NBS left key policy rate unchanged again
At its yesterday’s meeting, the NBS Executive Board voted to keep the key policy rate at 3.0%. In making this decision, the Executive Board primarily took into account the outlook for inflation and its underlying factors, as well as the effects of past monetary policy easing. Inflation has been low and stable for five years in a row. It measured 2.0% y-o-y at end-2018, this being also its average annual value. Core inflation, which revolved around 1.0% in the course of 2018, and inflation expectations of the financial and corporate sectors, which are slightly below the 3.0% target midpoint, confirm that inflationary pressures continue to be low. In the coming period too, inflation is expected to remain stable within the target tolerance band (3.0±1.5%).
Ministry issues permit for construction of Belgrade Tower, tallest building in Serbia
The Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure has issued a building permit for the construction of the Belgrade Tower, which is to be built within the Belgrade Waterfront project and be the tallest building in Serbia at 168 meters. The investment in the construction of the facility with 40 floors and an area of 47,500 square meters is worth RSD 12 billion, the Ministry of Construction says on its website.
TurkStream to deliver gas from Azerbaijan and Romania as well?
As the European Energy Community decided that gas from another source needs to be transported by TurkStream in addition to Russian gas, Serbia has been presented with two options – gas from Azerbaijan, which should start flowing by 2020, and Romanian gas, Politika writes. The daily writes that a new liquefied gas terminal is being built in Greece, securing the supply of gas in Serbia. All this potential competition, according to the Energy Community Secretariat, must benefit Serbian consumers as well, the director of the Secretariat, Janez Kopac, says for Politika in response to the question what the alternative to Russian gas is in the country.
Dow drops more than 200 points as Trump won’t meet Xi before US-China trade deadline, European stocks tumble as EU, BOE slash growth forecasts, US-China trade jitters weigh
Stocks fell sharply on Thursday as it became clear that a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would not happen before a key March deadline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 220.77 points to 25,169.53 as Apple and DowDuPont led the decline. The S&P 500 pulled back 0.94 percent to close at 2,706.05, led lower by the energy and tech sectors. The Nasdaq Composite lagged, sliding about 1.2 percent to 7,288.35.
Companies are reporting solid earnings growth for the fourth quarter with profits showing an increase of 14.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to FactSet. However, the outlooks accompanying those earnings reports are not as rosy. Because of those poor forecasts, earnings for the first quarter of 2019 are expected to drop more than 1 percent, according to FactSet. That’s the first year-over-year decline in earnings in more than two years.
European stocks fell Thursday as investors digested cautious economic guidance from the European Union and the Bank of England. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally down 1.36 percent, with all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
The EU slashed its growth outlook for the euro zone this year as it expects the bloc’s largest economies to be held back by global trade tensions, among other issues. The bloc said euro zone growth will slow to 1.3 percent this year from a previously forecast 1.9 percent.
Over in the U.K., the Bank of England cut its growth and inflation forecasts. The central bank projected the weakest economic outlook for the U.K. economy since 2009.
Europe’s auto stocks were the worst performers Thursday on the back of earnings news. Fiat Chrysler plummeted 12 percent after the carmaker posted softer-than-expected profit guidance. The firm said it expects to report 2019 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of more than 6.7 billion euros — below an expected 7.3 billion euros.