action was avoided short afterwards, but some damage was done. Both the Russian stock exchange and the Ruble tumbled and did not recover.

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The five-year rally
Stock markets around the world were negatively impacted by the Crimea issues for exactly one day. By then it was business as usual. Equities continued their five-year rally, the second strongest since WWII. Source http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/03/04/bull-markets-five-year-anniversary-in-five-charts/

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Auroracoin to the moon and back
Bitcoin and fellow altcoins were trending this week. Most attention went to Auroracoin, which saw its market cap rise thirty-fold within a week from launch. At one point, Auroracoin’s market cap topped USD 1 billion, briefly making it the number two digital currency after bitcoin. That the rise represented a total frenzy became clear only days later, as Auroracoin lost 75% of its value just as easy and quickly as it rose the days before. See also http://auroracoin.org/

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Yesterday, all digital currency-specific news was completely overshadowed by the article published by Newsweek that bitcoin’s founding father, Satoshi Nakamoto, had been found.

Back to (regular) financial markets. March has begun. Traditionally March is a very equity friendly month. But then again so is January, which turned out pretty ugly this year.

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Consumer Confidence Explained
This week showed another divergence of French and German consumer confidence. In my previous column I try to explain why this is.

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Yuan depreciation
The Chinese yuan, for the first time in ages, started to depreciate. And quite dramatically too. Lots of theories have been put forward about what the reason behind this depreciation is. For now it seems that letting investors know that the Chinese currency can in fact move both ways remains at least one of the explanations. We have to see and wait for now.

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ECB sits tight
On Thursday the ECB refrained from further action. The ECB is relatively comfortable with the economic recovery and expects inflation to pick up…some time. No QE for now. But only if… Just imagine what European QE could do for (European) stocks.

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Payroll surprise
Finally, on Friday the Nonfarm Payrolls came in better than expected. In February employers added more workers than the consensus forecast, ending a negative streak due to weather-related issues. Unemployment rose 0.1% to 6.7%. Interest rates rose sharply.

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See you next week!

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