May to Reboot Brexit Plan by Requesting Transition Period

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will on Friday propose a period of transition after Brexit takes effect in March 2019, aiming to give certainty and clarity to companies worried about the looming split.

In a much-anticipated speech in Florence, Italy, May will seek a time-limited implementation phase that the BBC reported will run for two years. The goal is to maintain trade ties to the U.K.’s biggest market so as to give businesses time to adjust to the new regime. A transition period would also protect companies from being hit with unwieldy tariffs and regulations overnight, if no long-term trade deal has been struck by Brexit day in 2019.

“We share a profound sense of responsibility to make this change work smoothly and sensibly,” May will tell the EU, according to extracts of her speech released in advance by her office. “While the U.K.’s departure from the EU is inevitably a difficult process, it is in all of our interests to make the negotiations succeed.”


Facebook Plans Big Overhaul of Political Ads After Criticism

Facebook Inc., under fire over Russia’s use of its social network to spread pre-election discord in the U.S. last year, pledged a sweeping overhaul of political advertising and said it will give Congress all the evidence it has on the campaigns.

More than 3,000 Facebook ads linked to Russia have already been studied by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to the country. Facebook initially didn’t want to share detailed information like this with Congress, but changed its mind on Thursday after a lengthy privacy and legal review.

“I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a video on Facebook Thursday. “That’s not what we stand for. The integrity of elections is fundamental to democracy around the world.”


OPEC and Allies Gives Mixed Signals Over Further Action on Cuts

On the eve of a gathering in Vienna, OPEC and its allies gave mixed signals on what they might do next in their bid to clear a global oil glut.

Ministers from nations that together pump more than half the world’s oil at times made conflicting statements about whether they would use their meeting on Friday to address perceived shortcomings in their agreement. While their production cuts have shown signs of success in recent months, the market could return to surplus next year if the group allows the accord to expire at the end of March.

“Everybody believes now that it’s still too early to talk about concrete timing of extending,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in the Austrian capital on Thursday. “We will monitor closer to the end of the agreement, when it would be possible to discuss it more.”


Trump Boosts North Korea Sanctions, Adding Economic Pressure

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on individuals, companies and banks doing business with North Korea as he sought to further isolate the regime and increase economic pressure for it to curb its weapons programs.

Trump added that China is ordering banks to stop dealing with Kim Jong Un’s regime, but it was unclear if he was referring to a new development or the People’s Bank of China’s Sept. 11 statement it had instructed banks and other financial entities to suspend accounts subject to sanctions under a United Nations Security Council resolution. China is North Korea’s largest trading partner and its main ally.

It’s also unclear what effect the heightened U.S. sanctions will have on the isolated state. It shows that Trump, who this week threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it provokes the U.S. or allies, is continuing to use economic and diplomatic levers in his bid to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.


China's Banking System Won't Collapse, Former Bank Director Says

Foreigners predicting doom for China’s banks have got it all wrong, according to James Stent, who spent more than a decade serving on the boards of two Chinese lenders.

Instead of falling into a debt-fueled crisis, China’s banks are able to stave off trouble because of the willingness of the government to throw money at problems in order to ensure financial stability, Stent argues.

“As one Chinese banker who works for an American bank said to me: ‘In the West, money flees problems; in China, money flows to problems to solve them,’” said Stent, who wrote "China’s Banking Transformation: The Untold Story," a book of lessons gleaned from inside the nation’s banking system. His book is published by Oxford University Press.


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1.1954 +0.0013 +0.11%
USD-JPY
112.1100 -0.3700 -0.33%
GBP-USD
1.3583 +0.0003 +0.02%
AUD-USD
0.7913 -0.0016 -0.20%
USD-CAD
1.2323 -0.0004 -0.03%
USD-CHF
0.9688 -0.0018 -0.19%
EUR-GBP
0.8801 +0.0009 +0.10%
USD-HKD
7.8094 +0.0049 +0.06%
EUR-CHF
1.1582 -0.0009 -0.08%

May Considering Brexit Bill Offer to Unlock Talks in Florence

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be weighing whether to accept for the first time the need to discuss the European Union’s demand for a “Brexit bill” of tens of billions of pounds, in a move designed to kick-start stalled negotiations in Brussels.

May will hold talks with her cabinet ministers before deciding how far she can go in promising money to the EU when she makes a landmark speech on Brexit in Florence, Italy, on Friday, a person familiar with the matter said. The premier has also signaled she’ll try to bypass EU negotiator Michel Barnier in an appeal to heads of the other 27 EU governments.

“What I will be doing on Friday is setting out an update on where we are and looking ahead in the negotiations,” May told reporters traveling with her to the United Nations. “The Council has given a mandate to the Commission, which has appointed Michel Barnier, but the decision will be taken by leaders.”


Iranian President Blasts U.S. Effort to Change Nuclear Deal

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani rejected any U.S.-led effort to alter the 2015 nuclear agreement that President Donald Trump has labeled “the worst deal ever” and signaled he may walk away from, a move the Islamic Republic’s leader said would only damage U.S. credibility.

Iran “will not be the first country to violate the agreement, but it will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party,” Rouhani told world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. The deal “belongs to the international community in its entirety, and not to only one or two countries.”

In his inaugural speech to the UN Tuesday, Trump called the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama “an embarrassment to the United States” that should be revisited. On Wednesday, he said “I have decided” whether the U.S. will continue to abide by the deal, but he declined to elaborate. Trump has until Oct. 15 to certify Iran’s compliance with the accord to Congress, a decision he’s required to make every 90 days.


Nicaragua Joins Paris Accord, Leaving Trump Alone With Syria

Nicaragua will reportedly join the Paris climate accord, leaving the U.S. and Syria as the only two nations left refusing to support the landmark deal to fight global warming.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega told state media that his government planned to sign the agreement “soon,” according to a report from the Managua-based television station 100% Noticias. A call seeking comment to the Nicaraguan embassy in Washington wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday.

Ortega had initially refused to join the 2015 accord brokered in the French capital, saying the deal didn’t require enough sacrifice from wealthy nations. President Donald Trump said in June that he would pull the U.S. from the accord because it imposed too many restrictions on U.S. companies.


Jack Ma Says Stop Looking to Manufacturing Growth for Jobs

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma, who wooed President Donald Trump earlier this year with a pledge to help create 1 million new U.S. jobs by 2021, said people should stop looking to manufacturing to drive economic growth.

While the rapid speed of technological change is understandably causing concern about the future, Ma called on leaders to embrace the promise of advances like artificial intelligence to span whole new industries.

“These worries are very normal -- two hundred years ago when the steam machine came, people started thinking the steam machine is going to take a lot of jobs,” Ma said, speaking at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York. “Because of artificial intelligence, because of the robots, manufacturing is no longer the main engine for jobs.” Instead, small businesses using the internet to extend their markets will lead economic growth this century, Ma said.


Fed to Shrink Assets Next Month, Boost Rates by Year End

The Federal Reserve moved to dismantle a pillar of crisis-era support for the world’s biggest economy and stuck with its forecast to raise interest rates again this year, saying hurricane damage won’t derail an otherwise healthy expansion.

“Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have devastated many communities, inflicting severe hardship,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement on Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington. “Storm-related disruptions and rebuilding will affect economic activity in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term.”

In the statement, the Fed set October for the start of their previously announced plan to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. As expected, policy makers left the benchmark interest rate unchanged in a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent.


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Currencies

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1.1879 -0.0013 -0.11%
USD-JPY
112.5400 +0.3200 +0.29%
GBP-USD
1.3489 -0.0006 -0.04%
AUD-USD
0.8002 -0.0029 -0.36%
USD-CAD
1.2343 +0.0020 +0.16%
USD-CHF
0.9712 +0.0014 +0.14%
EUR-GBP
0.8806 -0.0006 -0.07%
USD-HKD
7.8042 +0.0031 +0.04%
EUR-CHF
1.1537 +0.0001 +0.01%

Macron Uses UN Pedestal to Rebut Trump on Iran, Climate Deals

French President Emmanuel Macron used his inaugural appearance at the United Nations General Assembly to offer an almost a point-by-point rebuke to another first-timer: U.S. President Donald Trump, who spoke two hours earlier.

Macron insisted the world’s challenges were best met by working together, not alone, and he ruled out any renegotiation of the Paris climate accord, saying the rest of the world will go ahead with or without the U.S. He warned that Trump’s threats to exit the Iran nuclear accord would make the world more dangerous, and said brandishing military threats against North Korea was “impetuous” and counter-productive.

“Our challenges are global, and more than ever we need multilateralism,” Macron said during his 35-minute address to the assembly. “Walls don’t protect us; what protects us is our joint willingness to change history. We are all linked.”


Trump Warned Saudis Off Military Move on Qatar

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates considered military action in the early stages of their ongoing dispute with Qatar before Donald Trump called leaders of both countries and warned them to back off, according to two people familiar with the U.S. president’s discussions.

