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Aluminium company Alcoa opened the US corporate earnings season with disappointing results for the third quarter, reporting profits below consensus expectations, the FT reports. Earnings per share were 15 cents for the third quarter,


European authorities plan to set a higher than expected capital threshold for the region’s banks and give them six to nine months to achieve that level or face government recapitalisations under the auspices of the eurozone’s €440bn rescue fund,


A bill that aims to punish Beijing for holding down its currency passed the Senate on Tuesday despite a warning from China that the legislation could plunge the global economy into a 1930s-like depression,


Slovakia’s government became the first in the eurozone to fall over opposition to expanding the European financial stability fund when just 55 of the parliament’s 150 MPs voted in favour of the measure,




US regulators will examine non-bank financial groups with more than $50bn in assets to decide whether they are dangerous enough to merit tougher supervision and higher capital requirements – a threshold that will be a relief to most hedge funds and private equity firms,


Paulson & Co, the giant US hedge fund run by billionaire investor John Paulson, has warned that in a “worst case” scenario, it could suffer redemptions equivalent to between a fifth and a quarter of its assets by the end of the year,


Scottish and Southern Energy will break ranks with rival utilities by offering its electricity for sale to any household supplier this week, heralding the biggest change for almost a decade in the UK’s electricity market,


Hewlett-Packard is reconsidering its plan to spin off its personal computer division proposed by former chief executive Leo Apotheker, the WSJ says, citing people familiar with the matter. The report says HP has undertaken new analysis of the spin-off plan,


A Kiev court has jailed Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s former prime minister and co-leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution, for seven years, raising doubts about the country’s democratic future and its hopes for closer integration with the west. The verdict immediately put Kiev at loggerheads with both its biggest partners. The European Union criticised the “selective justice” meted out against a leading opposition figure, while Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin called the ruling – which challenged the legality of a 2009 gas deal with Moscow – “dangerous and counterproductive”.


Top earners at some of the world’s biggest banks are still taking home as much as 96 per cent of their pay in the form of an annual bonus, calling into question banks’ claims that stricter pay regulations have reduced their flexibility on costs. The Financial Stability Board, a Basel-based committee of regulators and bankers, on Tuesday issued its second report card on the progress international banks have made in implementing a number of new pay practices endorsed by the Group of 20 nations in 2009.


China’s main sovereign wealth fund will invest $1bn with its Russian counterpart, in a move that will be matched by the Russian Direct Investment Fund as it sees its first capital commitment since it was established in June.  The agreement was signed in Beijing on Tuesday at a meeting between Wen Jiabao, Chinese premier, and the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, who is in China for his first overseas visit since announcing his intention to reclaim the Russian presidency next year.


Iran has replaced Russia’s Gazprom Neft with a local consortium and suspended a gas contract with the China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPC) as it struggles to speed up development of its oil and gasfields.  Western oil and gas majors, such as France’s Total and Royal Dutch Shell, have not invested in Iran’s energy sector in recent years because of sanctions over the country’s nuclear programme and Tehran’s undesirable contract terms.

Asian stock markets dropped Wednesday, with Australian resources stocks leading the fall after aluminum producer Alcoa kicked-started the U.S. earnings season with a disappointing third-quarter report. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average lost 0.6%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.2%, South Korea’s Kospi Composite dropped 0.7% and New Zealand’s NZX-50 declined 1.9%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 53 points in screen trade. In Sydney, resources stocks dropped sharply on Tuesday’s fall in base metals prices, and after Alcoa’s earnings missed Wall Street’s expectations.


Traders pushed down the value of the yuan both inside and outside China’s borders on Wednesday after the country’s central bank set the currency’s official guidepost lower—a moved that followed the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill aimed at urging Beijing to let the yuan rise at a faster pace. The People’s Bank of China, which tightly controls the yuan’s trading on the mainland, early Wednesday guided the currency lower against the U.S. dollar, at 6.3598, despite the fact that the greenback traded slightly higher against the euro and other currencies overnight.


When four well-known U.S. mutual funds invested $450 million in Groupon Inc. last December, it looked as though they might reap a windfall when the online discount-deal service went public. Now, however, expectations that the funds might triple their money or more have come back to earth. And current estimates of the company’s value suggest some funds may find themselves marking down the value of their holdings in the Chicago online coupon company.


