Barclays has seen profits drop by a quarter to $8.5bn, missing analyst forecasts and raising expectations that the bank will step up cost cutting procedures. Several hundred senior-level jobs are expected to be axed as a result.
Oil demand across the world will rise more quickly this year than previously forecast as economic growth in industrialized countries accelerates. This is according to the International Energy Agency, which claims the majority of leading economies are now largely out of recession.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has cut its own global growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014 by almost half a percentage point. The OECD blames a slowdown in emerging markets and the US debt ceiling chaos for the cut.
Beijing’s reform programme has helped boost China’s markets, with the easing of the country’s one-child policy, efforts to boost consumption, and giving a larger role to market forces all contributing.
The Japanese Yen has hit a four-year low, nearing 102 to the dollar for the first time since April 2009. The Nikkei stock exchange index has also ballooned by more than 55 percent since November as the government attempts to push the country out of deflation. But while consumers are being encouraged to spend more money, there is a risk the yen could weaken too far and possibly even collapse