US, European bonds prices push yields to new yearly low

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Bonds prices go up, yields drop... is optimism in the Eurozone over rated?... and why a sporting trophy could push stocks up in one nation…

Bonds market shows investor uncertainty in recovery
The price of US and European government bonds saw increases on Wednesday which pushed the yields down to a new low for this year. Among the factors driving bond prices were the unexpected unemployment figures for Germany – still the powerhouse of the EU but recording a seasonally adjusted rise in unemployment for May when a fall had been predicted. Read the full story.
 
Where to invest? Follow the World Cup
For football (soccer) fans, this summer’s global tournament is the biggest thing to happen since…well, the last World Cup four years ago. For many the world over, each game will be a mix of joy and pain. The matches will be the stuff of dreams…and nightmares. For those who don’t follow what Brit’s call ‘the beautiful game’ it will be nothing more than an annoyance. But... what if there was some meaning to it other than just a ball game; what if it could make a difference to investments? According to Goldman Sachs, the outcome of the World Cup could see stocks rising in the winning country by 3.5 per cent above the global average in the month following their triumph. Read the full story.
 
France struggling – unemployment rises
With a lack of encouraging signs of growth in the French economy, there was more bad news on Wednesday. Unemployment figures showing almost 15,000 joined those seeking jobs in April, making the country’s total out of work more than 3.5 million, an increase of 3.5% year on year.  Read the full story.
 
Australian PM’s adviser challenges opponents on economy
Maurice Newman, top business advisor for Tony Abbott, says opponents to the government’s austerity measures need to either back them or come up with a better plan. Mr Newman said that he would have liked the cuts in public spending to be tougher but understands that politics is in play. He said that he didn’t know what would be a good alternative to the budget but that it needed to be fixed. Read the full story.
 
Capitalism dead without change
Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, was addressing a conference in the City of London on Wednesday and told delegates that capitalism was doomed to destroying itself unless bankers commit to making a fairer society. Carney was scathing about bankers’ behaviour in the lead up to the global financial crisis and said "All ideologies are prone to extremes. Capitalism loses its sense of moderation when the belief in the power of the market enters the realm of faith. In the decades prior to the crisis such radicalism came to dominate economic ideas and became a pattern of social behaviour." Read the full story.
 
Eurozone over rated?
With the leading credit rating agencies starting to upgrade countries in the Eurozone that had struggled badly in recent years, there is concern that these new ratings are too generous. There has been some improvement in much of Europe, compared the lows of the past few years but reform is slow, debt is still huge and there are still issues with unemployment. Some experts are concerned that ratings agencies may be getting swept along in a wave of Eurozone optimism, some of which may not be fully justified. Read the full story.
 
Singapore housing prices drop
The National University of Singapore’s Institute of Real Estate Studies has released its latest figures showing a further drop of 1% in house prices for April. This follows a 1.4% drop in March. It is the suburban areas which have pulled the index down with a 2% drop, while the central region was flat. Read the full story.

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