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24 December 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • Italy's Monti offers to lead a government that backs his policies
    Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he would be willing to serve a second term if backed by the political groups that support his policies. Monti said he was more concerned about seeing his economic policies implemented than the candidates running in the Feb. 24-25 national elections. Reuters (23 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Abe intensifies pressure on BoJ for 2% inflation target
    Shinzo Abe, who is set to take office Wednesday as prime minister, added pressure on the Bank of Japan to formally adopt a 2% inflation target. Speaking on Japanese television, he said he will change the law to strip the central bank of its independence if it fails to comply with his demand for a binding inflation target. The yen fell close to a 20-month low against the U.S. dollar. Reuters (24 Dec.), Bloomberg (24 Dec.), The Japan Times (24 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama nominates Kerry for secretary of state post
    President Barack Obama nominated Sen. John Kerry to the post of U.S. secretary of state, replacing Hillary Rodham Clinton, who plans to step down. Kerry is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are among the most vocal Republican senators on foreign policy matters and said they expect to vote for Kerry's confirmation. Bloomberg (21 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
  • Asian-Pacific markets drift higher in light trading
    Most Asian-Pacific markets edged higher Monday in modest holiday-week trading, with resource and gold mining stock prices posting the best gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 0.2%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended the session 0.3% higher. China's Shanghai Composite advanced 0.3%. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1%. Taiwan's Taiex slid 0.1%. India's Sensex was up 0.1% at midafternoon. MarketWatch (24 Dec.), The Economic Times (India) (28 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ETFs see influx as bonds' allure begins to fade
    Easing some fears of a bond bubble, global investors last week began shifting their money to stock exchange-traded funds, bearing the greater risk to pursue higher returns, according to fund-tracking firm EPFR Global. The move nonetheless closes out a strong year for U.S. bonds as investors sought refuge in uncertain times. Reuters (21 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economics 
  • Holiday shopping in the U.S. weakens in final days
    Americans filled the malls in the final days of the holiday season but many said they weren't in the mood to do much spending. ShopperTrak -- which calculates sales and foot traffic at 40,000 retail locations -- scaled back its holiday spending forecast from a 3.3% increase, to 2.5% growth. ABC News/The Associated Press (24 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China vows to boost rural incomes, raise farmers' subsidies
    China said it will protect farmers' rights to their land, increase subsidies to assure farmers a reasonable return on their investment and boost incomes in rural areas as part of a comprehensive rural program. "The most outstanding problem in our country's social and economic system is still the separation of rural and urban China; and the most serious factor hindering China from building up a comprehensive well-off society is the excessively big gap between urban and rural development," the Chinese news agency Xinhua said. Bloomberg (24 Dec.), Xinhuanet.com (China) (22 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Globalization lost ground in 2012
    Countries are less connected to one another now than in 2007, and they probably don't even know it, according to the DHL Global Connectedness Index, according to The Economist. Pankaj Ghemawat of IESE Business School says people assume countries are much more connected to one another than they really are and that the people who run companies overestimate global connectedness more than any other group. "Perhaps this is why their efforts to expand abroad so often stumble," the magazine notes. The Economist (22 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • IPO applicants start getting background checks in China
    China has begun investigating applicants for initial public offerings, including the credibility of their financial statements, according to the official China Securities Journal. The China Securities Regulatory Commission will disqualify any company that fails to meet its requirements, the newspaper reported. Reuters (23 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Dodd-Frank meant big changes for financial advisers
    Registration requirements mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act mean that in 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission was overseeing more of the assets managed by financial advisers than in the past. For the first time, those advising small private funds or venture funds were required to file Form ADV with the SEC. Financial-Planning.com (23 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CFTC delays derivatives rules for foreign banks
    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has given foreign banks until mid-July to comply with derivative trading rules. "The relief period provides time for the Commission to work with foreign regulators as they implement comparable requirements," CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler said. CFTC.gov (21 Dec.), Bloomberg (22 Dec.), Reuters (21 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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