The Saudis and U.A.E. were looking at ways to remove the Qatari regime, which they accused of sponsoring terrorism and cozying up to Iran, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential. Trump told Saudi and U.A.E. leaders that any military action would trigger a crisis across the Middle East that would only benefit the Iranians, one of the people said.

More recently, the Trump administration has quietly sent high-level messages to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. to try to defuse the quarrel. Trump, who initially sided with the Saudi-led bloc, had a change of heart because of evidence that a prolonged dispute with Qatar will serve as an advantage to Iran, according to a U.S. official familiar with his thinking.


Banks Hire Lazard to Solve Turkey's Biggest Default

Banks that provided a $4.75 billion loan to Turk Telekomunikasyon AS’s major shareholder hired Lazard Ltd. to advise them on the nation’s biggest ever default, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The creditors also hired Raiffeisen Investment AG to advise in negotiations over the loan taken out by Ojer Telekomunikasyon AS, or Otas, which owns 55 percent of Turk Telekom. Other parties to the talks are the Turkish Treasury, which also has a stake in the company, and Saudi Telecom Co., which indirectly owns shares, the people said.

Spokesmen for Turk Telekom, Otas and Raiffeisen declined to comment, while Lazard officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


Uber Faces Widespread Asia Bribery Allegations Amid U.S. Criminal Probe

Uber Technologies Inc., facing a federal probe into whether it broke laws against overseas bribery, has embarked on a review of its Asia operations and notified U.S. officials about payments made by staff in Indonesia, people with knowledge of the matter said.

As the Justice Department looks into a possible criminal case, Uber is working with law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP to examine records of foreign payments and interview employees, raising questions about why some potentially problematic business dealings weren’t disclosed sooner, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

Attorneys are focused on suspicious activity in at least five Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea. For instance, Uber’s law firm is reviewing a web of financial arrangements tied to the Malaysian government that may have influenced lawmakers there, the people said.


Temasek Leads $300 Million Investment in Electric Scooter Maker

Gogoro Inc., an electric scooter-maker backed by Panasonic Corp., raised $300 million from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte. and other investors to pay for expansion and research and development.

Generation Investment Management LLP, co-founded by Al Gore, Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., and French utility Engie SA, also invested. The new funding brings the Taiwan-based startup’s valuation to about $800 million, including the new cash injection, according to a person familiar with the matter. That’s double the level when it last raised in 2015, the person said.

Founded in 2011 by Horace Luke and Matt Taylor, former executives at HTC Corp., Gogoro plans to use the investment to expand into more cities. The company started selling its scooters in Taiwan in 2015. It’s sold more than 30,000 scooters so far and built more than 400 stations for riders to swap used batteries for charged ones.


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Currencies

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1.2001 +0.0007 +0.06%
USD-JPY
111.5100 -0.0800 -0.07%
GBP-USD
1.3518 +0.0015 +0.11%
AUD-USD
0.8015 +0.0005 +0.06%
USD-CAD
1.2281 -0.0011 -0.09%
USD-CHF
0.9618 -0.0009 -0.09%
EUR-GBP
0.8878 -0.0002 -0.03%
USD-HKD
7.8046 -0.0002 0.00%
EUR-CHF
1.1542 -0.0006 -0.06%

Aston Martin CEO Calls for Some Brexit Clarity Within Six Months

Aston Martin Holdings Ltd. wants some clarity on the U.K. government’s Brexit negotiations within six months as the luxury sports-car maker seeks to avoid trade tariffs.

The British manufacturer, whose cars feature in James Bond films, also wants an indication of how the industry will recruit skilled labor after the U.K. exits the European Union, Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Singapore.

“We understand there has to be a period of discussions,” Palmer said. “I wouldn’t like that period of discussions to go more than six months without starting to get some inkling about where it’s going to go.”


Trump Says World Will ‘See Very Soon’ If U.S. Stays in Iran Deal

President Donald Trump said Monday the world will “‘see very soon” whether the U.S. withdraws from the Iranian nuclear deal.

Trump planned to focus on the agreement between Iran and world powers during a meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations annual General Assembly session, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters in advance.

Trump faces an Oct. 15 deadline to inform Congress whether the U.S. will continue to certify Iran’s compliance with the international accord. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has said he may decide against certification even though the International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran is meeting its responsibilities to curb its nuclear program. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said Iran is “clearly in default” of the accord’s preamble calling for progress toward regional peace and stability.


Rosneft Tightens Ties in Iraqi Kurdistan With Pipeline Talks

Rosneft PJSC, the Russian oil giant backed by the Kremlin, looked to deepen its foothold in the Iraqi Kurdish energy industry by suggesting it may fund a planned natural-gas pipeline to Europe.

Russia’s biggest crude producer could reach an agreement on financing the project by the end of the year, Rosneft said Monday in a statement.

The announcement underscores Russia’s interest in the northern Iraqi region, which is due to hold an independence vote next week. Rosneft, which previously prepaid money to Kurdistan for future crude deliveries, is among foreign oil and gas producers attracted to the province by its low operating costs. Yet the continued battle between local armed forces and Islamic State, which has sapped state funds in recent years, raises risks for investors.


The Bitcoin Rally Is Back

The bitcoin rally is proving hard to stop. The cryptocurrency has breached $4,000, soaring more than 20 percent from the lows reached Friday, as concern eases that a crackdown by Chinese regulators will hinder the growth of the alternative method of exchange. After reaching a record high of $4,921 on Sept. 1, the digital currency fell as low as $2,975 on Sept. 15.

Prices are rebounding because traders in China are likely to switch to alternative exchanges or seek loopholes in the regulation, said Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, a Washington-based nonprofit research firm focusing on cryptocurrencies.

“The efficacy of any bitcoin ban is pretty dubious,” said Van Valkenburgh. “It’s bullish because if a powerful government like China feels the need to ban major trading, then it’s a good indicator that the technology works and that it does what it’s supposed to. If it overcomes those controls, then it’s further proof that it’s independent from government controls, which is pretty radical.”


Wages Rising Just A$3 a Year Leaves Aussies Snared In Debt Trap

Australians’ average weekly household income grew by A$213 ($170) between 2004 and 2008. Since then, it’s increased by a total A$27.

The extremes roughly reflect a surge and fall in export income -- as industrializing China sent demand for iron ore and coal rocketing. But despite their stagnant wages, just over a quarter of Aussies have amassed debts equal to three times their income -- mostly as housing surged during a central bank easing cycle designed to cushion the end of the mining investment boom.

“Wages growth was very, very strong, but there weren’t the productivity gains to match it, so now it’s very weak because we’re simply not competitive,” said Alex Joiner, chief economist at IFM Investors. “So there needs to be a longer adjustment period, and that’s why you’re probably going to see wage growth only start to bottom out in the next few quarters.” Currency depreciation has helped, he said, but not enough to restore competitiveness.


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USD-JPY
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1.3515 +0.0020 +0.15%
AUD-USD
0.7965 +0.0007 +0.09%
USD-CAD
1.2301 +0.0010 +0.08%
USD-CHF
0.9613 -0.0002 -0.02%
EUR-GBP
0.8855 -0.0002 -0.02%
USD-HKD
7.7967 -0.0200 -0.26%
EUR-CHF
1.1504 +0.0008 +0.07%

The U.K.'s Economic Outlook Is Getting Rosier

Bank of England officials aren’t the only ones feeling a bit more bullish about the U.K. economy.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research upgraded its outlook for the nation’s economy Monday, citing a pickup in manufacturing and a view that the worst of the consumer-spending squeeze has passed. The group now expects U.K. growth of 1.6 percent this year and 1.4 percent in 2018, an increase from 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent, previously.

The revision comes after BOE policy makers said last week that they’re headed toward raising interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, noting that while Brexit still poses a risk, data since their last decision points to a “slightly stronger picture than anticipated.”


Ray Dalio Says He's Ready to Give Away Bridgewater's Secrets

Of all the hedge fund world’s secrets, few are more closely guarded than the inner workings of Bridgewater Associates Inc. Now, founder Ray Dalio plans to share his management system and corporate culture with the world.

“We’re about to take the algorithms we have, and we’re going to give them to others,” Dalio said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We’re figuring out how to make that fit in a number of other companies, to just pass it along.”

It’s a radical turn for a radical firm. The billionaire leader of the world’s largest hedge fund has developed one of the more unusual approaches to management, and more recently turned them into computerized apps. There’s the Dot Collector, which employees use to rate one another on a grid visible to the entire firm; the Pain Button, used to record emotions like anger or frustration; and Baseball Cards, a summary of each employee’s strengths and weaknesses -- again, available for all at Bridgewater to see.


