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March 8, 2013
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  Top Stories 
  • Weekly U.S. jobless claims in surprising decline
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    U.S. claims for jobless benefits fell unexpectedly last week, dropping by 7,000 while the more telling monthly average fell by an identical number, adding to evidence of an improving outlook ahead of Friday's release of monthly unemployment data. Continuing claims, however, were up by 3,000. MarketWatch (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • U.S. Fed report on U.S. economy remains cautiously upbeat
    The U.S. Federal Reserve maintained a broadly optimistic tone in its latest Beige Book report on the U.S. economy, citing a pickup in consumer spending and a resurgent housing market as favorable signs. "For the Fed, it's slow progress but not enough to alter its rate of asset purchases," said economist Yelena Shulyatyeva at BNP Paribas in New York. Reuters (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rise in U.S. household debt may point to spending trend
    A 2.5% rate of increase in U.S. household debt in the fourth quarter may mark an end to the deleveraging that has been weighing on the economy since 2008. The Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds report also showed substantial growth in the net worth of U.S. households during the period, with a gain of $1.1 trillion to $66 trillion. Reuters (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Early signs of change emerge at Bank of Japan
    Although the Bank of Japan elected not to alter its monetary policy Thursday in its last meeting under the current governor, one board member suggested getting an immediate jump on the easier policy expected under new leadership. Meanwhile, primary dealers are predicting that the central bank will greatly boost debt purchases to advance quickly toward its 2% inflation target. The Wall Street Journal (3/7) , Bloomberg (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • German industrial orders plunge
    Germany's industrial powerhouse hit a sharp bump in January, with orders declining 1.9%, much more than predicted amid weakening orders from the country's austerity-racked eurozone neighbors. "The decline in orders at the start of the year suggests that the industrial sector has not yet overcome its weak phase," the Economy Ministry said. The Economic Times (India) (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Big banks stand to benefit as derivatives go through clearinghouses
    New U.S. rules that take effect Monday will greatly benefit many of the banks behind the financial meltdown that led to adoption of the rules. The rules require hedge funds and others to channel their derivatives trading through clearinghouses, with big investment banks serving as the gatekeepers and raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for the privilege. Reuters (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Market Activities 
    An unexpectedly positive jobs report in the U.S. lifted shares Thursday on both sides of Atlantic, and European markets got a further boost from favorable corporate news. The Stoxx Europe 600, however, ended marginally lower, easing 0.06% to 293.19. The S&P 500 added 0.18%, closing at 1,544.26. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (3/8) , The Wall Street Journal (3/7) , CNNMoney (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Japanese shares add to gains as other Asian markets pull back
    Most Asian markets edged down Thursday ahead of the release of key economic data, although Japanese shares extended recent gains. The Nikkei ended the day 0.30% higher at 11,968.08 while the Hang Seng eased 0.03% to 22,771.44, the Kospi lost 0.81% to 2,004.40 and the S&P/ASX slipped 0.15% to 5,109.20. MarketWatch (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economic Trends & Outlook 

  • Taiwan reports exports up for January-February
    Taiwan's seasonally adjusted exports rose 2.1% in February, although the total of US$19.74 billion was down nearly 16% from a year before due to the Lunar New Year holiday in the latest period. A more telling figure combining the first two months of 2013 showed exports were up 2% from a year earlier, indicating a growth trend, said Yeh Maan-tzwu, director of the statistics department at the Ministry of Finance. The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 

  • U.S. increasingly the fount of investors for Asian hedge funds
    The U.S. has become the post-crisis go-to source for Asian hedge funds hunting for overseas investors. Before the meltdown, Europe had provided the biggest pool. But now "the majority of money coming into the Asian hedge fund managers that we work with is from North America," said Deborah Lee, head of Asia-Pacific capital services at Credit Suisse. (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mapletree performance brightens IPO outlook in Singapore
    A strong 12.4% gain for Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust on Thursday after its debut on the Singapore Exchange is raising hope among analysts that the IPO market will revive after a slow 2012. "The Singapore market has shown that it's becoming far more liquid, and people also like having an exposure to the Singapore dollar," said Nick Crockett, executive director at CBRE Capital Advisors. The Wall Street Journal (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Japan's giant public pension fund may look to overseas markets
    Japan's public pension fund may soon be exploring overseas markets as government officials express frustration with the fund's conservative strategy and modest performance. Being the world's largest such entity, the Government Pension Investment Fund is the object of scrutiny by market watchers as any change in practice could reverberate globally. The Wall Street Journal (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • Pay envelopes growing fatter for Asia asset managers
    Pay for Asian equity professionals climbed an average of 1.2% to $337,000 in 2011 while the figure on the fixed-income side rose 1.3% to $316,000, according to research by Greenwich Associates. The outlook is for further gains as more funds flow into the region. (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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