Monday, November 17, 2014

Today's Headlines

  • Putin Warns He Won’t Let Ukraine Defeat Eastern Rebels. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned he won’t allow rebels in eastern Ukraine to be defeated by government forces as European Union ministers met to consider imposing more sanctions on the separatists. “You want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents,” Putin said in an interview yesterday with Germany’s ARD television. “Is that what you want? We certainly don’t. And we won’t let it happen.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday the EU will keep its economic sanctions on Russia “for as long as they are needed.” EU foreign ministers convened today in Brussels to discuss adding to sanctions that have limited access to capital markets for some Russian banks and companies and blacklisted officials involved in the conflict. New measures will likely target pro-Russian separatist leaders, the EU said.
  • EU Weighs More Russian Sanctions Amid Ukraine Cease-Fire. European Union governments are meeting to consider triggering tougher sanctions against Russia as neighboring Finland pressed the Kremlin to do more to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The talks in Brussels among the 28 member nations follow the EU’s abrupt decision this week to put on hold for at least a “few days” a second package of economic penalties against Russia over its encroachment in Ukraine. The delay offered more time to assess the viability of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s truce in Ukraine without risking further trade retaliation by Russia.
  • Cameron Sees ‘Red Warning Lights’ Flashing on Global Economy. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he can see “red warning lights” flashing “on the dashboard of the global economy,” arguing that trade deals and continued spending restraint are essential to growth. In an article for today’s Guardian newspaper, the premier listed a possible recession in the euro area, a slowdown in emerging markets, the Ebola outbreak and conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine as “adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty.”
  • Recession Gloom Trumps Tax Delay Optimism in Japanese Stocks. Stock investors weighing the pros and cons of a surprise contraction in Japan’s economy decided it’s a reason to sell. Bulls see the 1.6 percent annualized slide in gross domestic product as raising the chances Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will push back a sales-tax increase that could further hurt growth. Bears say it also sends the world’s third-largest economy into recession and calls into question the success of Abe’s policies to revive Japan. Those looking on the bright side are being drowned out today: the Topix index plunged 2.5 percent, the most in six weeks. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average sank 3 percent. 
  • Emerging-Market Stocks Drop as China’s New Equity Link. Emerging-market stocks fell for a third day as technology companies retreated and Chinese shares in Hong Kong tumbled on the first day of the city’s exchange link with Shanghai. Bank of China Ltd. led a 1.9 percent decline in the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) after mainland investors left more than 80 percent of an equity-buying quota for Hong Kong shares unfilled. The Ibovespa declined as the Brazilian state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA retreated to the lowest level since March. Rupiah forwards increased after Indonesian President Joko Widodo raised subsidized fuel prices. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slipped 0.5 percent to 986 at 10:24 a.m. in New York.
  • Ukraine Minister Urges EU to Send 'Clear Message' to Russia. EU should speak collectively to Russia on Ukraine, be ready to send "clear message" that it will impose more sanctions if necessary, citing interview with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
  • Poroshenko Says Ukraine 'Most Dangerous Place on Earth'. The situation in Ukraine is more dangerous than the threat by Islamic State, citing President Petro Prorshenko. In Ukraine there are currently thousands of Russian soldiers, hundreds of tanks, heavy artillery, he said. One of the world's largest armies is threatening Ukraine and Europe, Poroshenko said.

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