Monthly Metal Review
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
In July, London Metal Exchange shareholders voted 64-3 to approve the $2.2 billion cash offer for the exchange by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. HKEx vowed to keep open-outcry trading until at least 2015. Chief executive Martin Abbott stays.
Markets rallied in July as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi came out fighting. He pledged to do whatever it takes to protect the euro zone from collapse at all cost and made clear the central bank will deal with inflated Spanish and Italian borrowing expenses.
Spanish bond yields reached euro-era highs with 7.55 percent interest on 10-year bonds. Yields on German and British government debt hit record lows and return on US Treasury notes was lowest since the early 1800s as investors flocked to the lower-yield, safer instruments.
Strapped Spanish banks were bailed out as Italy and Greece simmered. But even AAA-rated countries were hurt. Moody's lowered its assessment of Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg from stable to negative, saying they were at risk from their dealings with Greece, Spain, and Italy.
Before Central Bank President's declaration, the euro fell to a two-year low against the dollar. Commodities and stocks slid on fears of more Spanish debt troubles. Officials announced in July that Greece is unlikely to meet the terms of its current bailout.
Spanish mining-sector subsidies were reported to be cut 44 percent in 2012. Some 75 Spaniards protesting cuts to the mining industry were injured and eight arrested as thousands marched on the Ministry of Industry in Madrid.
US housing statistics were upbeat and new jobless claims decreased, but unemployment in the country stayed high, at 8.2 percent. Higher food prices were forecast as farmers suffer the worst US drought in 50 years. Some 3,000 counties in 29 states became federal disaster areas as corn and other crops were ravaged in searing heat. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed would act to boost the economy when needed.
The International Monetary Fund said that China's economy is heading for a soft landing and that the yuan is now only moderately undervalued.
Peugeot Citroen is to cashier 8 percent of its French workforce and Deutsche Bank will have to shed 1,000 employees. Britain's economy shrank 0.7 percent in Q2. In happier news, BMW will spend $388 million to expand Mini production in British factories and some 1,500 new staff will build new, long-range helicopters in Somerset.
South Africa President Jacob Zuma warned against a trade and resource imbalance with China. China's President Hu Jintao offered a $20 billion credit line to African nations. China offered $10 billion in loans to Latin America in June.
They will not call it a stimulus program, but British officials plan to spend $14 billion to upgrade the national railway system, including electrification of the Midland Main Line. Work is two years off, but an anticipatory jolt could help bolster the economy.