Interest Rates

Perceived shift in US Fed's monetary policy causes uncertainty

A trader listens to a broadcast of Janet Yellen's conference. Photo: Reuters

As the dust begins to settle around the latest perceived shift in policy on the part of the United States Federal Reserve, uncomfortable questions are being asked about the credibility of US monetary policy and the communication skills of the world's most closely watched central bankers.

Tuesday, 1 April, 2014, 7:07pm

Has Fed turned hawkish or did Yellen misspeak?

Fed chairman Janet Yellen says interest rates may be left unchanged if inflation in the US remains at a low level. Photo: MCT

The Federal Reserve is telling us that not much has changed in the economy in the United States except rates are going to rise faster.

That is either growing hawkishness or a communications flub by Fed chairman Janet Yellen in her first Federal Open Market Committee press conference.

21 Mar 2014 - 12:59am

Hong Kong banks battle for deposits earlier this year

The HKMA has brought forward its deadline for banks to review their lending policies from June to the end of this month. Photo: Sam Tsang

A regulatory directive that banks in Hong Kong fund the loans they make with deposits of longer tenure has spurred the lenders to begin their annual battle for deposits earlier this year.

15 Mar 2014 - 5:05am

New Zealand central bank leads way in raising interest rate

Auckland's harbour reflects the healthy outlook for the commodities-driven national economy. The central bank may raise interest rates to 5.25 per cent within a year. Photo: AFP

New Zealand's central bank raised interest rates yesterday and signalled further rises as far out as early 2017, taking the lead among developed economies in tightening monetary policy as it tries to quell inflation pressures in a strong economy.

14 Mar 2014 - 6:08pm

The road to convertibility is paved with repression

Chinese repression

Great excitement followed Beijing's announcement on Monday that it will draw up an "operational plan" this year for deregulating domestic interest rates and making the yuan fully convertible.

A whole legion of analysts reacted by predicting the liberalisation of China's exchange rate during the next couple of years, and full convertibility within five years.

8 May 2013 - 5:20am 1 comment

Euro-zone rate cut unlikely to boost lending

The European Central Bank could cut its interest rates from record lows and unveil new measures to kick-start bank lending, analysts say.

The European Central Bank, meeting in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava today, could cut its interest rates from record lows and unveil new measures to kick-start bank lending, analysts say.

2 May 2013 - 3:47am

ECB stands ready to ease policy if needed, says Draghi

ECB stands ready to ease policy if needed, says Draghi

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank stands ready to cut interest rates if the economy deteriorates further, and officials are considering additional measures to boost growth as the debt crisis enters its fourth year.

5 Apr 2013 - 5:10am

Bank on it - doomsday not so nigh

Higher interest rates do raise risks for the city's property market but it's a long way from the end of the world.

I can paint the doom scenario as well as anyone can. Here we have a red-hot residential property market with prices propelled to record heights by four years of extraordinarily low interest rates. What will happen if interest rates now start to rise?

21 Mar 2013 - 5:20am 9 comments

China expected to keep interest rates unchanged

The People's Bank of China (PBOC). Photo: Bloomberg

Mainland officials are expected to keep interest rates on hold in the first half of the year, a central bank adviser said, easing concerns that Beijing may raise rates after inflation reached a 10-month high last month.

20 Mar 2013 - 4:35am

India cuts key interest rate in attempt to revive stalled economy

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)  Photo: Reuters

India's central bank lowered its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point yesterday as it tries to revive stalled growth in Asia's third-largest economy.

The announcement was overshadowed by the country's minority government losing a coalition partner.

20 Mar 2013 - 4:35am

China's new leaders likely to loosen interest-rate controls

Xi Jinping will be appointed as president tomorrow. Photo: AFP

Twelve of 16 analysts expect Beijing to relax or remove the cap on deposit rates or the floor on lending rates, according to a survey conducted before Xi Jinping's appointment as president tomorrow. A majority sees at least minor changes to the birth and registration policies.

14 Mar 2013 - 7:47am

Hong Kong's new homebuyers hit by rise in interest rates

Advertisements outside a property agency in Quarry Bay. People are less confident about buying than earlier in the year, a survey shows. Photo: Dickson Lee

Centaline Property Agency said last night that some owners had immediately slashed their asking prices. A 922 sq ft flat in Taikoo Shing was on offer for HK$13 million, a reduction of 7 per cent. Other owners dropped their prices by up to 10 per cent.

14 Mar 2013 - 2:13pm

Ben Bernanke says raising US interest rates early risks economic growth

Ben Bernanke

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke signalled he would keep the Fed's target interest rate low to support the economy, even as some colleagues warned the policy risks triggering financial market instability.

3 Mar 2013 - 6:30am

Fed chairman Bernanke sees hope in interest rate rises

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Photo: Xinhua

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said recent increases in some interest rates may signal the economy is gaining vigour.


28 Feb 2013 - 2:58am

NZ home prices expected to keep rising this year

NZ home prices expected to keep rising this year

Sixty-six per cent of respondents in a survey last month expected values to increase over the next year compared with 64 per cent in October, ASB Bank said in an e-mailed report. The proportion expecting lower prices was unchanged at 8 per cent.

27 Feb 2013 - 5:04am