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Et Tu, Standard & Poor's?

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News and Views in brief

Economy

The European Union next week unveils its third broadside against credit rating agencies since the financial crisis began, and this time the Big Three face a direct hit where it hurts.

Thursday's mistaken downgrade by Standard & Poor's of France's sovereign debt won't help a sector seen by policymakers as an "oligopoly" that fomented and exacerbated market turmoil globally and more recently in the euro zone.

"This reinforces my conviction that Europe must have rigorous, strict and solid regulation for credit rating agencies," said Michel Barnier, the EU financial services chief who wrote the draft law that will be published next Tuesday.http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/11/us-eu-ratingagencies-idUSTRE7AA47520111111

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who dominated Italian politics for almost two decades, stepped down as the fallout from his legal woes and contagion from the euro-region’s debt crisis led his government to unravel.

Berlusconi presented his resignation last night to President Giorgio Napolitano after the Parliament in Rome approved measures to spur growth and reduce the euro-area’s second-biggest debt. Napolitano will ask former European Union Competition Commissioner Mario Monti to form a government this evening after talks with political parties that began at 9 a.m.

Thousands of Italians gathered outside the presidential palace to witness the final minutes of the country’s longest- serving prime minister since the Second World War. Berlusconi won three elections and governed for more than half the 17 years he was in politics. Many yelled “buffoon” as he drove by. Celebrations broke out with people waving flags, drinking prosecco and dancing, producing an atmosphere more reminiscent of Italy’s 2006 World Cup victory than a political event. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-12/berlusconi-resigns-as-monti-prepares-new-italian-government.html

 

Indexes

Qatar’s stocks advanced to the highest level in almost six months after leadership changes in Italy and Greece bolstered investor optimism that Europe’s debt crisis may be contained and as oil rose.

Qatar National Bank SAQ (QNBK), the Persian Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets, gained 1.4 percent. Masraf Al Rayan (MARK), an Islamic lender, headed for the highest close in more than five years. The QE Index (DSM) climbed 0.5 percent to 8,750.94, the highest intraday level since May 12, at 10:15 a.m. in Doha. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200)increased 0.3 percent.

“Political developments confirmed in Europe with the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi should support the market,” said Ahmed Talhaoui, head of asset management at Abu Dhabi-based Royal Capital PJSC. “Oil prices are still supportive in spite of global growth concerns.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-13/qatar-shares-advance-to-six-month-high-on-europe-debt-optimism-oil-gains.html

U.S. stocks rose this week, restoring the year-to-date gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as improving economic data and leadership changes in Greece and Italy bolstered investor optimism.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) advanced more than 5.4 percent, helping lead the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) higher, after reporting better-than-estimated profits. Health- care stocks advanced the most in the S&P 500 as Merck & Co. gained 5.7 percent after increasing its dividend. E*Trade Financial Corp. slipped 14 percent after the board rejected putting the company up for sale.

The S&P 500 rose 0.9 percent to 1,263.85, overcoming a 3.7 percent decline on Nov. 9 that was the largest one-day loss since Aug. 18. The Dow advanced 170.44 points, or 1.4 percent, to 12,153.68 this week.

“With abated fears on Europe and abated fears on the U.S. economy, there is a general sense that the world is not going to come to an end,”Uri Landesman, who helps oversee $1 billion as managing general partner of New York-based hedge fund Platinum Partners LLP, said in a telephone interview. “Neither the bulls nor the bears are digging in their heels, so there is overreaction to the news.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-11/u-s-stocks-rise-on-economic-data-europe-s-leadership-changes.html

Currencies

The euro rose from a one-month low versus the dollar amid optimism European leaders are tackling their debt crisis after Italy’s Senate approved an austerity bill yesterday and Greece swore in a new prime minister.

The 17-nation currency pared a weekly loss versus the greenback to 0.3 percent as Italian bonds rose, pushing yields below the 7 percent level that led Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts. The euro fell earlier on concern the debt crisis was worsening and before data next week that may show the region’s economic growth stagnated.

“We had one week of good progress, and now hopefully we’ll have technocrats in charge in Greece and Italy,” said Greg Anderson, a senior currency strategist at Citigroup Inc. in New York. “Markets at this point will demand implementation. There’s a lot that needs to be done before the deep underlying fears are resolved.”http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-12/euro-gains-from-one-month-low-on-optimism-europe-moving-on-its-debt-crisis.html

 

Commodities

Gold traders and analysts are the most bullish in at least seven years as investors accumulate metal at the fastest pace since August to protect their wealth from a widening European debt crisis.

Twenty-one of 22 surveyed by Bloomberg expect bullion to rise on the Comex in New York next week, the third consecutive increase and the highest proportion in data going back to April 2004. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by gold rose 27.5 metric tons this week, within 1 percent of the record set almost three months ago.

Gold exceeded $1,800 an ounce for the first time in seven weeks on Nov. 8, and hedge funds are holding their biggest bet on higher prices since mid-September, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. The metal is rebounding after tumbling as much as 20 percent in three weeks in September on demand for what are perceived as the safest assets. Almost $9 trillion was wiped off the value of global equities since May and yields on Italian and Greek bonds rose to euro-era records this week.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-11/gold-traders-most-bullish-since-2004-on-deepening-debt-crisis-commodities.html

 

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Sun, 11/13/2011 - 13:41 | 1873768 fadgadget
fadgadget's picture

i'm very confused about something, someone please help a brother out.  why can't S&P or others set up shop in the bahamas or BFE and still report on european debt ratings?  who gives a shit if the EU regulates their european operations?

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 14:35 | 1873844 anonnn
anonnn's picture

That's the joke [on us] , or, "The more things change, the more they stay the same.".

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 12:50 | 1873693 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Thursday's mistaken downgrade by Standard & Poor's of France's sovereign debt"

Mistaken?  Premature, maybe.

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 13:11 | 1873660 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

American Sunday Translation:

We can't run, and we can't pass.  On defence, we can't stop the run or the pass.

Has to be the zebras' fault.

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 12:20 | 1873649 El Gordo
El Gordo's picture

What's the S&P rating for PM's?

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 09:49 | 1873491 Georgesblog
Georgesblog's picture

When I see statements from ratings agencies, my first thought is "They sent in the clowns". In reality, it's more serious than that. I see that central banks and ratings agencies work in tandem to bring nations to their knees, as beggars. The national response is the threat of increased regulation. The product is more of the same corruption that created the situation, to begin with. http://georgesblogforum.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/the-daily-climb-2/

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 08:33 | 1873444 Zer0henge
Zer0henge's picture

"Tech Stocks Foxy Moneybags!  Tech Stocks!" Bitchez!

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