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December 28, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • U.S. consumer confidence, retail sales decline
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    Reuters
    Amid rising employment and housing prices, U.S. consumer confidence has declined more than expected this month. Meanwhile, separate readings showed that retail sales in the final week before Christmas were down 2.5% from a year before, while applications for initial jobless benefits fell 12,000 from the previous week. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/27) , Reuters (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • As debt cap nears, U.S. budget talks drag on
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    Geithner/Reuters
    The legal cap on U.S. borrowing will be reached by Monday, the Treasury Department reported as budget negotiations yielded no signs of progress while White House and congressional leaders returned to work Thursday. Observers say that any budget accord might not include a new debt ceiling. The Wall Street Journal (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Eurozone looks to an unsettled new year
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    Draghi/Reuters
    European Central Bank President Mario Draghi succeeded in taming the worst expectations over the eurozone crisis in 2012, but prospects for the new year are less bright unless record and rising unemployment can be addressed. Meanwhile, Spain's minister of economy and competitiveness confirmed his country's refusal to seek ECB aid, with all its accompanying strictures, for the time being. The Wall Street Journal (12/26) , Xinhuanet.com (China) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Market Activities 
  • INTERNATIONAL MARKETS OVERVIEW
    European investors focused on a favorable Italian debt auction, and U.S. investors keyed on late news of a scramble to achieve a budget agreement to pull shares back from sharp losses Thursday. The Stoxx Europe 600 ended the day with a 0.04% gain to 280.60, and the S&P 500 pared its midday loss to end 0.12% lower at 1,418.10. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (12/28) , The Wall Street Journal (12/27) , CNNMoney (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sliding yen, rising China profits lift Asian shares
    Upbeat profit figures for China's industrial companies and a continued plunge in the yen against the U.S. dollar helped lift markets Thursday across Asia. The Nikkei rose 0.91% to 10,322.98, the Hang Seng added 0.35% to 22,619.78, the Kospi was up 0.26% to 1,987.35 and the S&P/ASX ended with a 0.28% gain to 4,648.00. Bloomberg (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • China's industrial profits pick up
    Industrial profits are picking up in China, rising 3% year-on-year over the first 11 months of 2012, improving from a 0.5% gain over the first 10 months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Separately, China's budget deficit is reported likely to grow 50% in 2013, in part due to borrowing to boost local governments. Caijing Magazine online (12/27) , Bloomberg (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • South Korea dials down growth forecast
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    Reuters
    With a new government coming in, South Korea lowered its growth forecasts for this year and next, projecting 3% improvement for 2013, down from the previous forecast of 4%. Meanwhile, separate data showed that delinquency rates for loans by South Korean banks have declined slightly and that, over the past decade, the total value of South Korea's assets, public and private, have more than doubled in value. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/27) , MK.co.kr (South Korea) (12/27) , MK.co.kr (South Korea) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • Dim sum bonds outlook is strong after a winning 2012
    So-called dim sum bonds -- yuan-denominated corporate securities sold outside mainland China -- outpaced bonds from other Asian countries this year, rising 6.2%. The performance marked a turnaround from 2011's lagging return and bodes well for the new year with an expected rebound in China's economy, making the bonds a leading choice of Western Asset Management. Bloomberg (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China bankers confident on asset quality heading into 2013
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    Reuters
    Although China's bankers express caution about some sectors -- including real estate, local government and small businesses -- they're generally optimistic about future asset quality, according to a survey by the China Banking Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. They also expect nonperforming loans to remain below 1% of the total for the next three years. China Daily (Beijing) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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