Vodafone Shares Falls As Talks with Liberty Global Plc Are Confirmed

vodafoneOn Friday, the second leading mobile operator in the world, Vodafone, disclosed that it was having talks with the largest cable operator in Europe – Liberty Global Plc regarding. Earlier on, there were speculations that the two companies would enter into a merger, which could have turned them into a £100-billion telecoms powerhouse. This speculation caused Vodafone shares to rise by two percent. However, the disclosure that the talks were just to negotiate a possible exchange of certain assets, whose nature and location was not disclosed caused the shares to fall.

The merger would not have been a surprise as there has been a series of M&As between various cable operators and telecom companies in the region. While some analysts say that Liberty’s Virgin Media could be of interest to Vodafone, Liberty has pronounced that it does not have any interest in the emerging market business of the company. On Thursday, Liberty Global Plc shares dropped by 2.19 percent to sell at $54.60 on the NASDAQ. However, they soon surged by 6.21 percent. Vodafone Group Plc shares, on the other hand, dropped by 1.75 percent to sell at GBX 243.75 per share.

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Avago Share Price Soars High, Following an Acquisition of Broadcom Corp

avago-technologiesTo put the company into a better competitive position, Avago Technologies Ltd recently acquired Broadcom Corp at $35-billion. The company majors in manufacturing chips for wireless communication. This acquisition improved the value of the company to $70 billion and caused the Broadcom shares to surge by 20 percent, within a single day. Currently, the market share by Avago stands at 40 percent. This acquisition will improve this market share even further.

Prior to this deal, none of the two companies had a good individual competitiveness, mainly because of the large competitors, such as Qualcomm Inc and Intel Corp. Initially, the company was an established consolidator in the chip industry. The acquisition of LSI Logic at $6.6 billion back in 2013 helped the company to diversify into storage devices.

On Wednesday, the company recorded an improvement of 7.76 percent at NASDAQ, with each share priced at $141.49. However, the share prices dropped a few hours later to settle at $140.00.

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SABMiller Plc Shares Gained Following the Acquisition of UK Craft Brewer Meantime

sabThe leading brewing company worldwide, SABMiller, recently acquired Meantime Brewing Company for a sum that was not disclosed. This purchase gave SABMiller a firm footing in the rapidly growing craft beer market. Under the leadership of Nick Miller, the company reported that it would increase sales in the industry and even explore the exportation opportunities within the European markets. Since its establishment in 1999, Meantime has been a successful company, producing an array of successful beer brands in the country. This is according to SABMiller.

The acquisition of Meantime by SABMiller includes their retail sales as well as the brewery shop situated in Greenwich, the Beerbox and Greenwich Union pubs as well as the Brewery Fresh tank beer concept by the company. The acquisition is set to compliment the line up of imported premium lagers by SABMiller. As of 09:01 GMT, the SABMiller Plc was trading at 0.81 percent higher in London. This is an increase of 12.95 percent in a year. The current value of the FTSE 100 brewer is about 58.08 billion pounds.

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McDonald’s invents a New Menu

McDonald’s invents a New MenuFor the first quarter this year, the McDonald’s recorded a drop. Although the sales recorded at the end of this quarter was a bit low, the drop was not as much as it had initially been predicted. In a bid to reverse this trend, the McDonald’s has been making a number of changes, aimed at drawing in more customers.

To correct prior drops in sales, the McDonald’s stocks have appreciated in value. Among the corrective measures taken by the fast food restaurant was providing ‘bowl’ options, just like its competitor fast-food restaurants. Being a rather popular alternative in the country, this change was particularly meant to attract the younger generation to the fast-food restaurant, hence increase sales.

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EUR/USD Currency Pair is strengthening

EUR/USD EURUSD Currency Pair is strengtheningAfter ascending to the 1.1250 mark, the EUR/USD currency pair dropped to 1.1100. However, it recently strengthened to hit the 1.1265 mark, despite the U.S Jobless predicted effects. This may partly be attributed to the increased bond yields in Germany. Throughout the Asian session, this pair remained high and traded with low volatility. With many European markets closing today for the Labor Day, the Support for the pair is expected to be 1.0960 and the resistance to be 1.1270. GBP/USD Since Thursday, this currency pair has been weakening, having lost 200 pips to date. This fall may be attributed to the seven days bullish movement. Additionally, the uncertainty brought about by the future elections are also expected to impact negatively on the currency pair. The support for this pair is expected to be 1.5300 and the resistance to be 1.5500.