New York City’s securities industry faces the loss of nearly 10,000 jobs by the end of 2012, New York state’s comptroller predicted, a blow to the area’s economy and government budgets. In a report released Tuesday, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli also said bonuses are likely to shrink this year, reflecting lower profits on Wall Street. Since January 2008, the securities industry in New York has seen 22,000 jobs evaporate. If Mr. DiNapoli’s prediction of 10,000 more jobs losses between August 2011 and year-end 2012 comes true, that would represent a decline of 17%. About 4,100 jobs have been eliminated since


Infosys Ltd. Wednesday posted a better-than-expected 9.7% rise in its second-quarter consolidated net profit, but cut its dollar revenue forecast for this fiscal year through March 2012. India’s second-largest software exporter by revenue said net profit for the three months through September was 19.06 billion rupees ($390.5 million), compared with 17.37 billion rupees a year earlier. Net profit grew 11% from the 17.22 billion rupees in the previous quarter ended June 30. Second-quarter consolidated revenue rose about 17% to 80.99 billion rupees from 69.47 billion rupees a year earlier. Revenue in the previous three-month period was 74.85 billion rupees.


Nike Inc. wants to jolt sales of athletic apparel in China. To do so, it has to alter ideas of fashion and help foster a culture of everyday-citizen sports that extends beyond the country’s lauded Olympic teams and professional players. Nike hopes to roughly double China sales by 2015 to reach a target of $4 billion annually, said Don Blair, chief financial officer and vice president, in an interview. To get there, the Beaverton, Ore., sportswear giant plans to open more stores, put a renewed focused on recreational sports such as running and snowboarding, and emphasize its stable of local

The Australian parliament passed the first stage of controversial carbon tax legislation on Wednesday, a victory for the minority labor government. The government’s carbon tax package passed through the lower house of parliament 74 votes to 72. Ministers embraced and applauded following the vote.  “Today is a significant day for Australians and the Australians of the future who want to see a better environment,” prime minister Julia Gillard told reporters ahead of the vote.


Japanese core machinery orders leaped 11% in August, swinging from a sharp 8.2% drop in July, the Cabinet Office reported Wednesday. The result compared with a median forecast for a 4.7% gain, according to a survey reported by Dow Jones Newswires. Core machinery orders data, which exclude orders from the government, ship builders and utilities, tend to be volatile but are closely watched as a leading indicator of capital spending in Japan.


China must raise deposit rates as soon as possible and reduce the amount of reserves banks must hold at the central bank to ease tight liquidity conditions in the banking system, a senior bank regulator said in remarks published Wednesday. Yu Xuejun, head of the China Banking Regulatory Commission in Jiangsu province, said in an interview with the 21st Century Business Herald the country should consider raising deposit rates by 1.5-2 percentage points and reducing banks’ reserve requirement ratio by 1-1.5 percentage points.

Spot gold traded flat on Wednesday, as investors waited for cues from further developments in the euro zone’s debt crisis, and robust physical demand in Asia underpinned the sentiment. Spot gold was flat at $1,665.49 by 0358 GMT, after losing 0.8 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold edged up 0.4 percent to $1,667.20. Technical analysis suggested that gold is likely to be trapped in the range of $1,653 and $1,684 in the day, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.


Brent crude fell on Wednesday, snapping five days of gains, after OPEC cut its global oil demand forecast and plans for greater powers for a euro zone bailout fund hit a snag, rattling investor confidence. Brent crude for November lost 16 cents to $110.57 a barrel by 0408 GMT, after gaining for a fifth day on Tuesday, rising nearly 11 percent, its biggest rise since August 2009. It rose in the previous session on news of an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in the United States, reintroducing a risk premium to prices. U.S. crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down 48 cents to $85.33 a barrel, after slipping as low as $84.52.


Republican front-runner Mitt Romney largely ignored his presidential rivals at a debate on Tuesday, casting himself as the candidate most suited to rescue the economy and lead the party back to the White House. At an economic debate that featured harsh criticism of the federal government from his rivals, the former Massachusetts governor touted his real-world experience, defended corporate bailouts and rarely broke a sweat.


Israel and Gaza’s Hamas Islamist rulers agreed on Tuesday to swap more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit, resolving one of the most emotive and intractable issues between them. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who won overwhelming cabinet approval for the lopsided exchange at a special night-time session, has been under constant public pressure to bring Shalit home. He said the soldier would be reunited with his family “in the coming days.”

