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December 4, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • U.S. manufacturing index shows surprising weakness
    U.S. manufacturing hit a more than three-year low last month, falling beneath the break-even 50 mark at 49.5 on the Institute for Supply Management index. Economists cited concern looking ahead to the outcome of U.S. budget talks and the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy. "Since May, the index has been very close to 50, and I think what we are seeing is that manufacturing has stalled and has yet to recover," said Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial. CBS MoneyWatch/The Associated Press (12/3) , Reuters (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Eurozone manufacturing records another month of decline
    Manufacturing in the eurozone stayed firmly in negative territory in November while rising a bit to a Markit Economics index reading of 46.2 from 45.4 in October. It was the 16th month of decline. "The ongoing steep pace of manufacturing decline suggests that the region's recession will have deepened in the final quarter of the year, extending into a third successive quarter. The rate of GDP decline is likely to have gathered pace markedly on the surprisingly modest 0.1 percent decline seen in the third quarter," chief economist Chris Williamson said in Markit's report. Bloomberg (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Fitch sees dangers ahead for Indian credit rating
    Looking ahead to the months before Indian elections in 2014, Fitch Ratings noted the temptation to ease fiscal policy as one danger, along with a slump in GDP, that could lead to a credit downgrade to junk status. Fitch noted India's strengths of a diverse economy and high savings rates but added that "India's track record of delivering on fiscal policy goals is not encouraging." Reuters (12/3) , The Hindu (India) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
    Progress on the eurozone front with a bond buyback plan from Greece and signs of an improving Chinese economy lifted stocks Monday in Europe, but U.S. stocks suffered from unexpectedly weak manufacturing data. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.13% to 276.13, and the S&P 500 eased back 0.47% to 1,409.46. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (12/4) , Bloomberg (12/3) , CNNMoney (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian stocks ebb and flow, with eyes on China, U.S.
    Asian stocks groped for direction Monday with conflicting signs of an improving outlook in China and a dimmer outlook for resolution in U.S. budget talks. The Nikkei edged up 0.13% to 9,458.18, the Hang Seng fell 1.19% to 21,767. 85, the Kospi added 0.37% to 1,940.02 and the S&P/ASX was up 0.57% at 4,531.50. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Asia manufacturing looking good, for now
    With the crucial inclusion of China, manufacturing indicators are generally pointing up across Asia in a positive sign for growth across the region and globally. One external factor that could blow much of the region off course, however, is the U.S. budget situation, with automatic measures due at the beginning of the year posing a threat to the U.S. economy and export demand. The Wall Street Journal (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • South Korea to keep closer eye on flows of foreign capital
    As of April next year, South Korea's financial institutions will be required to provide regulators a breakdown of foreign capital flows by asset classes. The new measures from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Bank of Korea are designed to allow for more careful monitoring of foreign funds entering and exiting the country. (South Korea) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Australian rate-cut outlook improves as economy weakens
    Earlier expectations that Australia's central bank would lower interest rates have been reinforced by new data pointing to weak retail and job markets and tame inflation. "We continue to expect a 25 basis points cut at the RBA Board meeting tomorrow and for the Bank to maintain a strong easing bias in 2013," said Ivan Colhoun, ANZ's head of Australian economics and property research. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)/Reuters (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • CME to set up office in Beijing
    CME Group will establish a foothold in Beijing next year, eyeing what it anticipates will be a growing local appetite for derivatives. "The work we've started 10 years ago, we ramped up in the last three to four years, and this has positioned us in a very good way if China does open up," said CME chief Phupinder Gill. The Business Times (Singapore) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • Capital erosion widespread among South Korean investment firms
    Total capital is now less than paid-in capital for more than 4 in 10 South Korean financial investment companies, according to the Financial Supervisory Service and the Korea Financial Investment Association. Among the prominent companies reporting capital erosion after the past few years of losses are Korea RB Securities, ING Securities and RBS Asia. (South Korea) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taiwan tax impasse might scuttle renminbi bond flotations
    Refusal by Taiwan's Ministry of Finance to grant tax exemptions for offshore banking units of domestic banks floating renminbi-denominated bonds might put a halt to the business. The Financial Supervisory Commission has been encouraging the practice, but without the exemptions, enterprises will be likely instead to issue dim sum bonds in Hong Kong. China Economic News Service (Taiwan) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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