Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Today's Headlines

  • NATO Says Russia Troops Enter Ukraine as East Risks Open War. NATO accused Russia of sending columns of troops and heavy weapons into Ukraine in the past two days, as the government in Kiev warned the nation’s eastern combat zone is close to returning to open war. Russia’s Defense Ministry denied the accusations, according to state-run RIA Novosti. Pressure has been building for days, with the government and rebels are accusing each other of gearing up for a renewed military push that risks swelling the death toll of more than 4,000. The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency session in New York today over the intensifying conflict. “We have seen columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air-defense systems and Russian combat troops entering into Ukraine,” U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s top military commander, told reporters in Bulgaria today. “We do not have a good picture at this time of how many. We agree that there are multiple columns that we have seen.”
  • Ukraine Tells Army to Prepare for Battle as Tensions Rise. Ukraine’s defense minister said the military should prepare for clashes as growing tensions in the nation’s eastern combat zone threatened to boil over into open conflict. Bond yields jumped to a record high. The separatists and their Russian backers are amassing troops in the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions they’ve seized, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told a government meeting today in Kiev. One Ukrainian serviceman died and five were wounded in the past 24 hours, a military spokesman said. There was no independent confirmation of their accounts. “The separatists and their Russian sponsors are getting ready to move again militarily,” said Joerg Forbrig, senior program director at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. in Berlin. “That’s being anticipated by Ukraine, and the Ukrainian side is taking measures.”
  • Ukraine 2017 Yield Jumps to Record as Rebels Seen Massing Forces. Ukrainian bonds slumped, lifting the benchmark yield to a record, as reports that pro-Russian insurgents are preparing for a new wave of fighting sent the hryvnia to an all-time low. The rate on the dollar-denominated note maturing July 2017 jumped 150 basis points to 17.63 percent by 1:32 p.m. in Kiev. The hryvnia gained 0.3 percent to 15.8 per dollar after earlier weakening to a record 15.99, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It slumped 18 percent in the previous five trading days.
  • Poland Renews Baltic Mission as Russian Incidents Grow. Poland will send four MIG-29 fighters to monitor the airspace over the Baltic states next year amid growing activity by Russian military aircraft near the borders of the NATO alliance. The government asked the president to authorize the use of the combat jets and 120 personnel to police the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Jan. 12 to April 30, according to an e-mailed statement.
  • Korea Household Debt Rises Most in Decade on Easier Loans. South Korea’s household debt increased at the fastest pace in at least a decade after President Park Geun Hye loosened lending requirements and the central bank cut borrowing costs. Bank lending to households rose 6.4 trillion won in October to 507.7 trillion won ($462 billion), the biggest gain since the Bank of Korea began compiling the data in 2003. Mortgage lending and borrowings for long-term rent jumped by 5.5 trillion won to 355.1 trillion won. Park’s government is using credit in an effort to stimulate consumption to meet its economic expansion target. That comes with risks, with higher household debt making sustained growth less robust, Fitch Ratings said this week. 
  • European Stocks Decline Amid Bank Slide, Ukraine Tension. European stocks declined, as banks dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lower, and NATO said Russia sent troops and heavy weapons into Ukraine. Banks slipped as U.S., Swiss, and British regulators fined lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG to settle a probe into foreign-exchange manipulation. Barclays Plc slid 2.2 percent after saying it is not ready to settle the investigation. Enel SpA led utility-related shares lower after third-quarter profit fell more than analysts predicted. The Stoxx 600 retreated 1.1 percent to 335.09 at the close of trading.
  • Brent Crude Near 4-Year Low; Glut Seen Untouched by OPEC. Brent traded near its lowest level in four years amid speculation that a drop in OPEC output last month won’t eliminate a glut. West Texas Intermediate also fell. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in Mexico that talk of a price war between producers given crude’s plunge into a bear market was a “misunderstanding.” OPEC said earlier that Saudi Arabia led declines in the group’s oil output last month, weeks before members are scheduled to meet in Vienna. WTI dropped on speculation U.S. inventories rose last week. WTI for December delivery dropped 61 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $77.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 18 percent above the 100-day average.
  • Junk Bond Risks Escalate With Leverage Back to ’08 Levels. The riskiest corporate debtors in the U.S. aren’t growing fast enough to pay down their borrowings, increasing the risk for bond investors at a time when valuations are already at about record highs. That’s the conclusion of Deutsche Bank AG, which estimates that the biggest jump in earnings in almost three years may be coming too late for speculative-grade borrowers as the amount of debt on balance sheets climbs back to levels seen in early 2008 before the financial crisis. To make matters worse, their ability to make interest payments is about where it was in 2007, even as the Federal Reserve has held its benchmark rate close to zero. “We expect the next restructuring cycle will be dominated by companies with good operations but not able to grow into their balance sheets or refinance maturing debt,” Kenneth Buckfire, president of New York-based restructuring firm Miller Buckfire & Co., said by e-mail yesterday. Investors have piled into junk bonds for their relatively high yields amid the suppressed rates. That has allowed the least creditworthy borrowers to raise $1.64 trillion in the bond market since the end of 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Wall Street Journal:
Fox News:
  • Russian defense ministry says bomber patrols will reach Gulf of Mexico. Russia's long-range bombers will conduct regular patrol missions from the Arctic Ocean to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, the military said Wednesday, a show of muscle reflecting tensions with the West over Ukraine. A statement from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu comes as NATO has reported a spike in Russian military flights over the Black, Baltic and North seas as well as the Atlantic Ocean. It came as NATO's chief commander accused Moscow of sending new troops and tanks into Ukraine.
Business Insider:

The Interpreter:
Real Clear Politics: 

No comments: