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posted on 24 February 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Down, Vanishing Money Markets, JP Morgan Tough Qtr, Trump Rolls On, Pound And Euro At Risk, How Graft Saved India, Japan Fiscal Stimulus And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 24 February 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.



  • Asia stocks mostly lower as market sentiment falls (CNBC) The Shanghai composite bucked a generally downward trend in Asia on Wednesday as major indexes in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong all fell. Analysts pointed to a combination of factors that kept investors skittish, including low oil prices, wavering confidence in the ability of central banks to spur growth, weak data, and renewed concerns over China's renminbi.


  • Large space rock burns up over Atlantic (BBC News) The biggest fireball since the Chelyabinsk explosion has plunged through the atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean. The event, which has only just come to light, occurred off the coast of Brazil at 13:55 GMT on 6 February. As it burned up, the space rock released the equivalent of 13,000 tonnes of TNT. This makes it the most powerful event of its kind since an object exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013. That blast was much bigger, releasing the equivalent of 500,000 tonnes of TNT. More than 1,000 people were injured in that incident on 15 February three years ago, most from flying glass from shattered windows


Banks and other companies that have seen borrowing costs rise in the past year are about to feel more pressure in a $1 trillion market for short-term IOUs.

Investors are poised to pull as much as $400 billion from U.S. money-market funds that buy such debt, known as commercial paper, JPMorgan Chase & Co. predicts. The looming exodus, a consequence of steps to make money markets safer after the financial crisis, is set to accelerate before October. That's when Securities and Exchange Commission rules take effect mandating that so-called institutional prime funds, among the main buyers of commercial paper, report prices that fluctuate. Traditionally, those funds have stuck to $1 per share.

  • JPMorgan signals rough first quarter as trading flags, energy woes deepen (Reuters) Bad debt in the oil patch and the increased liklihood of an extended period of low interest rates is causing pain for JPMorgan. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) signalled a rough first quarter on Tuesday with double-digit declines in investment banking revenues and a $500 million increase in provisions for expected losses on energy loans. Plummeting oil prices, volatile markets, stubbornly low interest rates, pressure from regulators and a slowdown in China have combined to hurt banks worldwide over the past few months.

  • With Nevada In The Bag, Donald Trump Barrels Toward The GOP Nomination (The Huffington Post) Billionaire real estate investor and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump easily swept the Nevada Republican caucuses on Tuesday. The Nevada win showed that Trump can prevail in caucuses, where organization is key to turning out voters who are willing to spend hours engaged in the caucus process. Until now, Trump has only won in states that held primaries, but he lost to Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) in the caucus format in Iowa. Trump's victory raises serious questions about whether any of his Republican rivals can catch up to his lead in delegates, or match his momentum going into the Super Tuesday contest on March 1, when 13 states across the country will vote in nine primaries and four caucuses in 24 hours. See also next article.

  • What to Know About Super Tuesday, the Biggest Test of 2016 Yet (Bloomberg) More than a dozen states and territories will hold primaries and caucuses on March 1, following the Nevada Republican contest tonight and the South Carolina Democratic contest on Saturday. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are up for grabs and will be awarded proportionally, along with about a third for Democrats.


  • If Sterling Goes Down on `Brexit,' It's Taking the Euro With It (Bloomberg) Britain's referendum on its membership in the European Union isn't just a threat to the pound. It's raising currency-market risks across the continent. While the pound led declines among major currencies on Monday with its biggest slide since 2010, the euro had the second-largest drop, weighed down by signs of slowing growth. The cost of options protecting against losses on Europe's 19-nation currency also jumped. The U.K.'s potential exit may damage trade and encourage other members to renegotiate their relationship with the EU, signaling scope for further losses in the euro in the run-up to Britain's June 23 referendum.




  • India's fiscal metrics to remain weaker than peers: Moody's (The Hindu) Days ahead of the Union Budget, Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday said India's fiscal metrics will remain weaker than its peers in the near term even if Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was to stick to fiscal consolidation roadmap. Mr. Jaitley in his Budget for 2016-17 will on Monday reveal if the credit-positive five-year trend of narrowing budget deficits - from 6.5% of GDP in fiscal 2010 to 4.1% in 2014-15 - will continue. He will also say if the government was on track to reduce deficits to 3.9% and 3.5% of GDP this fiscal year and the next respectively. Moody's said the importance of the upcoming budget lies in its message on the government's fiscal consolidation plans.

  • How 'black money' saved the Indian economy (BBC News) Kaushik Basu, the chief economist of the World Bank and former chief economic adviser to the Indian government, says the nation's tradition of petty corruption helped India avoid the worst of the banking crisis that has crippled most other large economies in the last few years. It is an extraordinary claim for such an influential figure to make but, as he says in his new book, An Economist in the Real World, "economics is not a moral subject".


  • Japan finmin won't rule out chance of more fiscal stimulus (Reuter) Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso did not rule out the possibility of compiling a supplementary budget at the start of the year beginning in April, suggesting that additional fiscal stimulus could be forthcoming to support an ailing economy. His remark came as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said accelerating the pace of money printing alone won't boost expectations of future price rises, acknowledging the limits of what monetary policy can do to revive growth.


  • China gearing up for East Asia dominance: U.S. commander (Reuters) China is "changing the operational landscape" in the South China Sea by deploying missiles and radar as part of an effort to militarily dominate East Asia, a senior U.S. military official said on Tuesday. China is "clearly militarizing the South China (Sea)", said Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, adding: "You'd have to believe in a flat Earth to think otherwise."


  • Water emergency in Peruvian Amazon after 3,000-barrel oil spill contaminates 2 rivers (RT) Peru is in the midst of an emergency as two rivers in the Amazon basin are now contaminated with 3,000 barrels of crude oil after the country's main pipeline burst. There are plenty of villagers relying on this water who have effectively been cut off. The Health Ministry has declared a water emergency in five districts in the vicinity. According to state-owned regional Petroperu, there were two separate breaks in January and early February, which have halted transportation of 5-6,000 barrels of crude per day. According to Petroperu president German Velasquez, the first rupture appears to have been caused by a landslide. The cause of the other is still being worked out.

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