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December 31, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • Obama urges quick action to meet budget deadline
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    While signs emanating from U.S. budget talks indicated no progress, President Barack Obama pointed to Republican intransigence and called on Congress to act within the next 48 hours to avoid automatic tax increases and budget cuts. "If people start seeing that on Jan. 1 this problem still hasn't been solved, that we haven't seen the kind of deficit reduction that we could have had had the Republicans been willing to take the deal that I gave them ... then obviously that's going to have an adverse reaction in the markets," Obama said in a TV interview. Separately, Standard & Poor's said it sees little reason to alter its U.S. credit rating regardless of the outcome. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/30) , Reuters (12/30) , The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)/Reuters (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Merkel opponent says austerity too harsh
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    The principal opponent of Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year's German elections says austerity measures being imposed in periphery countries are too much, too soon, with "some societies ... being forced to their knees." Peer Steinbrueck, a former finance minister, said his SPD party would focus on stabilizing the eurozone, both for the sake of Germany and the EU. Reuters (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • U.K. businesses express low confidence
    U.K. businesses have had their confidence shaken after a 16-year streak of higher spirits, concluding that the country's austerity program is doing more harm than good, according to a BDO index. "Austerity has proved to be the wrong medicine for restoring growth," said Peter Hemington, a partner at BDO and author of the report. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
    If the recent past of gently lower drifting stock prices really is prologue, U.S. shares over the next week may not plunge if no U.S. budget deal is reached before the year-end deadline. On Friday, the S&P 500 finished 1.10% lower at 1,402.43, and across the Atlantic the Stoxx Europe 600 finished with a loss of 0.65% at 278.78. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indices. The Wall Street Journal (12/31) , Reuters (12/29) , Bloomberg (12/28) , CNNMoney (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lock-ups may move China's market in shortened week
    China's stock market may see a notable effect in this week due to a large number of lock-up agreements accounting for $10.19 billion of shares expiring in a trading week of only two days. Elsewhere in Asia, the sixth week of gains ended on an up note with investors anticipating major moves in Japan and China to lift their economies. The Nikkei gained 0.70% Friday to 10,395.18, the Hang Seng added 0.21% to 22,666.59, the Kospi rose 0.49% to 1,997.05 and the ASX was up 0.50% at 4,671.30. (China) (12/30) , Bloomberg (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Urgent action needed to revive economy, India's Singh says
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    In year-end remarks, India's reformist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterated the need for urgent action to lift India's lagging economy, calling among other things for a crackdown on corruption and waste. "We cannot change the global economy, but we can do something about the domestic constraints which have contributed to the downturn," Singh said. Separately, India's Planning Commission said it will advocate lowering the average annual growth rate for the 12th Five-Year Plan to 8% from 8.2% this week before the National Development Council. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (12/29) , The Hindu (India)/Press Trust of India (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Philippines sees balanced growth again in 2013
    The Philippines' good balance of growth and inflation this year can probably be duplicated in 2013, the central bank says. "I think we can repeat our achievement of reaching a sweet spot this year. Our growth and inflation targets next year are similar to our performance in 2012," bank Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said. Business World (Philippines) (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • BRIC markets underperform world again
    The rapid growth on offer in the so-called BRIC markets has proved less alluring for global investors than the known quantities of developed markets for the third year running. The MSCI All-Country World Index rose 12.6% in 2012, outpacing the MSCI BRIC Index of shares in Brazil, Russia, India and China by 1.6 percentage points. Bloomberg (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 

  • China's central bank sets out 2013 goals with a focus on risk
    China's central bank outlined a broad set of goals for the new year, targeting risk, stable growth and rebalancing the economy, all while keeping inflation in check. The focus on risk is thought to reflect mounting concerns over recent non-bank lending and the possibility of defaults that could upset social stability. Bloomberg (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Editor's Note 
  • Reminder: Jan. 1 holiday
    CFA Institute's Financial NewsBrief Asia Pacific Edition will not publish Tuesday. Enjoy the holiday. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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