Thursday, November 17, 2016

Today's Headlines

  • U.S., IAEA Caution Iran for Breaching Terms of Nuclear Agreement. The U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency cautioned Iran for breaching limits to its heavy-water stockpile set out in last year’s nuclear deal with world powers. “Iran must strictly adhere to all commitments and technical measures,” IAEA envoy Laura Holgate said in a statement on Thursday. “We note with concern Iran’s accumulation of heavy water in excess of the limit.” Iran agreed in July 2015 was to limit its stockpile of heavy water, a non-radioactive material used in reactors and medical imaging, to 130 metric tons -- the amount deemed by signatories to the deal to be consistent with its needs. The IAEA said this month that the country’s stock rose to 130.1 metric tons, and Iran said it planned to sell part of its supply.
  • China Said to Plan Trading Platform for Credit-Default Swaps.
  • Mexico Raises Overnight Rate After Trump’s Win Wallops Peso. Mexico’s central bank raised borrowing costs for the fourth time this year after Donald Trump’s election dragged the peso to never-before-seen levels of more than 20 per dollar, boosting the risk of faster inflation. Policy makers increased the key rate a half point to 5.25 percent on Thursday, the highest level since 2009. Most of the 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg beforehand expected a half-point increase, with the rest split between a hike of three quarters of a point and a full-point. The peso fell 0.5 percent to 20.3032 per dollar at 2:13 p.m. in New York.
  • Europe Stocks Cheapest Since June to World Post Late-Day Rally. (video) European shares reversed losses to post a broad-based rally that lifted all industry groups in the last hours of trading. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6 percent, the most in a week and erasing a slide of as much as 0.3 percent.
  • Yellen Sees Hike ‘Relatively Soon’ and Plans to Serve Full Term. (video) Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. central bank is close to lifting interest rates as the economy continues to strengthen, and signaled her intention to remain at the helm until her term ends in January 2018. A rate hike “could well become appropriate relatively soon if incoming data provide some further evidence of continued progress toward the committee’s objectives,” Yellen said in the text of testimony she delivered Thursday in Washington before Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. Yellen reiterated the expectation of Fed officials that future rate increases will be “gradual.” Bond prices have fallen and stocks have risen as investors anticipate that President-elect Donald Trump’s proposals to cut taxes and boost infrastructure and defense spending will lead to faster inflation and stronger growth.
  • Deficit’s Rising as Trump Prepares No-Recession Stimulus: Chart.
  • Pence Tells House GOP to Get Ready for Sweeping Legislation. Vice President-elect Mike Pence told House Republicans in a closed-door meeting Thursday to be ready to move a lot of legislation next year. “We’re going to move an agenda” focused on rebuilding the military and improving the economy, Pence told reporters after the meeting.In his remarks to House Republicans, Pence talked about how he and the new administration wanted members to “buckle up,” and get ready for a speedy start on policy. He also solicited suggestions for candidates to fill administration posts. 
  • Mortgage Rates Soar to 10-Month High After Trump Bond Rout. U.S. mortgage rates skyrocketed to a 10-month high as investors reacted to Donald Trump’s presidential election win by pulling money out of the bond market, driving up yields that guide home loans. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.94 percent, up from 3.57 percent last week and the highest since January, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. The average 15-year rate rose to 3.14 percent from 2.88 percent, the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage-finance company said.
Wall Street Journal:
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