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November 7, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • Composite index suggests Japan on cusp of recession
    A strong currency and a lagging export situation exacerbated by the island dispute with China have placed Japan on the verge of recession, as suggested by a composite index of 11 key indicators. The Cabinet Office now assesses the index reading as a "turning point," indicating the economy might have peaked months ago. However, columnist Mure Dickie writes that the fears that Japan will tip into recession are overblown. The Wall Street Journal (11/6) , Financial Times(tiered subscription model) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • EU paints grim near future for Spanish economy
    Spain may soon be forced to seek eurozone aid if the European Commission's latest forecast for the Spanish economy is correct. A contraction of 1.5% is predicted for 2013, worse than the 0.5% pullback foreseen by the government, and growth in 2014 is pegged at 0.5%, again falling short of Madrid's prediction of 1.2%. Fox Business (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Index of manufacturing, services points to deepening eurozone woes
    A Markit Economics composite index measuring eurozone output in manufacturing and services slid further last month, suggesting the bloc is in a worsening recession. "The eurozone downturn appears, if anything, to be deepening rather than easing. It already looks highly probable that the eurozone is headed for further economic contraction in the fourth quarter," said Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight in London. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Greek consumer gloom thickens on eve of crucial vote
    As the Greek parliament prepares for a crucial vote on another big package of austerity and labor law changes, a new reading of consumer sentiment showed further decline. The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research index fell to 75.8 points in October, its lowest level since June. "Households discount a further squeeze in their incomes while the fear of unemployment is rising. Those who still feel relatively secure financially remain quite pessimistic on the country's outlook," the foundation said. Reuters (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Market Activities 
  • Asian shares are mixed on U.S. election eve
    Asian shares were mixed in light volume Tuesday as investors awaited U.S. election results. The Nikkei was down 0.36% to 8,975.15, the Hang Seng edged 0.28% lower to 21,944.43, the Kospi rose 1.05% to 1,928.17, and the S&P/ASX added 0.19% to 4,493.20. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Australian central bank elects not to budge on interest rates
    The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged Tuesday, thwarting the predictions of economists who believed the bank might opt to get ahead of an expected economic downturn. "The RBA wants to keep some bullets in the gun. If they cut too aggressively and things start to deteriorate, then you have the same situation as you have [overseas], where central banks have cut rates so much that monetary policy has become a blunt instrument," observed Thomas Averill, managing director of Rochford Capital. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China sees U.S. election as no factor in yuan-dollar exchange rate
    China's currency is unlikely to be moved by the U.S. election outcome this week, with the yuan currently near equilibrium against the U.S. dollar, said He Jianxiong, director-general of the international department of the People's Bank of China. "The U.S. election won't have much impact on the yuan level. China has a full power in making its own policy," He said. Bloomberg (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • CDS premium on South Korean bonds marks a 53-month low
    After soaring to 699 basis points at the depth of the global financial crisis in 2008, South Korea's credit default swap premium on five-year sovereign bonds has dropped steadily, reaching a 53-month low of 65 basis points. The low premium points to high confidence in the nation's economy. (South Korea) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Resource assets are increasingly favored by Asian state institutions
    Investments in energy, resources and cropland are increasingly among the targets for Asian state institutions, says Steve Gross, Hong Kong-based managing director at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. As one of the world's quickest-growing sources of capital, however, these institutions are facing a scarcity of such long-term, inflation-hedging assets. (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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