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December 13, 2012
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  • U.S. Fed adds to bond buying, expects rates to stay low for years
    The U.S. Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee decided to add US$45 billion a month in Treasury purchases to its US$40 billion monthly mortgage bond purchases once Operation Twist ends this month. Later, Fed officials forecast that interest rates will remain low until at least 2015. Bloomberg (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Eurozone industrial production declines again
    Eurozone industrial output surprised on the downside in October, with a decline of 1.4% from September and 3.6% from a year before, as reported by the EU's statistics office. The stressed peripheral nations of Spain and Portugal saw production rise, but that was more than offset by declines in France and Germany. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EU closes in on wider authority for ECB
    Adjusting to meet German concerns, European leaders edged closer to agreement on broad new supervisory authority for the European Central Bank. Germany had been looking to slow progress toward eventual banking union, but Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Wednesday that his "intention is that we find a solution to the banking union on time before Christmas." Reuters (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Japanese machinery orders turn positive
    Japanese machinery orders reversed two months of decline, rising 2.6% in October, the Cabinet Office reported. The orders are considered a key indicator of near-term prospects for business investment. Exports, however, also remain a key factor for Japan, and "until foreign economies recover ... there won't be any strong pickup in domestic capital expenditure," said Hiroshi Watanabe, a senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities. The Wall Street Journal (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Incoming Bank of England chief's remarks hint at policy turn
    Inflation targeting should be set aside and low interest rates maintained until "precise numerical thresholds" for inflation and unemployment are reached, incoming Bank of England chief Mark Carney said. In remarks relating to the Canadian central bank, Carney said that "to achieve a better path for the economy over time, a central bank may need to commit credibly to maintaining highly accommodative policy even after the economy and, potentially, inflation picks up." The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. joblessness drops sharply
    Despite a stuttering economy, U.K. unemployment fell in the third quarter at the quickest pace in more than 10 years, with private-sector job growth outpacing losses in the public sector. However, wage increases were falling well short of the 2.7% annual inflation rate, according to the Office for National Statistics. The Guardian (London) (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • U.S. House speaker says big splits remain on budget
    In the latest reading on U.S. budget negotiations, House Speaker John Boehner indicated the Republicans and the Obama administration are still far apart. "I remain the most optimistic person in this town, but we've got some serious differences," Boehner said. Meanwhile, the White House opened its doors to hedge fund managers to discuss the budget situation. Reuters (12/12) , Bloomberg (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Market Activities 
    European shares budged little Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's announcement of new bond buying. U.S. shares, however, responded only weakly when the word came out later in the day, with investors noting that past bond buying has had little effect. The Stoxx Europe 600 eked out a 0.05% gain to 280.64, and the S&P 500 edged up 0.04% to 1,428.48. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (12/13) , The Wall Street Journal (12/12) , CNNMoney (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian shares advance
    Shares were higher across Asia on Wednesday amid rising expectations of another dose of easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Nikkei rose 0.59% to 9,581.46, the Hang Seng was up 0.80% to 22,503.35, the Kospi added 0.55% to 1,975.44 and the S&P/ASX edged up 0.17% to 4,583.80. Bloomberg (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 

  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • China grants $1 billion QFII award to Qatar Holding
    At US$1 billion, China's new QFII award to Qatar Holding is the largest ever by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. It's part of the latest issue of awards totaling US$2.5 billion and tops the US$700 million QFII awards to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Temasek Fullerton Alpha earlier this year. (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 

  • Martin Currie pulls plug on China Hedge Fund
    Citing its currently small scale and unpromising outlook for growth, Martin Currie is shuttering its China Hedge Fund. The fund this year was fined a total of US$14 million by U.S. and U.K. regulators over conflict-of-interest allegations. (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tiger Asia to pay US$60 million in insider trading case
    Admitting that Tiger Asia Management used nonpublic information in selling short shares of Bank of China, the hedge fund pleaded guilty to insider trading and will now pay more than $60 million in settlement fees. The plea was entered by fund manager Bill Hwang in U.S. federal court in New Jersey. "Hwang today learned the painful lesson that illegal offshore trading is not off limits from U.S. law enforcement," said Robert Khuzami, enforcement director for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bloomberg (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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