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posted on 21 March 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Oil Up, Dollar, Gold Down, US Political Divide, Next Fin Crisis, Trumpcare Hurts Rural Areas, Healthy Italy, China Offshore Investing Collapses, RBA Warns On Housing And More

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Early Bird Headlines 21 March 2017

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 markets finish mixed, Kospi jumps 1% (CNBC) Asian equities finished mixed on Tuesday, after the Reserve Bank of Australia released its March meeting minutes and the dollar remained soft. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was weaker at 100.29. During Asian trade, Brent crude was up 0.48% to $51.87 a barrel, while U.S. crude added 0.29% to $48.36. Spot gold edged down 0.5% at $1,227.50 per ounce by 0315 GMT. On Monday, it touched its strongest since March 6 at $1,235.50. U.S. gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,228.



  • Tracking Trump (Bloomberg) Here is what happened in the 45th day of the Trump presidency. Click on image below to access articles.


  • Don't Blame Your Social Media Feed for the Growing Political Divide (Bloomberg) U.S. politics is growing ever-more divided, but don't blame Twitter, Facebook and Google for the partisan chasm. Older people are less likely to use social media, but they're posting major signs of increased polarization, based on new research. Econintersect: Blame it on the crotchety old people? They are just reacting to the sudden recognition of their past ignorance combined with denial of their current lack of understanding.

  1. Housing bubble

  2. Student debt

  3. European banks

  4. China

  5. Trump's promises and political divisions

Tillerson intends to miss what would have been his first meeting of the 28 NATO allies on April 5-6 in Brussels so that he can attend President Donald Trump's expected April 6-7 talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, four current and former U.S. officials said.

Skipping the NATO meeting and visiting Moscow could risk feeding a perception that Trump may be putting U.S. dealings with big powers first, while leaving waiting those smaller nations that depend on Washington for security, two former U.S. officials said.

  • Here are the biggest winners and losers from 'Trumpcare' (Business Insider) Unlike the ACA, the AHCA does not adjust its tax credits based on the cost of living for the location where the beneficiary lives. Thus, rural areas where healthcare providers are limited and usually more expensive would see a bigger slash to benefits.

Based on an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities of how states using the federal exchange could be affected by the new law, the biggest loser would be Alaska, with a tax-credit decline of $10,243 on average for individual insurance enrollees. Also, the individual enrollee's tax credit in North Carolina, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nebraska, and Wyoming would decrease by more than $4,000 on average.

Click for large image.




Click for larger image.


  • Japan's Top Oil Experts Seek Solutions to Chinese Fuel Flood Problem (Bloomberg) A Japanese government task force, summoned by the trade ministry, needs a strategy to save oil refiners battered by years of declining demand at home. The processors, including JX Holdings Inc. and Idemitsu Kosan Co., now face rising competition for sales in Asia, the world’s biggest oil market. The ministry fears that China’s move to adopt stricter fuel standards will spur regional rivals into producing higher quality products, forcing Japan out of the market.


  • Chinese firms slow their overseas buying spree (CNBC) China's massive foreign shopping spree is finally slowing down because of tighter regulations. So far this year, $25 billion in outbound deals from China has been announced, which is 70% less than the same period last year, according to Dealogic. And deal activity will be on the wane all year, experts said, because of increased regulatory scrutiny on foreign investment. The election of Donald Trump may also have played in the Chinese thinking.

  • Hong Kong Set to Pick Leader Anointed By Beijing (Bloomberg) The three candidates vying to be Hong Kong's next leader squared off in a feisty debate in front of hundreds of voters who peppered them with questions. They wrangled over policy proposals for the semiautonomous Chinese city and took jabs at each other at Sunday night's forum. In one particularly testy exchange, frontrunner Carrie Lam, a former chief secretary, sniped at rival John Tsang for keeping a clean desk during his time as the city's finance chief, implying that he hadn't kept himself busy enough. Although the mustachioed Tsang, nicknamed "Pringles" or "Uncle Chips" for his resemblance to the snack food mascot, enjoys broad support, Lam, the city's former No. 2 ranking official, is widely expected to win.


  • Government cracks down on secret company payments to unions (The Conversation) The government has announced legislation to ban secret payments between employers and unions, with companies facing criminal penalties of up to A$4.5 million for breaches when the payment could have a corrupting influence. While payments for “genuine" purposes will be permitted, they will have to be disclosed.

  • Higher child support doesn’t lead to welfare dependency for single mums (The Conversation) New research finds that receiving a higher child support payment leads to an increase in the employment rate of single mothers and an increase in the number of hours worked each week. Previous research finding contradicting results failed to separate the influence of separate-living fathers' incomes.

  • RBA Warns Over Aussie Housing Risks as Global Reflation Emerges (Bloomberg) Australia’s central bank highlighted threats in the property market and an acceleration of domestic household debt even as it lent credence to the global reflation story. The Reserve Bank of Australia said in minutes released Tuesday of this month’s meeting where it held interest rates at a record-low 1.5%:

“Data continued to suggest that there had been a build-up of risks associated with the housing market. Growth in household debt had been faster than that in household income."

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