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Brazil Central Bank Drops Rate 75bps to 9.75%

March 8, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The Banco Central Do Brasil slashed the Selic interest rate by a greater than expected 75 basis points to 9.75% from 10.50% previously.  In its statement, Brazil's Central Bank Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) said [translated]: "Continuing the process of adjusting monetary conditions, the Committee decided to reduce the Selic rate to 9.75% pa, without bias, by five votes to two votes for the reduction of the Selic rate by 0.5 pp."

 Brazil's central bank previously cut the rate by 50 basis points in January, November, October and September, after raising the Selic rate by 25 basis points to 12.50% at the June Copom meeting last year, which at the time amounted to total tightening for the year of 175 basis points.  Brazil reported an annual inflation rate of 6.5% in December, compared to 7.31% in September, 7.23% in August, 6.87% in July, 6.71% in June, and 6.55% in May, and just outside the official inflation target of 4.50% +/-2% (2.5-6.5%).  

The "BRIC" emerging market economy grew 0.3% q/q in the December quarter (0.0% in September, 0.7% in June, 0.8% in March), placing annual growth at 1.4% (2.1% in Q3, 3.1% in Q2, and 4.2% in Q1).  The Brazilian Real (BRL) has weakened about 6% against the US dollar over the past year, while the USDBRL exchange rate last traded around 1.77

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RBNZ Keeps OCR On Hold At 2.50%

March 8, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand maintained the Official Cash Rate (OCR) steady at 2.50%, noting the impact of global developments.  The Bank Said: "While helping contain inflation, the high value of the New Zealand dollar is detrimental to the tradable sector, undermines GDP growth and inhibits rebalancing in the New Zealand economy. Sustained strength in the New Zealand dollar would reduce the need for future increases in the OCR. Given the medium-term outlook for inflation, it remains prudent to hold the OCR at 2.5 percent."

Previously the Bank also held the OCR unchanged at 2.50%, while the Bank cut the rate by 50 basis points in March this year, following the Canterbury earthquake.  New Zealand reported consumer price inflation of 1.8% in Q4 2011, down from 4.6% in Q3, compared to 5.3% in Q2, 4.5% in Q1, and 4.0% in Q4 of 2010, and within the official inflation target of 1-3%.  

The New Zealand economy grew 0.8% q/q in Q3 (0.1% in Q2, 0.9% in Q1), placing it up 1.9% (1.1% in Q2, 1.4% in Q1) on an annual basis.  The New Zealand dollar (NZD) is up about 10% against the US dollar over the past year, having touched all new highs close to 0.88 in July/August last year, meanwhile the NZDUSD last traded around 0.82.


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UN Considers Internet Freedom of Expression a Human Right

March 7, 2012 by Jenz514   Comments (0)

In open data news, the United Nations Human Rights Council has rallied behind the right to internet freedom of expression. William New reports, “With tension seeming to brim just beneath the surface, human rights officials from around the world came together [on February 29] at the United Nations in Geneva to talk about ways to keep the internet open and nationally regulated at the same time. There were no decisions, and wide differences in views, but the first-of-its-kind panel might have laid the ground for future work on internet freedom and human rights. Intellectual property rights were mentioned several times.” continued…


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Semantic Web Jobs: SPARTA, Inc.

March 7, 2012 by Jenz514   Comments (0)

SPARTA, Inc. is looking for a Formal Modeling Architect in Columbia, MD. The company is seeking someone “to work with and guide Computer Network Attack (CNA) and Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) domain experts in the development of formal models. Formally generated models provide a common specification format for a class of associated systems, enable the CNA and CNE analysis of those formally specified systems, and enable the generation of executable dynamic models for CNA and CNE simulation activities. Specific activities include the definition of a domain-specific ontology and associated reasoners, and the development of efficient and accurate processes for data collection from existing documentation sources and domain experts.” continued…


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Open Knowledge Foundation Launches OKFN-Greece

March 7, 2012 by Jenz514   Comments (0)

The Open Knowledge Foundation has launched their first Mediterranean area group, OKFN-Greece. The article states, “The global scientific community, as well as plenty governments globally, have evaluated the potential and the benefits that services based on LOD can offer. The result of this assessment is a novel, global, collaborative effort that aims to contribute in this direction. The Open Knowledge Foundation is one of the key players in this effort, with frequent informative and hands-on meet-ups. Moreover, using the data hubs based on the OKFN’s CKAN platform, global open data is published and verified to be part of the LOD cloud. Finally OKFN apps, like Where Does My Money GoOpenSpending, and Europe’s Energy demonstrate the value added of Linked Open Data.” continued…


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Microdata, RDF, or Both?

March 7, 2012 by Jenz514   Comments (0)

Roy Tennant recently wrote an opinion piece declaring that microdata, not RDF, will power the semantic web. Needless to say, this stirred up some strong opinions in the comments. Tennant writes, “While RDF is complex, and designed to be implemented as a stand-alone depiction of metadata, it does have an implementation that is designed for embedding in web pages: RDFa. On the other hand, microdata is relatively simple and solely designed to be embedded in web pages. While the metadata cognoscenti are in the RDF camp, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! have thrown their lot in with microdata by launching the Schema.org effort. Were I a betting man, I wouldn’t be backing RDF at this point.”


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Watson Suits Up For Wall Street Gig

March 7, 2012 by Jenz514   Comments (0)

Watson’s gone into banking: Citi is evaluating ways that IBM’s Deep QA technology can help advance digital banking efforts, through analysis of customer needs and processing tons of up-to-the-minute financial, economic, product and client data, according to a press release.


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US Buy-Side Firms Will Route 87% of Futures Trading Through Electronic Channels in 2012 as Adoption Accelerates, TABB Says [Press Release]

March 7, 2012 by mikeohara   Comments (0)

NEW YORK & LONDON, Mar 06, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- US buy-side firms are increasing their use of electronic trading tools for futures trading as their volumes continue to grow and they look for more efficient execution processes. Buy-side traders are embracing DMA and algorithmic-trading channels with volume routed through these channels accounting for the vast majority of trading, according to TABB Group in an annual benchmark research study, "US Futures Trading 2012: Buy-Side Demands in an Evolving Marketplace."


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