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posted on 07 July 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks, Dollar, Oil And Gold All Down, No ACHA Vote Soon, Illinois Passes Budget, Trump Shrugs, Russia Hack US Nuclear Sites, UN No. Korea Sanctions Fail, BoJ Boosts Bond Buys, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 07 July 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 pressured after softer US close and rise in bond yields (CNBC) Stocks in Asia were softer in Friday trade after the weaker close stateside and as global bond yields rose. The dollar index firmed to trade at 95.924 at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN (lower than the 96 handle seen for most of the week). Brent crude futures fell 1.25% to trade at $47.51 a barrel and U.S. crude futures declined 1.27% to $44.94. Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,222.65 per ounce by 0104 GMT. It has dropped 1.5% this week and could be heading for its biggest weekly decline since early May. U.S. gold futures for August delivery declined 0.1% to $1,222.40 per ounce.

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In a speech to cheering crowds in Warsaw on Thursday, Trump described the West’s values in terms of religion and culture and called for the defense of its civilization against radical Islam. It amounted to a manifesto for his foreign-policy vision.

The address included repeated invocations of God, faith, tradition, national sovereignty and family. It made only passing reference to what are usually cited as core Western values: the rule of law, democracy and freedom of speech. Religious tolerance did not get a mention.

U.S.

  • Senate Republicans say they're weeks away from healthcare vote (The Hill) Republican senators are downplaying the chances of a quick vote next week on their ObamaCare replacement bill amid divisions in the party over what the legislation should look like.
  • EPA History: Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (epa.gov) The EPA has removed from its website all links to all documents related to the clean water act.
  • ‘We made it:’ Somali refugee arrives in US before new rules (Associated Press) Ali Said fled his war-torn Somalia two decades ago after his right leg was blown off by a grenade. Last year, the father of seven was shot in his other leg by robbers while living in a Kenyan refugee camp. As Said rolled his wheelchair up to a desk in a San Diego office hours after arriving in California from Kenya, he felt unbelievably lucky: He and his family are among the last refugees allowed into the United States before the Trump administration’s latest travel ban rules kick in.
  • Illinois House Overrides Rauner's Veto to End Budget Impasse (Bloomberg) Illinois ended a record-long impasse as lawmakers overrode Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto to increase taxes and enact a $36 billion budget, prodded by warnings from credit-rating companies that the state’s bonds could be cut to junk if it failed to act.

The resolution to the fiscal standoff, which emerged from the Democrat-led legislature over the last several days, triggered a rally in Illinois bond prices by signaling that elected leaders are beginning to tackle the government’s long-building financial strains. Without a full-year budget for the past two years, Illinois continued to run up deficits, leaving it with dwindling reserves, a record pile of unpaid bills and increasing obligations to its underfunded employee pension system.

Germany

President Donald Trump’s daughter, First Lady Melania Trump and other spouses of G-20 leaders aren’t just going sightseeing during the global summit in Hamburg, they’re also getting a tour of the German Climate Computing Center on Friday. German officials say the idea for the visit came from Merkel’s husband, Joachim Sauer, a professor of physical and theoretical chemistry.

Qatar

  • Qatar Rejection of Demands Shows Terror Support, Saudi Bloc Says (Bloomberg) The Qatari government’s refusal to accept the diplomatic demands of the four-nation Saudi bloc demonstrates that the emirate has links to terrorist groups, according to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency, citing a statement from the alliance.

In the statement, the four countries -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt -- expressed their "deep surprise" that Qatar rejected the 13 demands, saying that they were now "null and void." They pledged new political, economic and legal measures against the Gulf nation.

Russia

  • Trump on Russian meddling: ‘Nobody really knows for sure’ (Associated Press) Ahead of a crucial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump stopped short Thursday of condemning Moscow for meddling in the U.S. presidential election - and refused to say if he would raise the issue when the leaders go behind closed doors. Yet in a speech to a friendly crowd of thousands who chanted his name in downtown Warsaw, Trump sought to demonstrate that he wasn’t overlooking Russian behavior that has sparked global concern, especially from Poland and other eastern and central European nations.
  • Russians Are Said to Be Suspects in Nuclear Site Hackings (Bloomberg) Hackers working for a foreign government recently breached at least a dozen U.S. power plants, including the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas, according to current and former U.S. officials, sparking concerns the attackers were searching for vulnerabilities in the electrical grid. The rivals could be positioning themselves to eventually disrupt the nation’s power supply, warned the officials, who noted that a general alert was distributed to utilities a week ago. The chief suspect is Russia, according to three people familiar with the continuing effort to eject the hackers from the computer networks.

North Korea

  • U.S.-Led Bid to Condemn North Korea at UN Is Said to Break Down (Bloomberg) A U.S.-led effort to broker a United Nations Security Council statement condemning North Korea’s latest missile test has broken down, according to two officials, a setback for the Trump administration on one of its top foreign policy priorities. Among the five permanent members of the Security Council, the U.S., France and U.K. were unable to overcome Russian and Chinese objections to a draft statement critical of Pyongyang’s July 4 test of a missile that could strike parts of the U.S., according to the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations. See also next article.
  • Russia objects to UN condemnation of North Korea, says missile test was not an ICBM (Business insider) Russia objected on Thursday to a United Nations Security Council condemnation of North Korea's latest rocket launch because the US-drafted statement labeled it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and Moscow disagrees, diplomats said.

Japan

  • BOJ draws line in the sand, hitting currencies, oil and bonds (CNBC) The Bank of Japan stepped up plans for its bond-buying on Friday as Japanese government bond (JGB) yields crept higher, causing the yen and oil to drop. On Friday, the BOJ said it would buy an unlimited number of 10-year JGBs at a yield of 0.110%, and it increased the size of its regular buying of five- to 10-year JGBs by 50 billion yen ($439.96 million) to 500 billion yen, Reuters reported. The BOJ has set a target of keeping the 10-year JGB yield at zero, buying bonds through its quantitative easing program to enforce its policy.

China

  • Reasons You Shouldn’t Worry About Money Flowing Out of China (Bloomberg) Not all of the money exiting China is fleeing trouble. Much of it has been to buy know-how and other essential building blocks for the foundation of China’s evolving economy. And in a lot of ways those outflows can be an escape valve helping to deflate bubbles.

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