Friday, November 21, 2014

Today's Headlines

  • Ukraine’s Poroshenko Jeered at Ceremony Missed by Biden. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would sign a decree today naming people who died in clashes with security forces in Kiev as heroes of Ukraine, after demands made by an angry crowd at a memorial. Poroshenko made the announcement after being met with shouted abuse and cries of “shame on you” at the memorial to more than 100 people who died during clashes with security services that led to the ousting of former President Viktor Yanukovych in February. He was visiting the memorial on the first anniversary of the start of the “Euromaidan” protests. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is in Kiev today, was scheduled to attend the event with Poroshenko, though he was not present during the protest.
  • Russian Retail Sales Growth Stalls After Ruble Plunges. Russian retail sales growth stagnated after the ruble had its worst month in more than two years and joblessness rose to the highest since April. The ruble’s plunge to record lows and inflation at the fastest since July 2011 are eating into consumers’ finances. That’s plaguing domestic demand already burdened by higher interest rates, capital flight and tit-for-tat sanctions over the conflict in neighboring Ukraine.
  • Draghi Ramps Up Stimulus Pledge on Weak Inflation Outlook.(video) Mario Draghi strengthened his stimulus pledge for the euro area by saying the European Central Bank can’t hold back in its fight to revive the economy. “We will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible, as our price-stability mandate requires,” the ECB president said at a conference in Frankfurt today. Some inflation expectations “have been declining to levels that I would deem excessively low,” he said.
  • Fed May Limit Wall Street Role in Commodities, Citing Risks. The Federal Reserve may curtail Wall Street commodity businesses after lawmakers said banks’ role in energy, power and metals markets spurred unfair trading advantages and could threaten financial stability. At a Senate hearing today, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said curbs under consideration include ownership limits, restricting how much revenue can be derived from commodities and requiring Wall Street firms to boost capital. He said the new rules, to be proposed early next year, could restrict banks from investing in oil tankers, coal mines and other businesses involved in physical commodities
  • Junk Bonds Whipsawed as Trading Drought Rattles Investors. Junk bond investors have a bad case of the jitters. Every bit of bad news is whipsawing prices, with bonds tumbling as much as 50 percent in a single day. “We’ve seen some flash crashes in the market,” saidHenry Craik-White, a senior investment analyst at ECM Asset Management in London, which oversees $8 billion. “If you get caught on the wrong side of a name, you can get severely punished in this market.” 
  • European Stocks Jump as Draghi Repeats Inflation Pledge. Stocks in Europe climbed to a two-month high as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated his commitment to raising inflation as fast as possible, and China cut interest rates. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 2.1 percent to 345.24 at the close of trading, snapping a two-day losing streak.
  • Iron Ore Completes Fifth Weekly Loss as ‘Worst Is Yet to Come'. Iron ore capped a fifth straight weekly drop with prices trading near the lowest since 2009 on concern that slowing growth in China will hurt demand just as rising low-cost supplies spur a global surplus. Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao lost 6.8 percent this week, dropping to $70.20 on Nov. 19, the lowest level since June 2009, data from Metal Bulletin Ltd. showed. The price retreated 0.9 percent to $70.31 a dry ton today.
  • Crude Pares Gain as China Rate Cut Not Seen Erasing Glut. WTI for January delivery fell 6 cents to $75.79 a barrel at 12:04 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The December contract expired yesterday after rising $1 to $75.58. The volume of all futures traded was 11 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
Business Insider:
  • China Has The Market Fooled. In a note released after the announcement, Societe Generale's Wei Yao admitted that she didn't see the interest-rate cut coming, but also reiterated that it's not a "de facto rate cut.

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