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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A difficult time for investors

The world economy

Events of the past few weeks have seen much volatility in the international markets. With the USA shutdown and a default looming the ripple effect of such could have disastrous effects on the world economy as the USA is to big to fail. Over the past few weeks two markets that have become popular since the world economic collapse in 2008, gold and Bitcoins have also seen a drop in value. The IMF's words over the budgetary concerns and a cut in growth forecasts in the Australian economy has also caused a dramatic drop in the currency against the other leading world currencies.

The US debt situation

The US senate rejected a budget bill that would fund the government which resulted in a row over Obama's healthcare law. Failure to reach an agreement has seen the US non-essential federal services shutdown since October 1st. Coupled with the budgetary stalemate, the US is faced with the decision on October 17 whether or not to raise the debt ceiling in order to borrow more cash to pay the country's debts. If agreements are not made on that day the US will be unable to exceed the $16.7 trillion debt cap and will default on some of its debts in the near future. All of the events in the US since the start of the month have caused a sense of fear in the markets. The US Dollar has seen a fall in value since the shutdown.

Commodity volatility

The price of gold has reached a 3 year low on the day of writing this article. The problems in the USA and with a slight slowdown in growth in China gold has dropped in price significantly over the past month. The recent events that have seen millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins seized as a result of the raid on the 'Silk Road' black market has seen a large drop in the price of Bitcoins. Many investors moved to Bitcoin investment in the recent past because of the lack of regulation and the large growth of the electronic currency. As China begins slowing down ever so slightly, the IMF warned Australia to adjust it's budget as GDP growth forecasts were slashed. The current Australian government has been criticized over the fact that its budgetary policies are not long-term in its effect. The government has been accused of implementing policies to gain election support rather than benefits that would secure the countries long term growth.

So where should one invest?

The Japanese economy is growing at a steady rate and Japanese bonds have looked a solid investment as a result of the country's Prime Minister implementing proactive policies. Such policies have seen a marked rise in the value of the Yen and overall has been positive in terms of economic growth. The Chinese currency the Yuan has recently been talked about as becoming recognized as a major world currency. The British Royal Mail has become an investment opportunity as controversy surrounded the fact that the state sell off was undervalued. As the Christmas period is only around the corner, it can only see a positive rise in the value of the Royal Mail shares.

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