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27Dec2016 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Set To Open Quietly On Low Volume, DOW Near Psychologically Important Milestone Of 20,000, Major Global Oil Producers Preparing To Scale Back Production

Written by Gary

U.S. stock future indexes pointed to a flat open near records, today, with many traders still away for the Christmas holiday. The final trading week of the year is typically a quiet one, with light trading and retail stocks will be in focus. The U.S. dollar edged slightly higher and crude prices testing resistance.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are higher today as French and German shares show gains. The CAC 40 is up 0.15% while the DAX is up 0.14%. The British FTSE 100 is closed.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Stocks inch higher in holiday lull

LONDON (Reuters) - Share prices inched higher on Tuesday as trading in some of the world's major financial markets resumed after a Christmas break, with oil and the dollar also rising marginally.

Toshiba flags hit of 'billions of dollars' on U.S. nuclear acquisition

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp said it may have to book several billion dollars in charges related to a U.S. nuclear power acquisition, a shock warning that sent its stock tumbling 12 percent and rekindled concerns about its accounting acumen.

U.S. mutual fund trustees feel the heat of investor lawsuits

BOSTON (Reuters) - Before New York's famed 21 Club steakhouse drew attention in November for hosting Donald Trump, the wealthy U.S. president-elect, it quietly fed other public representatives: trustees of Paris-based AXA SA investment funds.

Oil steadies above $55 ahead of supply cut deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil steadied above $55 a barrel on Tuesday, drawing support from expectations of tighter supply once the first output cut deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in 15 years takes effect on Sunday.

Panasonic to invest over $256 million in Tesla's U.S. plant for solar cells

TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp will invest more than 30 billion yen ($256 million) in a New York production facility of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors to make photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, deepening a partnership of the two companies.

ECB tells Monte dei Paschi it needs to raise $9.2 billion

MILAN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank has told Monte dei Paschi it needs to plug a capital shortfall of 8.8 billion euros ($9.2 billion), higher than a previous 5 billion euro gap estimated by the bank, the lender said on Monday, confirming what sources told Reuters.

Exclusive: Tepco, investors discussing first bond sale since Fukushima - sources

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) is gauging demand for its first bond offering since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear calamity, with some market participants expecting a sale as early as February, people familiar with the plans said.

Italy set to pump around 6.5 billion euros into Monte Paschi rescue: sources

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) - The Italian government is likely to put in around 6.5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) to rescue the country's third biggest lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena , more than initially expected, sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

China's growth 'reassuring' for 'weak and vulnerable' global economy: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will meet its growth target of 6.5 percent to 7 percent growth this year, a reassuring sign for a "weak and vulnerable" global economy, state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary on Monday.

Bitcoin Surges 20% In A Week As Chinese Volumes Hit Record High

The last 5 days have seen Bitcoin prices (in dollars) soar over 18% and over 20% in Yuan as volumes on Chinese exchanges continues to build, seemingly anticipating notable Yuan devaluation (confirmed by various derivative bets being placed on the Chinese currency) and/or further capital controls looming as yet another hot money Chinese bubble explodes in commodity-land.

Is another major Yuan devaluation looming?

Last week saw the heaviest Bitcoin trading ever on Chinese exchanges...


Notably, gold was well bid overnight also...

Russia Warns Any Attempt By Obama To Arm Syrian Rebels Will Be Seen As A "Hostile Act"

First, it was China which lodged a protest against the US defense bill, which was signed by Barack Obama late on Friday and which, among other things, contained a provision to establish as US "ministry of truth" and media propaganda. On Sunday, China lodged "stern representations" with the United States after Obama signed the NDAA into law which suggests a plan to conduct high-level military exchanges with self-ruled Taiwan. Part of the $618.7 billion National Defense Authorization Act "expresses the sense of Congress that (the U.S. Department of Defense) should conduct a program of senior military exchanges between the United States and Taiwan".

