WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: Taking their cue from a firmer close in Wall Street overnight, the majority of Asian stock markets ended higher on Wednesday. A further rise in global oil prices and a US dollar retreat from yesterday’s highs also favoured. The positive momentum witnessed in US and Asian bourses faded in European stock markets on profit taking and worries over the banking sector’s prospects. The USD pulled back from yesterday’s highs, with the DXY index trading at 103.20 at the time of writing, though not too far from an intraday 14-year peak of 103.65 achieved on Tuesday in the wake of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s hawkish comments on the US labor market earlier this week.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
CESEE MARKETS: Emerging market assets treaded water earlier on Wednesday, in thin trade in view of the festive season. Nonetheless, the rise in oil prices provided support to energy-related shares, while a somewhat weaker US dollar also favored. In other news, the leftist PSD leader announced earlier today former development minister Sevil Shhaideh as the party’s candidate for Romania’s new Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Hungary’s Central Bank kept y-day unchanged its key base rate at the current record low level of 0.9%, as was expected, rendering further unconventional monetary easing. Separately, Turkey’s Central Bank confounded market expectations for a 25bps hike on the overnight lending rate, leaving all three main interest rates stable on Tuesday. In Bulgaria, the prospect of early general elections next spring is becoming more likely after talks to form a new government failed.
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