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October 4, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • September eurozone business index points to recession
    A composite of purchasing managers' indexes across the eurozone points downward, registering 46.1 for September coming off a 46.3 reading in August, according to data company Markit. The index for the latest quarter is the lowest since the second quarter of 2009 and, if confirmed, would put the zone in a technical recession. (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. service sector slowing
    Although an index of U.K. service-sector business remained in plus territory in September, it lost ground, raising doubts about economic recovery. The index dropped to 52.7 last month from 53.7 in August, adding to evidence of a slowing economy. Ananova (U.K.) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Spain to pitch "bad bank" as good investment
    A "bad bank" that would harbor Spain's shaky real estate debts and possibly revive the flow of credit to the Spanish private sector is the pitch that the country's economy minister will make to London investors today. The bank is also necessary for Spain to open up €100 billion in aid for its banking system. Reuters (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Global services slump, but Asia is well-equipped for future shocks
    The eurozone debt crisis loomed large last month as service industries around the world saw a slump in business, with the only big exception being the U.S., where activity was nonetheless muted. Looking ahead to the implications for Asia, the Asian Development Bank said the "possibility of a shock emanating from the unresolved euro-area sovereign debt crisis or a sharp fiscal contraction in the U.S. pose the biggest downside risks to the economy. Fortunately, most developing Asian economies have room to counteract such shocks with fiscal and monetary policy." Bloomberg (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Asset Allocation in a Non-Normal World
Peng Chen, CFA
Chief Executive Officer, Asia (ex-Japan)
Dimensional Fund Advisors
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  Market Activities 
    Concerns over poor growth prospects in Asia and Europe weighed Wednesday on U.S. stocks, which ultimately got a lift from indications of a brighter domestic outlook that helped the S&P 500 rise 0.36% to 1,450.99. In Europe, stocks ended with little change, taking their cue both from the positive U.S. outlook and Spain's continued refusal to seek a bailout anytime soon. The Stoxx Europe 600 was down a marginal 0.09% at 271.37. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (10/3) , Bloomberg Businessweek (10/3) , CNNMoney (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Worries over China, Europe restrain Asian markets
    Concerns over further indications of slowing in China and the unresolved eurozone crisis kept a lid on Asian markets Wednesday. The Nikkei was down 0.45% at 8,746.87, the Hang Seng gained 0.23% to 20,888.28, the Kospi was virtually unchanged at 1,996.03, and the S&P/ASX edged up 0.13% to 4,438.60. Bloomberg (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Australia's trade deficit surges
    Australia's trade deficit for August blew past economists' projections of AU$685 million, coming in at AU$2.03 billion on the back of a decline in coal exports. It was the widest gap since March 2008 and may raise pressure on the central bank to follow up on its surprise move Tuesday to lower its key interest rate. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)/Bloomberg (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Squabbles are seen hindering Taiwan's reach for financial-center status
    Taiwan's push to develop into a major regional fundraising center may be derailed by continued squabbles between the country's Ministry of Finance and the Financial Supervisory Commission, legislators fear. "It is strange that the Finance Ministry is at odds with the Financial Supervisory Commission while state-owned Bank of Taiwan voices reservations about plans to tax interest and dividend income to shore up the national health insurance program. The government does not need opposition from outside, as the Cabinet appears to suffer from self-inflicted chaos and discord," observed Chinese Nationalist Party legislator Lai Shyh-bao. The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (10/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Thailand's baht takes a hit; exports extend slump
    Fear of the knock-on effect from further evidence of slowing in China and Europe sent the Thai baht to its sharpest drop in more than a week Wednesday as export concerns mounted. China and Europe together account for more than 20% of Thai exports, which overall were down 5.1% in August after a decline of 3.9% in July. Bangkok Post (Thailand) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • Smaller hedge funds in Asia worth a look
    Hedge fund investors drawn to Asia may do better to part from the crowd to find robust returns, rather than flock to the billion-dollar funds in the region, advises Hugh Forward, managing director of New York-based Cross Border Alternatives. The problem is that under new regulations and institutionalization, people are trying to turn hedge fund investing "into a formulaic business" without taking the time to look at smaller funds with good returns, Forward says. (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taiwan's banks look to Southeast Asia, Australia
    Singling out Australia as one of the most active economies in the region, S.C. Chiu of Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission notes the expansion of Taiwanese banks there as well as in parts of Southeast Asia. In all, the FSC this year has approved 12 applications from Taiwan-based banks to set up for business in Southeast Asia and Australia. China Economic News Service (Taiwan) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
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