The euro halted three days of gains versus the dollar as Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Portugal’s credit rating, reviving concern about Europe’s ability to solve its debt crisis.
The 17-nation common currency depreciated versus all but two its major counterparts after Portugal was cut two steps by Moody’s yesterday to A3, four steps from so-called junk status. The rating company said its outlook remained negative given Portugal’s “subdued growth prospects” and risks that the government won’t be able to implement deficit-reduction plans.
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Right now, China is where America was back at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and into the 1800s. Development is highly concentrated in the coastal regions, the financial system is maturing and the country’s economy is characterized by rapid growth across the board. And everything – from intellectual property to real estate values – is under tremendous pressure … to grow. So there are some real parallels. China is not going to stop growing anytime soon nor is it going to fail. But it is likely to have some hiccups…again, just as we did with two world wars, the Great Depression, 20 or so recessions and all manner of boom-and-bust cycles. Some of those hiccups will be quite wrenching in nature.
The key will be to “follow the money” into the best profit opportunities. And no matter what happens, there will always be opportunities – if you know what to look for.
I am convinced that China will affect every asset class on the planet – even if only indirectly – for the rest of our lives. I am also convinced that it represents the single-greatest-wealth-creation opportunity of our time, which is why I have spent a good portion of my life and career in the Pacific Rim – studying, participating and actively investing in related markets.
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The turmoil in Egypt is causing economic jitters across the globe, pushing up food and oil prices so far, but bigger worries are ahead.
The unrest already has affected U.S. energy prices.
The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. was $3.12 on Friday – up 2.4 cents just in the past week. Analysts expect prices to stay above $3 a gallon – the highest since 2008 – and probably go higher until the conflict in Egypt is resolved and Mideast tensions ease.
Oil prices hovered at about $90 a barrel over the past week. Some analysts predicted the Egyptian crisis will lead to $100 per barrel prices sooner rather than later.
Traders worry the unrest might spread to oil-producing countries in the region and even affect shipments through the Suez Canal. Egypt is not a major oil producer, but it controls the canal and a nearby pipeline that together carry about 2 million barrels of oil a day from the Middle East to customers in Europe and the United States.
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