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October 18, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • Jump in U.S. housing starts is a bright sign for overall economy
    Adding to a string of upbeat notes for the U.S. economy, housing starts surged 15% in September. It was the best showing in more than four years, making this important sector one of the strongest. "One of the big headwinds for the economy has been the weak housing market, and this indicates that headwind has dissipated," said Gary Thayer, an economic strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. Fox Business (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. manufacturing makes feeble gains in September
    A struggling global economy helped damp U.S. manufacturing output in September, with the Federal Reserve reporting only a 0.2% increase for the month. The gain failed to balance out a sharp decline in August. Inflation, however, remained tame, perhaps opening the way for further measures by the Fed. Fox Business/Reuters (10/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • IMF leader urges calibrating austerity to nations' capacity to endure
    Although tax boosts and spending cuts are still in order for debt-burdened eurozone countries, the speed with which austerity is implemented should be gauged according to local conditions to avoid strangling weak economies, said International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Lagarde's comment comes as economists begin to acknowledge the devastation wrought by austerity policies and after a recent softening in stance by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
    European investors were encouraged Wednesday by Spain's steady debt rating and further signs of a real estate revival in the U.S., while U.S. stocks advanced as more corporate earnings were reported. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.47% to close at 275.66, and the S&P 500 was up 0.41% to 1,460.91. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (10/18) , Bloomberg Businessweek (10/17) , CNNMoney (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian stocks rise on news from China, Europe, U.S.
    Signs of a stabilizing Chinese economy and rising hopes ahead of a third-quarter growth report today lifted shares on Chinese exchanges Wednesday, with the Shanghai Composite adding 0.32% to 2,105.62 and the Hang Seng surging 0.99% to 21,416.64. Elsewhere in Asia, shares advanced on indications of health in the U.S. economy and easing crisis in the eurozone. The Nikkei jumped 1.21% to 8,806.55, the Kospi rose 0.70% to 1,955.15, and the S&P/ASX gained 0.82% to 4,528.20. Bloomberg (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Japanese government tackles economic malaise amid stalemate
    With a perceived urgent need to counter an economic slowdown even as politicians remain locked in stalemate, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government has decided to tap discretionary budget funds to provide stimulus. Meanwhile, the Cabinet has been tasked with producing a plan for broader economic remedies by next month. "The Japanese economy is in a state of stagnation or recession. Policymakers in this country should provide some stimulus," said Masamichi Adachi, a senior economist at JPMorgan Securities in Tokyo. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Thai central bank cuts rate in stimulus bid
    Looking to sustain growth domestically as the global market sags, Thailand's central bank has cut its key interest rate. The move, however, drew criticism from some who noted the home market is already generating strong consumer demand. BBC (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Philippine factories feel effects of global slowdown
    Growth in Philippine factory output continued to ease in September, with annual growth of 3.5% down from 3.7% in August due to flagging global demand. "The booming sectors are the small ones, and those that are being left behind are the big sectors. This is because the U.S. economy is still in crisis. Even the economy of China is slowing down," said Donald G. Dee, vice chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Business World (Philippines) (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • Short interest balance at record in South Korea
    The balance of short interest in South Korea has reached its highest point since short selling was approved in June 2009, according to the Korea Financial Investment Association. As of the end of the third quarter, the balance was 927.02 million shares, up 69% from a year before. (South Korea) (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • Taiwan minister defends rules for Chinese investment
    Current measures that aren't formal laws are adequate to regulate Chinese investment in Taiwan, and practical considerations should preclude turning these rules into formal legislation, said Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-hsiang. National security is not endangered, Shih said, and laws would only reduce administrative efficiencies. The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Dragon Capital resets sights, broadens Indochina fund
    With demand down for single-country vehicles, Vietnam's Dragon Capital has broadened its Indochina Opportunities Fund to all of the region rather than just Vietnam and now plans to reach its initial target of $50 million by the end of 2012 rather than the hoped-for date early this year. “We see ourselves as a Southeast Asia frontier markets specialist,” Chief Investment Officer Bill Stoops said of the fund, which aims to hit $250 million in 2013. (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • DBS extends hiring in Asia
    More staffers are needed in Singapore and across the region as DBS Group Holdings extends its growth, says CEO Piyush Gupta. "We think the growth agenda in Asia is well established, we still have enough opportunities, which means we continue to add people," Gupta said. The Business Times (Singapore) (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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