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posted on 16 October 2015

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mostly Higher, Possible La Nina, Early Winter This Weekend, London Property Rockets Higher, Syria Mafia Deals, China Now Billionaire King And More

Written by John Lounsbury

Early Bird Headlines 16 October 2015

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.



  • Asian shares rise to two-month highs, dollar gains on US data (Reuters) Asian shares held near a two-month high on Friday, catching some of Wall Street's shine after upbeat U.S. price and jobless claims data eased some concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS held steady after paring earlier gains, on track to show a rise of 1.8% for the week. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index was up 1%, but still poised for a 0.9% decline for the week. See next article.

  • Major World Indices ( There is more green than red this morning in Asia. Data shown as of 2:55 am New York time 16 October. The green for Europe and the Americas are closing numbers from yesterday. For latest data click on chart.

  • Possible La Nina ( For the first time a project has been made (from Japan's climate service) concerning the development of a La Nina in the second half of 2016. In a La Nina event areas that are wetter than average in an El Nino become drier and vice a versa. The U.S. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has not yet issued projections that far out. All this will be discussed by GEI Climate and Weather Economist Sig Silber in his weekly reports posted every Tuesday morning.



  • Sanders Catching Up to Clinton With Torrent of Small Donations (Bloomberg) Hillary may have won the debate but Bernie is not going away. The Vermont senator is gaining on Clinton in the polls while raking in small-dollar donations and holding down spending.

  • Weekend Snow to Whiten Portions of Midwest, Northeast as Cold Pours In (Accuweather, MSN Weather) Progressively colder air will lead to the first snowflakes and snowfall of the season, as well as the first freeze in parts of the Great Lakes, Northeast and neighboring Canada this weekend. Following warm weather during the past six weeks, some people spending time outdoors will be shivering this weekend. The accompanying frost and freeze can damage plants that are still thriving due to the recent warmth. Frost and freezing temperatures may be felt as far south as North Carolina and Tennessee.



  • London property prices: London rents rocketing as estate agent warns the only way is up (City A.M.) London rents reached a record high in September after rising 11.6% over the last year, according to new figures released this morning, with agents warning that the only foreseeable trend is an upward one. Rental price growth in the capital was far higher in September than the UK average of 6.3%, the research from estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains shows. The average London rent now stands at £1,301 ($2,117). But this is not the worst story for renters - see next article.

  • Rents rising faster outside London than in the capital - Rightmove (City A.M.) Rents are rising faster outside of London than in the capital, according to a new report out today. Rightmove, the property website, said that rents have risen 1.3% in the rest of the country, compared to 0.2% in London, in the last three months. Rightmove also said that the so-called affordability ceiling in London "looks to have been reached", given rents jumped by 1.6% in the capital over the same period last year. Yet London remains unaffordable for many prospective renters - something that Rightmove pointed to when reporting a strong increase in demand for tenancies in Essex and other areas east of the capital. See next article for news about the economic impact.

  • London house prices are costing the capital's economy £1bn each year - CEBR (City A.M.) Soaring house prices and rocketing rents are costing London's economy over £1 billion each year, according to a new report out today. The study - published by a new campaign to increase London's housing supply called "Fifty Thousand Homes" - says employers across multiple sectors are facing more competition and staff retention problems as a result of the capital's housing crisis. Citing new research conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), Fifty Thousand Homes says that businesses are facing a £5.4 billion wage premium this year, equivalent to £1,720 per person, in order to compensate for employees' housing costs. The CEBR also projected that nearly 11,000 additional jobs could have been created in the capital in 2015 if the cost of housing was lower. The researchers also said that "unnecessarily high" housing costs are removing £2.7 billion a year in consumer spending from the capital's economy, while driving millions of workers outside of London because they cannot afford to live in the capital.


  • Iran and Russia Ready to Pound Aleppo (The Daily Beast) Russian, Syrian, and Iranian forces are getting ready for an assault on a rebel stronghold. It's a sign of an increasingly coordinated military campaign by America's military foes. At least 1,000 troops from Iran and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah were massing north of the key Syrian city of Aleppo in preparation for an attack on the rebels there, a U.S. senior defense official told The Daily Beast. The coming offensive - what the U.S. military called a "major push" - would be the largest Iranian intervention in Syria since the war began and the strongest sign yet of an increasingly coordinated military campaign by three of the United States' military foes - Syria, Russia, and Iran.

  • Isis Inc: Syria's 'mafia-style' gas deals with jihadis (Financial Times) Isis and the Assad regime remain battleground enemies, but on Syria's gasfields the need for electricity has forced them into a Faustian bargain. Gas supplies 90% of Syria's power grid, on which both Isis and the Assad regime depend. Isis controls at least eight power plants in Syria, including three hydroelectric facilities and the country's largest gas plant. The regime has companies that know how to run them. So the Assad government buys gas and electricity from ISIS and also divide the output from the largest gas plant.


  • China hits back at US in row over South China Sea (BBC News) On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter expressed "strong concerns" over island-building, and defended Washington's plans. "Make no mistake, the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do around the world, and the South China Sea will not be an exception," he said at a news conference with the Australian foreign and defence ministers. That sparked strong words from China, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying warning: "We will never allow any country to violate China's territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight." The Spratley Islands are hundreds of miles outside of China's 200-mile limit which is recognized internationally for territorial waters and are within the limits for Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.


  • US dethroned as world's billionaire capital (CNBC) The U.S. has lost its crown as the country with the most billionaires. According to a report released Thursday, China minted 242 billionaires over the past year, leading to a nearly 70% jump in its billionaire population. The country's 596 billionaires surpassed the number of billionaires in the United States, at 537, according to the Hurun Rich List. But the total number of dollar billionaires in the world declined from last year due to the increase in the value of the dollar.

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