World's Central Banks Can't Ignore the Bitcoin Boom

The world’s central banks can’t sit back and ignore the growth in cryptocurrencies as it could pose a risk to the stability of the financial system, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

It said central banks will need to figure out whether to issue a digital currency and what its attributes should be, though the decision is most pressing in countries like Sweden where cash use is dwindling.

Institutions need to take into account of not only privacy issues and efficiency gains in payment systems, but also economic, financial and monetary policy repercussions, the BIS said in its Quarterly Review.


Superpower India to Replace China as Growth Engine

India is poised to emerge as an economic superpower, driven in part by its young population, while China and the Asian Tigers age rapidly, according to Deloitte LLP.

The number of people aged 65 and over in Asia will climb from 365 million today to more than half a billion in 2027, accounting for 60 percent of that age group globally by 2030, Deloitte said in a report Monday. In contrast, India will drive the third great wave of Asia’s growth – following Japan and China -- with a potential workforce set to climb from 885 million to 1.08 billion people in the next 20 years and hold above that for half a century.

``India will account for more than half of the increase in Asia’s workforce in the coming decade, but this isn’t just a story of more workers: these new workers will be much better trained and educated than the existing Indian workforce,’’ said Anis Chakravarty, economist at Deloitte India. ``There will be rising economic potential coming alongside that, thanks to an increased share of women in the workforce, as well as an increased ability and interest in working for longer. The consequences for businesses are huge.’’


Tillerson Vows 'Peaceful Pressure Campaign' Against North Korea

The U.S. seeks a peaceful resolution but is prepared to use military force if diplomatic efforts fail to end the nuclear standoff with North Korea, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “If our diplomatic efforts fail, though, our military option will be the only one left,” Tillerson said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “But be clear: we seek a peaceful solution to this.”

The top U.S. diplomat made a rare appearance on a Sunday talk show as President Donald Trump prepares this week to ask allies at the annual United Nations General Assembly to confront the regime’s threat. Trump, in a Sunday tweet, mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man.”

Tillerson said the U.S. strategy is to pursue a “peaceful pressure campaign” based on what he called the four “nos”: not seeking either regime change or collapse in North Korea, an accelerated re-unification of the Korean peninsula, or a reason to send in military forces.


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USD-JPY
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GBP-USD
1.3596 +0.0002 +0.01%
AUD-USD
0.8029 +0.0027 +0.34%
USD-CAD
1.2177 -0.0021 -0.17%
USD-CHF
0.9604 +0.0001 +0.01%
EUR-GBP
0.8788 -0.0001 -0.01%
USD-HKD
7.8163 -0.0025 -0.03%
EUR-CHF
1.1475 +0.0010 +0.09%

Carney's Long-Awaited BOE Rate Increase May Finally Arrive

The Bank of England may be finally ready to deliver an interest-rate increase.

After false dawns sparked by Mark Carney in 2014 and 2015, a growing swell of BOE policy makers are now leaning more heavily toward the idea that tightening will be needed very soon. That’s got investors putting their money on action as soon as the next meeting in November.

Carney confirmed on Thursday that he’s among the majority of officials who see a need for tightening very soon. While the economy is under a cloud from Brexit, inflation is accelerating and the labor market is tightening. That should, at some point, spark the faster pay gains policy makers are looking for.


North Korea Fires Second Missile Over Japan in as Many Months

North Korea fired its second missile over Japan in as many months, a fresh provocation that comes shortly after the United Nations approved harsher sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Japan didn’t attempt to shoot down the missile, which was launched at 6:57 a.m. on Friday and flew over the northern island of Hokkaido before landing 2,200 kilometers (1,200 miles) away in the Pacific Ocean, according to Japan’s top government spokesman. An initial assessment indicated that it was an intermediate range ballistic missile, U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement.

The missile fired from Pyongyang flew 3,700 kilometers and reached an altitude of 770 kilometers, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. That distance is further than the 3,400 kilometers to Guam -- the American territory that North Korea had threatened to fire missiles close to. The missile fired on Aug. 29 over Japan traveled 2,700 kilometers and reached an altitude of 550 kilometers.


Bitcoin Crashes After Chinese Exchange Says It Will Halt Trading

Bitcoin fell for a fifth day, the longest losing streak in more than a year, after one of China’s largest online exchanges said it would stop handling trades by the end of the month amid a government crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

BTC China will immediately stop accepting new account registrations on its BTCChina Exchange, Chief Executive Bobby Lee said Thursday in a tweet. The decision was made after “carefully considering” the Sept. 4 announcement by Chinese regulators that outlawed initial coin offerings, he said.

The cryptocurrency has slumped as much as 27 percent since Sept. 7. It had risen more than four-fold this year amid greater acceptance of the blockchain technology that underpins the exchange method, global political uncertainty and increased interest in Asia.


UBS Shuns Singapore and Hong Kong Housing Markets

The threat of government curbs to tame prices makes Singapore and Hong Kong residential property unattractive, the regional head of UBS Group AG’s real-estate investment arm said.

“We have no exposure in the Singapore residential market and we are very comfortable not having any exposure,” Graham Mackie, head of real estate for Asia Pacific at UBS Asset Management, said in an interview. “Historically it’s been very exposed to government policy intervention and that continues.”

Instead, UBS is targeting investments in business parks and light industrial developments, he said. That’s a deliberate strategy which aligns with government policy to develop a more service-oriented economy, Mackie said.


Alibaba's Jack Ma Sets His Sights on a New Target

After conquering grocery deliveries, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is setting its sights on a new part of China’s $4 trillion retail sector: department stores.

The e-commerce giant, which is also venturing into cloud computing and entertainment, is increasingly looking at traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, Chairman Jack Ma, Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in interviews with Bloomberg News on the company’s 18th anniversary. Alibaba, started in Ma’s apartment in 1999, is worth $458 billion today.

The executives, speaking less than a month after Amazon.com Inc. closed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc., discussed Alibaba’s strategy for dealing with competition, its vision on data and challenges the company will face. Ma said Alibaba will need to embrace a different mindset given its current size, and move away from its asset-light approach to grab a bigger share of global trade.


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22,203.50 +45.30 +0.20%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,495.62 -2.75 -0.11%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,429.09 -31.10 -0.48%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,295.39 -84.31 -1.14%
DAX INDEX
12,540.50 -13.12 -0.10%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,225.20 +7.61 +0.15%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,361.10 -9.90 -0.10%
NIKKEI 225
19,833.40 +26.00 +0.13%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,578.80 -198.43 -0.71%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1908 -0.0011 -0.09%
USD-JPY
110.1900 -0.0500 -0.05%
GBP-USD
1.3388 -0.0011 -0.08%
AUD-USD
0.7996 -0.0009 -0.11%
USD-CAD
1.2182 +0.0017 +0.14%
USD-CHF
0.9638 +0.0006 +0.06%
EUR-GBP
0.8895 -0.0001 -0.01%
USD-HKD
7.8122 -0.0009 -0.01%
EUR-CHF
1.1477 -0.0002 -0.02%

May Picks Florence for Speech to Win EU Support for Her Brexit View

Theresa May will take her Brexit charm offensive deep into the historic heart of Europe with a speech in Florence, as her government tries to reassure the bloc it will not use Brexit to undercut financial regulations.

The premier’s office said Wednesday she would make a speech in the Italian city on Sept. 22, arguing that Britain can still work closely with the EU after leaving. Her announcement came as Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said he understood EU fears about the future supervision of financial markets and would try to allay them.

May and her team are taking a gentler line with Brussels, after the last round of Brexit negotiations ended in acrimonious disagreement and the next session was postponed.


Shkreli Sent to Jail by Judge Over Clinton Hair Bounty

Martin Shkreli’s big mouth landed him in jail even before his fraud conviction did. A U.S. judge revoked the former pharmaceutical executive’s bail Wednesday, ordering him jailed immediately, over a bounty Shkreli issued in a Facebook post for a strand of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hair.

“The fact that he continues to remain unaware of the inappropriateness of his actions or words demonstrates that he may well be an ongoing danger or risk to the community," U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said.

Shkreli, wearing a lavender button-down shirt and Dockers, was stone-faced as the judge handed down her decision. He was immediately taken into custody and led away from the courtroom by two deputy U.S. Marshals and into a prisoner holding cell adjacent to the sixth-floor courtroom.


U.S. Bans All Federal Agencies From Using Kaspersky Software

The U.S. government banned all use of Kaspersky Lab Inc. software in federal information systems, citing concerns about the Moscow-based security firm’s links to the Russian government and espionage efforts.

All agencies will be required to identify any Kaspersky products they have used within 30 days and develop plans to discontinue their use, according to a directive from Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

“This action is based on the information security risks presented by the use of Kaspersky products,” DHS said Wednesday in a statement. “The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security.” DHS said it has provided Kaspersky an opportunity to address these concerns.


Asia's Foreign Reserves Have Never Been Stronger

Across much of Asia, foreign currency reserves have never been stronger.

