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Stocks and Bonds: World


Investors have wrung their hands over the last several weeks over the effect of lower oil prices on the broader S&P 500, but the relationship between the two is actually starting to break down. Crude prices had dropped more than 10 percent in the trading week ended December 12. That was largely responsible for a 3.5 percent drop in the S&P 500, as investors fled stocks over concerns about energy-sector bonds, corporate earnings, and expectations for world economic demand.

Stock markets in China and other East Asian countries will rally next year despite slowing economies on expectations global central banks will supply ample liquidity, Reuters polls showed. The Shanghai Composite Index has had a stellar year soaring more than 40 percent even as its regional peers missed a global bull run. Stocks markets in South Korea and Hong Kong have posted losses so far in 2014.
Bargain hunters may have to think twice before scooping up shares of beaten-down oil services companies, as a slump in crude prices raises questions about their ability to pay back debt. The damage from the drop in crude , down by nearly half in six months, is pummelling the bonds of energy companies and sending shockwaves through the high-yield credit market as investors reassess the firms' balance sheets.
European investment managers built up their holdings of bonds and cut back on riskier assets such as stocks in December, eyeing the threat of market volatility and an uncertain year ahead beset with unseen risks, a survey shows. A Reuters poll of 17 Europe-based investors found the average recommended allocation to equities in global balanced portfolios fell to 43.6 percent from 47.1 percent a month earlier.
Stock exchanges of Dubai and Bahrain will introduce a new, simplified way of transferring shares between the two bourses next year, Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the operator of the emirate's main exchange, said on December 17. Shares of three Bahraini companies - Gulf Finance House, Al Salam Bahrain Bank and Arab Insurance Group - are listed on DFM and accounted for one tenth of the bourse's traded value this year, DFM said.
US stocks extended gains for a third session on Friday, giving the S&P 500 its best weekly performance in nearly two months as energy shares continued to rebound. The S&P energy index jumped 3.1 percent, leading the benchmark index's advance, and closed out the week with a 9.7 percent gain, its biggest weekly increase since December 2011.
Economists at Wall Street's biggest banks remain convinced the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by next June and most expect the Fed to tighten policy more than once in 2015, a Reuters poll found after the US central bank wrapped up a policy meeting on Wednesday.


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,804.80 0.15
Arrow Nasdaq 4,765.38 0.36
Arrow S&P 2,070.65 0.46
Arrow FTSE 6,545.27 1.23
Arrow DAX 9,786.96 0.25
Arrow CAC-40 4,241.65 0.18
Arrow Nikkei 17,621.40 2.39
Arrow H.Seng 23,116.63 1.25
Arrow Sensex 27,371.84 0.90

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln