Yuan Hell of a Week: Weekly Wrap-Up, August 14, 2015

August 14th, 2015 by

For those who didn’t have time to stay on top of all the recent news—financial or otherwise—this week, we’ve got a quick-and-simple rundown of all the headlines you may have missed.

  • The People’s Bank of China devalues the yuan, causing a shock wave of volatile activity, but anxiety in the markets subsides on the belief that the worst is over. The move could potentially push Japan and Europe to increase their already-ambitious monetary stimulus programs in order to remain competitive in the export market.

 

  • An enormous explosion and subsequent fire in a major Chinese port city, Tianjin, kills scores of bystanders, wounds hundreds more, and leaves an entire shipping district all but destroyed.

 

  • Real Greek GDP grows by 0.8% in Q2 2015 (although a -0.5% drop was expected). This reflects conditions before an extended bank holiday, however. The Greek Parliament also agrees to the latest bailout arrangement totaling €86 billion, and now awaits political approval from other European governments.

 

  • The euro area as a whole posts disappointing Q2 GDP numbers, with just 0.3% growth.

 

  • According to the Financial Times: “Frankfurt prosecutors have charged eight current and former Deutsche Bank employees in connection with €220m in sales tax evasion following a long-running investigation into Europe’s carbon-emission certificate market.”

 

  • Navinder Singh Sarao, the high-frequency trader (HFT) used as a scapegoat for market manipulation and the 2010 “flash crash” of the NYSE, is released from jail in the U.K. thanks to the seizure of $25 million in assets in his holdings.

 

  • oil leakOil prices fall once again amid a price war between OPEC and U.S. shale producers. Prices per barrel are now 30% below their summer high in June. Most indicators point toward further possible losses, as the year-long rout for energy resources does not look transitory.

 

  • Gold and silver prices jump more than 2% and 3%, respectively, in response to the yuan devaluation and a brief pullback for the U.S. dollar. This helped the metals pare losses from earlier in the year that sent prices to six-year lows.

 

  • republicanThe Republican Party holds its first primary debate for its presidential nominee. While much attention was paid to billionaire Donald Trump during the prime time debate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina—the only woman in the GOP field that now totals 17 candidates—stole the show in the undercard debate.

 

  • The potential impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff draws ever-nearer, stemming from her involvement in the bribery and corruption scandal that has befallen the state-owned oil giant, Petrobras, of which Rousseff once served as director.