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posted on 30 May 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Markets Mixed, Oil Down, Dollar Up, Housing Echo Bubble, India Banks Troubled With Non-performing Loans, Abe Delays Tax Hike And More

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Early Bird Headlines 30 May 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 markets mixed, Shanghai up 0.2% (CNBC) Asian markets were mixed on Monday, as the dollar strengthened against most Asian currencies. Japan's benchmark's Nikkei 225 index closed up 1.39%, or 233,18 points at 17,068.02, as the yen weakened against the rising dollar and on media reports that a planned hike in the country's consumption would be delayed. Chinese markets pared back earlier losses, with the Shanghai composite traded up 0.2% and the Shenzhen composite mostly unchanged; while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.56%. Australia's ASX 200 closed effectively flat at 5,408 points, weighed by a 0.66% decline in its materials subindex.


  • Oil prices dip on strong dollar, rising Canadian output (Reuters) Oil prices dipped on Monday as a strong dollar weighed on markets and Canadian oil sands production was expected to increase this week. Crude markets, however, did receive some support from the start of the U.S. summer driving season coinciding with a fall in U.S. crude output to its lowest since September 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading at $49.21 per barrel at 0453 GMT (12:53 a.m. EDT), down 12 cents from their last settlement. International Brent futures were at $49.11 a barrel, down 21 cents.

  • Oil Pessimists Exit Market as Supplies Seen Closer to Balance (Bloomberg) The oil market doomsayers are beginning to capitulate. Speculators reduced bets on falling prices to the lowest level in 11 months as oil briefly breached $50 a barrel on signs supplies are coming into balance.


  • Global investment group buys 5% share in Carnegie Wave Energy (REnew Economy) Global infrastructure investment company UIL Limited has bought a 5% stake in ASX-listed wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy, after buying up the last of the shares formerly owned by UK company Renewable Energy Holdings. UIL has agreed to a 12 month voluntary trading escrow, preventing sale of their shares for 12 months.


  • Dollar Bull Bets Jump Most in Six Months on Fed Signals: Chart (Bloomberg) Hedge funds and other large speculators increased bullish bets on the dollar by 78,083 contracts in the week ending May 24, the biggest jump since November, to a net long position of 67,430, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has climbed 3.6% this month, set for the biggest gain since September 2014, as the odds that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June more than doubled to 30%.


  • Judge criticized by Trump unseals documents in Trump University case (Reuters) A judge, called a "hater" by Donald Trump for his handling of a lawsuit related to the businessman's Trump University real estate school, has unsealed documents related to the case. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is fighting a lawsuit that accuses his school venture of misleading thousands of people who paid up to $35,000 for seminars to learn about the billionaire's real estate investment strategies. In an order signed on Friday, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said that materials, including Trump University procedures on dealing with students and the media, should be unsealed.

  • Gauging the echo housing bubble (Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner) LA contributes to GEI. Lee says:

The echo bubble is now 5 years in, the time frame where bubbles usually end. Tick tock, said the bomb.


  • Awash in red ink (The Hindu) The tightening of accounting for non-performing debt by the RBA (Reserve Bank of India) is causing pain in the banking sector. This Op Ed discusses the details, starting with:

A year since the Reserve Bank of India ended regulatory forbearance - the norm that allowed banks to avoid treating restructured loans as sub-standard - the pile of stressed assets at lenders has grown manifold, lengthening the shadow over balance sheets. Forced by the central bank's time-bound Asset Quality Review to classify troubled loans correctly and make appropriate provisions for them, lender after lender has reported sizable losses or dramatic declines in profit in recent quarters. The biggest lender, the State Bank of India, last week posted a 66 per cent plunge in fourth-quarter earnings as provisioning for non-performing assets - banking parlance for loans where borrowers have defaulted on repayments - more than doubled

  • Now, Kasavanahalli lake froths (The Hindu) Water pollution continues to be a spreading and growing problem in India. This article describes new pollution problems in Bangalore.


  • Japan's Abe to delay sales tax hike until 2019: government source (Reuters) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to delay an increase in sales tax by two and a half years, a government official said on Sunday, as the economy sputters and Abe prepares for a national election. Abe told Finance Minister Taro Aso and the secretary general of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Sadakazu Tanigaki, on Saturday of his plan to propose delaying the tax hike for a second time, until October 2019. Econintersect: The delay should be indefinite and the last tax hike in 2014 should be rolled back. You can't expect to increase domestic spending if you increase taxes in a stable wage economy.


  • Inside the Rebellion at the Biggest Automotive Website in China (Bloomberg) Australian communications giant Telstra owns 55% of China's Autohome and wants to sell a 48% position in the online auto retailer. Autohome Inc. Chief Executive Officer James Qin and other minority shareholders are fighting to deal, charging Telstra with operating in "bad faith" and "breached rules".

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