India’s are set to hit a new high of $400 billion, enough to cover a year of imports, while holdings of international currencies in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia are all at record levels. China’s reserves -- the world’s biggest -- posted a seventh straight gain in August to $3.09 trillion, helping to reverse a near $1 trillion decline.

Steady capital inflows from yield hungry investors and the weaker dollar have swollen coffers, positioning Asia’s central banks to tackle any volatility triggered by the Federal Reserve’s plan to shrink its balance sheet -- details of which are expected to be announced on Sept. 20. Indeed, central banks in India and Indonesia have been so confident in their inoculation from the Fed’s tightening that they both cut interest rates last month.


This Stock Soared 400% Thanks to Grounded Jets and In-Flight Food

Grounded planes are helping a Philippine stock fly.

Behind the five-fold increase in MacroAsia Corp. shares this year is a venture’s expanded jet service and maintenance business. The company is the top performer among the 274 equities listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, with its market value approaching $300 million. More gains may lie ahead.

Part of billionaire Lucio Tan’s empire that includes Philippine Airlines Inc., MacroAsia expects its other businesses -- airline catering and baggage handling -- will also benefit as the government attracts international travelers by improving the nation’s roads and airports. Profits will increase at least 20 percent a year, it says, after more than doubling in 2017.


Markets

DOW JONES INDUS. AVG
22,158.20 +39.32 +0.18%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,498.37 +1.89 +0.08%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,460.19 +5.91 +0.09%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,379.70 -20.99 -0.28%
DAX INDEX
12,553.60 +28.80 +0.23%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,217.59 +8.58 +0.16%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,371.00 +34.80 +0.34%
NIKKEI 225
19,913.90 +48.09 +0.24%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,864.70 -29.38 -0.11%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1876 -0.0009 -0.08%
USD-JPY
110.5800 +0.0900 +0.08%
GBP-USD
1.3203 -0.0008 -0.06%
AUD-USD
0.7996 +0.0010 +0.13%
USD-CAD
1.2179 +0.0007 +0.06%
USD-CHF
0.9645 +0.0004 +0.04%
EUR-GBP
0.8995 -0.0003 -0.03%
USD-HKD
7.8126 -0.0002 0.00%
EUR-CHF
1.1456 -0.0004 -0.03%

U.K. Companies Don't Favor Foreign Labor Over British Workers

British workers haven’t been losing out to foreign labor and are unlikely to see job prospects dramatically improve because of Brexit immigration cuts, according to a survey of U.K. companies.

While almost half of firms faced skill or labor shortages in the past 12 months, less than 10 percent said they targeted overseas workers to fill the gap, instead investing more in recruitment and training, the British Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday. It added that the results “challenge the myth that U.K. firms are ignoring local workers in favor of overseas labor.”

There was also a note of caution for those who say that reducing the inflow of European Union workers as part of Brexit will help jobs prospects for Britons. Just one-in-five U.K. companies said a restriction on access to EU labor would prompt them to focus recruitment on local employees.


Apple Bets on Augmented Reality to Sell Its Most Expensive Phone

Apple Inc. packed its $1,000 iPhone with augmented reality features, betting the nascent technology will persuade consumers to pay premium prices for its products even as cheaper alternatives abound.

The iPhone X, Apple’s most expensive phone ever, was one of three new models Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook showed off during an event at the company’s new $5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Tuesday. It also rolled out an updated Apple Watch with a cellular connection and an Apple TV set-top box that supports higher-definition video.

The event marked the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone and started with a remembrance of the late co-founder Steve Jobs. The product announcements were greeted with enthusiasm but little surprise by analysts, investors and fans of the company’s products. The Watch capabilities pushed Apple shares up more than 1 percent, but the iPhone X had few ground-breaking features that weren’t already telegraphed, and the stock gave up those gains to end the day down 0.4 percent at $160.86.


OPEC Discusses Extending Oil Cuts by More Than Three Months

OPEC and its allies are discussing extending by more than three months the oil production cuts that expire in March 2018, potentially prolonging them well into the second half of next year in an effort to boost prices, according to people familiar with the matter.

An extension of that duration would be needed under the worst-case scenario for the oil market that OPEC ministers are now contemplating, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks were private. One option under discussion is a six-month extension, one person said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan pledged to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels a day to eliminate a global surplus that was depressing prices. The deal, reached in late 2016, initially called for a six-month period, which later was extended with another nine months until the end of March 2018.


Malaysia Airlines Agrees to $3 Billion Boeing Plane Deal

Malaysia Airlines Bhd. agreed to buy Boeing Co.’s 787-9 Dreamliners and 737 Max jets as the Southeast Asian nation’s flag carrier looks to boost services on its busiest routes. The airline signed a memorandum of understanding for eight of the carbon-composite Dreamliners, and eight 737 Max 8s, Boeing said in an e-mailed statement late Tuesday. The planes are worth $3.06 billion at list prices that exclude customary discounts.

The agreement marks a victory for Boeing in a competition that had been viewed as favoring rival Airbus SE. Malaysia had been in talks for the European planemaker’s A330neo wide-body jets but had been unable to reach a deal on price, Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew said in an interview in June.

Malaysia Airlines may double an order of 25 of the single-aisle 737 Max 10 over the next five years, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Najib said at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday before the announcement.


Jamie Dimon Slams Bitcoin as a ‘Fraud’

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he would fire any employee trading bitcoin for being “stupid.” The cryptocurrency “won’t end well,” he told an investor conference in New York on Tuesday, predicting it will eventually blow up. “It’s a fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs.”

If a JPMorgan trader began trading in bitcoin, he said, “I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”

Bitcoin has soared in recent months, spurred by greater acceptance of the blockchain technology that underpins the exchange method and optimism that faster transaction times will encourage broader use of the cryptocurrency. Prices have climbed more than four-fold this year -- a run that has drawn debate over whether that’s a bubble.


Markets

DOW JONES INDUS. AVG
22,118.90 +61.49 +0.28%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,496.48 +8.37 +0.34%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,454.28 +22.02 +0.34%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,400.69 -12.90 -0.17%
DAX INDEX
12,524.80 +49.53 +0.40%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,209.01 +32.30 +0.62%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,336.20 +13.60 +0.13%
NIKKEI 225
19,869.80 +93.20 +0.47%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,839.80 -132.48 -0.47%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1982 +0.0015 +0.13%
USD-JPY
110.0500 -0.1200 -0.11%
GBP-USD
1.3309 +0.0026 +0.20%
AUD-USD
0.8033 +0.0014 +0.17%
USD-CAD
1.2167 -0.0019 -0.16%
USD-CHF
0.9590 -0.0014 -0.15%
EUR-GBP
0.9003 -0.0006 -0.07%
USD-HKD
7.8109 -0.0005 -0.01%
EUR-CHF
1.1491 +0.0002 +0.02%

May’s Brexit Law Passes First Hurdle as Rebels Demand Re-Writes

Theresa May’s plans for taking Britain out of the European Union remain on track after members of Parliament cleared the way for her Brexit law to advance -- but threatened to re-write it later.

In a vote after midnight, lawmakers agreed to allow the EU withdrawal bill to continue its progress through Parliament, by 326 votes to 290. The prime minister won after her government promised to discuss critics’ concerns before they have to vote again, and to consider allowing more time for the next stage of debates on the law.

The Brexit repeal bill will formally end Britain’s EU membership and overturn the supremacy of European law in the country. It is controversial because it hands sweeping powers to ministers to change legislation as they see fit, without full scrutiny in Parliament.


Focus on Iran Spurs Trump’s Bid to End Gulf Crisis

President Donald Trump’s renewed push to resolve a three-month showdown between Qatar and a Saudi-led coalition was spurred by a conviction that the impasse has distracted U.S. Gulf allies from his attempt to challenge Iran.

Trump told Kuwaiti officials visiting the White House last week that Gulf Arab monarchies can’t effectively counter growing Iranian regional influence if they’re busy fighting each other, according to a Gulf official with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president then engaged in a flurry of phone calls with Gulf leaders that ultimately led to the first direct contact between Qatar’s ruler and Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince since the crisis erupted in early June, the official said. So far, at least in public, Trump’s efforts appear only to have exposed the wide rift between the two sides, as they released conflicting versions of the conversation.


Saudi Arabia Says It's Open to Another OPEC Cuts Extension

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih agreed with his Venezuelan, Kazakh and U.A.E. counterparts to keep all options open in their push to re-balance world oil markets, including the possible extension of output cuts beyond next March.

Al-Falih agreed in separate talks with the ministers in the Kazakh capital Astana that steps taken by OPEC and other major crude producers such as Kazakhstan have contributed to better market stability, according to three emailed statements from the Saudi energy ministry.

Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, both members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, agreed to consider prolonging production cuts “beyond the first quarter of 2018, if needed,” the Saudi ministry said in one of the statements. The kingdom and Kazakhstan said such an extension “would be considered in due course as market fundamentals may dictate,” according to a separate Saudi statement.


