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17Mar2015 Pre-Market Commentary: China In The Spotlight While Markets Are Quiet Awaiting The Fed's FOMC Meeting Results

Written by Gary

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The G-7 members are joining the China-led international development bank - against the USA wishes. Looks like a win for China creating a new economic order, but on the other hand - Chinese capital outflows surged 68%, and other economic headwinds are facing the Chinese economy. The question for today is whether China will join the list of nations using Quantitative Easing in their monetary policy.

The markets may be quiet today (although currently pointing to a strong open) awaiting the outcome of the FOMC (Federal Reserve) meeting which ends tomorrow. Global markets are mixed this morning.

Here is the European Market Open from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The FTSE 100 is higher by 0.03%, while the DAX is leading the CAC 40 lower. They are down 1.30% and 0.39% respectively.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Super Mario to go mobile as Nintendo ventures into smartphone games

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co Ltd will venture into smartphone games, heeding calls from investors to boost revenue by taking iconic characters like Super Mario to players increasingly shunning its consoles.

Euro, shares rise as dollar lays low ahead of Fed

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro and world shares gained on Tuesday as the dollar steadied before a two-day meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, where the Fed may edge closer to its first interest rate rise in almost a decade.

BOJ chief downplays deflation risk, sticks to inflation target

TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said lower energy costs may push consumer prices into negative territory but it won't derail a pick-up in inflation as the economy recovers, signaling that he sees no immediate need to expand stimulus.

Major U.S. allies to join China-backed bank: reports

SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior U.S. diplomat said it was up to individual countries whether to join a new China-led international development bank as media reports said a growing number of close U.S. allies were ignoring Washington's pressure to stay out of the institution.

Streetcar Revival Is Wavering in Some Cities

While several cities inaugurate new systems or expand older ones, the streetcar revolution, faced with fiscal and operational challenges, has stalled elsewhere.

Russia's Alfa Telecom bids $2.8 billion to double stake in Turkcell

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Russia's Alfa Telecom offered $2.8 billion on Tuesday to buy back a 13.76 percent stake of Turkcell , a deal that would double its holding in Turkey's top mobile operator after a seven-year battle for control of the company.

Currency swings cost U.S. corporates $18.66 billion in the fourth quarter: study

(Reuters) - Foreign exchange swings cost North American corporates $18.66 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, according to a report by currency risk management consulting firm FiREapps.

Workplaces with equal mix of men and women happiest: economist

UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A more equal mix of men and women in the workforce not only boosts national economies but also increases job satisfaction and performance in workplaces reflecting such a balance, experts said.

16 March 2015 Weather and Climate Outlook - Spring a bit Retrograde

Written by Sig Silber

Weather patterns are moving ever so slightly from East to West confirming that winter is over but not yet feeling that way on the East Coast. The Media Front, accustomed to misinterpreting NOAA Advisories, is quiet and in the mode that three-day old weather forecasts are as good as current ones in this slow-motion environment. That changed a bit on Sunday with a new interpretation of shifting weather patterns further north. But I expect that new interpretation to hold at least through this week as I think NOAA got it correct and are simply recognizing the changes that have taken place with regards to the Aleutian Low and the Jet Stream.

Read more ...

Japan Inc wage hikes not enough to meet higher cost of living: Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) - Most Japanese firms plan to raise salaries by at least the same degree as last year, but even two years of wage hikes will not be enough to compensate workers for increases in the cost of living, a Reuters poll showed.

Iran Nuclear Deal Could Open Oil Flood Gates

Iran, the U.S. and its allies are pushing ahead with talks over a nuclear deal that would change many thingsâ€"perhaps none faster than the price of oil.

So Now Malaysia's Going After Anwar's Daughter

This column has frequently covered Malaysia's treatment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, and the damage I believe it does not only to Anwar and his party but to Malaysia as a whole, by removing debate and competition from a country that would benefit from both. This article discussed a trial on sodomy charges, and this one the state appeal against his acquittal, which put him in jail (and triggering a lengthy response by the ruling UMNO party here). UMNO has told me I have bought into Anwar's personality and ignored the legal issues (leaving aside the issue of whether it can possibly be right for homosexuality to be illegal anyway). Go ahead and explain, then, why Anwar's daughter has just been arrested for a speech made in parliament which, under Malaysian law, should have been immune from prosecution.

Removing U.S. oil ban would create jobs beyond drilling: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lifting a 40-year-old U.S. ban on crude exports would create a wide range of jobs in the oil drilling supply chain and broader economy even in states that produce little or no oil, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Investors Turn to Stocks as European-Bond Returns Plummet

The move is driven by the European Central Bank's bond-buying program, which has pushed government-bond prices sharply higher, forcing investors to look further afield for a steady income.

"Colossal Defeat" For Obama As Australia Joins China's Regional Bank

Having attacked its "closest ally" UK for "constant accomodation" with China, we suspect President Obama will be greatly displeased at yet another close-ally's decision to partner up with the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As The Australian reports, "make no mistake," the decision by Australia's Abbott government to sign on for negotiations to join China's regional bank, foreshadowed by Tony Abbott at the weekend, "represents a colossal defeat for the Obama administration's incompetent, distracted, ham-fisted dip­lomacy in Asia."

