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posted on 06 September 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Investment Banks' Trouble, EU Economy Losing Mo, Saudi-Russia Pact, Duterte's Foul Mouth, China Service Sector Firms, Mexico Could Cancel US Treaties And More

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Early Bird Headlines 06 September 2016

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.




  • Falling revenues put pressure on investment banks (Financial Times) The world's biggest investment banks saw combined revenues sink by 15 per cent in the first half of this year, the most since the aftermath of the financial crisis, underlining the urgency of taking radical measures to boost returns to shareholders. The second quarter saw more activity than the first, where there were simultaneous falls across stocks, bonds and commodities and a dearth of companies doing deals. But the rebound was not strong enough to avert a slump in total revenues from investment banking for the top 12 banks, according to figures from Coalition, a London-based group that combines public information with independent research and validation by a network of market participants.

  • Renewable energy continuing to increase market share (Oil Pro) World production of renewable energy grew 2.6% between 2013 and 2014, reaching 1,894 Mtoe by the end of the year. This represents around 1/7th (13.8%) of the total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) of 13,700 Mtoe (Figure 1).


"If that were me, I'd say, 'You know what folks, I respect you a lot, let's close the doors, let's get out of here."

  • Trump raises possibility of eventual legal status for illegal immigrants (Reuters) In a new twist to his immigration proposals, U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump held out the possibility of legal status for millions of illegal immigrants, but only after many other border enforcement steps are taken. Trump, in remarks to a small group of reporters whom he invited on his plane for the first time since accepting his party's nomination, said parts of his hardline immigration speech last week in Phoenix had been misinterpreted and that he had in fact softened his position to some extent.

  • Clinton amid coughing fit: 'I'm allergic to Trump' (The Hill) Hillary Clinton took a jab at Donald Trump amid a coughing fit that erupted right after she took the stage for a campaign rally in Cleveland on Monday. She said as she continued to cough while trying to thank the event organizers:

"Every time I think about Trump I get allergic."


  • The European economy is going backwards (Business Insider) The eurozone's economy is still struggling to grow at any meaningful pace, and is "losing rather than gaining momentum," according to the latest PMI data released by Markit on Monday morning. Markit's final composite PMI figure for the eurozone - a measure of growth in the continent-wide economy - confirmed a reading of 52.9. That missed an earlier flash reading, released in late August, which showed a score of 53.3. As well as missing the flash estimate, it is marginally lower than July's final 53.2 reading.


  • Britain cannot easily dismiss Japanese Brexit warning letter (The Guardian) The Japanese government's letter setting out its Brexit demands is deeply troubling to the UK since it is clear Japanese companies want Theresa May to negotiate a deal that leaves Britain not just in the EU customs union, and single market, but also retains a free flow of workers between the EU and the UK. The British government could not possibly accede to these demands if May's mantra that Brexit means Brexit is to mean anything. Yet the Japanese requests - set out in a 15-page memo - are likely to become the benchmark by which many countries with strong economic ties to the UK will judge the outcome of the talks. Econintersect: The rest of the world will be looking out for advantages with the 700 million EU and will spend little time on 65 million UK.

Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia, Russia sign oil pact, may limit output in future (Reuters) Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on Monday to cooperate in world oil markets, saying they will not act immediately but could limit output in the future, sending prices higher on hopes the two top oil producers would work together to tackle a global glut. The joint statement was signed by the country's energy ministers in China on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit and followed a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the two countries were moving toward a strategic energy partnership and that a high level of trust would allow them to address global challenges. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the agreement would also encourage other producers to cooperate.


  • Missed the Interview With Putin? Here Are the Key Takeaways (Bloomberg) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday sat down for a rare interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait. The almost two-hour conversation in the Russian Pacific port city of Vladivostok delved into subjects ranging from the U.S. presidential election to the Syrian civil war, oil prices and state asset sales. This post includes links to the full transcript in Russian and English and numerous video clips.


  • As Rajan departs, RBI opens door to Islamic finance (Reuters) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed working with the government to introduce interest-free banking to tackle financial exclusion for religious reasons, potentially opening Islamic finance to the largest Muslim minority population in the world (180 million).


  • Barack Obama cancels meeting after Philippines president calls him 'son of a whore' (The Guardian) Barack Obama has cancelled a meeting with the president of the Philippines after Rodrigo Duterte appeared to call him a "son of a whore". The move followed a warning from Duterte to the US president to keep off the subject of extrajudicial killings in his country's brutal drug war when they were due to meet on Tuesday at a regional summit in Laos. Duterte told a press conference that Obama "must be respectful". The firebrand president was answering a reporter's question about how he intended to explain the extrajudicial killings to Obama, before boarding a plane to Laos for the Association of South-east Asian Nations summit. Duterte was quoted by as saying by Agence-France Presse:

"You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum. We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me."


  • China's service sector expands faster: index (Xinhuanet) Business activity in China's service sector accelerated slightly in August, a private survey showed Monday. The Caixin China General Services PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) came in at 52.1 in August, up from 51.7 in July, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media Co. Ltd. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 represents contraction. The surveyed companies partly linked higher business activity to new projects. The sector's staff numbers stabilized in August after a marginal reduction in July, as some service providers hired additional employees to help with new projects, the survey showed.

  • Beijing warns Hong Kong radicals over calls for independence (Reuters) Several pro-independence candidates won seats in Hong Kong's first major election since pro-democracy protests in 2014, prompting a robust warning from China that any independence would damage the city's security and prosperity. In comments carried by the official Xinhua news agency, China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said it "resolutely opposed" any form of independence for Hong Kong, noting this would violate China's constitution. The election of a new generation of pro-democracy activists in a record turnout in Chinese-controlled Hong Kong on Sunday underscores a deep divide in a city of more than 7 million people where tensions with Beijing are intensifying.

  • World's longest glass bridge closes for maintenance two weeks after opening (The Guardian) The world's highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge opened to great fanfare on 22 August. The 1,400 foot long span over a canyon nearly 1,000 feet deep was built to accommodate up to 8,000 visitors a day. As many as 80,000 a day have been showing up. The bridge has been closed for an "an internal system upgrade" and "software and hardware" is being updated for managing throngs of visitors.


  • Clinton rejects Mexico invitation after Trump's diplomatic ruckus (Reuters) U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Monday she will not accept an invitation from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for a visit after rival Donald Trump created what she called a "diplomatic incident" in his foray there. In a written excerpt from an interview with ABC News that will air Tuesday morning, Clinton simply said "no" when asked if she would travel to Mexico before the election on Nov. 8, without elaborating further.

  • Mexico considers Bill to revoke treaties if Trump wins election (Irish Times) So you want to play hardball, Mr Trump? Mexico is to consider revoking a series of treaties - including the 1848 agreement that transferred half its territory to the United States - if the Republican candidate wins the presidency and rips up the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a Bill to be presented to Congress. The initiative, to be proposed on Tuesday by Armando R'os Piter, a left-wing senator, follows last week's much-criticized meeting between Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto and US presidential contender Donald Trump, which inflamed public opinion and sparked a cabinet rift. Mr Peña Nieto has faced a fierce backlash at home over what many saw as his red carpet treatment of Mr Trump, who has branded Mexicans rapists and wants to build a border wall that he insists Mexico will pay for.

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