Russian Aid Convoy Without Consent Deemed Invasion by Ukraine. (video) Trucks
carrying what Russia says is humanitarian aid reached the embattled
Ukrainian city of Luhansk, the RIA Novosti news service said, after they
crossed the border in what the government in Kiev denounced as an
was invading under the cover of the convoy, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the
head of Ukraine’s security council, said on TV5. More than 200 trucks
entered the country without a Red Cross escort through a border
checkpoint in a rebel-held area and headed for Luhansk, according to a
Bloomberg reporter on the scene. “We call this direct invasion,”
Nalyvaychenko said. “We are witnessing a clearly planned and dangerous
provocation against Ukraine, with the cynical use of the well-respected
UN Says Syria Dead Double to 191,000 in Forgotten War. (video) The number of Syrian dead has doubled to at least 191,000 over 12
months with no end in sight to the conflict that fueled the rise of
Islamic extremism spreading across the Middle East, the United Nations
said. The number of deaths cover the period from March 2011 to
April 2014 and are probably underestimated, the UN’s Geneva-based
human-rights office said today in a 26-page report that based its
estimates on data collected by the Syrian government and rights groups.
The last UN report, issued in June 2013, estimated that 93,000 had been
Shiite Gunmen Kill 73 at Iraq Mosque as Sectarian Tension Spikes. Gunmen
from a Shiite militia opened fire in a Sunni mosque in a province of
Iraq neighboring Baghdad, killing scores of worshipers and ratcheting up
sectarian tension exacerbated by an insurgent offensive and political
infighting. The shooting in the village of Bani Wais in Diyala
province killed at least 73 people, including the local imam, and
wounded dozens, Basem al-Samarraei, deputy provincial governor, said by
phone. The casualties also included women and children who were killed
as they tried to save relatives from the gunfire, eyewitness Mahmoud
al-Shimmary said in a telephone interview.
European Stocks Drop as Investors Weigh Yellen, Ukraine. European stocks declined, paring their biggest weekly gain in six months, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen underscored the persistence of labor-market slack in the U.S. economy and as investors watched rising tensions in Ukraine. Piraeus Bank SA and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA gained at least 2.8 percent as a gauge of lenders advanced for a second day. Essentra Plc climbed 3.1 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its rating on the U.K. maker of items from toothpaste tubes to packaging tape. CGG SA and Fugro NV lost at least 2.2 percent as oil and gas companies retreated.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.2 percent to 336.75 at
the close of trading in London.
Yellen Facing Hard Call on When Labor Market Has Healed. (video) Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she still isn’t satisfied with the U.S. labor market. Deciding when she is won’t be easy. “The labor market has yet to fully recover,” Yellen said today in a speech at the Kansas City Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
While the five-year expansion has put more Americans back to work, “a
key challenge is to assess just how far the economy now stands from
attainment of its maximum employment goal.”
Bullard Sees ’Several Hundred Billion’ of Reverse Repos. The
Federal Reserve will probably borrow “several hundred billion” dollars
from money-market mutual funds and others to anchor the federal funds
rate when it begins tightening policy, according to St. Louis Fed
President James Bullard. “I don’t think it would have to be that
large of a program. Possibly several hundred billion would be enough,”
Bullard said, referring to the Fed’s overnight reverse repurchase
facility, which it has been testing since September. “If that didn’t
work, the committee could revisit that and increase the size of the
program if we thought that was necessary,” Bullard said in an interview
yesterday with Kathleen Hays on Bloomberg Radio in Jackson Hole,
Draghi says ECB stands ready to adjust policy further. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is confident that
stimulus steps announced in June, helped by a weaker euro, will boost
demand in the ailing euro zone economy, but stressed on Friday that the
central bank stands ready to do more.
Market bear becomes biggest bull on Wall Street. (video)
One of Wall Street's biggest bears just did an about-face with his
outlook for stocks. Barry Bannister, chief macro and portfolio
strategist at Stifel Nicolaus, raised his year-end target for the
S&P 500 by 20 percent, from 1,800 to 2,300.
Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says. The
Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel
inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and is using them to fire at
Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday. The
West has long accused Russia of supporting the separatist forces in
eastern Ukraine, but this is the first time it has said it had evidence
of the direct involvement of the Russian military. The
Russian move represents a significant escalation of the Kremlin’s
involvement in the fighting there and comes as a convoy of Russian
trucks with humanitarian provisions has crossed into Ukrainian territory
without Kiev’s permission.
Allianz Chief Economist Says ECB Should Reject QE. Allianz SE
Chief Economist Michael Heise says in op-ed that Japan's experience
shows broad-based government-bond purchases wouldn't help euro-area
recovery. ECB should reject calls for broad-based purchases of
government bonds, he said. "It is harmful if monetary policy permanently
overrides market forces" as private-sector balance-sheet adjustments
will be delayed and government indebtedness can steadily increase.