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October 30, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • U.S. sees 0.8% jump in consumer spending as incomes lag
    The U.S. Commerce Department reported that although personal income rose just 0.4% in September, consumer spending jumped 0.8%, topping expectations. The personal savings rate declined, however, suggesting that the spending boost might not be extended. MarketWatch (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Business economists project only modest U.S. growth
    A number of open questions about the global economy weigh on the minds of economists polled by the National Association for Business Economics, as most forecasts for the U.S. now range between a sluggish 1.1% and 2% growth over the coming 12 months. "The survey suggests continued flatness in sales, profit margins and employment, as well as expectations of moderately slow real GDP growth," said Nayantara Hensel, chairwoman of the NABE industry survey and professor of industry and business at the National Defense University. The Wall Street Journal/Real Time Economics blog (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Economists see brighter near term for China
    With recent indicators for China's economy pointing up and expectations of a slight global rebound, economists expect a slower rate of increase in stimulus from the government. But European investors appear not to be convinced of the hopeful outlook, with their net investment in China falling 6.3% from January through September. (China) (10/29) , China Daily (Beijing) (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Italy's Monti to Spain: After you
    Monti, Rajoy/Reuters
    Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti appears willing to let Spain take the first, most perilous political step in initiating the European Central Bank's bailout plan. At a joint appearance with Spanish leader Mariano Rajoy, Monti said Italy is not "in a condition to need to" request aid. Bloomberg (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

 Advance your understanding of equity portfolio construction
Don’t miss the Advances in Equity Portfolio Construction Program on 20–21 November in Singapore, hosted with EDHEC-Risk Institute. This two-day seminar offers the technical and conceptual tools to better understand the limits and benefits of different portfolio construction approaches. CFA Institute members receive a 25% discount on registration.

  Market Activities 
    A slide in insurance stocks was a dominant feature in European shares Monday as U.S. markets were closed ahead of the storm bearing down on the New York area. The Stoxx Europe 600 ended 0.39% lower at 269.46. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (10/30) , The Wall Street Journal (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian stocks drift a bit lower
    Poor results from Honda in Japan and a swing to profit by LG in South Korea were among the notable results as Asian markets were generally down and subdued due to a lack of direction from the U.S., where markets were closed as Hurricane Sandy closed in on the East Coast. The Nikkei edged down 0.04% to 8,929.34, the Hang Seng was off 0.16% at 21,511.05, the Kospi was unchanged at 1,891.52, and the S&P/ASX was up 0.10% at 4,476.90. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Slow retail sales bode ill for Japan
    Negative second-half growth for Japan's economy appears more likely after a lower-than-expected 0.4% rise in retail sales for September. Among the factors are sagging domestic demand and the territorial dispute with China, which has hurt Japanese car sales. "There are no positive signs in Japan's economy," which "will probably contract for two consecutive quarters through the end of the year," said Azusa Kato, an economist at BNP Paribas in Tokyo. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Indians, Indonesians lead world in upbeat feelings about economies
    Globally, India and Indonesia lead the way with the largest proportion of consumers expressing optimism about their national economies, according to a Nielsen survey. Thais and Australians also rated among those with the sharpest upturns in outlook, while sentiment declined notably in Hong Kong and South Korea. Reuters (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Manufacturers grow gloomier in South Korea
    Slow growth pushed down South Korean manufacturers' sentiment for a second consecutive month as they looked ahead to November. The Bank of Korea's latest index recorded a reading of 70, down from 72 a month before, while the reading for nonmanufacturing companies remained at 67, well below the 100 level above which optimism is indicated. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Australian central bank quietly suppresses currency gains
    Though not intervening aggressively in currency markets to tamp down the Australian dollar, the country's central bank has quietly built a large reserve in foreign currency reserves that have somewhat the same effect. "This can be viewed as a covert and passive intervention in the Australian dollar of modest proportions but nevertheless is a clear signal of a change in the [central bank's] view and intentions," said ANZ foreign exchange strategist Andrew Salter. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Singapore's status rising for U.S. investment
    Singapore is expected to solidify its status as a leading destination for U.S. direct investment as U.S. companies boost the foreign proportion of the profits they invest abroad, primarily in holding companies. With US$116.62 billion in book value as of last year, Singapore was second only to Australia in pulling in such U.S. investment across the Asia-Pacific region. The Business Times (Singapore) (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taiwan consumers more glum even as economy looks up
    Despite improving fundamentals in Taiwan's economy, consumer sentiment continues to notch downward, with a reading of 72.73 this month marking the lowest level since January 2010. Meanwhile, the Council for Economic Planning and Development signaled a definite though still shaky recovery with a transitional yellow-blue light for the economy in September, nearing the green-light status that would signal stability. The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (10/30) , China Economic News Service (Taiwan) (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Leading indicators suggest slower 4th quarter for Philippines
    Slower growth that falls short of a contraction might be in store for the Philippine economy, with an index of 11 indicators pointing down for the fourth quarter. "Despite the upbeat outlook in the local economy, the external environment, specifically in Europe and the U.S. plus China, prevents good economic growth numbers," said University of Asia and the Pacific economist Peter Lee U, who described the new outlook as "a bit worrisome." Business World (Philippines) (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • China's QDII funds swing to profit in latest quarter
    Returns for China's qualified domestic institutional investors swung to a substantial profit in the third quarter, reversing losses in the preceding period. Wang Guangguo, a senior analyst with Haitong Securities, credited the latest performance to easier monetary policies and bailout programs in the West, canceling worries generated by the eurozone debt crisis in the second quarter. (China) (10/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Moody's ups Philippines' debt rating
    Joining assessments by two other rating agencies, Moody's raised its appraisal of the Philippines' debt quality to one notch below investment grade. Looking forward, Moody's said, "In contrast to similarly rated countries, the country is poised to record a combination of faster growth, lower inflation, exchange rate appreciation and an increase in foreign exchange reserves, while maintaining trend debt consolidation." Business World (Philippines) (10/29) , The Wall Street Journal (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Islamic finance can offer model for ethical banking
    Recovering from its debt-driven financial catastrophe, the world can use Islamic finance as a model to build an ethical financial system moving forward, says Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. "There is enormous demand for ethical banking all over the world, especially in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Global consumers do not want anymore to lose their savings and sometimes even their pensions," Mahmoud said. (China) (10/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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