As global markets converge, it becomes more important for investors to keep track of world events. But with our busy schedules, that's easier said than done. It's hard enough keeping tabs on our own markets, let alone what's happening with Brazil's Bovespa exchange.
With the help of 99,000 investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, we'll summarize notable global-market stories to help you stay abreast of events affecting your portfolio.
The roar of India's tiger economy could sound more like a soft purr in the near future. This week, India's finance minister expressed dual concerns about slowing growth in gross domestic product and the haunting specter of higher inflation. To combat higher inflation, the finance minister said the government's antitrust unit has begun inquiries into the rubber, cement, and steel sectors, in an effort to better match supply with demand. The Indian government has also banned the export of most types of rice, in light of the rocketing rice prices that have caused mass protests in poorer countries.
These protectionist measures are a bit disconcerting for the wider global marketplace, because India is the world's second-biggest producer of rice and wheat, the fourth-largest producer of rubber, and the second-largest producer of cement.
Investors in companies related to or reliant on those industries, including Kraft
The Bank of England announced that it will inject up to the equivalent of $100 billion into the country's financial system, in an effort to boost liquidity reserves. Apparently, investors in British banks such as Barclays
Breaking the $1.60 mark, the euro hit a record high last week against the dollar. The euro has given up some of its ground to the dollar over the past few days, but there remains increasing unrest among euro-based economies about how to resolve the issue of the strong euro, which is hurting European exports. For example, slowing economies in Spain, Ireland, and Italy are calling for lower interest rates in an effort to weaken the euro and boost exports, while inflation-phobic Germany and Austria want to keep rates higher.
Argentina's economy minister stepped down this week following pressure from the farmers' strike that has plagued the country's food supply in the past month. The farmers are upset about a 44% export tax on items such as soybeans and sunflowers, especially since the Argentinean peso has been trading at around its lowest level since 2003, so this should be a great time for them to rake in profits from overseas.
The Fool's Bill Mann addressed the Argentina farmer's strike at greater length for the Motley Fool Global Gains service and provided some much-needed background on the issue. He said that "the [Argentinean] government is far more interested in making sure that rising overseas demand for Argentina's goods doesn't cause rapid inflation for key products such as soy, wheat, corn, and beef at home. So, it slaps export taxes on its products as they leave the country."
Argentinean agricultural company and Global Gains pick Cresud
What do you think?
Will Indian inflation smother future growth? Has the euro hit its peak? Let your thoughts on the global markets be heard on Motley Fool CAPS, where 99,000 investors are just waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so what are you waiting for?
Cresud and Cemex are Motley Fool Global Gains picks. A free 30-day trial to our small-cap service is yours.
Fool contributor Todd Wenning wishes everyone a nice weekend. He does not own shares of any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cemex, which is also a Stock Advisor pick. Lloyds TSB is an Inside Value choice. Kraft is an Income Investor choice. The Fool's disclosure policy is solid in any language.