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iCloud service, part of its first product release since the Oct. 5 death of Steve Jobs, may cement the loyalty of millions of consumers lured by Jobs’s pioneering mobile devices over the past decade. The service will automatically store photos, songs and other files on servers at Apple’s data centers and sync them with all of a customer’s gadgets. A photo taken with an iPhone would appear within seconds on a user’s iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV set-top box and any personal computer running iTunes.


President Barack Obama’s drive to enact a $447 billion jobs plan was derailed by the U.S. Senate, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance what he has proposed to revive a faltering economy. Two Democrats joined the Republican minority to block the plan in a test vote. Yesterday’s tally was 50-49, shelving the measure in its current form. Voting was completed in the evening as the roll call remained open to let Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, return to Washington to vote for the plan.

Sino-U.S. tensions moved up a notch on Tuesday, after the Senate approved a controversial bill to punish China over its currency. Even as the value of the yuan and its impact on trade remain key points of contention between both sides, market watchers say the move is largely political, and such legislation will do little to help the U.S. economy. Robert Roche, Vice Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, says that while the Chinese currency is a sticking point for Washington, there are other more pertinent concerns between the two trading partners.


The world’s advanced economies are headed for a second recession, regardless of whether there is further chaos in Europe, noted economist Nouriel Roubini told CNBC on Tuesday.  Roubini — who correctly predicted the 2008 financial crisis, but has got some other bearish calls wrong — said his reading of recent data suggested the U.S., euro zone, and the U.K. are already on the verge of falling into a recession “The question is not whether or if there is going to be a double dip, but whether it’s going to be mild or severe with another financial crisis,” Roubini, head of Roubini Global Economics, told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul. “The answer on that depends on the euro zone.”

China’s government bond yields are trading at an 11-month low, signaling concern Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is worsening and a stronger yuan will further slow the world’s second-largest economy. The yields on 10-year bonds dropped 27 basis points in the past month to 3.78 percent, the lowest since November 2010, as those for similar-maturity debt in the U.S., Russia and India climbed. Sovereign assets are being favored over corporate securities, with investors demanding a record 236 basis points more to hold Chinese company debt over government notes.

Two leading credit rating agencies have downgraded some of Spain’s largest banks, citing a deteriorating outlook for the Spanish economy. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said it was downgrading the ratings of 10 financial institutions, including the country’s two biggest banks, Santander and BBVA. Fitch said it was cutting the ratings of six banks, after downgrading Spain last week. Ratings agencies have been downgrading European banks during the debt crisis.


International financial inspectors say they have reached agreement with Greece on reforms to put the nation’s troubled economy back on track. “Economic and financial policies” have been agreed between Greece and the troika of bodies which has been mulling if Athens will get any new loans. The EU, IMF and European Central Bank say Greece is now likely to get 8bn euros (£7bn; $11bn) more bailout cash.


Uganda’s parliament has voted to suspend all new deals in the oil sector following claims that government ministers took multi-million dollar bribes. MP Gerald Karuhanga said in parliament on Monday that UK-based Tullow Oil paid bribes to influence decisions.  Tullow said it rejected the “outrageous and wholly defamatory” allegations. The vote is a big blow to President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, analysts say.


The UK’s recovery is likely to be the weakest of any since the end of World War I, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research has said. NIESR says UK economic growth edged up slightly to 0.5% in the three months to the end of September from 0.4% in the three months to August. But the level of GDP is 4 percentage points below its pre-recession peak.  Earlier, figures from the Office for National Statistics data showed the manufacturing sector shrank in August.

Goldman Sachs escaped paying up to £20m on a disputed National Insurance bill for bankers’ bonuses, according to leaked Government documents. The Wall Street bank – which last year paid $15.3bn (£9.5bn) in bonuses to its employees – is understood to have made a sweetheart deal with HMRC which allowed it to avoid paying the full interest on a failed tax avoidance scheme set up in the 1990s.


China and India are likely to use less oil than expected this year, according to the world’s cartel of energy producers.  The 12-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) cut its forecasts for oil demand on the weakening economic outlook and new government policies in China. Opec, which produces four out of every 10 barrels of crude oil, has reduced its supply estimates for three months in a row.


Bank of England policymaker Adam Posen said he was “pleased” the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had voted to restart quantitative easing (QE) last week. Speaking at a conference in New York, it was Mr Posen’s first opportunity to publicly welcome the committee’s decision to revive QE with an additional £75bn of asset purchases. He predicted that the world will move to a “relatively volatile, but low inflation period over the next 10 to 15 years”, during which there will be more “geo-political uncertainty”. Banks will be under “huge pressure” to get smaller, he added.