UN Approves New North Korea Sanctions, Stopping Short of Oil Embargo

The United Nations Security Council approved new sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its latest missile and nuclear tests after the U.S. dropped key demands in order to win support from Russia and China.

The 15-member Security Council passed the resolution unanimously Monday following a week of talks that began when Kim Jong Un’s regime tested its most powerful nuclear bomb. The resolution seeks to cut imports of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year, ban textile exports and give countries the ability to freeze assets of cargo ships whose operators don’t agree to inspections on the high seas.

“We are acting in response to a dangerous new development,” U.S. envoy Nikki Haley told the Security Council after the vote. “These are the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea,” she said, adding that the U.S. remains willing to act alone to stop Kim’s nuclear program if necessary.


Hong Kong Finance Chief Warns Again of Property Risk as Fed Acts

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan warned potential buyers to be careful buying property in the world’s most expensive housing market, as moves by the Federal Reserve to unwind its balance sheet may shrink money supply.

Chan warned in June that Hong Kong’s property market is in a “dangerous situation” and vulnerable to a correction. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam describes housing as citizens’ No. 1 concern and recently set up a task force on increasing land supply as she tries to rein in ever-escalating prices.

“One has to be very careful if one really wants to buy a property in Hong Kong,” Chan said in an interview on the sidelines of a Belt & Road Forum in Hong Kong on Monday. Buyers need to assess their ability to service mortgages as interest rates normalize, he said.


Markets

DOW JONES INDUS. AVG
22,057.40 +259.58 +1.19%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,488.11 +26.68 +1.08%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,432.27 +72.08 +1.13%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,413.59 +35.99 +0.49%
DAX INDEX
12,475.20 +171.26 +1.39%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,176.71 +63.22 +1.24%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,322.60 +193.00 +1.91%
NIKKEI 225
19,745.80 +200.01 +1.02%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,945.70 -9.44 -0.03%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1951 -0.0002 -0.02%
USD-JPY
109.3700 -0.0200 -0.02%
GBP-USD
1.3172 +0.0009 +0.07%
AUD-USD
0.8003 -0.0026 -0.32%
USD-CAD
1.2119 +0.0009 +0.07%
USD-CHF
0.9564 +0.0001 +0.01%
EUR-GBP
0.9073 -0.0008 -0.09%
USD-HKD
7.8137 +0.0029 +0.04%
EUR-CHF
1.1430 0.0000 0.00%

Europe Sheds Its Brexit Baggage and Aims for a Bold New Relaunch

What a difference a year makes for the European Union.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, will deliver the annual State of the Union speech this week in a more upbeat mood than a year ago, when the 28-nation bloc was buffeted by the U.K.’s decision to leave and anti-EU parties appeared to be on the march.

In a sign of the EU’s renewed confidence, Juncker will push for free-trade pacts with Australia and New Zealand at a time when the U.S. is turning inward, along with a bloc-wide system for screening foreign takeovers and deeper euro-area banking integration. To underline the range of projects being planned without Britain, Juncker may not even refer to Brexit at all, according to two officials familiar with his thinking who asked not to be named discussing the speech.


Oil Denies Saudis Regional Stock Crown as Johannesburg Opens Gap

Oil has denied Saudi Arabia the opportunity to overtake South Africa as the biggest stock market in the Middle East and Africa, even as political turmoil and a faltering economy hold back share prices in Johannesburg.

The total market capitalization of the South African bourse was $489 billion as of Friday, about $25 billion more than that of Riyadh’s after its main index advanced 10 percent this year, about five-times the gain in Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index. The kingdom’s market reforms, which were designed to attract foreign investors, have been countered by the effects of lower crude price, the kingdom’s main source of income.

“While South Africa politics is improving a bit and the economy is now out of recession, oil prices haven’t gone up and Saudi Arabia’s inclusion to MSCI emerging markets is still pretty remote,” said Didier Rabattu, the head of equities at Lombard Odier Asset Management in Geneva, who manages a $920 million emerging-markets equities fund.


Irma Leaves Swamped Cities in Wake as Hurricane’s Fury Ebbs

Hurricane Irma converted streets into rivers, hammered Caribbean islands and the Florida Keys with deadly fury, and left about 3 million people without power and millions temporarily displaced.

But even with flood waters still flowing -- and before Tampa’s defenses were tested -- some residents in the southern part of the state were counting themselves fortunate that the most dire predictions evaporated. They emerged tentatively Sunday night, despite curfews and downed trees, to walk pets and take in storm-freshened air.

“This had the potential to be catastrophic,” said Gladys Ibarra, 51, who works in finance at a shipping company, as she wandered an inland stretch of Coral Gables, where tree limbs littered the ground, but buildings looked little damaged. “We were very scared, and we were very lucky.”


Australian Banks Sitting on A$500 Billion of 'Liar Loans,' UBS Says

Here’s something else for policy makers to worry about as they attempt to engineer a soft landing in Australia’s property market. The country’s lenders could be sitting on A$500 billion ($402 billion) of “liar loans,” or mortgages obtained on inaccurate financial information, according to an estimate from UBS Group AG.

A survey by the firm of 907 Australians who took out a mortgage in the last 12 months found only 67 percent stated their application was “completely factual and accurate,” down from 72 percent the previous year. The most common inaccuracies were overstating income and understating living expenses, the survey found.

These findings “suggest mortgagors are more stretched than the banks believe, implying losses in a downturn could be larger than the banks anticipate,” analysts including Jonathan Mott wrote in a note to clients dated Sept. 11.


China's Latest Bond Default Is a Cautionary Tale for Investors

Foreigners have been slow to warm to China’s domestic bond market, the world’s third-largest by value. A look at the latest corporate default may explain why.

Wuyang Construction Group Co., a builder in the eastern province of Zhejiang, defaulted on two put-able notes totaling 1.36 billion yuan ($209 million) last month. Bondholders are now up in arms, claiming in an Aug. 23 filing posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s website that the company didn’t disclose a raft of transgressions in sale documents for the bonds, which were sold in 2015. Three phone calls to Wuyang Constructions’ headquarters in Hangzhou went unanswered, and the company didn’t respond to a fax from Bloomberg News.

The incident is a good example of the teething problems China is seeing as it works to develop its $9 trillion bond market -- made more accessible to offshore investors via a connect with Hong Kong in July.


Markets

DOW JONES INDUS. AVG
21,797.80 +13.01 +0.06%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,461.43 -3.67 -0.15%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,360.19 -37.68 -0.59%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,377.60 -19.38 -0.26%
DAX INDEX
12,304.00 +7.35 +0.06%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,113.49 -1.13 -0.02%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,129.60 +4.70 +0.05%
NIKKEI 225
19,541.40 +266.54 +1.38%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,933.80 +265.32 +0.96%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.2015 -0.0021 -0.17%
USD-JPY
108.4200 +0.5800 +0.54%
GBP-USD
1.3182 -0.0018 -0.14%
AUD-USD
0.8044 -0.0016 -0.20%
USD-CAD
1.2141 -0.0018 -0.15%
USD-CHF
0.9493 +0.0051 +0.54%
EUR-GBP
0.9115 -0.0004 -0.04%
USD-HKD
7.8137 +0.0003 0.00%
EUR-CHF
1.1406 +0.0040 +0.35%

U.K. Growth Forecasts Lowered as Business Sees No Pound Boost

The weaker pound is failing to boost U.K. growth, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.

The business group downgraded its medium-term outlook for the economy in a report on Friday, citing a weaker-than-expected contribution from trade and subdued consumer spending. Inflation will outpace wage growth until 2019, the BCC forecast, continuing the squeeze on shoppers’ pockets that weighed on performance in the first half of 2017.

While sterling’s plunge following the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union last year helped cushion some of the initial impact of the decision, there is scant evidence it is leading to a sustained re-balancing of the economy. At the same time, the decline is pushing up prices for consumers, reducing their spending and threatening one the key drivers of expansion.


Trump Offers to Mediate Crisis Between Qatar and Gulf States

President Donald Trump said he would be willing to serve as a mediator between Qatar and a Saudi-led Arab coalition and predicted the two sides could reach a deal “very quickly.”

A Saudi-led alliance of Gulf states cut transport, economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar in June, accusing the country of funding extremism -- a charge vehemently denied by the government in Doha -- and being too close to Saudi’s chief regional rival, Iran. There have been few signs of progress in bridging differences since then.

“I do believe we will solve it ,” Trump said today in a White House news conference with the emir of Kuwait, Shiekh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. “If we don’t solve it, I will be a mediator right here in the White House” and “we will have something very quickly.”


OPEC Deal Extension Would Benefit Russia, Finance Minister Says

Russia would benefit from extending the accord with OPEC to limit oil production, said the country’s finance minister. “Extending the deal would be beneficial for all involved,” Anton Siluanov said in an interview with Bloomberg News. Failure to do so would probably lead to a “sharp change in price.”

