Today Barclays Returns to Second-Quarter Profit on Provisions (Bloomberg)
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Find the inequality debate boring? Then check the numbers again

World economy

MADRID | The Corner | One of 2014 most commented/loved/bashed books has been Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, which put such an old concept as inequality back on the table. The truth is, as inequality is reducing on a global scale, it is increasing within many economies, including emerging countries like China and India. Increasing access to education and electricity in poor countries and areas pays out, as the World Bank is underlining in a campaign (check the video above).

In Europe

Less unemployed -as active population ages

MADRID | The Corner | Despite the slow recovery, unemployment in the eurozone has fallen faster than expected. According to the Labor Force Survey, the rate of jobless population has gone from 12.5% in 1Q13 to 12.2% in 1Q14. The reason? The single currency club is ageing. Also, immigration is playing a secondary role, as unemployment rate for non-EU citizens notably higher than for nationals in the EU28.

 

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Markets

Earnings season: Mixed feelings on both sides of the Atlantic

MADRID | The Corner | We’re in the middle of second-quarter earnings season and companies are showing their cards to investors. Note the difference on both sides of the Atlantic: in the US, 53% of S&P500 firms have posted their results and 78% have performed better than expected (average surprise of 6%, JP Morgan analysts pointed out). EPS growth is of 11% yoy, while sales went up by 5% with 67% of companies having better than expected numbers. Meanwhile in Europe, with 152 SXXP companies having posted their results, 56% have turned in an average +0.4% EPS. Year-on-year EPS has risen by 18% (8% if we exclude financial entities), although yoy sales decreased by -2%.

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Markets

ECB: credit standards on EZ loans eased for the first time since 2007

MADRID | The Corner | A further sign of a recovery in credit: standards on loans within the eurozone have been eased for the first time in the 2Q in seven years, just before the financial crisis bursted, the ECB said in its regular Banking Lending Survey released on Wednesday. Net demand continues to recover for both household and enterprise borrowing. However, as we reported, the open bar announced by Mr Draghi won’t have an impact on loans until 2015 and, meanwhile, credit fall continues to accelerate in some peripheral countries, especially in Spain and Italy.

World economy

China optimism lifts Asia equities

LONDON | By EM Asia Rates Strategy analyst Rohit Arora | Asian equities continued to march higher, with stocks in Korea and Japan outperforming on the day. The Nikkei’s outperformance, despite weaker-than-expected readings on retail sales and jobless data, was counterintuitive and likely reflects increasing market expectations of BoJ easing. In FX, the NZD was a notable underperformer after Fonterra lowered its 2014-15 milk price forecast to NZD6/kg from NZD7/kg.

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In Europe

In Greece, UnLuCky for some: Another painful lesson from the euro crisis

ATHENS | By Yiannis Mouzakis via The AgoraNo matter what overall opinion you have of the Greeks, you really ought to hand it to us for tolerance. Over the last year and a half one of the three key players in Greece’s crisis management team has repeatedly and openly admitted that the prescription for addressing the country’s predicament was wrong.

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In Europe

Spanish Socialists do financial outing to regain public trust

MADRID | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | Still digesting their historic-low European election results, the Spanish socialists (PSOE) are trying to recover people’s trust by publishing their accounting in a quarterly report. This is the least that we can ask from parties, trade unions, employers and any others living on the State and the taxpayers. Without passing any law, the PSOE –who lost millions of votes in the last general polls- is taking the lead amid corruption scandals affecting numerous Spanish public figures.

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