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posted on 05 December 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Down, Dollar Up, Oil And Gold Flat, Bitcoin Bubble, US Nixes Refugee Pact, UK Bal Of Payments Falls, Japan Mfg Strengthens, China Winning Li Race, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 05 December 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, published Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 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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  • Asia markets mostly lower, RBA keeps its cash rate unchanged (CNBC) Asia markets traded mostly lower in afternoon trade on Tuesday, as Australia's central bank met expectations by keeping its cash rate unchanged. The dollar traded at 93.085 against a basket of rivals, climbing from an earlier session low of 93.035. Oil prices traded near flat in the afternoon session on Tuesday, with U.S. crude trading at $57.48 a barrel. Global benchmark Brent traded at $62.42 at 2:01 p.m. HK/SIN. Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,275.24 an ounce and U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,277.90.


  • Stephen Roach, a widely regarded economist, had harsh words about bitcoin as an investment in a Tuesday interview with CNBC
  • "This is a dangerous speculative bubble by any shadow or stretch of the imagination," he said


  • Frustrated Trump lashes out at FBI (The Hill) President Trump is angry and frustrated over the removal of a senior FBI official from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team over alleged anti-Trump text messages, a development that surfaced after former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the Russia investigation. People close to the White House say Trump’s frustration explains some of his tweets and statements lashing out at the FBI, but insist the president’s team is not shifting its legal strategy in response to the probe.
  • RNC reinstates support for Moore after Trump endorsement (The Hill) The Republican National Committee is reinstating its support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore after initially cutting ties over allegations of sexual misconduct, two sources confirmed to The Hill Monday. Breitbart News first reported that the RNC had decided to step back into the race just hours after President Trump fully endorsed the controversial candidate.
  • Supreme court allows enforcement of Trump travel ban as appeals proceed (The Guardian) The US supreme court ruled on Monday that a ban ordered by Donald Trump on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and two other countries could be immediately imposed while multiple court cases challenging the ban are resolved.

    The ultimate disposition of the ban was expected to take months to resolve. But the 7-2 ruling by the high court was a blow to anti-discrimination advocates, who vowed to protest the decision.

    The ban means that the United States would categorically refuse entry visas to prospective travelers from the countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, plus North Korea and Venezuela.

  • US pulls out of UN migrant and refugee pact (France 24) President Donald Trump's administration has withdrawn the United States from a United Nations pact to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it "inconsistent" with its policies, the US mission to the UN announced Saturday.
  • U.S. Tax Plan Will Have Negative Consequences (CNBC) Economist Stephen Roach says the GIO tax cuts as laid out in the new legislation are not needed and actually will cause some economic damage.


  • Spending falters for the second month in a row (City A.M.) Spending growth fell in real terms for the second month in a row in November as shoppers felt the effects of inflation. Consumer spending growth stood at 2.8% in November, according to data released today by Barclaycard. However, with inflation at 3%, this amounted to a spending contraction in real teams.
  • Balance of Payments Has Deteriorated ince Brexit (The Daily Shot) This year the balnace of payments for the UK has declined to near zero.


  • Manufacturing sector improves at sharpest rate for 44 months (OHS Markit) Growth in the Japanese manufacturing sector gathered momentum in the latest survey period. New business expanded at the fastest rate since March 2014, while rising demand from China supported a nine-month high in export growth. In turn, firms raised production to the greatest extent in 45 months.



  • China is the leading market player for electric and hybrid cars, accounting for half of global sales
  • "Given the government's power in China to direct the economy, if they want to become the world leaders in electric vehicles, they can likely achieve it," says one expert
  • The global push to roll out electric cars has been amplified by concerns over air pollution


  • Honduras: police refuse to obey government as post-election chaos deepens (The Guardian) Honduran police have announced they will refuse to obey orders from the government of the incumbent president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and will remain in their barracks until a political crisis triggered by last Sunday’s contested presidential election has been resolved. All national police - including elite US-trained units - in the capital, Tegucigalpa, would refuse to enforce a curfew ordered by the government after days of deadly violence triggered by allegations of electoral fraud, a spokesman said on Monday night.


  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on tour in China to discuss trade, but experts say hurdles stand in the way of major progress
  • Trudeau's progressive agenda, focusing on human rights and environmental issues, is unlikely to sit well with Beijing
  • Concerns about rights could become a key sticking point - two Canadian wine merchants were controversially detained in Beijing over a customs breach


  • Fury as Mexico presidential candidate pitches amnesty for drug cartel kingpins (The Guardian) A leading Mexican presidential candidate has been accused of wanting to explore a deal with the devil in an attempt to bring peace to the country. Speaking in the violence-wracked southern state of Guerrero this weekend, Andrés Manuel López Obrador floated the idea of an amnesty for drug cartel kingpins, saying he wanted a dialogue on the drug war that has cost the country an estimated 200,000 lives over the last decade.
  • Mexican women dig for remains of their missing husbands, sons and brothers (The Observers) A group of women has been turning up soil in Sinaloa, a state in northwestern Mexico, in a desperate hunt for the bodies of missing loved ones. It’s dangerous work, but these women say it’s necessary, as Mexican authorities are doing little to find the tens of thousands of people who have gone missing in the country. On November 19, these women found six bodies in hidden mass graves on the outskirts of Los Mochis, a town located 80 kilometres south of El Fuerte, when the video below was filmed. And these are far from the first bodies that these women have found. In the past three years, they’ve uncovered 113 bodies, 88 of which were later returned to families.


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