Category: Your Money

Europe to discuss crisis as fear grips

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Leaders from European powerhouses Germany and France will hold talks on Friday after a global market rout signalled fear Europe’s debt crisis is spinning out of control and a U.S. recovery is stalling.

In Japan, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said global policymakers needed to confront currency distortions, the debt crises and concerns about the U.S. economy.

Japan and Switzerland are trying to reduce the allure of their markets as safe havens and after gold has more than doubled in price since the global financial crisis, many investors are having second thoughts about seeking refuge in the precious metal.

Investors slashed positions after the European Central Bank failed to include Italy and Spain in a fresh round of bond buying, even though yields on their debt shot above 6%, the highest level since the euro was launched over a decade ago.

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Gold rate touches nearly Rs 25,000

Gold prices rose to a new high in India to over Rs 24,000 per 10 gram, tracking international prices which neared the $1,700 per ounce mark on Wednesday.

While this is good news for investors in the yellow metal, it is bad news for those who are planning to buy gold jewellery.

Over the last one year, gold prices in India have risen by 34%, and this is attributed to the current gloomy outlook for the global economy, the rising inflationary pressure and the weakness of the US dollar against other major currencies like Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc, market players said.

“Gold is usually used as a hedge against weak dollar and rising inflation.”

Gold rate touches nearly Rs 25,000 – The Times of India.

JSW Steel denies Lokayukta report

Indian steelmaker JSW Steel on Thursday denied the conclusions drawn in a report by an anti-graft watchdog against the company on procurement and transportation of iron ore in Karnataka.

Karnataka’s anti-graft watchdog – Lokayukta- had cited certain alleged illegal purchase of iron ore and transactions linking the company and a group firm.

JSW Steel has already invested over Rs33,500 crore ($7.5 billion) to set up a 10 million tonne per annum capacity steel plant in Karnataka, while it is still waiting to get mining leases in the state for over 15 years, the firm said in the statement.

“Today iron ore is not available, therefore we have cut the production.”

JSW Steel denies Lokayukta report, says followed law – livemint.com.

DLF continues to be in a quagmire

Residential sales volume was up about 15%, about two-fifths of which came from plotted land sales, which has a shorter sales cycle. Thanks to this, DLF’s revenue grew 21% over a year ago.

Operating margins contracted by about 290 basis points from a year back.

Analysts’ presentation paints a rather grim picture, indicating fewer residential launches and lower commercial leasing volumes compared with previous quarters.

DLF continues to be in a quagmire – livemint.com.

The trouble with Quants

During the week of August 6, 2007, many large and previously successful hedge funds were forced to de-lever their portfolios and liquidate commonly held securities, resulting in simultaneous drawdowns of 30%, 50%, or worse.

After all, the quant funds of 2007 shared the same structural flaws as the highly engineered financial trading strategies that caused the stock market crash in 1987 and the implosion of Long-Term Capital Management in 1998.

At first, the identified predictability in security price movements is reinforced as funds using the quant model, along with similar funds using similar models, begin buying and selling the same securities.

To facilitate the use of leverage, risk models were used to minimize country, sector, and other common factor risks.

Read more here: http://researchaffiliates.com/ideas/pdf/fundamentals/Fundamentals_Aug_2011_The_Trouble_With_Quants.pdf