The 6am Cut London | FT Alphaville

The 6am Cut London

– The Fed’s bank stress test results were published earlier than expected and revealed that 15 of the 19 banks can proceed with their capital plans. Citi was the biggest bank to fall short. SunTrust, MetLife and Ally Financial also failed the tests. For some banks, including JPM and Goldman Sachs, passing the test means they can raise their dividends. BofA also passed, but its plan did not include a dividend increase. The results were largely seen as positive for the sector and shares reacted accordingly, with Asian markets also starting out bouyant on Wednesday. (FT, Bloomberg)

100-year gilts: The UK chancellor aims to launch an “Osborne bond” – a 100-year debt issue or even a perpetual gilt – to take advantage of the country’s historically low interest rates.  (FT) [We’ll have more on this on the blog, shortly].

Fed tone optimistic: No action, but the FOMC upgraded its expectation for the pace of growth in coming quarters to “moderate”, stronger than the “modest” speed it expected in January (FT). The statement was also seen by some as leaving room for more easing. (Bloomberg)

– China’s currency regime reforms will intensify along with efforts to allow the yuan to float more freely, says Premier Wen Jiabao (Reuters)

The EU may consider a stamp duty to settle the impasse over financial transaction taxes (FT)

Europe telecoms collusion probe: EC officials have demanded information about discussions between the leaders of the five largest telecoms groups in Europe (FT)

– Greece has to cut another 5.5% of GDP in government spending in 2013 and 2014 to meet agreed fiscal targets underpinning the second international bailout for Athens, a European Commission report said. (Reuters)

Santorum wins Alabama, Missippi primaries; cements position as main Romney challenger (NYT)


– Rare earth fears are overstated (FT editorial)

– Greece is facing growing criticism over its policing of the Turkey border (WSJ)

– Martin Wolf on how the deleveraging era must be managed (FT)

– Michael Pettis explains why ‘stimulus’ is not what China needs (FT)

– French flour millers accused of rigging price for 40 years, fined €242.4m (WSJ)

– A ‘thundering herd’ of advisers (ie, 50+) have left Merrill Lynch since Jan 1 (Reuters)

– Anti-foreclosure campaign group tries to win over Wall St workers (ProPublica)


US equities closed higher and Asian markets rose as risk appetite increased after the bank stress tests, Fed comments, and positive US data. [More]