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  • The United States and China have signed a trade agreement...
    After a trade conflict lasting since summer 2018, including billions of dollars in punitive tariffs and accusations of currency manipulation, the US and China signed a Phase 1 trade agreement on January 15. The agreement was welcomed by stock markets, which have gained about 0,6 per cent this past week (MSCI All Country World Index in US dollars).

  • Norsk økonomi ser ut til å ha nådd høydepunktet for høsten 2019. Fastlandsøkonomien (untatt olje, gass og skipsfart) vil avta mot trendutviklingen når oljeinvesteringene faller og etterspørselen fra sektoren krymper. BNP-veksten på fastlandet vil avta fra 2,5 prosent i fjor til 2,0 prosent i 2020 og 1,8 prosent i 2021. I år vil den svake kronen presse inflasjonen over målet. Men på grunn av økte internasjonale risikoer, tregere innenlandsk økonomisk vekst og mindre risiko for finansiell stabilitet, vil Norges Bank la styringsrenten være uendret på 1,50 prosent.
  • Financial markets drew a sigh of relief that Iran's retaliation after the United States assassinated Major General Qassim Sulemani was limited and that it was by mistake that the Iranian military shot down a civilian Ukrainian airliner. The announcement of new US sanctions against Iran had little impact on stock markets, but Iran has signalled that its long-term goal is to drive the US out of the Middle East.

  • Despite downward revisions in corporate earnings forecasts, stock markets were extremely strong in 2019. Measured by the MSCI All Country World Index in US dollars, global stock markets gained about 25% last year, while Stockholm's OMXS30 index rose by 31% (in Swedish kronor, both were around 30%).

  • The world's stock markets surged in response to the announcement that the United States and China have reached a new Phase 1 trade agreement. China has promised to buy more American products. The US will halve its September tariffs on certain Chinese goods from 15 to 7.5% and has suspended further tariffs scheduled for December 15, but it will keep in place the 25% tariffs on about half of Chinese imports that were imposed earlier.

  • Over the past week, financial markets have been supported by super-strong job data, which have lifted stock exchanges in the United States. America's broad S&P 500 equity index has now gained around 27% so far this year, while the MSCI World equity index has risen around 20% (both in US dollars).