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posted on 28 October 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Huge Antarctic Marine Park, Can Trump Get To 270?, US Workers Gaining, UK Inflation, France GDP, India Savings Lag And More

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Early Bird Headlines 28 October 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.



  • Asian markets mixed as oil prices inch up (CNBC) Asian markets were mixed by mid-morning Friday as investors parsed a deluge of economic data and corporate earnings. According to Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets:

"Elevated trading volumes across Asia Pacific region suggest the rotation out of bonds into stocks in ongoing."


  • World's largest marine park created in Ross Sea in Antarctica in landmark deal (The Guardian) A landmark international agreement to create the world’s largest marine park in the Southern Ocean has been brokered in Australia, after five years of compromises and failed negotiations. More than 1.5 million sq km (540,000 sq. miles) of the Ross Sea around Antarctica will be protected under the deal brokered between 24 countries and the European Union. It means 1.1m sq km of it - an area about the size of France and Spain combined - will be set aside as a no-take “general protection zone", where no fishing will be allowed. Significantly, the protections are set to expire in 35 years.


  • How does Trump get to 270? (The Hill) Donald Trump has a realistic, if difficult, path to 265 electoral votes. It’s getting to 270 that looks improbable. Trump is in a tight race with Hillary Clinton in Florida and Ohio, the two swing states that are perennial battlegrounds in the White House race. If he wins both, plus the rest of the states won by 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, he would have 253 electoral votes. That won’t be easy. The most difficult battles for Trump to reach even that threshold are in North Carolina and Florida. In both states, a majority of polls show Trump trailing. North Carolina, especially, is a difficult target for Trump this year, and one Clinton is focused on putting in her column. Still, neither candidate can count on a victory there yet. It Trump wins all of those states, plus Iowa and Nevada, both won by President Obama in 2012, he would reach 265 electoral votes. And Clinton would win with 273. Trump needs 270 to win (vs. 268 for Clinton) - and it is difficult right now to come up with a scenario that could get those 5 additional electoral votes.

  • Yes, US elections are rigged - but not in the way Donald Trump thinks (The Guardian)

If Donald Trump actually cared about “rigged" elections, he would stop complaining about the demonstrably false “voter fraud" myth he keeps peddling and instead focus on the real problem: gerrymandering - the changing of electoral boundaries for political gain. Of course he’ll never do that, since gerrymandering is a Republican party speciality and the only thing keeping the GOP from losing the House of Representatives this year.

  • Signs That American Workers Are Winning (Bloomberg) A bevy of labor market indicators are all saying the same thing: There aren’t a lot of Americans looking for work, so those with jobs are starting to reap the benefit in the form of higher wages. In a note to clients, Macquarie Capital Markets Ltd. Economist David Doyle highlights the growing pile of evidence that wage growth is “picking up steam." In September, the annual growth in average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers reached its highest level in more than six years.


  • Britons Start to Feel the Squeeze From Brexit-Fueled Inflation (Bloomberg) U.K. households are starting to feel the pain from Brexit-induced pressure on their finances. Multiple reports on Friday showed consumer confidence falling and a weakening of households’ spending power. All of that is likely a reaction to a jump in inflation, which some economists see reaching 3% next year as the pound’s post-referendum depreciation feeds through into prices.


  • Calais minors lured from camp then abandoned by authorities (The Guardian) The British and French governments were accused of breaching children’s human rights as up to 50 teenagers were abandoned by authorities in Calais and forced into an industrial estate near the cleared-out refugee camp to sleep in makeshift conditions. The teenagers were lured out of the site of the camp in the afternoon with the promise of transport to a reception center where they could be assessed for asylum or reunification with families in the UK. However, after an hour no bus had arrived. Police units emerged in force with riot shields, teargas and taser guns and began to kettle the group, pressing them into a side street in an industrial estate. Some of the refugees were in tears as it appeared that they would be sleeping on the streets again.

  • French GDP Advances in Stop-Start Expansion That Lags Peers (Bloomberg) French output grew less than expected the third quarter as part of a start-stop expansion that leaves Europe’s second-largest economy lagging its neighbors. Gross domestic product expanded 0.2% in the three months through September after shrinking 0.1% in the previous period, national statistics office Insee said Friday. That compares with a 0.3% increase predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey. With full-year growth set to come in at about 1.3%, according to a separate poll, France will be matching a 2015 performance that was the best in four years. Yet that less than half the pace of the expansion expected in Spain and below that of Germany and the U.K.

Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia says Yemen rebels fire missile toward Mecca (Associated Press) Shiite rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile toward the holy Muslim city of Mecca overnight, Saudi Arabia said Friday, the insurgents' deepest strike yet into the kingdom amid the country's stalemate civil war. Rebel media in Yemen said the missile targeted an international airport in Jiddah, though Saudi Arabia said it was "intercepted and destroyed" 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Mecca, which is home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that the world's Muslims pray toward five times a day. The missile launch shows the capability of Yemen's Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies to continue to strike Saudi Arabia. It also drew the immediate anger of Saudi citizens, as the protection of Mecca is a key pillar of the Saudi royal family's prestige and the country's national identity.


  • UN says school attack in Syria may be potential war crime (Associated Press) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thursday for an immediate investigation of an attack on a school in Syria's Idlib province that the U.N.'s children's agency is calling one of the deadliest of its kind in the country's six-year war. UNICEF raised its toll for Wednesday's attack to 28 dead, among them 22 children and six teachers. Ban said in a statement that the attack, carried out against rebel-held territory, may amount to a war crime if found to be deliberate.


  • Struggling Indian savers threaten Modi's growth ambition (Reuters) For India's dream of taking the baton of global growth from China, its savings rate is flashing a warning sign. Gross national savings as a percent of the South Asian nation's gross domestic product will slip this year to 30.2%, the lowest since 2003, and fall further over the next two years, the International Monetary Fund forecasts. Since companies use domestic savings to fund their capital spending, the fall would increase their vulnerability to external risks - such as uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election or the prospect of monetary tightening there - that could staunch the flow of cheap investment dollars to emerging markets such as India.


  • BOJ doesn’t need to sell government bonds yet, Kuroda says (Market Watch) Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Thursday that the central bank doesn’t have to cut back on its government bond holdings at the moment, denying speculation that the BOJ’s new policy framework may prompt monetary tightening. While Kuroda said he doesn’t plan to alternate the long-term rate target for now, he said it is possible that the BOJ, in the future, won’t have to increase the balance of its JGB holdings by 80 trillion Japanese yen ($760 billion) every year.


  • All hail the mighty uncle - Chinese welcome Xi as the "core" (Reuters) Following a four-day plenum, the party late on Thursday gave Xi the title "core", putting him on par with past strongmen like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, though it also signaled his power would not be absolute by underscoring the importance of collective leadership. While a cult of personality had begun to form around Xi, he has moved to stop practices including adoring songs on the internet and references to him in state media as "Uncle Xi", sources with ties to the leadership say.

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