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posted on 16 June 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar Up, Oil And Gold Down, CEOs Fail Trump, Court Orders New Enviro Review For DAL, EU Favorability Up, New Greek Deal, More Afghan Troops, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 16 June 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 mixed after Wall Street declines, Bank of Japan holds policy steady (CNBC) Indexes in Asia traded sideways on Friday following the declines in tech stocks on Wall Street and with the Bank of Japan due to release its latest policy views. The dollar traded higher at 97.501 against a basket of six major currencies at 9:35 a.m. HK/SIN after trading as high as 97.557 overnight. Brent crude traded 0.02% lower at $46.93 a barrel. U.S. crude was flat at $44.46. Spot gold had dropped 0.1% to $1,252.61 per ounce by 0406 GMT after touching its weakest since May 24 at $1,251.05 earlier in the session. The metal has fallen about 1% so far this week. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were nearly flat at $1,254.5 per ounce.

asia.pac.2017.jun.16

U.S.

  • Poll shows most doubt Trump’s respect for institutions (Associated Press) Most Americans say they think President Donald Trump has little to no respect for the country’s democratic traditions, according to a new poll that underscores the difficulty Trump faces in uniting a country deeply divided about his leadership. The new survey, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found more than 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, and nearly half strongly disapprove. The poll was conducted before a shooting spree at a Washington-era baseball field on Wednesday left a congressman wounded and renewed calls for more civil political discourse.

  • Mueller's Expanding Probe Raises Stakes for Trump Presidency (Bloomberg) Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s move to investigate whether Donald Trump sought to get the FBI to back off from a probe of his former national security adviser has angered the president and raised the stakes in the inquiry of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

  • Pence hires his own lawyer for Russia probes (Reuters) Vice President Mike Pence has hired Richard Cullen, chairman of law firm McGuireWoods, a lawyer known for defending government officials in high-profile investigations to help him through probes into whether there were ties between the election campaign of President Donald Trump and Russia.

  • CEOs to Trump: You're failing (CNN) A stunning 50% of the CEOs, business execs, government officials and academics surveyed at the annual Yale CEO Summit give Trump an "F" for his first 130 days in office. The survey, released earlier this week, found that another 21% give Trump's performance a "D" so far. Just 1% of the 125 leaders polled awarded the billionaire an "A."

  • Federal judge orders more environmental analysis of Dakota pipeline (Reuters) A federal judge ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider its environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Wednesday, opening up the possibility that the line could be shut at a later date. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington said the Army Corps did not adequately consider the effects of a possible oil spill on the fishing and hunting rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

  • Ignoring Western governors, Interior Department looks to undo local conservation plans (Think Progress) Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed a secretarial order on Thursday launching a review of dozens of Western state conservation plans. The plans played a critical role in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s determination that the now iconic greater sage grouse did not need the protection of the Endangered Species Act and instead included local coalitions in the creation of tailored conservation plans.

The secretarial order directs an interagency team to review the 98 existing land-use management plans created to preserve critical sage grouse habitat, with the intent of determining whether they should be altered or rolled back. The sage grouse is a native Western bird known for its elaborate mating ritual and, more recently, its threatened status: sage grouse population has fallen by at least 97 percent over the last several years.

Zinke said the review will be guided by Trump’s “energy independence" executive order issued in March, aimed at removing environmental regulations governing the oil and gas industry. The agency’s review of sage grouse plans will include determining if the plans place a “burden" on energy development, even though the plans already make over 80 percent of areas with high or medium oil potential available for development.

EU

  • Berlin hits back at US move to tighten sanctions on Russia (Financial Times) The new curbs approved by the Senate are seen as a threat to Europe's energy supplies.

  • Post-Brexit, Europeans More Favorable Toward EU (Pew Research Center) Recent years have seen turbulent shifts in public attitudes toward the European Union. Down just a year ago, before the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, public sentiment about the European project has rebounded. Even British voters, who narrowly elected to withdraw from the EU, have markedly improved their views of the Brussels-based institution.

UK

  • Bank of England came close to raising interest rates (Financial Times) The Bank of England came closer to raising interest rates on Thursday than at any time in the past six years, earning its rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee harsh criticism from economists. In an unexpectedly close vote, all of the MPC’s members agreed that the “inflation overshoot relative to the [bank’s 2 per cent] target could be more pronounced than previously thought". But a majority of five to three committee members voted nonetheless to keep rates at their historic low of 0.25%, on the grounds that the UK economy’s recent weakness would keep inflation under control.

Greece

  • Greece and creditors reach deal on next part of bailout (Financial Times) Greece and its international creditors have reached a deal on the next stages of Athens’ €86 billion ($94.6 billion) bailout, removing the risk that it could default on over €7 billion ($7.7 billion) in debt repayments that fall due next month. The deal ends months of uncertainty that have weighed on Greece’s recovery and spooked investors, allowing Greece to get money it badly needs while putting off difficult discussions on debt relief.

Afghanistan

  • APNewsBreak: About 4,000 more US troops to go to Afghanistan (Associated Press) The Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan, a Trump administration official said Thursday, hoping to break a stalemate in a war that has now passed to a third U.S. commander in chief. The deployment will be the largest of American manpower under Donald Trump’s young presidency. The decision by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as early as next week, the official said.

Japan

  • U.S. Pension Giant Eyes Japan Property in Economic 'Sweet Spot' (Bloomberg) U.S. pension giant TIAA is setting its sights on Japanese real estate, betting Abenomics has the economy well placed to grow in coming years. The near 100-year-old firm, known for offering retirement products to teachers, plans to invest about $1 billion in retail and logistic sites in Tokyo and Osaka, Shusaku Watanabe, director of capital transactions for Asia Pacific at its property unit TH Real Estate, said in an interview on Monday. TIAA, which oversees $938 billion, joins a growing list of international investors snapping up Japan properties on expectations Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reforms will boost economic growth

China

China has not significantly tightened the pressure on North Korea since Mr. Trump met with Mr. Xi in Palm Beach, Fla., in April. Its failure to do more has frustrated White House officials, who plan to raise the issue with their Chinese counterparts at a high-level meeting here on June 21.

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