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iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (EWU)

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  • Jun. 10, 2014, 9:27 AM
    • Growth in the UK manufacturing sector for the month of April indicates another sign of economic recovery. Manufacturing increased 0.4% between March and April, resulting in the fastest annual growth rate (4.4%) in three years.
    • The overall production sector was up 0.4%, pushing the annual growth rate to 3%.
    • April was also the fifth consecutive month of rising output – the record since mid-2010.
    • ETFs: EWU, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • Jun. 5, 2014, 10:35 AM
    • Interesting action in the markets finds most doing a complete reversal of their knee-jerk response following the ECB rate cut and early part of the Draghi press conference (where he seemed to be laying the groundwork for QE).
    • The euro (FXE) has turned around more than 100 pips and gone green on the session. Germany's DAX (EWG) and London's FTSE (EWU) have turned lower, though the periphery (EWI, EWP) is hanging on to gains. The 10-year Treasury yield - which jumped to 2.64% - has returned to 2.59%. TLT -0.1%, TBT +0.2%
    • Showing little reaction in the immediate aftermath of the ECB action, gold is now moving noticeably higher at $1,253 per ounce. GLD +0.75%
    • Previously: Negative rates not the end of moves for the ECB
    | 10 Comments
  • Jun. 5, 2014, 7:55 AM
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  • Jun. 4, 2014, 6:13 AM
    • "Record-low interest rates are no longer necessary," says Berenberg senior economist Christian Schulz, following a better-than-expected read from the U.K. services PMI, which fell to 58.6 in May from 58.7 in April, but beat expectations of 58.2. “The latest data support our call that the first hike will come in November 2014.”
    • Sterling (FXB) cuts its losses following the strong print, now down 0.1% and buying $1.6732. The FTSE, however, isn't as big of a fan of the economic news, quickly shedding 0.3% after the report.
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • May. 26, 2014, 5:31 AM
    • Euroskeptic and far-right parties have made strong gains in some countries in elections for the European parliament as voters expressed resentment at the EU and the severe austerity it has promoted.
    • A stand-out result is the 25% that the anti-euro Front National won in France, where President François Hollande's Socialists received just 14%.
    • In Britain, UKIP, which wants the country to leave the EU, took the most votes with a share of more than 27%. Anti-EU parties also did well in Greece and Denmark.
    • Markets seem to be fairly sanguine about the results, with the euro +0.1% at $1.3638.
    • In Italy, the center-left ruling Democrat Party, led by new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, won 41% of the vote. "The outcome is...likely to delight the markets, where investors can be expected to see it as a resounding vote of confidence in the 39 year-old prime minister, his youthful cabinet and their ambitious program of political and economic reforms," writes the Economist's Charlemagne column. The FTSE Mib is +2.5%.
    • Euro Stoxx 600 +0.35%, London closed, Paris +0.7%, Frankfurt +1.5%, Madrid +0.7%.
    • ETFs: GREK, EWI, EU, EWU, EWQ, EDEN, IFEU, EWUS, ITLY, ITLT, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | 17 Comments
  • May. 21, 2014, 5:25 AM
    • The BOE's minutes take on a bit more of a hawkish tone, indicating that some policy makers are moving closer to voting for an increase in interest rates, although all of them first want the slack in the U.K. economy to ease.
    • The minutes come after BOE Governor Mark Carney said last week that the economy had "edged closer" to a need for a rate rise. He has also identified the housing market, where prices have been rising sharply, as a major threat to stability.
    • The pound is +0.4% at $1.6913, while the FTSE is +0.1%. (PR)
    • Previous coverage
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • May. 21, 2014, 4:42 AM
    • U.K. retail sales grew at the quickest rate since May 2004 in April, jumping +6.9% on year vs +4.8% in March and beating consensus of +5.2.
    • On month, sales +1.3% vs +0.5% and consensus that was also +0.5%.
    • Excluding fuel, sales +1.8% vs +0.1% and +0.5%; on year, sales +7.7% vs +4.9% and +5.3%.
    • While the U.K. government will probably welcome the figures, the data may place a doubt on hopes of shifting the economy away from consumption. (PR)
    • Meanwhile, the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously, as expected, to keep interest rates at 0.5% and against more quantitative easing at a meeting earlier this month, the minutes of the meeting show. (PR)
    • The pound jumps and is +0.4% at $1.6913, while the FTSE is -0.2%.
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • May. 20, 2014, 4:42 AM
    • U.K. inflation climbed to 1.8% on year in April from 1.6% in March and exceeded consensus of 1.7%.
