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posted on 29 May 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Fade, Oil Down, Dollar And Gold Steady, Trump Tweeting Again, US Laptop Ban, US Tick Surge, EU Sees US Ally Pulling Away, May Margin Getting Slim, India Cancels Coal Plans, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 29 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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Oil prices fell on Monday as a relentless rise in U.S. drilling undermined an OPEC-led push to tighten supply. Trading activity will be subdued on Monday due to public holidays in China, the United States and Britain. Brent crude futures were trading down $0.15, or 0.3%, at $52.00 per barrel at 0253 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $0.17 cents, or 0.3%, at $49.63 per barrel.



  • Court says essentially that Trump is not be believed. Will Supreme Court conclude the same? (The Washington Post) A substantial majority of the judges who sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond delivered a rather remarkable judgment last week: The president of the United States is not to be believed. The remarkable rhetoric in Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory’s majority opinion, concluded that Trump’s “true reason" for the travel ban was not protecting the nation’s security but making good on a campaign promise borne of anti-Muslim bias.

It appears we will find out - the president’s lawyers will likely ask the high court this week to overturn the 4th Circuit opinion. Perhaps the administration will find a more receptive audience at One First Street than it has to date for the argument that judicial attempts to peer into the chief executive’s motivations are inappropriate.

  • U.S. might ban laptops on all flights into and out of the country (Reuters) The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday. In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Kelly said the United States planned to "raise the bar" on airline security, including tightening screening of carry-on items.

  • CDC: More ticks, deadly new tick-borne disease coming this summer (UPI) Scientists have a double-shot of bad news about ticks: There's a new, and potentially fatal, tick-borne illness called Powassan, and this summer looks like it might be one of the worst on record for an increase in the tick population. Approximately 75 cases of Powassan disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. Most cases have occurred in the Northeast and Great Lakes region, according to the CDC. Powassan is a virus that can be transmitted through a tick bite. Although rare, Powassan has been spreading, and more cases are likely this year. According to Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of vector-borne diseases:

"Tick-borne diseases are on the rise, and prevention should be on everyone's mind, particularly during the spring and summer, and early fall when ticks are most active."


  • Merkel Signals New Era for Europe as Trump Smashes Consensus (Bloomberg) German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her strongest indication yet that Europe and the U.S. under President Donald Trump are drifting apart, saying reliable relationships forged since the end of World War II “are to some extent over".


  • UK PM May's lead narrows after Manchester attack placing landslide win in doubt (Reuters) British Prime Minister Theresa May's lead over the opposition Labour Party has narrowed sharply, according to opinion polls published since the Manchester attack, suggesting she might not win the landslide predicted just a month ago. Four polls published on Saturday showed that May's lead had contracted by a range of 2 to 6 percentage points, indicating the June 8 election could be much tighter than initially thought when she called the snap vote.


  • India Cancels Mega Plans To Build Coal Power Stations Due To Falling Solar Energy Prices (India Times) The huge plummet in prices of solar energy in India has helped leaders to walk away from its plans of building nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations. Analyst Tim Buckley said this shift will have “profound" ramifications for global energy markets. The Director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said:

"For the first time solar is cheaper than coal in India and the implications this has for transforming global energy markets is profound."


  • China's reforms not enough to arrest mounting debt: Moody's (Reuters) China's structural reforms will slow the pace of its debt build-up but will not be enough to arrest it, and another credit rating cut for the country is possible down the road unless it gets its ballooning credit in check, officials at Moody's said. The comments came two days after Moody's downgraded China's sovereign ratings by one notch to A1, saying it expects the financial strength of the world's second-largest economy to erode in coming years as growth slows and debt continues to mount.

  • Early China Data Shows Slowdown Biting Amid Credit Tightening (Bloomberg)

  • Four early indicators show cooling economic growth in May

  • Previous optimistic sentiment has faded: ZEW economist


  • The Guardian Essential Report (The Guardian) If an election were held today, the two-party preferred vote for the Coalition would be 46%, and Labor would be 54% (first graph below). But, in a seeming contradiction, polling indicates that 39% of respondents think Malcolm Turnbull would make the better prime minister and 31% think Bill Shorten would make the better prime minister (second graph below).


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