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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 9th September 2022
09 Sep 2022
ECB raises rates by historic 75 basis points as it hints more to come. The European Central Bank raises its key interest rates by an unprecedented amount on Thursday as President Christine Lagarde hinted it could repeat the move as part of “several” future hikes to ramp up its attack against skyrocketing inflation. The bank - which sets monetary policy for the eurozone - lifted the deposit rate from zero to 0.75 percent and the main refinancing rate was lifted to 1.25 percent, the highest since 2011. “Based on its current assessment, over the next several meetings the Governing Council expects to raise interest rates further to dampen demand and guard against the risk of a persistent upward shift in inflation expectations” the bank said in a statement after the meeting.

UK construction sector contracts for second month in a row. Construction activity in the UK fell for the second month in a row in August according to the forward-looking S&P Global/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index. The August reading showed muted activity after an even gloomier July. The index came in at 49.2 in August, after a reading of 48.9 in the previous month. Another figure below 50, though higher than the previous month, indicates the sector has contracted during the month under review. Concerns about wider economic prospects led to a drop in business confidence, slower job creation and a decline in firms' purchasing activity resulting from concerns about economic prospects. Having said this, on Tuesday, Liz Truss was elected UK Prime Minister showing a strong resolve in her opening speech to revive the economy.

China services sector continues to expand in August. China's services sector continued with is recovery in August from the latest wave of the pandemic boosted by robust sales, survey results from S&P Global showed on Monday The Caixin services purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 55.0 in August, 0.5 percentage points lower than the previous reading, being the second highest since May 2021, indicating that despite a a lower figure, China’s services sector continued the strong recovery trend since June this year. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction. The world's second-biggest economy narrowly escaped a contraction in the second quarter due to widespread Covid-19 lockdowns, and tentative signs of a recovery early this summer quickly fizzled out amid fresh virus outbreaks and lockdowns. Nationwide railway travel hit an eight-year low during August.

India services sector expands in August. India's services sector expanded in August, underpinned by gains in new business, ongoing improvements in demand conditions and job creation. The seasonally adjusted S&P Global India Services PMI Business Activity Index jumped to 57.2 in August from July's four-month low of 55.5, signalling a rebound in growth. Business confidence in this sector strengthened notably, reaching its highest level since May 2018. The report added that the optimism was centred on forecasts of ongoing improvements in demand and planned marketing. According to Miguel Chanco, chief emerging Asia economist Pantheon Macroeconomics for India's services sector, the near-term outlook is encouraging, particularly with the backlogs of working sub-index rising to an 18-month high and with the future activity component spiking upwards to 62.2, marking the first—though likely unsustainable—60.0-plus print since mid-2019.

RBA raises rates amid inflation fears. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday announced that it will hike its official interest rates for a record fifth month in a row as it endeavours to bring inflation under control. The RBA lifted rates by a half point to 2.35 percent, as expected by analysts. The Australian dollar weakened following the move. RBA Governor Philip Lowe said that this would be far from the last rate rise during this monetary policy tightening cycle, with inflation in 2022 expected to hit a new 32-year high as consumers kept on spending.
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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).