Scots Independence Counting Begin as U.K. Hangs in Balance. Preliminary
results in Scotland’s independence referendum put the “no” side ahead,
as one pollster and a senior government official called victory for the
campaign to keep the country in the U.K. With the U.K.’s future hanging in the
balance through the night, Clackmannanshire became the first of
Scotland’s 32 local authorities to declare, giving the result to the
Better Together campaign by 54 percent to 46 percent for “yes.” Orkney
followed, with 67 percent ``no'' to 33 percent ``yes,'' then Shetland,
by 64 percent to 36 percent for ``yes.''
Pound Jumps With U.K. Futures on Scotland as Crops Drop.
The pound jumped to a two-week high, U.K. share-index futures rose and
Treasuries fell as early results showed Scotland voting to reject
independence. Asian equities (MXAP) climbed with contracts on the
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on signs of U.S. economic strength, and
the yen fell. The pound gained 0.6 percent to $1.6495 by 10:58 a.m. in
Tokyo, the highest since Sept. 3, and FTSE 100 Index futures added 0.7
percent. The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed three basis points
while S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent following another record in
New York. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2
Commodities Drop to 5-Year Low as Fed Boosts Rate Outlook.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 futures dropped as much
as 1.3 percent to 120.4562, the lowest level since July 2009,
and was last at 120.4843. The gauge has lost 4.2 percent in 2014
and is set for a fourth year of declines. Diesel decreased to a
two-year low, while gold slipped to the lowest level since
January. Wheat fell to the least since 2010 on the outlook for
growing global output.
U.S. Tracks Threats Against West by Al Qaeda Affiliate in Syria. Concerns That Too Much Focus is on Islamic State. The U.S. is tracking multiple terror plots based out of Syria that
target the West—threats that current and former intelligence officials
say have been traced to al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate and not to Islamic
State, the extremist group that has seized the world's attention. Disclosures
about the plots, which include bombings, are raising new questions
about whether U.S. military strategy focusing on Islamic State
Polls Close in Scottish Independence Vote. First 2 Districts to Report Ballot Results Choose to Stay in U.K. Voters in Scotland on Thursday decided whether to break up the U.K.
after 307 years, in a historic referendum pitting a vision of Scottish
independence against potential economic turmoil.
The Leading Index for August is estimated to rise .4% versus a +.9% gain in July.
None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
The Canadian CPI and (CAG) annual meeting could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by industrials and technology shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open modestly higher and to maintain gains into the afternoon. The Portfolio is 50% net long heading into the day.
Scotland Votes as U.K.’s Future Hangs in the Balance. (video) Voters in Scotland are deciding whether to seek independence from the
U.K. in a ballot that may spell the end of a three-century-old union
that once dominated the world from America to Australia and trigger a
new era of self-determination across Europe. Polling stations
opened at 7 a.m. local time in schools, church halls, libraries and
community centers across Scotland for the country’s 4.3 million-strong
electorate, and will close at 10 p.m.
Kurds Flee as Islamic State Captures Syrian Border Villages. Islamic State fighters backed by
tanks and artillery have captured 21 Kurdish villages in Syria
in the past 24 hours, triggering an exodus by residents, the
head of the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The villages, around the town of Ayn al-Arab near the
Turkish border, were seized following fierce clashes that began
on Sept. 16 between the militant group and the Kurdish force
known as the People’s Protection Units, Rami Abdurrahman said by
Banks in Italy and Spain Take More Than 45% of ECB Loans. Banks
in Italy and Spain were among the leading borrowers in the European
Central Bank’s first targeted-loan program, taking more than 45 percent
of the 82.6 billion euros ($106.5 billion) to trim funding costs.
UniCredit SpA (UCG), Italy’s biggest bank, said it raised 7.8 billion
euros, while Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP), the second largest, took 4
billion euros. Banco Santander SA sought 3.6 billion euros, a person
familiar with the matter said, the most among Spanish banks whose
borrowings were disclosed. The top lenders in Germany and France didn’t
say how much they borrowed.
European Stocks Gain as Bayer Rallies on Spinoff Plans.
European stocks rose for a second day, after Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen indicated interest rates won’t increase anytime soon, and
Bayer AG rallied on plans to spin off its plastics unit. Bayer
contributed the most to the Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s gain. Sulzer AG
jumped the most in almost three years after saying it is in talks with
Dresser-Rand Group Inc. about a possible transaction. TUI Travel (TT/)
Plc rose 4.7 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares. EasyJet
Plc advanced after saying it will increase its dividend-payout ratio and
exercise purchase rights for 27 Airbus Group NV A320 planes.
The Stoxx 600 climbed 1 percent to 347.78 at the close of
trading, its highest level in two weeks.
Crude Oil Falls as Rising Dollar Curbs Investment Appeal.
WTI for October delivery fell $1.03, or 1.1 percent, to $93.39 a barrel
at 2:01 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all
futures traded was 3 percent above the 100-day average for this time of
day. Prices have decreased
5.1 percent this year.
Fewest Americans Since October 2013 See U.S. Economy Improving. The fewest Americans in almost a year say the economy is getting
better as faster wage gains remain a missing element in the expansion. A measure tracking the economic outlook dropped to 41.5 this month, the weakest since October, from 45 in August, data from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed today. The reading was the second-lowest since January 2012. Twenty
percent of those surveyed saw the economy improving, the smallest share
since October, when the partial shutdown of the federal government