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Oil & Ruble Not Seen To Be Russia’s Main Concerns

Oil & Ruble Not Seen To Be Russia’s Main ConcernsThe struggling economy in Russia is already facing more challenges, including currency volatility, deteriorating oil prices and sanctions by the West. However, Arkady Dvorkovich, the prime minister, feels that this is not likely to affect the economy. Despite the 0.6 percent economic growth in the country in 2014, the dropping oil prices are likely to cause a slump in Russia economy.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the economy is likely to drop by 3.8 percent in 2015 and about 1.1 percent in 2016. However, Dvorkovich insists that the country has enough reserves to withstand this turbulence. He further said that the current situation gives the agricultural exports and manufacturing sector a competitive edge in the global markets.

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The Turbulence in Oil Prices Does not Seem to Affect Russia’s Economy

OilThe current fluctuation in oil prices, coupled with the currency volatility as well as the Western sanctions does not seem to affect the already struggling economy in Russia. According to the Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, the main problem facing the economy in the country is the lack of funding for new projects.

Despite the 0.6 percent growth in the economy in 2014, the economy is expected to decline considerably this year. This is mainly because of the decline in oil prices, the sanctions on the country by the West and the underlying structural weaknesses in the country. This is expected to impact greatly on the business as well as consumer confidence.

Despite its earlier predicted decline, of 3 percent, this year, the International Monetary Fund changed its growth outlook for Russia to 3.8 percent this year. However, the prime minister still insists that the country is not likely to suffer this much. According to him, the country has sufficient reserves to withstand this turbulence, especially in the commodities market. Additionally, Dvorkovich mentioned that all these happenings give the countries agricultural and manufacturing a competitive edge, with regards to their pricing in the global market.

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Appreciation of the Dollar

EUR/USD

eurusdHaving ranged in the low level for a while now, the EUR/USD currency pair hit a new level (1.0600) on Friday, closer to its support level (1.0550). This change may be attributed to the shift by FOMC members in accordance with the hawkish comments from, which cause the dollar to strengthen. This downward trend is estimated to continue because the European Union situation is not improving.

GBP/USD

As of Friday, the US dollar had appreciated against the GBP to hit 1.4585. This caused an FOMC member, Jeffrey Lacker, to echo his opinion that the interest rates should be increased in June, should there be no relevant data to support the opposite trend for this currency pair. Other FOMC members have also supported his opinion. At the same time, the U.K outlook has declined owing to the unclear circumstances surrounding the upcoming elections.
Since no important economic events are expected to be released today, this currency pair is expected to range between its resistance of 1.4725 and support 1.4565.

The Bank Of Japan is Speculated to Ease Monetary Policy on the Depreciating Yen

japan yenThe expectation that the weakening of the yen will lead to inflation of prices across Japan is probably wrong. This is because of the declining oil prices; since last June, crude oil prices have dropped by more than 50 percent. The economic policy of the Prime Minister Abe and the mandate of the Bank of Japan are to bring to an end the two decades deflation of the Yen. However, their efforts are yet to bear fruits. As of February this year, the inflation rate of the Yen was close to zero.

The increase of the consumption tax from 5 to 8 percent in April 2014 lend to the contraction of household spending by 2.9 percent. The depreciation of the Yen against the US dollar by about 30 percent, coupled with the increase in oil prices by 8 percent lend to inflation of prices by about 0.5 percent, in the second half of 2013.

Since October 2014, when the BOJ increased the quantitative easing program, the Yen has depreciated by about 10 percent. Having failed in its two-year target, meant to reduce inflation to 2 percent by this April, many analysts are expecting the BOJ to further ease the monetary policy and extend its goals.

Could Passwords Become Extinct?

Could Passwords Become ExtinctFor years people used checks for paying for things without ever giving it a second thought that they may one day become obsolete, then along came the debit card and all that changed. Could the same thing be happening with passwords? If recent trends are any indication, then the answer to this would be a resounding yes.

The online payment division of Alibaba, Alipay, has just announced that very soon they will be using facial recognition software to verify identity.

The Alibaba Chairman, Jack Ma, demonstrated how the technology would work at a recent trade fair. He used a smart phone camera to scan his face to verify his identity. This widely popular payment service in China has long made their wishes to expand globally no secret and has just taken a huge step toward that by giving payment service users a lot of confidence in them.

And it’s not only Alibaba that is trending toward eliminating passwords to use their services. Apple has already announced plans to use a fingerprint scanner on their iPhone’s in order to process Apple pay transactions and Google and Yahoo have also expressed a keen interest in using facial and fingerprint biometrics to verify identity.

It certainly does not look good for big fans of passwords and internet hackers as the end of the password is on the horizon.