A closely watched measure of consumer confidence edged up further in October, with optimism about the economic outlook balanced somewhat by caution on making major purchases, a survey shows. The survey of 1200 people by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute showed its index of consumer sentiment rose 0.4 per cent to 97.2, building on a hefty 8.1 per cent jump the month before. The index was still down 16.9 per cent on October last year.


The housing sector is stabilising as talk of an interest rate rise wanes and Australians are encouraged to borrow more, economists say. The number of home loans approved in August rose 1.2 per cent to 50,965, official figures show. Economists’ forecasts had centred on a 1 per cent rise in housing finance commitments for the month.  August was the fifth straight month that housing finance commitments had risen. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said total housing finance by value rose 1.0 per cent in August, seasonally adjusted, to $20.848 billion.


Copper shed nearly three per cent on Tuesday as worries about the sustainability of China’s economy compounded the Western world’s growth prospects. Investors dumped copper, one of the Asian giant’s top imports. An impending vote from Slovakia to become the last of the 17 EU member states to vote to boost the size and scope of the European Financial Stability Facility added to the cloudy macro picture.

Canadian housing starts jumped a higher-than-expected 7.3 per cent in September, helped by a surge in the condominium sector, suggesting Canada’s property boom stayed intact last month and should help the economy avert recession. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said Tuesday that starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 205,900 units last month. August starts were revised up to 191,900 from 184,700.

Authorities in east Zhejiang province have sent 11 work groups to oversee a bank bailout of private firms suffering from a liquidity crunch in a coordinated move to tackle the Wenzhou debt crisis. A spokesman with the provincial government said on Tuesday that 25 banks in Wenzhou City have pledged to increase lending to bolster private firms to weather the debt crisis. During a visit to Wenzhou on Oct. 5, Premier Wen Jiabao asked banks to lend more money to small firms and tolerate higher levels of debt. He also requested a crackdown on the high-interest informal lending market. By Tuesday, three of more than 90 private entrepreneurs who had gone into hiding in recent weeks to avoid repaying high-interest informal loans returned home.


China’s prices for most farm produce continued to rise in the week ending Oct. 9, while that of pork remained flat compared to the previous week, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a report unveiled Tuesday. Supply shrinking due to the lower temperature in late summer, the average wholesale prices of 18 staple vegetables went up 1.7 percent, with chili peppers rising the most by 11.5 percent from the previous week. The prices of mutton, beef and chicken rose 0.5 percent, 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, week-on-week, according to the report. Compared to the previous week, the retail prices of rice and flour climbed 0.2 percent, and the prices of colza oil and soybean oil rose slightly by 0.1 percent.


South Korean banks’ lending to households grew at a slower pace in September than a month before due to a reduction in credit loans, the central bank said Wednesday. Household loans extended by local banks reached 448.7 trillion won (382.65 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of September, up 0.6 trillion won from a month earlier, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a statement. The September growth was smaller than a 2.5 trillion won on- month increase tallied in August. The slower growth came after household borrowers paid off their credit loans with bonuses for Chuseok holiday that fell on the mid-September.


The Brazilian National Industry Confederation (CNI) on Tuesday revised down its forecast for Brazil’s economic growth this year to 3.4 percent from 3.8 percent due to the effects of the world economic crisis. According to the CNI, Brazil’s industry sector will also suffer from the ongoing debt crisis in the United States and Europe. It said that with growth rate of 3.4 percent, Brazil’s GDP for 2011 will have an expansion less than half of what the country registered in 2010 when the economy grew 7.4 percent. Earlier on Tuesday, Brazil’s Finance Ministry said the government is re-evaluating its growth forecast of between 3.5 percent and 4 percent for 2011.


South Korea’s jobless rate stayed unchanged at 3 percent in September from a month earlier, but job growth slowed down due to a one-off factor, a government report showed Wednesday. The unemployment rate stood at 3 percent in August, unchanged from a month before, the Statistics Korea said in a monthly report. The rate was down from 3.4 percent tallied in the same month of last year. The number of unemployed, who failed to land work despite job- hunting efforts, decreased 100,000 on-year to 758,000 last month, keeping its recent downward trend, according to the report. The jobless rate among those aged between 15 and 29 came in at 6.3 percent in September, unchanged from a month before. The rate was lower than 7.2 percent recorded in the same month of last year.


