Monday, April 22, 2013

Today's Headlines

  • Spain Has EU’s Largest Deficit, Undermining Rajoy Pickup. Spain’s budget deficit was the largest in the European Union last year, underlining the challenge faced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he is due to present a new plan to foster a recovery. The EU’s statistics agency Eurostat today reported Spain’s deficit widened to 10.6 percent of gross domestic product last year, ahead of Greece’s 10 percent of GDP gap, swollen by the cost of bailing out its banking system. That compares with 9.4 percent in 2011. The Spanish premier pledged on April 17 to unveil measures this Friday to make the euro region’s fourth-largest economy more flexible and competitive. That announcement will end a week of reports ranging from an estimate of gross domestic product in the first quarter to data showing if unemployment reached another record
  • Banks Face Revenue Losses of $17 Billion, Deutsche Bank Says. Investment banks may lose $17 billion of revenue in fixed income, currencies and commodities by 2016 because of levies and regulation, according to a Deutsche Bank AG report. European securities firms will bear most of the erosion as a tax on financial transactions cuts sales and trading volumes, Deutsche Bank analysts including Matt Spick, wrote in a note to clients today. The next “wave” of regulation on over-the- counter derivatives and clearing may spur smaller competitors to exit the businesses, they said. “We see risks that multiple regulations, especially the financial-transaction tax, compound to deliver a sharp reduction in FICC revenues in Europe,” said the analysts. “We already see signs of shifts in market share in favor of U.S. investment banks, and we expect this trend to continue.”
  • European Stocks Rise on Italy President, BOJ Stimulus. European stocks rose, rebounding from the biggest weekly drop in five months, as Italy elected a president and the Group of 20 refrained from opposing the Bank of Japan’s stimulus policies. UniCredit SpA climbed 2.7 percent as Italy’s two-year bond yield declined to a record low. Delhaize (DELB) Group SA surged to a 17-month high as the Belgian retailer’s profit beat estimates. Royal Philips Electronics NV (PHIA) slid for a seventh day after earnings missed projections. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) advanced 0.2 percent to 285.68 at the close of trading.
  • Copper Sags as China Imports, U.S. Home Sales Dim Demand Outlook. Copper fell for a second straight session in New York as lower imports into China and an unexpected drop in U.S. home sales fueled concern that demand is weakening in the two biggest users of the metal. Shipments of refined copper into China in March dropped 37 percent from a year earlier, customs figures showed today. Purchases of previously owned houses slid 0.6 percent to a 4.92 million annual rate last month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today. That trailed the 5 million rate projected in a Bloomberg survey of economists. “China’s been the biggest buyer of raw materials for the past several years, so if they’re slowing, we’ll be in for a bumpy summer,” John Petrie, a senior market strategist at Zaner Group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Commodities in general are in a difficult spot right now.”
Wall Street Journal: 
Zero Hedge: 
Business Insider: 
  • Caterpillar(CAT) profit misses, cuts outlook on weak mining. Caterpillar Inc posted disappointing quarterly results and cut its 2013 profit forecast on Monday to reflect a drop in demand for heavy equipment from its mining customers, and its shares turned lower in early trading. 
  • China says new bird flu case found in northeast. A man in the northeastern Chinese province of Shandong has been infected by a new strain of bird flu, the first case found in the province, state news agency Xinhua said on Monday, bringing the total number of victims in China to 105. The H7N9 virus has killed 20 people in China. Although it is not clear how people are becoming infected, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence of the most worrying scenario - sustained transmission between people. 
  • Canada to announce arrests after thwarting 'major terrorist attack' - CBC. Canadian police and intelligence agencies will announce multiple arrests on Monday after an operation to thwart a "major terrorist attack," the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing unidentified "highly placed" sources. The operation was coordinated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, CBC said.
  • FBI: No Ricin Found in Home of Mississippi Suspect. Investigators haven't found any ricin in the house of Mississippi man accused of mailing poisoned letters to President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator and a local judge, according to testimony Monday from an FBI agent. Agent Brandon Grant said that a search of Paul Kevin Curtis' house in Corinth, Miss., on Friday did not turn up ricin or ingredients for the poison. A search of Curtis' computers has found no evidence so far that he researched making ricin.
  • South Korea, China angered by visit to Yasukuni war shrine by Japan gov't ministers. Japan's government said Monday that donations by the prime minister to a controversial war shrine and visits by three Cabinet ministers were made in an unofficial capacity, while neighbors China and South Korea lodged protests over the actions. Yasukuni Shrine honors Japanese wartime leaders convicted of war crimes among 2.5 million Japanese killed in fighting during World War II. The shrine compound has a war museum that glorifies Japan's wartime past, and the site is a focus of nationalist pride among Japanese conservatives and right-wingers. Visits to the shrine by political leaders are routinely criticized by China and South and North Korea, which bore much of the brunt of Japan's pre-1945 militarist march through Asia. The visits are regarded as evidence that Japan's leaders do not acknowledge their country's responsibility for its militarist past.
Bild Zeitung:
  • Company insolvencies in euro-area countries like Spain and Greece that may rise by 33% this year will hurt German companies, citing estimates of insurer Euler Hermes. Non-payments to German companies may add up to EU31 billion.
  • AfD, a new political party set up to pull Germany out of euro, would gain 19% of votes in a federal election, citing an on-line Mafo Institute poll it commissioned.
  • Spain to Target 6% Budget Deficit This Year. Spain to release medium-term budget plans April 26. EU set limit of 4.5% on Spanish budget deficit for this year.
  • New Orders Decline for China's Machine Tool Makers. Drop in March marked 22nd consecutive month of falling orders, citing data released today. "No improvement" in 1Q, said Chen Huiren, deputy secretary-general of China Machine Tool & Tool Builders' Association.

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