Thursday, November 13, 2014

Today's Headlines

  • Ukraine Tensions Rise as U.S., EU Weigh More Sanctions. The European Union and the U.S. will weigh further sanctions against Russia’s economy and Ukrainian separatists, after the reported movement of tanks, artillery and combat troops into eastern Ukraine. Representatives of the EU’s 28 member states and the U.S. are meeting today in Brussels to discuss imposing new penalties on individuals or on the Russian economy for the country’s interference in Ukraine, according to diplomats close to the talks. While no consensus has been reached yet, officials will prepare options for an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Nov. 17, when the group could move to expand penalties, said the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to be quoted. 
  • U.S. Envoy Sees Risk of Ukraine Spinning Out of Control. The crisis in Ukraine is at risk of spinning out of control, a top U.S. diplomat said, as European leaders remained split over imposing deeper sanctions on Russia for backing a rebellion that’s killed thousands of people. Russia must stop violating a Sept. 5 cease-fire agreement signed in Minsk, Belarus, Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, told journalists today, citing a growing number of military convoys in Ukraine’s rebel-held regions and increased shelling of the Donetsk airport.
  • Putin’s Looming Warships Not About ‘Shirtfronting,’ Abbott Says. A group of Russian warships approaching Australia before the start of a Group of 20 summit meeting isn’t likely a response to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s pledge to “shirtfront” Russian President Vladimir Putin over the downing of flight MH17, Abbott said. “It takes weeks, if not months to deploy warships thousands of miles from your bases,’ Abbott said today on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. ‘‘So, this Russian deployment into Pacific waters is something that has been a long, long time in preparation.’’ 
  • Russia Threat Prompts Nordic Governments to Prepare for Worst. Governments in the Nordic and Baltic region are stepping up their defense preparedness in response to repeated Russian incursions into their territories. “What we are doing is what is to be expected from a military and political alliance: We are preparing ourselves for what we hope will not happen, we are preparing ourselves for the worst,” Norway’s Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said today in Oslo. “That’s our obligation, that’s an important step in preventing something from happening.”
  • Ukraine Bonds Sink as Risk of War in East Stokes Default Concern. Ukrainian bonds slumped the most since March as the threat of open war in the nation’s east deepened concern the government will struggle to repay debt. The yield on Ukraine’s $2.6 billion of bonds due July 2017 soared 154 basis points to a record 17.67 percent at 7:14 p.m. in Kiev, bringing the eight-day increase to 428 basis points, or 4.28 percentage points
  • Ruble Slides Most in Emerging Markets on Sanctions, Brent. The ruble slumped the most among emerging markets as Brent crude slid to a four-year low and the U.S. and European Union weighed new sanctions against Russia. The ruble weakened 1.4 percent to 46.5885 per dollar by 4:19 p.m. in Moscow, the biggest drop among 24 developing-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
  • Ruble Defense Extends Russian Reserves Slide. Russia’s international reserves extended their slide to the longest since 2008, declining by a fifth from last year’s peak as the central bank attempts to smooth the ruble’s decline. The value of the stockpile has declined for 12 consecutive weeks, losing $7.2 billion in the seven days through Nov. 7 to $421.4 billion, the central bank said today. That compares with a $10.5 billion drop the previous week.
  • China Slowdown Deepens as Leaders Said to Mull Target Cut. China’s slowdown deepened in October as policy makers refrained from economy-wide stimulus, with industrial output and investment trailing estimates. Factory production rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the second weakest pace since 2009, a government report showed today. Investment in fixed assets such as machinery expanded the least since 2001 from January through October, and retail sales gains also missed economists’ forecasts last month.
  • China’s Zhu Says Divergent Global Monetary Policies Create Risks. China is concerned about the risks from a “divergence” in monetary policies among developed economies, including the U.S, Europe and Japan, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said. “It will create new risks and uncertainties for the global economy,” Zhu said in an interview today on board a plane headed for Brisbane, Australia, where Group of 20 leaders meet this weekend. “China is concerned about the spillover effects. We want to see a stable international monetary environment.” 
  • Islamic State Mints Coins as Jihadis Develop Trappings of Power. After seizing oil refineries to fund its self-declared caliphate, Islamic State militants will mint their own money. The group plans to issue gold, silver and copper coins, according to a statement released by its Beit al Mal, or treasury, and posted on websites used by jihadist movements. The currency aims to replace the existing “tyrannic monetary system” that has contributed to poverty, it said. 
  • European Stocks Rebound From Biggest Drop in Four Weeks. Ericsson AB’s cost-cutting plan and KBC Groep NV’s better-than-estimated earnings helped European stocks rebound from an intraday drop led by energy producers and utilities. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.2 percent to 335.86 at the close of trading, after rising as much as 0.6 percent and falling as much as 0.4 percent. The gauge tumbled 1.1 percent yesterday, the biggest slide in four weeks, as banks retreated amid concern that prosecutions and penalties will widen in a probe into the rigging of exchange-rate benchmarks
  • Brent Extends Drop to 4-Year Low as OPEC Seen Resisting. Brent for December settlement, which expires today, dropped $1.62, or 2 percent, to $78.76 a barrel at 11:26 a.m. New York time on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more active January contract was down $1.72 at $79.40. The volume of all futures traded was about 1 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
Fox News:
Business Insider:
  • Weak October hurts retailer Kohl's(KSS) profit, revenue. Department store operator Kohl's Corp's quarterly profit and revenue missed estimates as same-store sales dipped below the company's own estimate, in sharp contrast to Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which posted its first rise in U.S. same-store sales in seven quarters.

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