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.
Asia surges with Japan, China stocks in lead; risk appetite lifts dollar (Reuters) Asian shares surged on Wednesday following gains on Wall Street, with Japanese and Chinese stocks leading the way, while investors' stronger appetite for riskier assets pushed up U.S. debt yields. Spreadbetters saw Asia's upward momentum spilling over into Europe, forecasting a higher open for Britain's FTSE .FTSE, Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 1.7%. Shanghai stocks .SSEC advanced 2.6 percent and Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 surged 2.4%.
Biggest U.S. Iron Ore Producer Says Rio, BHP in 'Imaginary World' (Bloomberg) The biggest iron ore producer in the U.S. says its larger rivals in Australia are hurting themselves as well as their competitors as they ramp-up production in an oversupplied market. With iron ore slumping to less than $50 a metric ton, revenues at the biggest miners are shrinking faster than costs, according to the head of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., who said the majors' expectations that rivals will quit the market aren't being fully realized.
Obama will decide on Keystone pipeline during his term (BBC News) The White House has said it intends to rule on the fate of the Keystone XL oil pipeline before the end of President Barack Obama's term. The company behind the pipeline, TransCanada, had wanted to delay the approval process until after his term.
A Few California Farmers Have Lots of Water. Can They Keep It? (Bloomberg) The farmers of the Imperial Valley have a wealth of water. A handful of landowners - about 500 farms in all - control the rights to 3.1 million acre-feet a year from the Colorado River. That's equal to about a third of the water used by California's cities, with 37 million people, where a four-year drought means neighbors report you if your lawn is green. Or, to measure another way, it's half again as much water as Governor Jerry Brown aims to save under his April executive order, which set a February 2016 deadline for a 25 percent reduction in urban use.
Britain's Demands Are Good for Europe (Bloomberg Editorial) The editors at Bloomberg feel that the two-tiered EU (one within the euro zone and the other not) should be strengthened and formalized as the UK is asking.
Emerging market slowdown wipes £79bn off the value of Britain's biggest firms (City A.M.) One day after Standard Chartered's "disappointing" third-quarter results sent the Asia-focused bank's share price down nearly 10% during trading, City A.M. analysis reveals that the slowdown in China and other emerging markets has wiped off around £79 billion ($120 billion) from some of Britain's biggest businesses. Eight blue-chip companies have seen their combined market cap plummet by £78.7 billion since mid-June, when Chinese stocks reached record highs before nosediving to unanticipated lows that ultimately sent shockwaves throughout the global equity markets.
Saudi Wells Running Dry -- of Water -- Spell End of Desert Wheat (Bloomberg) Despite torrid weather and virtually no rain, the world's largest oil producer once grew so much of the grain that its exports could feed Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. The circular wheat farms, half a mile across with a central sprinkler system, spread across the desert in the 1980s and 1990s, visible in spring to anyone overflying the Arabian peninsula as green spots amid a dun sea of sand. That will stop - the aquifers are running dry. Saudi Arabia will import all the wheat needed for 2016 consumption.
Russia and US planes 'test safety protocols' in Syria (BBC News) One Russian and one American plane have carried out a "planned communications test" in the skies over Syria, US officials say. The Pentagon said the test lasted around three minutes and was designed to "validate the safety protocols" agreed last month. Last month both countries' planes entered the same "battle space" and came within miles of each other. After this a deal was signed to avoid clashes between the two air forces.
Taiwan and China to hold historic summit in Singapore (BBC News) Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Singapore on Saturday - the first ever meeting between leaders of the two sides. Both said the talks would focus on relations across the Taiwan Straits. China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when the Nationalist government fled to the island after defeat by the Communists.
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