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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: financial news roundup (January 31 - February 6, 2014)

QFINANCE: financial news roundup (January 31 - February 6, 2014)

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Each week brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.

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Thursday February 6

Spain's medium-term borrowing costs fell to record lows at a bond auction on Thursday, Reuters reported. However, investors’ enthusiasm is buttressed by expectations of economic recovery amid broader downward pressure on euro zone yields.

Related article: As Spain pays nearly 6% on her benchmark bonds and the UK pays 2%, is euro membership worth that?

In Europe, the ECB announced that it would retain interest rates at 0.25%, despite fears of deflation, the BBC reported. UK interest rates also remained unchanged at its record low of 0.5%.

German factory orders unexpectedly declined by 0.5% from November to December, owing to weaker domestic demand, Bloomberg reported. This suggests that companies in Europe’s largest economy remain cautious as surrounding nations struggle to sustain a recovery.

Wednesday February 5

Credit rating agency Moody’s upgraded Mexico’s sovereign rating to an “A” grade, citing a raft of economic reforms that President Enrique Pena Nieto has pushed through Congress, Reuters reported. Mexico is the second country in Latin America to earn the coveted rating.

Related article: Latin America benefits from "favorable tailwinds"

Google agreed to make concessions on how it displays competitors' links on its website on Wednesday, The Guardian reported. In a deal with the European Union regulator that ended a three-year antitrust probe, the world's largest online search engine managed to avoid a process which could have led to a fine of up to $5 billion.

Tuesday February 4

The prospect of Scottish independence brings “big uncertainties” for oil giant BP, according to group boss Bob Dudley. “My personal view is that Great Britain is great and it ought to stay together," he told the BBC.

Related article: Salmond dreams Scotland can become a Celtic Lion; but will it work?

Indian-born Satya Nadella has been appointed chief executive of Microsoft, following Steve Ballmer’s resignation last year, the BBC reported. The company also announced that Bill Gates will be stepping down as chairman of the group.

Monday February 3

Qatar’s energy minister Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada said the US shale revolution will not change the country’s strategy and quest to become an LNG superpower, the Telegraph reported.

Related article: Chinese investment giant warms to US shale revolution

In the UK, under a change to the Bribery Act, companies and banks that fail to prevent financial crimes by their staff will risk large fines and blacklisting from EU contracts, the Telegraph reported.

Friday January 31

Goldman Sachs is being sued by Libya's sovereign wealth fund for more than $1 billion, the Guardian reported, over allegations that the bank exploited a lack of financial expertise at Gaddafi’s investment fund.

Related article: Goldman Sachs, the Symbol and Essence of What Went Wrong with Western Capitalism

Data from Japan revealed the country’s fastest rate of inflation in more than five years, reported the BBC. This marks progress in the country’s battle against deflation.

Come back next week for another report on the world of business and finance.

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Tags: Bill Gates , Bob Dudley , borrowing costs , BP , deflation , ECB , economic recovery , energy minister , EU , Europe , factory orders , Gaddafi , Germany , Goldman Sachs , Google , inflation , interest rate , Japan , LNG , Mexico , Microsoft , Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada , Moody's , Qatar , resignation , Satya Nadella , Scottish independence , Spain , Steve Ballmer , UK , UK Bribery Act , US shale gas
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