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| October 17, 2017

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Euro under the gun, shares hit after Italy votes ‘no’ on reform

December 5, 2016 |

Employee of a foreign exchange trading company works near monitors showing Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on TV news, and the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the euro in TokyoBy Nichola Saminather and Wayne Cole SINGAPORE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The euro was under the gun on Monday, skidding to a 20-month low after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign following a stinging defeat on constitutional reform that could destabilize the country's shaky banking system. Renzi's defeat deals a body blow to the European Union already reeling under anti-establishment anger that led to the shock exit of UK from the club in June this year. "But in the long run, this will delay progress in Italy's efforts to get rid of banks' bad debt and is likely to widen the yield spread of German Bunts and the Italian bonds," he added.



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Caution as Hong Kong-Shenzhen share trading link launches

December 5, 2016 |

Hong Kong authorities have lauded the "stock connect" as a boost to the city as a finance hub that will cement its role in helping internationalise the yuanA long-delayed trading link between the Chinese city of Shenzhen and Hong Kong launches Monday, opening another door to the mainland's cosseted stock markets but a China slowdown, weak yuan and expected US rate hikes have analysts sounding a note of caution. The tie-up, similar to one that kicked off between Hong Kong and Shanghai two years ago, is being touted as the latest effort by Beijing to prove to global investors that its capital markets are gradually opening. Hong Kong authorities have lauded the "stock connect" as a boost to the city as a finance hub that will cement its role in helping internationalise the yuan.



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Demonstrators march in Brazil to support corruption crackdown

December 4, 2016 |

A demonstrator yells slogans during a protest against corruption at the Copacabana beach in Rio de JaneiroBy Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Demonstrators marched in cities across Brazil on Sunday, protesting corruption and a recent vote in Congress that was perceived as an effort to intimidate judges and prosecutors currently leading graft probes. Dressed mostly in the national colors of yellow and green, thousands gathered in cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia to demand accountability at a time when Latin America's biggest country is reeling from corruption scandals, political gridlock and a prolonged economic recession. In São Paulo, the country's largest city, protesters marching along the business thoroughfare of Avenida Paulista unfurled a long banner reading "Corrupt Congress." At a seaside march in Rio, where two former governors were recently jailed on corruption charges, demonstrators waved banners with messages like "Thieves Out!" and "We are all Sergio Moro," the judge overseeing a historic investigation into kickbacks around the state-run oil company.



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Fidel Castro’s final resting spot revealed

December 4, 2016 |

Fidel Castro's final resting spot revealedAbout a year ago, trucks full of building materials began arriving at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in the eastern Cuban city of Santiago. On Saturday, a white cloth was draped over a new structure near …



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Iran’s Rouhani proposes budget rise as Trump election threatens growth

December 4, 2016 |

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani takes part in a news conference near the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New YorkBy Andrew Torchia DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani proposed on Sunday a state budget of about $ 100 billion for next year, loosening the purse strings to support economic growth as Donald Trump's election threatens to put renewed pressure on Tehran. The U.S. president-elect said during his campaign that he would scrap last year's nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, in what would be a big blow to the Iranian economy just as it emerges from years of sanctions. Rouhani announced a draft budget for the Iranian year that will start on March 21 of 3,200 trillion rials ($ 99.7 billion at the official exchange rate), excluding state enterprises.



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Mocked for his tweets, Trump fires back — on Twitter

December 4, 2016 |

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted criticism of a "Saturday Night Live" sketch with Trump played by Alec Baldwin (R), which made fun of Trump's penchant for tweetingPresident-elect Donald Trump has reacted to a comedy sketch that mocked his penchant for sending tweets — by sending a tweet. Trump again lambasted the show "Saturday Night Live," on which he is played by actor Alec Baldwin. "Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse.



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Trump shrugs off fuss over Taiwan call

December 4, 2016 |

In this Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 photo released by Taiwan Presidential Office Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump through a speaker phone in Taipei, Taiwan. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)BEIJING (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is unapologetic about roiling diplomatic waters with his decision to speak on the phone with Taiwan's leader, a breach of long-standing tradition that risks enmity from China.



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Small banks rally pauses but may not be over yet

December 4, 2016 |

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York CityThe rally in regional U.S. bank stocks that followed last month's election of Donald Trump may not be over, but investors may have to wait for policy to take shape for the massive move to extend further. The S&P 600 index of small-cap banks has surged more than 20 percent since Trump's surprise Nov. 8 victory, while their large-cap peers on the S&P 500 index have jumped over 17 percent. Smaller lenders could potentially add as much as 40 percent to their fourth-quarter 2017 earnings if Trump's promises of tax cuts and regulatory changes materialize, according to Sandler O' Neill analyst Brad Milsaps.



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Fed official stands by Wall Street reforms, says must complete work

December 3, 2016 |

New York Fed President William Dudley takes part in a panel convened to speak about the health of the U.S. economy in New YorkThe United States "absolutely must" complete unfinished work ending the too-big-to-fail bank problem that helped plunge the global economy into recession eight years ago, an influential Federal Reserve policymaker said on Saturday. Dudley's comments, to a Group of 30 meeting of top world regulators, came a day after another powerful regulator at the U.S. central bank, Daniel Tarullo, also warned against "backsliding" after years of implementing the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-reform law. Challenges especially remain in regulators safely and smoothly handling the hypothetical failure of a massive bank with operations in multiple jurisdictions, Dudley said.



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EU optimistic on Greek debt deal

December 3, 2016 |

Greece's debt will grow to 315 billion euros ($  334 billion) or around 180 percent of output this year, according to the Greek finance ministryEU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Tuesday he is optimistic about concluding an overall deal on Greece's latest bailout programme by the end of the year including discussions on debt relief. Moscovici spoke just days before a key meeting of eurozone finance ministers on December 5 to discuss Greece's massive 86-billion-euro bailout, its third since 2010. "This is doable, feasible," Moscovici told journalists at the end of a two-day visit to Athens.



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