Russia, whose largest single source of tax revenue is oil, is working with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to eliminate a global supply glut and support prices. Siluanov is not directly involved in negotiations with the cartel, which are handled by Energy Minister Alexander Novak. He has said an extension of the agreement beyond the first quarter of 2018 is possible, depending on the supply and demand balance.

While OPEC, Russia and their other allies have largely implemented and maintained their pledged cuts, the reduction has spurred shale oil output in the U.S., limiting the price gain resulting from the historic accord. This has put pressure on OPEC to prolong the curbs.


Equifax's Historic Hack May Have Exposed Almost Half of U.S.

Equifax Inc., one of the three biggest credit-reporting companies, was struck by a cyberattack that left almost half the U.S. population at risk, placing it among the most intrusive security breaches in history.

Hackers exploited a website application to access names, addresses, Social Security numbers and some driver’s license numbers of potentially 143 million consumers, Equifax said Thursday in a statement.

The incident -- which drove down shares in after-hours trading -- is a stark reminder of the risk of consumers’ personal data being exposed online, security experts said. It’s particularly worrisome for the millions of people who trust credit-reporting agencies like Equifax to handle and protect their financial information. That kind of data is critical and could be used in multiple ways to harm consumers.


Tencent's Giant Rally Is a Problem for Some China Investors

When it comes to China’s biggest technology stocks, some investors are finding there can be too much of a good thing.

Take Shi Bin, a portfolio manager at UBS Asset Management (Hong Kong) Ltd. One of the top stocks in his UBS (Lux) China Opportunity equity fund is Tencent Holdings Ltd., which has soared 69 percent this year. So far, so good. But it’s hard competing with the likes of the MSCI China Index because he is hobbled by regulations that restrict funds’ allocation in any single stock to 10 percent. Tencent’s MSCI China weighting is 16.3 percent.

“We were lucky to have beat the index,” Hong Kong-based Shi said in an interview during a visit to Taipei. “It would be a real headache for us if Tencent shares continue to surge, as it’ll be difficult to find better bets.”


Markets

DOW JONES INDUS. AVG
21,784.80 -22.86 -0.10%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,465.10 -0.44 -0.02%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,397.87 +4.55 +0.07%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,396.98 +42.85 +0.58%
DAX INDEX
12,296.60 +82.09 +0.67%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,114.62 +13.21 +0.26%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,124.90 -6.10 -0.06%
NIKKEI 225
19,322.70 -73.78 -0.38%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,684.80 +161.90 +0.59%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.2065 +0.0042 +0.35%
USD-JPY
108.2200 -0.2300 -0.21%
GBP-USD
1.3125 +0.0024 +0.18%
AUD-USD
0.8089 +0.0042 +0.52%
USD-CAD
1.2076 -0.0039 -0.32%
USD-CHF
0.9461 -0.0045 -0.47%
EUR-GBP
0.9192 +0.0015 +0.16%
USD-HKD
7.8049 -0.0084 -0.11%
EUR-CHF
1.1415 -0.0014 -0.12%

May's Key Brexit Bill Set for First Debate in Parliament

Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagship piece of Brexit legislation will be debated for the first time Thursday, giving opponents an opportunity to lay out their objections in Parliament. They’re unlikely to derail the government’s plans -- for now.

As if negotiating Britain’s divorce with the European Union wasn’t enough, Brexit Secretary David Davis also needs to steer the bill through the U.K. House of Commons to ensure that all EU law is copied and pasted into British legislation. Opening the debate Thursday, he’ll promise to work with opposition parties -- and the pro-EU faction within the governing Tory party -- to ensure all rights currently enshrined in EU law will be replicated after Britain leaves.

“We are not rejecting EU law, but embracing the work done between member states in over 40 years of membership and using that solid foundation to build on in the future, once we return to being masters of our own laws,” Davis will say, according to his office. “If anyone in this house finds a substantive right that is not carried forward into U.K. law, they should say so.”


U.S. Is Said to Seek a Ban on Crude Oil to North Korea at UN

The U.S. is circulating a draft resolution at the United Nations that would bar crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation’s exports of textiles and prohibit employment of its guest workers by other countries, according to a diplomat at the world body.

The proposal, which also calls for freezing the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been circulated to the 15 members of the Security Council, according to the diplomat, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. The U.S. has said it wants the council to take up tougher sanctions at a meeting Sept. 11.

The bid for the toughest penalties yet against North Korea comes despite renewed warnings against such moves by the leaders of China and Russia, which have veto power in the Security Council. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for 45 minutes Wednesday amid Pyongyang’s stepped-up pace of nuclear and missile tests.


Libya’s Biggest Oil Field Resumes Pumping Crude

Libya’s largest oil field resumed production after a halt of more than two weeks, putting pressure on OPEC and other producers seeking to rein in a global supply glut and firm up prices.

Libyan authorities reopened a valve on the pipeline from the southwestern Sharara field to the Zawiya refinery after they reached a final agreement with a militia group that had closed the link, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The pipeline’s reopening allowed Sharara to resume output, the person said.

State-run National Oil Corp. accused the group earlier of closing three fields since Aug. 19. Two of the deposits -- El-Feel, also known as Elephant, and Hamada -- resumed production last week, other people familiar with the matter said at the time.


Euro Zone's Too-Big-to-Fail List Swells as Nordea Sets Precedent

A European banking giant just snubbed one of the world’s strictest financial supervisors by moving to a more accommodating regulatory setting.

Nordea Bank AB’s decision to relocate its headquarters from Sweden to Finland puts the Nordic region’s only global systemically important bank inside the euro zone. After months of railing against Swedish efforts to make banks pay more to protect taxpayers, Nordea estimates its decision to go to Helsinki will save it as much as $1.3 billion in regulatory costs.

The move, which is due to take place in the second half of next year, promises to become a test case as Nordea blazes a trail in regulatory arbitrage.


Tunisia Taps Veteran Adviser for Finance Ministry in Reshuffle

Tunisia’s prime minister appointed a senior economic adviser to the president as finance minister, as the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings struggles to revive its economy and win back investor support.

Ridha Chelghoum’s appointment to a position he held around the time of the 2011 upheaval was part of a broader cabinet reshuffle aimed at ending weeks of uncertainty following the dismissal of the former finance and education ministers. The North African nation is under pressure to carry out fiscal and economic reforms that were conditions for a $2.9 billion International Monetary Fund loan even as it grapples with high youth unemployment and a tourism industry battered by militant attacks.

Moody’s Investors Service last month cut Tunisia’s long-term issuer rating and the central bank’s foreign currency debt rating to B1 from Ba3, citing delays in implementing the reforms, which include cutting the public wage bill that consumes more than 14 percent of gross domestic product.


Markets

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21,807.60 +54.33 +0.25%
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2,465.54 +7.69 +0.31%
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6,393.31 +17.74 +0.28%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,354.13 -18.79 -0.25%
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19,452.50 +94.50 +0.49%
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27,613.80 -127.59 -0.46%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1924 +0.0007 +0.06%
USD-JPY
109.1500 -0.0700 -0.06%
GBP-USD
1.3048 +0.0005 +0.04%
AUD-USD
0.8012 +0.0012 +0.15%
USD-CAD
1.2240 +0.0014 +0.11%
USD-CHF
0.9561 -0.0006 -0.06%
EUR-GBP
0.9139 +0.0002 +0.02%
USD-HKD
7.8248 -0.0006 -0.01%
EUR-CHF
1.1401 +0.0001 +0.01%

May in Double Brexit Trouble as EU, Labour Raise Obstacles

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit planning suffered a double blow as a top European Union official doubted that trade talks will start next month and the opposition Labour Party prepared to challenge key legislation.

The EU’s deputy Brexit negotiator, Sabine Weyand, told German lawmakers that she’s skeptical officials will be able to begin discussing a trade deal in October, as they had hoped, according to two people present at the briefing. Her warning emerged as Labour announced it will seek to block May’s plan for a post-Brexit legal regime in London.

May also has to contend with a leak of a draft plan for new immigration rules, which would end the free movement of workers on the day Britain leaves the EU, and impose restrictions on all but highly skilled workers from the region. The 82-page document, obtained by The Guardian, said immigration should not just benefit the migrants, but “make existing residents better off.”


Haley Compares Iran to North Korea in Criticizing Nuclear Accord

The Trump administration laid out its rationale for possibly walking away from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, declaring that the Islamic Republic’s ballistic-missile program violates UN resolutions and threatens to make the country “the next North Korea.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the agreement reached during the Obama administration is flawed and doesn’t take into account Iran’s role in sponsoring terrorism and efforts to improve its missile technology. President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the agreement as the “worst deal ever.”

“Missile technology cannot be separated from the pursuit of a nuclear weapon,” Haley said at an event in Washington on Tuesday. “If we continue to not look at the Iranian activity, we will be dealing with the next North Korea.”