    • On month, CPI rose to +0.4% from +0.2% and topped forecasts of +0.3%.
    • Core inflation +2% on year vs +1.6% and +1.8%.
    • "Increases in transport costs, notably air fares, sea fares and motor fuels, provided the largest contribution to the rise in the rate," the statistics office says, with the timing of Easter "likely to have had an impact." A drop in food prices "was the largest offsetting factor." (PR)
    • Factory output prices (PPI) flat on month vs +0.2% and +0.2%. (PR)
    • The pound is +0.1% at $1.6836, while the FTSE 100 is -0.4%.
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • May. 18, 2014, 3:20 AM
    • The major risk to the U.K. economy is a housing market that "has deep, deep structural problems," Bank of England Governor Mark Carney tells Sky News, adding that more houses need to be built.
    • Noting that the number of large mortgages being approved is creeping up, Carney said the BOE needs to make sure that "banks are strong enough" and that lending procedures are reinforced.
    • Carney's comments come after he last week played down the chances of an imminent rise in interest rates despite fears about a bubble in house prices.
    • ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | 3 Comments
  • May. 14, 2014, 6:16 AM
    • The U.K.'s unemployment rate fell to a 5-year low of 6.8% in Q1, says the Office for National Statistics today, giving more fuel to those calling on the Bank of England to hike rates. "Record low interest rates are increasingly unnecessary,” says Rob Wood, an economist at Berenberg Bank and a former BOE official.
    • The BOE, however - in its May inflation report released after the unemployment print - acknowledges the rebounding economy, but says more slack needs to be absorbed and reiterates its low-rate pledge. The outlook for inflation in the medium-term remains benign, says BOE Governor Mark Carney.
    • The pound slips vs. the dollar, down 0.25% and buying $1.6786.
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • May. 9, 2014, 5:13 AM
    • U.K. industrial production -0.1% on month in March vs +0.8% in February and consensus of -0.2%. On year, output +2.3% vs +2.5% and +2.4%.
    • Manufacturing production +0.5% on month vs +1% and +0.3%. On year, output +3.3% vs +3.9% and +2.9%. (PR)
    • Total trade deficit £1.28B vs £1.71B in February.
    • Goods trade deficit £8.48B vs £8.75B in February and consensus of £9B. (PR)
    • The pound slumps from earlier highs and is -0.15% at $1.6907, while the FTSE 100 is -0.4%.
    • ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK, FXB, GBB
    | Comment!
  • May. 8, 2014, 7:10 AM
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  • May. 6, 2014, 10:27 AM
    • The British pound continues a major bull run with today's excuse to buy being the Markit Services PMI rising to 58.7 in April from 57.6 previously. Up 0.75% vs. the greenback this session, cable now buys $1.6994 - about a 5--year high.
    • Has it already been ten months since Mark Carney took over at the Bank of England with near-universal expectations for further monetary ease and cable trading at less than $1.50? Instead, markets saw a hawkish lean from Carney and improved economic numbers.
    • The FTSE 100 - at least for today - looks like it prefers a weaker currency, -0.3%
    • FXB +0.7%
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | 2 Comments
  • May. 4, 2014, 8:30 AM
    • Should Pfizer acquire AstraZeneca and move its HQ to the U.K. to take advantage of the country's friendly tax regime, the company could be joined by scores of others.
    • Accounting giants KPMG, PWC and EY are working with over 250 companies combined about relocation to the U.K., which changed its rules last year to only tax income generated in Britain unless it is "artificially diverted" from the country. In addition, the tax rate is due to fall to 20% next year, while the U.K. also provides generous R&D tax breaks.
    • The trend could help Britain in its attempt to rebalance its economy.
    • See also
    • U.K. ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | 5 Comments
  • May. 2, 2014, 5:42 AM
    • U.K. construction PMI dropped to 60.8 in April from 62.5 in March and missed consensus of 62.
    • Housing activity growth was close to a 10-year high, says Markit, and while the rate of overall expansion was the weakest in six months, the construction sector still grew sharply.
    • The pound is -0.1% at $1.6882 and the FTSE 100 is +0.1%. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • Apr. 23, 2014, 4:36 AM
    • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously, as expected, to keep interest rates at 0.5% and against more quantitative easing at a meeting earlier this month, the minutes of the meeting show.
    • Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Public Sector Net Borrowing dropped to £4.86B in March from £7B in February and was well below consensus of £9.1B. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
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EWU Description
The iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the British market, as measured by the MSCI United Kingdom Index.
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