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October 19, 2012
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  • U.S. jobless claims surge in latest week
    U.S. claims for jobless benefits jumped last week but, at 388,000, remained in the sub-400,000 range that economists believe indicates a healing employment market. The more indicative four-week moving average is now at 365,500. "Things are getting better in the labor market, but only slowly," said economist Yelena Shulyatyeva of BNP Paribas in New York. Reuters (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. leading indicators index turns up
    Sustained improvement in the U.S. housing market is one big factor behind a 0.6% lift in the index of U.S. leading economic indicators in September, as reported by the Conference Board. Separately, the August indicator was revised downward to a 0.4% decline. "The LEI has been signaling an economy that is fluctuating around a slow growth trend," observed Ataman Ozyildirim, a Conference Board economist. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • France, Germany split over full banking union
    France and Germany divided over urgency of creating a banking union, with France demanding quick action and Germany insisting on a slower track. German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined in calling for rapid establishment of a banking supervisor but said a test period is needed before clearing the way for recapitalization of struggling banks by the eurozone rescue fund. Meanwhile in Greece, protesters clashed violently with police over austerity measures as a general strike hobbled much of the nation. Financial Times(tiered subscription model) (10/19) , Reuters (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Market Activities 
    Stocks in Europe were generally stronger Thursday on favorable economic signs in the U.S., but U.S. shares fell back as weaker corporate earnings emerged, including disappointing results for Google. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.19% to 276.18, but the S&P 500 ended 0.24% lower at 1,457.34. Here is a continuously updated listed of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (10/19) , Bloomberg Businessweek (10/18) , CNNMoney (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China growth figures relieve Asian investors; markets advance
    Although China's September figure for growth in gross domestic product was low at 7.4%, it matched expectations and buoyed investor sentiment across Asia, as did further evidence of a healing U.S. economy. The Nikkei surged 2.00% to 8,982.86, the Hang Seng was up 0.48% to 21,518.71, the Kospi added 0.20% to 1,959.12 and the S&P/ASX rose 0.69% to 4,559.40. Bloomberg (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • S&P outlines steps to take Philippines to investment grade
    With a more solid foundation politically and financially, the Philippines should move ahead on several other fronts to take the next steps toward a one-notch improvement to investment grade, advises Standard & Poor's. The rating agency said the government should now focus on spurring growth, addressing the country's high debt and elevating per capita income. Business World (Philippines) (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • South Korea to seek bill allowing covered bonds
    Under a proposal by South Korea's Financial Services Commission, local financial institutions could sell covered bonds based on sound assets such as mortgage-backed securities with a maturity of at least five years. The move is seen as necessary to relieve financial strains. "We need to introduce covered bonds to lift household debt burdens and help banks raise money overseas at lower rates," said FSC Chairman Kim Seok-dong. Yonhap News Agency (South Korea) (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tougher laws, more scrutiny in store after Japan pension fund scandal
    Japan's AIJ pension fund scandal is expected to lead to a raft of harsher laws and regulatory inspections following the recent crackdown on insider trading. "One shake-out from AIJ is that inspections of money managed offshore will focus increasingly on managers nominally trading from Hong Kong or Singapore but in fact directed through an advisory presence in Japan," observed Chris Wells, financial services partner in the Tokyo office of law firm White & Case. (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • U.S. derivatives rules may be deterring Asian banks
    Stiffer derivatives trading rules proposed in the U.S. may be scaring off Asian banks dealing with U.S. banks, people in the industry say. "We have heard there are institutions that, if they have a choice of doing business with a U.S. or European counterpart or Asian counterparty, they are looking more at the Asian and European counterparties than the Americans," said Robert Pickel, chief of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. The Wall Street Journal (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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