As The Australian's Greg Sheridan writes Op-Ed,

The decision by the Abbott government to sign on for negotiations to join China's regional bank, foreshadowed by Tony Abbott at the weekend, represents another defeat for Barack Obama's diplomacy in Asia.

The Abbott government is right to make this decision. It had well-founded concerns about the vague and unsatisfactory governance arrangements of the institution when Beijing first invited Canberra to join.

Those arrangements have ­improved since then and Australia is only signing on to negotiate terms of ...

Hyundai Motor mulls producing pick-up trucks: executive

SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co is considering producing pick-up trucks, an executive told reporters on Tuesday, saying its Santa Cruz crossover truck concept got "good response" at the Detroit auto show in January.

California Is Turning Back Into A Desert And There Are No Contingency Plans

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Once upon a time, much of the state of California was a barren desert. And now, thanks to the worst drought in modern American history, much of the state is turning back into one. Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century that the state of California had seen in 1000 years. But now weather patterns are reverting back to historical norms, and California is rapidly running out of water. It is being reported that the state only has approximately a one year supply of water left in the reservoirs, and when the water is all gone there are no contingency plans. Back in early 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the entire state, but since that time water usage has only dropped by 9 percent. That is not nearly enough. The state of California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of total water a year since 2011, and we are quickly heading toward an extremely painful water crisis unlike anything that any of us have ever seen before.

But don't take my word for it. According to the Los Angeles Times, Jay Famiglietti "is the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech and a professor of Earth system science at UC Irvine". What he has to say about the horrific drought in California is extremely sobering ...

Pinterest Valued at $11 Billion After Latest Funding

Pinterest has raised $367 million at a rich valuation of $11 billion, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.

China Options Limited As Repo Rate Hits Record

We've said on a number of occasions lately that China is currently stuck between a rock and a hard place and may have no choice but to join the global QE party (perhaps by purchasing local government debt). On a REER basis, the yuan is the second most overvalued currency in the world and as Soc Gen recently noted, that's hurting the Chinese economy at a time when it can ill afford further headwinds. Unfortunately, devaluation could risk exacerbating capital outflows at a time when data on FX deposits for corporates suggests nervousness abounds about the near-term outlook for the yuan. We summed up the situation as follows: devalue too much, and the capital outflows will accelerate, not devalue enough, and the mercantilist economy gets it.

As Bloomberg reports, evidence that the PBoC is being pressured on both sides hasn't abated, as interbank rates hit record highs:

The seven-day repurchase rate was 4.41 percent on average so far in 2015, up from 4.16 percent a year earlier and the highest for the period since the fixing began in 2004. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. and AXA Investment Managers Ltd. see a reserve-requirement ratio cut this month, while Barcla ...

China February FDI up 0.9 percent year on year, outbound flows leap 68 percent

BEIJING (Reuters) - China drew $8.56 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in February, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier, while outbound Chinese investment excluding the financial sector surged by 68.2 percent to $7.25 billion, the Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday.

Obama Plans to Use Week to Press Economic Case

President Obama will lay out an approach that would increase spending on education, health care and energy.

State Senate Works to Block Christie From Settling Pollution Lawsuit Against Exxon

Lawmakers passed a resolution urging a judge to reject a proposed $225 million settlement. They believe the state could reap as much as $8.9 billion in damages.

Neil Howe: What To Expect From The Fourth Turning We're Now In

Submitted by Adam Taggart via,

Neil Howe demographer and co-authour of the book The Fourth Turning returns to the podcast this week. In our prior interview with him, we explored his study of generational cycles ("turnings") in America which reveal predictable social trends that recur throughout history and warn of a coming crisis (a "fourth turning") based on this research.

Fourth turnings are characterized by a growing demand for social order, yet supply of it remains weak. The emergence of the surveillance state, a perpetual war machine, increased intervention in the markets by the central planners, greater government control of critical systems like health care and the Internet -- all of these are classic signs that we are well into a fourth turning now:

In the fourth turning, the supply of order is still absent that the demand for order grows. So we now have a demand for order and no supply. That creates the unusual dynamics of a fourth turning -- kind of like we had in the 1930's. People suddenly feel that no one is in control and that enormous events are overtaking their society which no one of leadership age has any idea how to confront or how to manage. And it goes without saying today we look up to Gen Xers and ...

Business Briefing: Labor Organizers Disclose Complaints at McDonald's

McDonald's workers in 19 cities have filed complaints over burns from popping grease, a lack of protective equipment and other workplace hazards, according to labor organizers.

HK's Hutchison shares halted pending court hearing on reorganization

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hutchison Whampoa Ltd , the ports-to-telecoms group of Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, requested a trading halt on its shares pending a court ruling on a proposed reorganization with Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd .

Business Briefing: Central Bank Chief Urges Stronger European Ties

Describing the eurozone economy as "steadily recovering," Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, called on Monday for a "quantum leap" in European integration.

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