Thursday, January 12, 2017

Today's Headlines

  • China Credit Growth Exceeds Estimates as Lending Remains Robust. China’s broadest measure of new credit expanded faster than expected, bringing the total of new loans extended last year to roughly equal the size of Italy’s $1.8 trillion economy. Aggregate financing remained robust at 1.63 trillion yuan ($236 billion) in December, compared with a median estimate of 1.3 trillion yuan in a Bloomberg survey and 1.74 trillion yuan the prior month. New yuan loans stood at 1.04 trillion yuan, exceeding all 37 estimates in the survey. The broad M2 money supply increased 11.3 percent from a year earlier after climbing 11.4 percent in November. The rapid pace of lending is at odds with recent pledges by policy makers to curb excessive borrowing and reduce risk in the financial system.
  • Clean Energy Spending Drops Most on Record as China Slows Growth. Global investments in renewable power dropped the most on record in 2016 as demand in China and Japan faltered. Worldwide spending on clean energy fell 18 percent from 2015’s record high to $287.5 billion, according to a report Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It was the first decline since 2013 and comes as environmental policies face pressure from populist movements that have fueled the rise of Donald Trump, the U.K. Independence Party and others.
  • ECB Stimulus Disagreements Signal Vigorous Debates Ahead. European Central Bank policy makers appear to have had a lively debate on how to set the path of stimulus last month, signaling more tension may be ahead as euro-area inflation accelerates. While the Governing Council largely shared the view that “the scenario of a gradual uptrend in inflation still relied, to a considerable degree, on accommodative monetary-policy support, ” the 25-member body couldn’t reach unanimity on how to maintain that support, an account of their Dec. 7-8 meeting shows. Executive Board member Peter Praet, the chief economist, presented two options of extending bond-buying after March for 6 months at 80 billion euros ($85 billion) a month, or for 9 months at 60 billion euros.
  • Europe Stocks Fall to 2-Week Low as Drugmakers, Carmakers Plunge. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.7 percent at the close. Carmakers retreated 2.8 percent after the U.S. government accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of using software that allowed excess diesel emissions in about 104,000 vehicles. Health-care shares tumbled the most since November, deepening losses that began late yesterday after Trump said he’d force the industry to bid for government business. 
  • Saudi Oil Output Drops Under OPEC Quota Close to Two-Year Low. (video) Saudi Arabia has reduced oil production to less than 10 million barrels a day, below its targeted level, and will consider renewing its pledge to cut crude output in six months, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said. The world’s biggest oil exporter is currently producing at a 22-month low. It had agreed to cut 486,000 barrels a day to 10.058 million barrels a day as part of a global deal to reduce output to curb a supply glut. The caps on production, together with rising demand and natural decreases in output in some countries, will help balance the market and support prices, Al-Falih said in a speech at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.
  • Fed’s Evans Says Fiscal Boost Could Lift Growth Forecasts. (video) Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said government stimulus policies could boost growth and reduce the need for monetary accommodation, underscoring some investor expectations that President-elect Donald Trump’s policies will lead to higher interest rates. A government stimulus “might increase growth by a couple of tenths over the next two years,” Evans told reporters Thursday after speaking at an event in Naples, Florida. “We look forward to refining that when we actually see proposals that are moving forward and likely to be implemented,” he said about gross domestic product forecasts, adding that estimates could go even higher depending on what policies are implemented.
  • Dimon Praises Cabinet Picks, Says He’s Optimistic About Trump. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he’s optimistic about President-elect Donald Trump’s administration because of the group of people he’s assembled to fill his cabinet. “If you want to win the game, put Tom Brady on the field,” Dimon, 60, said in an interview Thursday on CBS This Morning. Trump’s “hired a lot of professional people, people that are experienced, successful, smart and patriotic,” he said.
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