Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Today's Headlines

  • Putin Goes All In as Ukraine Fights for Funding. Vladimir Putin is playing for keeps in Ukraine and he might bankrupt the country to get what he wants. As fighting flares anew in the 10-month-old conflict and the death toll mounts, that’s the assessment of analysts in Ukraine and New York, as well as Moscow. While Kremlin-backed rebels pressure the Ukrainian government, the U.S. and the European Union are contemplating tighter economic sanctions on Russia. Putin, however, seems emboldened in his belief that this is a showdown he must not and will not lose. “Putin realized that he will never be in the West’s good graces and this makes him act more decisively,” Igor Bunin, director of the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow, with ties to the Kremlin, said Tuesday by phone. “He started playing all in.”  
  • U.S. Ready to Push Russia on Ukraine as EU Wrangles on Sanctions. The U.S. said it’s ready to intensify pressure against Russia for supporting rebels who’ve stepped up attacks on Ukrainian troops as the European Union tussled over new sanctions in the face of opposition from Greece. EU states will discuss adding names to and extending the duration of a black list of Russian and separatist individuals and companies linked to the conflict at a meeting minister of the bloc’s foreign ministers on Thursday. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said President Barack Obama’s administration was prepared to raise pressure on Russia to use its influence over the separatists to stop the conflict.
  • Greece's looming clash in Europe starts with sanctions on Russia. Greece’s new government questioned moves to impose more sanctions on Russia, adding a foreign-policy angle to its challenge to the status quo in Europe. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s SYRIZA-led coalition said it opposed a European Union statement issued in Brussels Tuesday paving the way to additional curbs on the Kremlin over the conflict in Ukraine, and complained it hadn’t been consulted. “Greece doesn’t consent,” the government said in a statement. It added that the announcement violated “proper procedure” by not first securing Greece’s agreement. 
  • Greek Bonds, Stocks Decline as New Government Takes Charge. Greek bonds and stocks slumped for a third day on concern the nation’s new government will backtrack on austerity. The yield on three-year notes jumped 268 basis points to 16.71 percent at 5:47 p.m. in Athens and reached its highest level since Greece completed the biggest-ever debt restructuring in 2012. The ASE Index fell 9.2 percent to its lowest level since September of that year, taking its three-day drop to 15 percent as a gauge of lenders extended a record low. Greek sovereign-bond risk jumped, with credit-default swaps signaling a 70 percent probability the government will fail to meet its obligations within five years, up from 59 percent on Jan. 23.  
  • European Stocks Are Little Changed Amid Earnings as ASE Declines. European stocks were little changed as Nordea Bank AB and Electrolux AB advanced on earnings, while Greek equities tumbled. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent to 369.08 at the close of trading, having swung between gains and losses more than 10 times.
  • Iraq Oil Surge to Fan OPEC Rivalry That Triggered Slump. The battle for customers among OPEC members that helped trigger oil’s collapse is about to escalate. Iraqi crude production is climbing from a 35-year high as it adds growing Kurdish supplies to its exports, while southern oilfields remain unscathed by Islamic State militants. Finding buyers for the new output means offering more attractive terms than rivals in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, say Citigroup Inc., DNB ASA and Barclays Plc.
  • Bloomberg Brief: Introducing the 'Fed Spectrometer'. 
  • Fed Stays Patient on Rates Amid Strong Job Gains, Low Inflation. The Federal Reserve maintained its pledge to be “patient” on raising interest rates and boosted its assessment of the economy and labor market, even as it expects inflation to decline further. “Economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace,” the Federal Open Market Committee said today in a statement in Washington. “Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.”
  • Treasuries Gain as Oil Stockpiles Lower Prices, Growth Outlook. Treasuries rose as a report showing record U.S. crude inventories damped inflation projections amid signs the global economic slowdown is catching up with the U.S. The 30-year bond yield approached record lows before the Federal Reserve ends a policy meeting and provides an update on plans to raise interest rates later this year. Greek stocks and bonds slumped on concern the nation’s newly elected government will seek to overturn austerity measures, fueling haven demand. The Treasury’s auction of $26 billion of two-year notes attracted a lower-than-forecast yield.
Business Insider:
  • China to relaunch probe into margin trading, bank lending for stock speculation - sources. Chinese regulators will relaunch an investigation into stock margin trading, and have been given notice banks to tighten supervision of their lending practices to ensure loans aren't funnelled into stock markets, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The China Securities Regulatory Commission and the China Banking Regulatory Commission did not respond to request from Reuters seeking comment. The news comes as Beijing moves cautiously to suppress the excessive use of leverage to make aggressive bets on Chinese stock markets, which have gained around 40 percent since November. Reports of previous investigations and regulatory clamp downs caused a dramatic collapse in stocks on Jan. 19, and regulators followed up by reassuring the market that they were not trying to suppress the rally.
  • EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's Bovespa dragged down by Petrobras plunge. Brazil's main stock index sank on Wednesday as shares of state-run oil company Petrobras plunged on concerns over potential losses stemming from a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal. The benchmark Bovespa index dropped about 1.4 percent and was on track for its weakest closing level in over three weeks, while the broader MSCI Latin American stock index erased the previous session's gains.
  • EXCLUSIVE-EU mulls capital markets restrictions among new Russia sanctions. Union sanctions against Russia could include further capital markets restrictions, making it harder for Russian companies to refinance themselves and possibly affecting Russian sovereign bonds and access to advanced technology for the oil and gas sectors, EU officials said on Wednesday.EU foreign ministers are set to ask the executive European Commission on Thursday to prepare a new round of sanctions over Moscow's role in eastern Ukraine, however officials said the measures may not be adopted by EU leaders until late March.
  • Oil drops on record-high U.S. crude stocks as pressure mounts. Oil prices fell on Wednesday after the U.S. government reported record-high crude inventories, adding to anxieties about the global glut that has pressured the market since last summer. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic crude oil stocks rose by almost 9 million barrels last week to reach nearly 407 million, their highest since the government began keeping records in 1982.
Macau Business Daily:
  • Macau Official Sees 1H Gaming Revenue Falling. Macau's 1H gaming revenue is likely to follow the 2H of 2014 and continue to decline, citing Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong.
National Business Daily:
  • Shanghai Will Continue Home Purchase Restrictions. The city will continue to implement existing home purchase restrictions "strictly," citing Liu Haisheng, head of Shanghai's housing regulatory authority as saying during a recent political consultative meeting.

No comments: