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posted on 24 August 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar Up, Oil And Gold Down, Pound Slumps, McConnell's Low Polls, Trump Complicates Debt Ceiling, Icahn Out Of DC, Harvey Looms, India Bond Demand, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 24 August 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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Special notice: Due to staff travel there will be no Early Bird Friday 25 August through Monday 28 August.


Global

  • Most Asia markets climb following Wall Street dip on Trump government shutdown threat (CNBC) Most major indexes in Asia closed higher on Thursday despite Wall Street closing lower after a threat from President Donald Trump about a possible government shutdown. The dollar index firmed to stand at 93.336 compared to an overnight low of 93.126. Brent crude futures slid 0.11% to trade at $52.51 a barrel while U.S. crude futures shed 0.23% to trade at $48.30. Spot gold edged down to trade at $1,285.81 an ounce after fetching as high as $1,291.17 overnight as risk aversion faded

asia.pac.2017.aug.24

Stone earned $26 million (around £20 million) in the year up to June 2017, due in part to the success of the hit musical La La Land.

But she would only rank 15th in an overall table of Hollywood’s - and Bollywood's - biggest earners.

actors.pay.2017

U.S.

If McConnell were up for reelection today, 37 percent of respondents said they would vote for the Kentucky Republican. Another 44 percent would instead choose a Democratic opponent, according to the survey.

An additional 19 percent said they were unsure.

McConnell's seat will be on the ballot next in 2020.

  • Christopher Cantwell, White Nationalist in Vice Video, Braces for Charges (The New York Times) Officials at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office of Albemarle County in Charlottesville said on Monday morning that four warrants had been issued for Mr. Cantwell’s arrest. The office referred questions about the nature of the charges to the University of Virginia Police Department. A spokesman at the department did not respond to requests for comment on Friday, Saturday and Monday. The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that the warrants were related to the “illegal use of gases, and injury by caustic agent or explosive." Mr. Cantwell syas he believes the charges might be with regard to a photo that shows "I’m pepper-spraying a guy straight in his face as he’s coming toward me". Otherwise, Cantwell is pleased with how things are going:

By at least one measure, Christopher Cantwell, a self-described white nationalist, said he believed his decision to be interviewed in a Vice News report had “worked out magnificently."

The documentary has been viewed more than 44 million times since it aired on Aug. 14.

In it, Mr. Cantwell is shown calling for an “ethno-state" and saying that the death of a 32-year-old woman who was killed protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12 was justified, adding, “I think that a lot more people are going to die before we’re done here."

  • Trump Shutdown Threat Complicates Congress's Debt Ceiling Plans (Bloomberg) President Donald Trump’s threats to shut down the government in October over border wall funding triggered concerns on Capitol Hill and could complicate Congress’s job of raising the debt ceiling. Congress needs to pass a spending measure to keep the government open by Sept. 30 -- the same time it’s facing a deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit. GOP leaders don’t have a plan yet for how they’ll proceed but one likely scenario is to package the two measures together to get them to the president’s desk. The president hinted at veto of any spending bill that does not fund the wall.
  • Exclusive: Top Trump aide's email draws new scrutiny in Russia inquiry (CNN) Congressional investigators have unearthed an email from a top Trump aide that referenced a previously unreported effort to arrange a meeting last year between Trump campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

    The aide, Rick Dearborn, who is now President Donald Trump's deputy chief of staff, sent a brief email to campaign officials last year relaying information about an individual who was seeking to connect top Trump officials with Putin, the sources said.

    ....

    Sources said the email occurred in June 2016 around the time of the recently revealed Trump Tower meeting where Russians with Kremlin ties met with the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

    While many details around the Dearborn email are unclear, its existence suggests the Russians may have been looking for another entry point into the Trump campaign to see if there were any willing partners as part of their effort to discredit -- and ultimately defeat -- Hillary Clinton.

  • It’s up to Congress to fix Trump’s science mess (The Hill) See also State Dept. science envoy resigns with letter that spells out 'Impeach'. This Op Ed says that "the disdain he has shown for science through budgeting and appointments, has made his presidency irretrievable for us".

Two words are sufficient to describe his science spending plan: slash and burn.

His proposal would eviscerate the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s science and energy programs. White House chaos has only underscored his poorly conceived and unpredictable policy agenda.

  • U.S. active-duty military presence overseas is at its smallest in decades (Pew Research Center) The number of active-duty U.S. military troops stationed overseas has dipped below 200,000 for the first time in at least 60 years. The decline, reflecting a broader one in active-duty U.S. forces, has occurred in multiple countries - including South Korea, which has become a focus of attention amid escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. There were around 1.3 million total active-duty U.S. military personnel in 2016. Of these, 193,442 - or 15% - were deployed overseas.

harvey.weather.channel.2017.aug.23

UK

  • Pound hits lowest level since 2009 against the euro (Skye News) Sterling has headed close to €1.08, leaving Britons enjoying holidays at French campsites and Spanish beaches facing higher costs. It has not been as low since October 2009 when it came close to parity with the euro. The pound was also down against the US dollar, trading at below $1.28 for the first time since the end of June.
  • One Year Chart for the Pound (Investing.com) Looks like key support is between $1.26 and $1.27. If $1.26 were to break, next support is $1.22 - $1.24.

pound.chart.1.year.2017.aug.23

India

  • Overseas investors, chasing yield, have basically exhausted the quota allocated to foreign ownership of Indian corporate bonds
  • Instead of slowing down, overseas buying of Indian corporate bonds jumped after the government attempted to tame demand
  • Massive foreign investment inflows may complicate India's monetary policy, analysts say

india.bonds.foreign.ownership

China

  • China state media says US will 'pay' for 'unjust' sanctions (CNBC) China has come out strongly against new U.S. moves to pressure North Korea with its foreign ministry opposing the "long-arm jurisdiction" of President Donald Trump's administration, arguing that Beijing has always met international obligations in containing its reclusive neighbor.

The Treasury Department on Tuesday announced new penalties against 10 entities and six individuals, mostly Chinese and Russian, for providing support to North Korea in ways that aided the rogue state's missile and nuclear weapons programs. The Treasury characterized the targets of its new sanctions as "third-country companies and individuals."

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