31 July 2019 FT — Articles to Read

31 July 2019


Question: According to MSN: Lifestyle, what are the fifteen (15) most popular private jet destinations for the ultra-wealthy?


ECB easing faces German challenge – Pg. 1

  • The ECB’s quantitative easing programme, under which it has purchased 2.6tn (euro) of bonds, remains controversial in Germany, where plaintiffs claim it constitutes illegal “monetary financing”
  • The European Court of Justice last year ruled in favour of the ECB, but the German court is now set to interpret the issue under domestic law.


Trump rattles equity markets by lashing out at Beijing and the Fed – Pg. 1

  • Mr Trump suggested that officials in Beijing were not negotiating in good faith and were failing to implement the purchases of US farm goods that they have been pledging
  • Mr Trump’s comments reduced expectations that even limited progress could be made in Shanghai, …..
  • In a widely criticized challenge to the Fed’s independence, Mr Trump has been loudly pressing it to help the administration in the trade conflict with China by reverting to deep monetary easing


Powell pressed from all sides as Fed meets – Pg. 3

  • The Fed will almost certainly deliver the 25bps cut in its main interest rate that it has been eyeing for some time, bringing it down to a target range between 2 and 2.25%
  • The Fed chairman has been stressing many of the risks to the US outlook in recent public appearances, but if he reverts to emphasizing the central bank’s reliance on hard data, it may signal that the central bank is not convinced yet of the need for a full cycle of deeper cuts
  • Mr Powell suffered the first dissent of his tenure as Fed chair last month when James Bullard, the president of the Saint Louis Fed, voted against the decision to keep rates steady, arguing that a 25bp cut had already been need at the time
  • Mr Powell will probably also place a large emphasis on below-target inflation and weakness in investment, which have overshadowed consumer strength


Hong Kong sky-high rents start to drop – Pg. 4

  • Hong Kong’s hot property market – one of the world’s most expensive for prime office space – is starting to buckle under the strain of China’s economic slowdown and global trade ructions led by lower demand from mainland Chinese companies
  • …gross take-up, or new leases, to mainland Chinese companies fell almost 40% in the first half of 2019 compared with the same [period last year. Average office rents in the city are likely to fall in 2019 for the first time in six years, by 1.3%, and strata-sale office prices by 5%
  • Hong Kong, a hub for east-west trade, has been buffeted by the tension with economic growth slowing markedly from 1.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter last year to 0.6% in the first quarter
  • The chill is also being felt in the city’s retail property sector


UK poised for rate cut despite inflation threat – Pg. 11

  • Markets now see a rate cut by December as better-than-even chance – a sharp reversal from earlier in the year when the timing of a rate rise was the talk of trading floors
  • Sterling weakness is also expected to drive up inflation by increasing the prices of imported goods – in a rerun of the aftermath of the Brexit referendum


Answer: (15) Crete; (14) Barbados (tied with Malta); (13) Malta; (12) Sint Maarten; (11) Philippines; (10) Mykonos; (9) US Virgin Islands; (8) Corsica; (7) Sicily; (6) Cayman Islands; (5) San Juan, Puerto Rico; (4) Sardinia; (3) Ibiza; (2) Mallorca; (1) The Bahamas