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November 26, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • Japanese candidates focus hard on flagging economy
    Japan's leading candidates for prime minister traded accusations and put forward sharply differing plans for prying the country's economy out of the mire as they campaigned ahead of December snap elections. Notably, front-runner Shinzo Abe seemed to back away from some of his more assertive ideas but continued to push for much larger doses of monetary easing. The Wall Street Journal (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • EU leaders at odds over budget, Greek debt write-down
    Net paying members of the European Union and net receivers of funding were unable to resolve their differences over the increasingly strained EU budget before their meeting broke up Friday. In other EU business, European Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen tamped down any idea that a debt write-down should be part of the next bailout for Greece. The Wall Street Journal (11/23) , Reuters (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Catalan voters appear ready to pull out of Spain
    A constitutional crisis might be piled on debt-racked Spain as voters in Catalonia on Sunday appeared ready to strongly favor parties that are calling for secession. The separation sentiment is fueled by the widespread perception that Catalans are taxed unfairly with not enough local benefit. CNBC/Reuters (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • U.S. data to reflect effects of storm, budget crisis
    Factors from the immediate past and the near-term future both worked to hold down U.S. consumer spending and business investment last month, according to economists looking ahead to reports due this week. Hurricane Sandy's effects will be reflected in the consumer figures, and the ongoing negotiations over deficit reduction probably weighed on business calculations. "What I hear from customers, what I hear from suppliers, what I hear from other CEOs that are running businesses is a real hesitation to step out and make big capital investments, to step out and take on big projects because of the ambiguity of what's going on in the economy," said James Ryan, chairman of W.W. Grainger, a supplier of tools and equipment. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
    A better outlook for the German economy and optimism that the latest Greek bailout will finally win creditor agreement helped boost European stocks Friday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 rising 0.60% to 273.33, marking a 3.98% gain for the week. In the U.S., the S&P 500 was up 1.30% on Friday to close at 1,409.15. The coming week may see some profit-taking on the U.S. exchanges as negotiators in Washington work on ways to avoid automatic budget cuts and tax increases. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (11/26) , Reuters (11/23) , Reuters (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 

  • South Korea leads OECD nations in recent credit upgrades
    South Korea has outshone every other nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in how far its debt rating has been boosted over the past five years, according to the Korea Center for International Finance. One of the keys is that "since Korea suffered from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, we've kept tabs on capital in- and outflows, foreign exchange volatility and managed the foreign reserves," said Lee Hee-jeong, an economist at Hyundai Economic Research Institute. The Korea Herald (Seoul) (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China, South Korea push for more investment
    China is lobbying South Korean industries for more investment in China, particularly in high-end manufacturing, and South Korean business representatives are calling for wider openings. During meetings to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister Wang Chao pledged to "widen investment sectors for foreign companies, innovate the use of foreign direct investment and further improve the investment environment." China Daily (Beijing) (11/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • China wage growth declines, as do prospects for rebalancing economy
    Wages in China are still growing but at a slower pace as corporate profits slide. The tamer pay increases might put a damper on plans to expand China's economy through domestic consumption. "Given the poor profit picture, wage growth is bound to slow down in the coming quarters, and this is set to reduce the robustness of consumption," impinging on China's "rebalancing in the sense that it will reduce the relative role of consumption in the short term," said Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong. Bloomberg (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • South Korea to reduce ceiling on currency forward positions
    South Korea plans to lower the ceiling on foreign currency forward positions, perhaps in the coming week, as the nation's currency nears the 1,080 won level against the U.S. dollar. "Capital flows are excessively volatile in the domestic foreign exchange market. When the volatility becomes higher, we will do our part to curb the excessive strengthening of the won," said Choi Jong-ku, deputy minister for international affairs with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. (South Korea) (11/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  People & Personalities 
  • Bank of China's Xiao Gang might be headed for central bank
    Xiao Gang might be next in line to succeed Chinese central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, with Xiao widely expected to leave the Bank of China at the end of this year, sources say. Adding to the speculation is Xiao's selection this month as a full member of the Communist Party's Central Committee. Caijing Magazine online (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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