In other words, it appears the Trump team is not the only one jeopardising the "One China" policy: as Reuters adds, in a statement late Sunday, China's Foreign Ministry said it had lodged a protest with the United States over the Taiwan content of the act and expressed its strong opposition. Taiwan is Chinese territory and purely an internal matter, the ministry said.

It noted that the part of the defense policy bill referring to Taiwan was not legally binding, but said it was an interference with China's internal affairs that China could not accept.

"We urge the U.S. side to abide by its promises made to China on the Taiwan issue, stop U.S.-Taiwan military contacts and arms sales to Taiwan, to avoid damaging Sino-U.S. ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."

Then, overnight, Russia also joined the global opposition to the US defense policy bill when it said on Tuesday that a U.S. decision to ease some restrictions on arming Syrian rebels had opened the way for deliveries of ...

Frontrunning: December 27

Monte dei Paschi Rescue Cost Jumps as Deposits Fall (WSJ)

Russia finds first black box from Black Sea crash jet (Reuters)

Prat-Gay Fired as Argentine Finance Minister After One Year (BBG)

Fear of Trump Triggers Deep Spending Cuts by Nation's Second Largest Union (BBG)

Xi's Power Play Foreshadows Change in How China Is Ruled (WSJ)

China to launch probe for soft landing on the far side of the moon by 2017 (Global Times)

CEO's Winning Gamble May Keep Scrooge From Deutsche Bank Bonuses (BBG)

Outrage Over the Economy Doesn't Explain Surging Global Populism (BBG)

Toshiba Says Nuclear Writedown May Reach Billions of Dollars (BBG)

'Rogue One' Pads Disney's Year as Movie Sales Near Record (BBG)

One of 2016's Worst-Performing As ...

China's Gold Market Opens Up To Boost RMB Internationalization

Last week the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) launched a new English website to offer international customers more information and tools on trading gold in renminbi through its subsidiary in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone the Shanghai International Gold Exchange (SGEI). BullionStar took the opportunity to translate a speech by a Teng Wei, Deputy General Manager of the SGEI, named "How China's Gold Market Can Help The RMB Achieve International Status" that was held at the Renminbi World summit in Beijing on the 29th and 30th of November 2016. In the speech Teng Wei outlined his vision for the SGEI going forward regarding renmibi (RMB) internationalization, connecting the onshore and offshore renminbi market and increasing gold market share.

My comment before you read the translation:

1) In the financial blogosphere the general perception is that the SGEI has been a failure since it was launched in September 2014. This analysis is based on the assumption that the trading volume of the most popular SGEI contract (1 Kg 9999 - iAu99.99) has been tepid for two years now. But this analysis neglects two important elements. First, iA99.99 can be traded competitively "on Exchange", but also in the OTC market. The OTC possibility is hardly known by commentators in the English world, though the related volumes are significant. Have a look at the next chart in which I've plotted iAu99.99's weekly trading volume "on Exchange" and in the OTC market. Clearly iAu99.999 is traded mainly in the OTC market.

A Slightly More Frugal Google

The web giant shows signs of watching its "other bets" closely, but financial results remain steady.

The Real Story About Rising Home Prices

Inflation-adjusted home values are far below their 2006 peak, and achieving a new high could be tough to achieve in the new year.

Trump Trade Causes Pain in Spain

Spanish banks may suffer from emerging-market woes following Donald Trump's U.S. election victory, particularly those exposed to Mexico.

Chuck Jaffe: Ditch your New Year's resolutions and set 3 realistic money goals for 2017

Make annual financial targets that can be achieved over 12 months, even if the path isn't always smooth, writes Chuck Jaffe.

Mark Hulbert: What this week's stock market will tell you about 2017

Is it true that "if Santa fails to call, bears may come to Broad & Wall" or is it just another silly Wall Street superstition?

Outside the Box: A retaliatory hack is a risky way to respond to the Russian hack of the DNC

Responding in cyberspace is rife with risks ranging from uncontrolled second-order effects, uncertainty in affecting adversary systems reliably, and perhaps most importantly, the inability to control and dominate any sort of escalation in retaliatory attacks, says this cybersecurity expert.

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