Egypt Clears Multibillion-Dollar FX Backlog

Egypt has cleared a multibillion-dollar backlog of foreign-currency requests from importers and foreign companies since floating the pound in November, a central bank official said, the latest sign that the economy is recovering from a paralyzing dollar shortage.

The banking system is also meeting new foreign-currency requests without delay, the official said on condition of anonymity. The bank shared previously unpublished data with Bloomberg, showing that $1.5 billion in pending requests from multinationals to transfer to mother companies or pay suppliers have been cleared. Some $552 million has been made available to foreign companies seeking to remit dividends.

The figures add to growing evidence that Egypt’s external finances have improved since abandoning most currency controls in November as part of a sweeping economic program that helped clinch a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. Central bank reserves have almost doubled to $36 billion in July. International investors have poured billions into Egyptian local-currency debt.


As World Watches Kim, China Quietly Builds South China Sea Clout

As Kim Jong Un’s antics in North Korea capture global attention, China is quietly moving to bolster its grip on disputed territory in the South China Sea.

Last month, a Philippine lawmaker released photos he said showed Chinese fishing, coast guard and navy vessels surrounding a Philippine-occupied isle in the Spratly island chain, preventing planned repairs to a runway. Vietnam in July halted drilling in an area leased to Spain’s Repsol S.A, amid reports it did so under Chinese duress.

The incidents suggest China is taking advantage of a perceived U.S. vacuum on Southeast Asia under President Donald Trump, whose administration has focused on Chinese trade tensions and North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.


Hong Kong's Economy May Soon Be Eclipsed by the Chinese City Next Door

Hong Kong is on the verge of seeing its economy surpassed in size by the former fishing village Shenzhen, a role reversal long foreshadowed by China’s massive supply of cheap labor and subsidized capital.

Shenzhen -- less than 20 miles north of central Hong Kong -- will see its gross domestic product jump to $350 billion in 2018, ahead of its rival’s projected $345 billion, according to an analysis by Michael Parker, head of Asia Pacific strategy at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Yet while Shenzhen has amply demonstrated the ability to take the original Hong Kong trade-and-manufacturing prototype to new heights, in one main area it’s the ex-British colony that still reigns supreme. Hong Kong has kept its prominence as a financial center, with its influence highlighted most recently by the opening of a gateway to the mainland’s bond market.


Markets

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21,753.30 -234.25 -1.07%
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2,457.85 -18.70 -0.76%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,375.57 -59.76 -0.93%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,372.92 -38.55 -0.52%
DAX INDEX
12,123.70 +21.50 +0.18%
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5,086.56 -17.41 -0.34%
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10,179.80 -63.40 -0.62%
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19,325.90 -59.94 -0.31%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,498.50 -242.83 -0.88%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1912 -0.0002 -0.02%
USD-JPY
108.7100 -0.1000 -0.09%
GBP-USD
1.3036 +0.0003 +0.02%
AUD-USD
0.7993 -0.0003 -0.04%
USD-CAD
1.2384 +0.0010 +0.08%
USD-CHF
0.9549 -0.0003 -0.03%
EUR-GBP
0.9138 -0.0003 -0.04%
USD-HKD
7.8249 -0.0010 -0.01%
EUR-CHF
1.1375 -0.0004 -0.04%

Theresa May Is Planning a Big Speech on Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May is to use a speech in late September to try to force the pace of Brexit negotiations as an October showdown with her European counterparts looms.

She will explain how a raft of British position papers offer a vision of a “deep and special partnership” with the European Union, and make the case for continuous talks with a view to inject urgency into the discussion and tilt the direction toward trade. This much has been said by her team in the lead-up to an address that will unveil her latest thinking on Britain’s exit from the EU.

While the idea of a speech has been discussed for weeks, as late as Monday afternoon an official in May’s office said that the timing remained unconfirmed. That was until the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, appeared to give away the date while explaining to lawmakers in Brussels why the next session of talks could be pushed back a week.


Aramco Raises Oil Pricing to Asia in Sign of Greater Demand

Saudi Arabia raised oil pricing for October sales to Asia, increasing its lighter grades for a second consecutive month, in an indication the world’s largest crude exporter sees strengthening demand in its biggest market.

State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, increased its official pricing for Arab Light crude to Asia by 55 cents to 30 cents a barrel more than the regional benchmark, it said Monday in an emailed statement. The company had been expected to raise pricing by less than that, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“The increase is indicative of strength in the Asian market,” Robin Mills, chief executive officer of Dubai-based consultant Qamar Energy, said by phone. The impact of storm Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico, which cut U.S. refining output and drove up gasoline prices, could also have driven to larger-than-expected gains in the Saudi pricing for light crudes to Asia, Mills said. Potential U.S. demand for imported fuel could boost refining profits in Asia, he said.


The Man Whose Gear Caught VW Cheating Says Diesel's Death Is Overstated

What is the market leader in equipment for measuring automobile emissions to do if the vehicles of the future have no tailpipes and don’t emit exhaust? Japan’s Horiba Ltd., whose gear was central in exposing Volkswagen AG’s diesel-cheating scandal, believes that day will never come.

Electric vehicles won’t ever make up more than a third of autos worldwide, says Chief Executive Officer Atsushi Horiba, because it’s just not feasible to build the scale of infrastructure to enable battery-powered cars. Who, for example, would set up a charging station in the middle of the Arizona desert, he said in a recent interview in Tokyo. Internal combustion engine automobiles will continue to have a place, especially in emerging markets, he said.

“Any academic who says 100 percent of cars will be electric in the future has been reading too many comic books,” said Horiba, 69, son of the company’s founder. “It’s not an issue of technology, it’s just reality.”


Trump and Moon Agree to Show Muscle After North Korea Nuke

U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to support billions of dollars in new weapons sales to South Korea after North Korea’s largest nuclear test, while his ambassador to the United Nations said the U.S. would seek the strongest possible sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Ambassador Nikki Haley, said Monday at a meeting of the UN Security Council that Kim was “begging for war” after testing what he claimed was a hydrogen bomb. “Only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy,” she said.

Trump later spoke with South Korean president Moon Jae-In and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in separate phone calls, the White House said in statements. He told Moon he’d support “in principle” South Korea fitting its missiles with heavier warheads, which would give the country a potentially greater deterrent against its neighbor.


Sky-High Rents Force Hong Kong Bankers Into Dorm Life

Young finance industry workers are bunking down in dormitory-style accommodation in Hong Kong as “co-living" developments take off in the world’s priciest city for property.

An investment banker and a bank intern are among those renting rooms in an upmarket development called Mini Ocean Park Station on the south side of Hong Kong island, said marketing manager Cynthia Cheung. Elsewhere in the city, marketing manager Nicole Ho, 33, will have up to nine room-mates in her new home when another project opens, in a converted tenement block.

Stratospheric housing costs in Hong Kong are giving a push in the city to a trend taking off around the world as young people from New York to London to Shanghai struggle with elevated home prices. The city has at least six current and pending co-living developments started after 2015.


Markets

DOW JONES INDUS. AVG
21,987.60 +39.46 +0.18%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,476.55 +4.90 +0.20%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,435.33 +6.67 +0.10%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,411.47 -27.03 -0.36%
DAX INDEX
12,102.20 -40.43 -0.33%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,103.97 -19.29 -0.38%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,243.20 -82.30 -0.80%
NIKKEI 225
19,507.90 -0.31 0.00%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,740.30 -212.90 -0.76%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1899 +0.0003 +0.03%
USD-JPY
109.5500 -0.1700 -0.15%
GBP-USD
1.2922 -0.0009 -0.07%
AUD-USD
0.7952 +0.0008 +0.10%
USD-CAD
1.2409 -0.0007 -0.06%
USD-CHF
0.9581 -0.0001 -0.01%
EUR-GBP
0.9208 +0.0007 +0.07%
USD-HKD
7.8251 -0.0001 0.00%
EUR-CHF
1.1401 +0.0003 +0.03%

EU Brexit Head Says U.K. Must Be `Educated' on Cost, BBC Reports

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the British people need to be "educated" about the price they will be pay for quitting the bloc, according to the BBC on Sunday, citing comments made at a conference in Italy.

"There are extremely serious consequences of leaving the single market and it hasn’t been explained to the British people," Barnier said Saturday at the Ambrosettii forum in Cernobbio, Italy, the BBC said. "We intend to teach people" what leaving the single market means. A spokesman for Barnier declined to comment on the content of the speech, citing off-the- record rules imposed for the talk at the fourm.

Barnier’s comments followed the third round of increasingly acrimonious Brexit negotiations in Brussels last week. Barnier said in Italy he would never resort to blackmail, but insisted the U.K. must accept some basic principles, such as honoring the commitment to pay 14 percent of the EU’s budget until 2020.


