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posted on 06 September 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks And Oil Lower, Dollar Higher, Gold Flat, Bitcoin Tumbles, Irma Roars, FEMA Is Broke, UK Could Reverse Brexit, Yuan Recovers All 2016 Losses, Canada Could Welcome Dreamers, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 06 September 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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  • Asian shares slide as North Korea tensions continue to simmer (CNBC) Stocks in Asia declined on Wednesday, following the fall on Wall Street, as investors remained jittery about North Korea. The dollar index was up 0.1% at 92.314. U.S. crude futures were off 0.21% at $48.56 a barrel and Brent crude futures were 0.45% lower at $53.14. Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,337.94 per ounce by 0357 GMT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery edged 0.1% lower to $1,343.10.


  • Bitcoin Tumbles as PBOC Declares Initial Coin Offerings Illegal (Bloomberg) Bitcoin tumbled the most since July after China’s central bank said initial coin offerings are illegal and asked all related fundraising activity to be halted immediately, issuing the strongest regulatory challenge so far to the burgeoning market for digital token sales.

The People’s Bank of China said on its website Monday that it had completed investigations into ICOs, and will strictly punish offerings in the future while penalizing legal violations in ones already completed. The regulator said that those who have already raised money must provide refunds, though it didn’t specify how the money would be paid back to investors.

It also said digital token financing and trading platforms are prohibited from doing conversions of coins with fiat currencies. Digital tokens can’t be used as currency on the market and banks are forbidden from offering services to initial coin offerings.


  • Irma Has Florida Bracing for Atlantic's Most Powerful Storm Yet (Bloomberg) Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm to form in the open Atlantic Ocean, was barreling toward Puerto Rico late Tuesday on a path that may bring it ashore in Florida and destroy so much property that damages may surpass Hurricane Katrina. Irma has sent cruise lines and insurance stocks plunging, with Barclays Plc estimating insured losses in a worst-case scenario at $130 billion. Natural gas slid on speculation that the storm will wipe out demand for the power-plant fuel, and orange and cotton futures surged on potential crop damage. Hurricane Jose is another major storm traoling a few days behinf Irma. For a frequently updated tracking article by Sig Silber: Tracking Irma while also Assessing Harvey Impacts - 06Sep2017.

Click for larger image.

  • Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund down to its last $1 billion

  • Fund has burned through half its money since Thursday morning

  • U.S. House panel issues subpoenas to Justice Department over Trump dossier: Democrat (Reuters) The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas to the Justice Department and FBI for documents related to a dossier that alleged Russia collected compromising material on Donald Trump, the panel’s top Democrat said on Tuesday. Representative Adam Schiff told MSNBC in an interview that he and other Democrats on the committee objected to the subpoenas, which he said Republicans issued in an attempt to discredit its author, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

Republicans have said it is important to understand the genesis of the dossier and whether it was created to sabotage Trump during his successful campaign for president.

The dossier was funded by a group that conducted political opposition research on Trump during the 2016 campaign and included wide-ranging allegations about Trump, his associates and his finances.

  • President repeats promise to cut taxes and simplify the code

  • Details of a revamp remain scant; basic questions still linger

  • Republican struggles with governmental responsibility stem largely from reliance on a support base that grows more zealous as it shrinks in a rapidly-diversifying country.
  • Under President Obama, ferocious resistance by the GOP base helped Republicans recapture Congress. But it harmed their ability to govern.
  • The Lonely Lives of Silicon Valley Conservatives (Bloomberg) At liberal tech companies, those who disagree on politics say they're more isolated than ever before. Politics often don’t mix easily at work, but it’s particularly fraught in tech, where free thinking is prized yet the workforce is predominantly liberal. Now, as President Trump stirs up the culture wars at the same time as Silicon Valley faces a backlash for being so white and so male, conservatives in tech have their guards up like never before.


  • Britain could still reverse Brexit, former minister Heseltine says (Reuters) Brexit could be reversed if economic pain prompts a change in public opinion that brings a new generation of political leaders to power in Britain, former Conservative minister Michael Heseltine said. Heseltine, who helped topple Margaret Thatcher in 1990 but ultimately failed to win the top job, said that Britain could face another election in just two years and that Prime Minister Theresa May would not lead the party into that election. A supporter of EU membership, Heseltine said he saw a scenario in which Britain would not leave the European Union as scheduled in late March 2019.

South Korea

  • Moon Seeks Putin’s Help, Warns of ‘Uncontrollable’ North Korea (Bloomberg) South Korean President Moon Jae-in sought to find common ground with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to prevent the situation on the Korean peninsula from spinning out of control. Moon made remarks before a meeting with Putin in Vladivostok, Russia, on Wednesday. Putin, who derided increased sanctions as “useless and ineffective" a day earlier, said that he welcomed the opportunity to discuss North Korea with Moon. Russia and China both hold vetoes on the United Nations Security Council, which is considering new sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime after it conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday.


  • At its strongest level on Tuesday, the Chinese yuan changed hands at 6.5151 against the U.S. dollar
  • The currency has improved so much this year that it's already beat many year-end forecasts, prompting analysts to play catch-up with their estimates
  • Given its recent strength, there's even some talk that the yuan is becoming a safe-haven play


  • Brazil former presidents Lula and Rousseff charged in corruption case (Reuters) Brazil’s top prosecutor on Tuesday charged former Presidents Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff along with fellow Workers Party members with forming a criminal organization, the latest accusations in Brazil’s sprawling corruption scandal. The prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, alleged that eight members of the Workers Party, including Lula and Rousseff, committed a series of crimes involving state-owned oil firm Petrobras such as cartel formation, corruption and money laundering. They were the first criminal charges to be leveled against Rousseff, who was impeached in 2016 for breaking budgetary laws.


  • Canada should welcome up to 30,000 DACA young people facing deportation in U.S., senator says (CBC News) Canada could gain from the Trump administration's decision to end a program that has allowed young, undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States for years, says Ontario Independent Sen. Ratna Omidvar. She said young people in the United States under a DACA waiver could benefit Canada because they are well educated, speak English, have no criminal record and experience working in the U.S.


Mexican volunteers wearing white vests labeled “Cruz Roja Mexicana" are distributing food and lending a sympathetic ear to some of the 1,800 storm refugees at the George R. Brown Convention Center, a temporary shelter.

A caravan of Mexican storm relief was due to be shipped north for victims of a storm that has killed some 60 people and left tens of thousands homeless since first coming ashore Aug. 25.

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