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7 Things You Need To Know About Finance This Week (September, 13, 2015)

Making financial news easy to understand.

In this weekly series, we break down seven different things every person needs to know from the world of finance news. We're taking complicated stories and making them simple, easy to understand, and quick to read. Perfect for the man who wants to be in the know, but doesn't have the time to obsess over global markets.

1.) Stock Markets Had A Strong Week

Stock markets globally had a strong week as investors returned from their summer holidays in a more buoyant mood. US stocks were up 2% for the week as sentiment appeared to stabilize ahead of an important US Federal Reserve meeting on September 17th.

2.) Apple Makes Splashes

Apple had its annual product launch event. While it did, of course, introduce a new iPhone, it’s focus was on other products like the new Apple TV and an iPad targeted at professionals. It’s clear that Apple is trying to avoid an over-reliance on the iPhone for its future profits.

3.) Japan's Stock Market Soared

Japan’s stock market saw its biggest one-day rally since the financial crisis with gains of almost 8% on Tuesday. There didn’t appear to be any real catalyst, except that Japanese stocks seemed oversold after a rough summer.

4.) Brazil Has Been Struggling

Brazil credit rating was cut to “junk” by one of the main credit rating agencies. It’s a poster child for what’s wrong with emerging market economies right now: an economy built on supplying China with commodities is now contracting in size and overloaded with debt.

5.) China Is Propping Up Its Currency

China is spending a lot of money propping up its currency. This is a complicated one, but the takeaway is that China is protecting itself from a sharp fall in its currency by selling a lot of US government bonds and using the proceeds to buy the yuan. 

6.) Glencore Is Trying To Clean Up Their Debt

Glencore, the giant commodities trader and miner, announced a bunch of measures aimed at decreasing its debt. This means Glencore won’t be able to make as much money if conditions improve, but also that it’s a safer stock in which to invest.

7.) Will "The Fed" Raise Interest Rates?

All eyes are turning to the US Federal Reserve. “The Fed” will announce a decision on Thursday next week (the 17th) on whether or not they will raise interest rates. If they do raise rates, expect US stocks to fall and the dollar to rise; and the opposite to occur if they don’t. 

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