Russia Likely to Back Extension of OPEC Deal as Prices Stabilize

Russia is likely to back a further extension of the OPEC agreement cutting oil output, judging that it has helped to stabilize the market, the country’s deputy prime minister said.

"The most likely outcome is that the deal will be extended," Arkady Dvorkovich said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Cernobbio, Italy, though he added that it’s still too early to make a definitive decision. "We are still six months away, so we will see," he said.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in May to maintain curbs on production until March 2018 as part of efforts to reverse a drop in crude prices which has their economies and budgets. The cuts came into effect in January after an initial deal in November 2016.


Trump Threatens New Sanctions After North Korea Nuclear Test

President Donald Trump threatened to increase economic sanctions and halt trade with any nation doing business with North Korea, and his defense chief said the U.S. has “many military options” after the regime said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb with “unprecedentedly big power.”

Sunday’s test, North Korea’s first since Trump took office, was a “perfect success” and confirmed the precision and technology of the bomb, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Energy from the underground explosion, near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in northeast North Korea, was about six times stronger than the nuclear test of a year ago, South Korea’s weather agency said.

Asian stocks fell on Monday as investors turned to haven assets, sending the yen, gold and Treasury futures higher. The biggest declines were in Tokyo and Seoul, with more moderate reactions elsewhere in the region.


Hong Kong Banks Checked on Loans to HNA and Wanda

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is tightening scrutiny over banks’ exposure to HNA Group Co. and Dalian Wanda Group Co., according to a report by Apple Daily.

The city’s de facto central bank asked Chinese banks and major lenders in Hong Kong for details on their loans to HNA and Wanda Group, Apple Daily reported, citing unidentified people. Banks were required to submit a survey last week to the HKMA providing information such as total credit extended and outstanding loans to the two Chinese companies.

The HKMA said it engages in discussions with banks on different issues, without commenting further. Wanda declined to comment, while HNA representatives didn’t immediately respond to calls and an email seeking comment.


Something's Got to Give Before Australia Moves Rates

Australia is stuck in an economic disconnect. Business is regaining its strut and has begun investing, but debt-laden households are struggling with stagnant incomes and substantial hikes in power prices. Juggling the two is the Reserve Bank of Australia, which has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low 1.5 percent for the past year, and has little option but to do so again Tuesday.

Policy makers are blowing on the embers of the consumer in the hope of some sparks -- though in truth it’s the strengthening business sector that needs to boost wages. As a result, traders are pricing in virtually no chance of a rate increase this year, but see about a 50 percent chance of a quarter-point hike in June 2018.

Governor Philip Lowe summed up the predicament during testimony to lawmakers last month, noting wage growth in Australia has slowed more than productivity growth: “The consequence of that is that the share of national income that is going to capital is at a five-decade high and the share going to labor is at a five-decade low.”


Markets

DOW JONES INDUS. AVG
21,987.60 +39.46 +0.18%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,476.55 +4.90 +0.20%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,435.33 +6.67 +0.10%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,438.50 +7.88 +0.11%
DAX INDEX
12,142.60 +86.80 +0.72%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,123.26 +37.67 +0.74%
IBEX 35 INDEX
10,325.50 +26.00 +0.25%
NIKKEI 225
19,521.40 -170.03 -0.86%
HANG SENG INDEX
27,803.80 -149.34 -0.53%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1885 +0.0025 +0.21%
USD-JPY
109.7900 -0.4600 -0.42%
GBP-USD
1.2956 +0.0005 +0.04%
AUD-USD
0.7966 -0.0009 -0.11%
USD-CAD
1.2386 -0.0008 -0.06%
USD-CHF
0.9608 -0.0040 -0.41%
EUR-GBP
0.9173 +0.0015 +0.16%
USD-HKD
7.8250 +0.0001 0.00%
EUR-CHF
1.1420 -0.0021 -0.19%

No Brexit Respite for U.K. as German Parties Align Behind the EU

If the U.K. expects the next German government to ease the terms of its departure from the European Union, it’s about to be disappointed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly stressed that her priority is to maintain the unity of the other 27 EU states, and polls all show her on course to win a fourth term on Sept. 24, albeit at the head of a coalition. A study of the main party platforms shows that all of her prospective coalition partners are similarly disinclined to grant the U.K. any Brexit gifts.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union-led bloc singles out the German fishing industry as a central interest to defend in exit talks, while her main challenger for the chancellery, Martin Schulz’s Social Democratic Party, warns against a “Europe a la carte” for the U.K.


U.A.E. Media Jump on Qatar Over Report It Plans to Bolt GCC

Chatter that Qatar wants to quit the Gulf Cooperation Council for not backing it against a Saudi-led embargo has unleashed a torrent of vitriol.

Newspapers in the United Arab Emirates, one of the boycotting nations, jumped on a report in Iran’s Jaam-e-Jam daily that cited a former Iranian ambassador to Qatar as saying the emir is fed up with the GCC. In pages upon pages of copy on Wednesday, they accused the gas-rich emirate of plotting to serve Iran by destroying the six-nation bloc from within.

“Qatar’s treason’’ and “Qatar commits suicide,’’ the newspapers screamed. “Doha’s rulers are a source of danger to the security and stability of Gulf countries,” Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Alittihad proclaimed, while warning in a different article of a “Qatari-Iranian conspiracy to destroy the GCC.’’


Strategic Oil Reserve Tapped in First Emergency Draw Since 2012

The U.S. government will release 1 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to a Gulf Coast refinery, the first emergency discharge in five years, after Hurricane Harvey halted foreign-crude deliveries to the heart of the nation’s refining industry.

The Phillips 66 refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, will receive the crude as part of an agreement requiring the Houston-based company to replace the oil once supplies are flowing again. As many as 11 ports were shut during Harvey’s five-day rampage across hundreds of miles of the Texas coast, leaving 28 tankers laden with more than 18 million barrels of overseas oil drifting offshore as of Wednesday night.

Harvey is straining the fuel-making capacity of the world’s largest economy just as the Trump administration mulls whether to shrink the 40-year-old safety net established to prevent crippling crude shortages. President Donald Trump wants to sell off half the reserve. Last year, Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama asked Congress to auction a fraction of the oil to help fund $2 billion in upgrades to the 60 underground caverns that hold the crude.


The Bond Market's Biggest Rally of 2017 Amazes Traders

The bond bull market is staging its biggest leap forward this year, much to the chagrin of Wall Street prognosticators.

Even after a late-July Federal Reserve meeting made it clear that policy makers would begin reducing the bank’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet in short order, 10-year Treasury yields have dropped 16 basis points in August, the steepest monthly decline since June 2016. At 2.13 percent, the yield is within spitting distance of this year’s low, set this week. At the start of 2017, most strategists expected it to be almost 50 basis points higher by now.

Simply put, this wasn’t supposed to happen. Not after three Fed rate hikes in the past nine months. Not with 3 percent economic growth. “To try to explain why bond yields continue to fall in this type of environment is very difficult,” said Charles Comiskey, head of Treasuries trading in New York at Bank of Nova Scotia. “This is uneconomic, this doesn’t make any sense at all.”


The World's Growth Optimism Hasn't Translated to Australia

The global growth optimism spurred by improved momentum in the U.S., Europe and China is being at the very least garbled in efforts to translate it to the land Down Under.

The only thing rising in August across Aussie assets has been government bond yields -- whose advance slowed -- as the data pulse at home reinforced the divide between ebullient businesses and downbeat consumers. Construction and capital expenditure jumped, but home prices, mortgages and retail sales sagged and wages stagnated.

With the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting next week eagerly awaited for clues on how soon rate increases will be on the table, the lack of clarity on the economy’s prospects may make Governor Philip Lowe’s statement harder for investors to parse. Even as Treasurer Scott Morrison said he expects Australia’s economic growth will accelerate, he spared a thought for the nation’s embattled consumers and said the government would seek to empower them.


Markets

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21,948.10 +55.67 +0.25%
S&P 500 INDEX
2,471.65 +14.06 +0.57%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX
6,428.66 +60.36 +0.95%
FTSE 100 INDEX
7,430.62 +65.36 +0.89%
DAX INDEX
12,055.80 +53.37 +0.44%
CAC 40 INDEX
5,085.59 +29.25 +0.58%
IBEX 35 INDEX
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NIKKEI 225
19,684.80 +38.57 +0.20%
HANG SENG INDEX
28,047.20 +76.85 +0.27%

Currencies

EUR-USD
1.1905 -0.0005 -0.04%
USD-JPY
110.0400 +0.0600 +0.05%
GBP-USD
1.2944 +0.0014 +0.11%
AUD-USD
0.7950 +0.0003 +0.04%
USD-CAD
1.2457 -0.0025 -0.20%
USD-CHF
0.9597 +0.0010 +0.10%
EUR-GBP
0.9198 -0.0013 -0.14%
USD-HKD
7.8244 -0.0015 -0.02%
EUR-CHF
1.1426 +0.0008 +0.07%