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posted on 08 May 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up - Nikkei At 17 Mo. High - Oil, Dollar, And Gold All Up - Trump Urged To Stick With Climate Accord - US Pot Stance Not Clear - Macron, French Bonds, And Euro Win Big - And More

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Early Bird Headlines 08 May 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.

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Global

  • Asian markets mostly higher following landslide Macron victory in France; Nikkei surges 2.2% (CNBC) Asian shares traded mostly higher on Monday following the landslide victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French polls on Sunday, with the Nikkei share average hitting its highest level since December 2015. The dollar traded at 98.756 against a basket of rival currencies, edging slightly higher compared to the 98.5 handle seen in the previous session. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,230.88 per ounce as of 0401 GMT, after touching 1,224.86 earlier in the session, its lowest since March 17. U.S. gold futures were also up 0.3% at $1,230.60 an ounce.

asia.pac.2017.may.08

  • Oil prices rise on expectation of output cut extension (Reuters) Oil prices rose on Monday as Saudi Arabia's energy minister said an OPEC-led production cut scheduled to end in June would likely be extended to cover all of 2017, although a relentless increase in U.S. drilling capped gains. Brent crude futures were at $49.82 per barrel at 0323 GMT on Monday, up $0.72, or 1.47%, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.85 per barrel, up $0.63 cents, or 1.36%.

U.S.

  • Big investors urge Trump to stick with Paris climate accord (Reuters) Investors with more than $15 trillion of assets under management urged governments led by the United States to implement the Paris climate accord to fight climate change despite U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to pull out. According to the letter signed by 214 institutional investors and published on Monday:

"As long-term institutional investors, we believe that the mitigation of climate change is essential for the safeguarding of our investments. We urge all nations to stand by their commitments to the Agreement,"

  • Trump to Nudge Courts Rightward With Slate of Appeals Nominees (Bloomberg) President Donald Trump will press forward Monday with his effort to shift the nation’s judiciary to the right by announcing five conservative nominees to federal appeals courts, according to a person familiar with the plans. The move follows the confirmation last month of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first pick to the high court. The appeals court selections were described by the person on condition of anonymity. Many of the appellate nominees to be announced Monday have deep ties to the conservative Federalist Society. Two had been on a Trump campaign list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees compiled with the help of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

  • Trump Offers Clue About His Position On Medical Marijuana (Western Journalism) There are mixed messages from the Trump administration about federal position on medical marijuana. In one of his first indications as president of his view about medical marijuana, President Donald Trump Friday signed an amendment to a federal spending bill that bans federal funds being used to arrest workers at medical marijuana dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal. Although as a candidate Trump had said he supported medical marijuana, since Trump’s inauguration, most talk about the drug has come from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions said in March:

“Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide."

The unmanned X-37B, which resembles a miniature space shuttle, touched down at 7:47 a.m. EDT (1147 GMT) on a runway formerly used for landings of the now-mothballed space shuttles, the Air Force said in an email.

The Boeing-built space plane blasted off in May 2015 from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas 5 rocket built by United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Boeing Co (BA.N).

The X-37B, one of two in the Air Force fleet, conducted unspecified experiments for more than 700 days while in orbit. It was the fourth and lengthiest mission so far for the secretive program, managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

EU

Click for larger image.

euro.2016.2017.may.08

France

  • French election results: who voted how (Financial Times) Emmanuel Macron, the independent pro-European centrist, emerged victorious from the presidential election against Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front. It was an election that split France - and the early maps of voting results give some ideas of the two candidates’ respective heartlands. Overall, though, Macron won by nearly 2:1. Below are two of the several great graphics at FT.

Click for large image.

french.bond.risk.premium

India

  • Indian Bad Debt's Long Day in Court (Bloomberg) India's bad-loan crisis, afflicting almost 20% of banks' assets, has moved tantalizingly close to a resolution. Giving the central bank the power to force lenders to shed soured debt is a welcome policy move. But a nine-month target to clear 60 large corporate delinquencies may be wishful thinking. The reason is an untested bankruptcy court. That's a risk investors aren't paying enough attention to, in their rush to buy Indian bank stocks. Note that the bankruptcy code is just a year old, and the tribunal that will decide insolvency cases isn't ready to handle the 57 or so major stressed debtors that, by the government's own calculations, would require haircuts of 75% or more to become healthy again. The Reserve Bank of India can, under powers given to it by a new law,

"issue directions to any banking company to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of a default, under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016."

india.distressed.debt

Japan

  • Japan Needs More People (Bloomberg) See also next article. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been trying hard to combat his nation’s alarming demographic decline: promoting robots and other productivity-enhancing technology, bringing more women into the workforce, even opening the door a bit wider to foreigners. It’s plain, however, that he needs to try harder still, especially when it comes to immigration.

Japanese companies already report they can’t find people to hire, and the future isn’t likely to get better -- government researchers expect the country’s population to fall by nearly a third by 2065, at which point nearly 40 percent will be senior citizens. There’ll be 1.3 workers for every person over the age of 65, compared to 2.3 in 2015.

With a plummeting birth rate and a rapidly aging population, Japan is facing an unprecedented population collapse with vast economic, social and political implications. This sixteen and a half minute video examines the dangers facing the nation and the apparent lack of action to address the problems that exist now and appear to be growing unchecked. Japan's population peaked in 2007 at 127.771 million and has declined every year since. The projected population for 2100 is about 47 million, declining at a rate of about 2% per year. If that were to continue to 2200 the entire population of Japan would be a little more than 6 million, and by 2300, a little more than 800,000.

China

The world's second largest economy was expected to post a 10.4 percent rise in exports and a 18 percent jump in imports, according to forecasts by Reuters.

The country's trade surplus in April was $38.05 billion, higher than the projected $35.5 billion by Reuters and better than the $23.93 billion that it reported in March.

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