An amended India-Swiss taxation treaty has come into effect, which will allow India to track specific information on black money stashed in Swiss banks and tax evasion cases dating back to Jan. 1, 2011, reported the local daily Indian Express Tuesday. The Swiss Federal Department of Finance said the revised double taxation agreement with India in the area of taxes on income and capital came into force on Monday. “It contains provisions on the exchange of information in accordance with international standards applicable at present,” it said in a statement in Geneva.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday strongly hinted that the government was seriously considering raising the 51 per cent foreign direct investment (DI) limit in single brand retail business to a much higher level. Speaking at a CII organised event on Indian Luxury Market in New Delhi, Mr. Sharma said the government was seriously considering to raise the bar further to allow increased FDI. At present, the government allows 51 per cent FDI in single brand retail businesses run by global chains like Adidas, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Gucci. However, he did not elaborate on how much higher it was being planned to be raised. “How much it is, only when we take the decision you will get to know,’’ he remarked.

India ranked way below its South Asian neighbours Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China in the global hunger index 2011 released by the International Food Policy and Research Institute. South Asia fared worse than Sub-Saharan Africa netting a score of 22.6 on the global hunger index, or GHI, the report said.  While, India stood 67th amongst 81 countries, Pakistan ranked 59, China ranked fourth, Vietnam ranked 25 and Sri Lanka ranked 36 in the GHI. The report blamed high volatility in food prices for rising hunger levels worldwide.


Economists have called for a pause in rate hikes in a pre-policy meeting with the Reserve Bank of India amid concerns over a slowdown in the global economy and a possible spillover on the domestic economy. “The general consensus among economists was that the Reserve Bank of India should pause on rate hikes in the backdrop of a global economic slowdown,” said an economist who attended the meeting. RBI has hiked key policy rate – the repo rate, or the rate at which it lends to banks against securities – for 12 times since March 2010 to rein in inflation expectations, which has remained above 9% for a long period now, much above the central bank’s comfort zone of 7%. Currently, the repo rate is at 8.25%.

South Korea and the European Union (EU) agreed Wednesday to closely cooperate in economic policies amid uncertainties over the European debt crisis, Seoul’s trade ministry said.

Both sides will also utilize the so-called Trade Committee as a consultation body for bilateral cooperation, according to the ministry. The results came after South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon and his EU counterpart Karel De Gucht held their first round of the Trade Committee meeting in Seoul earlier in the day.


South Korean automakers, led by Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., are expected to see their exports to Brazil drop on the South American country’s recent steps to shield its manufacturing industry from a strong currency, Seoul’s trade ministry said Wednesday. Brazil said last month it will raise a key tax on industrial products for automakers whose vehicles do not have at least 65 percent of their components produced locally by 30 percentage points, in an attempt to discourage imports and stimulate domestic production.

Africa needs appropriate development policies to create decent work and put an end to poverty, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. “We need a co-ordinated effort to make this a priority,” he said in opening the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 12th Africa regional meeting. “The most effective weapon in campaigning against poverty is through the creation of decent work.” The gathering, which ends on Friday, is taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, under the theme “Empowering Africa’s People with Decent Work”.

The Iranian Oil Industries’ Engineering and Construction (OIEC) Company has signed a $1.9 billion contract with a domestic consortium to develop the on-shore Azar oilfield.  According to the agreement, which was signed on Tuesday, the oil field will be developed in six years and it will produce 50,000 to 65,000 barrels of light crude per day for a period of 25 years. The contract was inked with the consortium after Russia’s Gazprom failed to implement the project.

Can you guess the year? Some notable quotes, announcements of government “fixes” and an SPX chart are provided for your assistance. Some “Infamous” Headlines “The surge came as governments and central banks around the world mounted an aggressive, coordinated campaign to unlock the global flow of credit, an effort that investors said they had been waiting for.” “He mentioned that the last time we had a “rally this big” was in March of 1933. Karen Finerman said the rally was “extraordinary to the upside,”


Quick market update. Trading once again dominated by news of how to save Europe, despite Merkozy’s great accomplishment over the weekend. Maybe the plan, still without details, isn’t offering anything but words. Yes, Dexia was nationalized over the weekend, but that shouldn’t be a surprise, Fanny and Freddie also got the supporting hand of the government. That was the last leg up in 08, before themarkets collapsed.


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monopoly's picture

Excellent summary. Like this format. All is well.