Once again we can notice that the financial markets have their own paths due to economic situation. Last week was a good example of this. The week ended with a positive sign in Wall Street, but in the euro-zone the continent was in negative mood. And with good reason – the sanctions against Russia due to Ukraine crisis may have larger impact in EU-economies than earlier estimated.
New economic data from Germany and Italy show that the economic activity is not at the level as economists have predicted. For Germany Russia is the fifth largest export partner according to the OECD statistics. In Germany the trade balance showed a declining trend in June and the industry orders as well. The industry orders were down by 3,2 percent, when the markets expected a 0,9 percent increase. And in Italy the economy showed a continuous recession.
Mr. Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, said that the eurozone and US monetary policy would remain on a divergent path for some time. And so it seems to be. ECB is likely to continue its low-rates policy at least this year while the Federal Reserve has already said that they will end the quantitative easing programme in October.
Fed´s decision is backed by the fact that 75 per cent of the S&P 500 companies which have published their interim reports now have reported profits above the earning estimates. So the US companies are doing well in general.
The uneasy situation in the financial markets in Europe will stay for a while. There is also the currency situation in Scotland. Scotland will decide on September 18 whether or not they will end the union with the UK.
Surveys show that one of the biggest issues for or against the union is the question of currency. Which currency Scotland would use if they decide to be independent?
There is political debate if the rest of the UK would be interested to make a joint currency union if Scotland declares itself independent. Or would Scotland take euro in that case?
Anyway, one of the biggest economic impact would be the North Sea oil and gas revenues in the referendum. According to BBC it is predicted that the North Sea would bring 57 billion pounds tax revenue to Scotland by 2018. On the other hand, the UK goverment announced last week that they will review the tax system in the area in order to better match the current market conditions and to enhance investment activity.
Scotland has thought also further. They have said they would be interested to make a Norwegian-style sovereign wealth fund to manage the oil price fluctuations. This “Oil fund in Norway” is one of the biggest goverment pension funds globally and one of the active responsible investors in the field. The fund has said it will explore new investments in renewables.
If Scotland says yes in the referendum, it will have long-term impacts in the EU economic policy, currency markets, global financial centers rankings and of course Loch Ness. This Nessie would surprise markets – like Scottish Widows did in the pension markets in the early days.
But one thing is sure, the last weeks before the referendum, there will be new different public affairs campaigns and lobbying for no and yes votes.