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Asia extends gains; Nikkei reverses losses as yen weakens (CNBC) Japanese markets traded higher on Tuesday as most of Asia extended Monday's global rally on easing Brexit concerns and gains in oil prices. The benchmark Nikkei 225 traded up 0.51% by mid-morning Asia time, retracing its early losses of more than 1 percent on the back of fresh strength in the yen. Elsewhere stocks were generally higher, except for Shanghai.
A divided Senate answers Orlando with gridlock on gun curbs (Reuters) A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway - even over restricting firearms for terrorists. In largely party-line votes, senators rejected one proposal from each side to keep extremists from acquiring guns and a second shoring up the government's system of required background checks for many firearms purchases.
'Brexit' likely to fail but EU will change (USA Today) Even if the Leave vote falls short, the Brexit debate and the fact that a substantial minority of British voters think the country would be better off on its own has already changed the dynamic in the EU. Britain, and perhaps a fair number of other European countries, no longer accept - if they ever did - the goals of full-fledged political and economic integration in a European superstate that is implied in the EU treaties. At the very least, there is likely to be an evolution toward a two-speed Europe, with those countries that choose to remain in the euro proceeding toward greater integration, and other countries receding back to a looser affiliation with a common market.
Did negative rates in Europe trigger massive cash hoarding? (Brookings) For a long time, economists believed that negative interest rates - charging savers to keep money in the bank instead of paying them interest - were close to impossible. If confronted with negative rates, people and institutions would hoard currency, economists reasoned. After all, earning zero interest on $500 in currency is better than paying a fee to keep $500 in the bank. Recently, however, central banks in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the euro zone and Japan cut their rates below zero, testing those long-standing beliefs. As seen in the graph below, there has been negligible effect on cash as a result of negative rates. Brookings offers some possible reasons:
The most obvious reason that households haven't begun to hoard cash is that, in most countries, negative rates haven't affected most ordinary customers - just the banks themselves. That's in part because of the way central banks have structured negative rates and in part because of business decisions that banks have made to shield their retail customers. Another reason is that rates are only slightly negative - the most negative rate is the Swiss National Bank's minus 0.75 percent on bank reserves. That may not be enough to justify the costs involved in storing large amounts of cash - buying safes, arranging insurance and so on.
Hoping Jobs for India Follow, Modi Clears Investors' Path (The New York Times, CNBC) The Indian government announced sweeping changes on Monday to throw open its economy to foreign investment, providing a new path for global titans like Apple and Ikea to capitalize on the country's growth, the fastest among the major emerging markets.
Australian Paralympian robbed at gunpoint in Rio (BBC News) An Australian athlete who has competed in six Paralympic Games has been robbed at gunpoint in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. Liesl Tesch said a man brandishing a gun pushed her off her bicycle and stole it on Sunday. Australian Paralympic team physiotherapist Sarah Ross also lost her bicycle in the attack. The Australian Olympic Committee has said Rio must improve security in the city in the aftermath of the robbery.
Venezuela starts validating recall referendum signatures (BBC News) Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles has said that more than 70,000 people who endorsed a petition for a referendum to oust President Nicolas Maduro had their signatures validated on Monday. Just under 200,000 valid signatures are needed for the process to go ahead. Mr Maduro was elected in April 2013 and his term runs until 2019. The opposition blames his socialist policies for rampant inflation and the shortage of food and basic goods. Mr Capriles said the massive presence of voters on the first day of the validation process was a clear sign that Venezuelans wanted a change of government.
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