Asian stocks followed US markets downwards on concerns US easing may not materialise, and on growth in Europe and China. The MSCI Asia Pacific was 1.1% to 120.52 as of 11:46am in Tokyo, erasing this week’s advance (Bloomberg).
Gold standard’s Republican revival: A “gold commission” to look at restoring the link between the dollar and gold and an audit of Fed policy is set to become part of official Republican party policy. A commission would have no power except to make recommendations, but the move shows how easy monetary policy – and the efforts of libertarian congressman Ron Paul – have made the once-fringe idea of returning to the gold standard a legitimate part of Republican debate (Financial Times).
Eastman Kodak is putting two of its businesses up for sale to satisfy creditors as it struggles to emerge from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation. The company’s document imaging and personalised imaging units are for sale (Financial Times).
Top US regulators are exploring alternative ways to rein in money market fund risk, after the SEC unexpectedly called off its attempts to reform MMF regulation on Wednesday. Geithner and fellow regulators “could now use their new authority to shift oversight of the money market fund industry away from the S.E.C., a move that has few precedents.” (NYT Dealbook)
Nathan Tinkler has walked away from a proposed A$5.3bn takeover of Whitehaven Coal, the Australian mining company said. (Wall Street Journal)
Anglo American and Codelco have reached a face-saving agreement that gives the Chilean state company a minority stake in Anglo at a discount, but allows the London-listed miner to retain control of its world-class copper asset (Financial Times).
The RBI says India’s government may miss its budget targets due to higher spending on fuel subsidies and falling tax receipts as growth slows (Bloomberg).
One of Britain’s biggest property tycoons is now only allowed £500 a week in living expenses, according to a Guernsey court order. Glenn Maud, who owns stakes in trophy assets such as the Citi Tower in Canary Wharf and the global headquarters of Banco Santander in Madrid, has also had his worldwide assets frozen. Mr Maud now lives near Gstaad in Switzerland, where he is immune from the Guernsey expenses restrictions. (Financial Times).
A Seoul court ruled Apple infringed two of Samsung Electronics’ patents. The US company was fined the equivalent of $35,400 (Reuters). The court also fined Samsung for violating one of Apple’s patents. The case doesn’t apply to the latest models from either company (Wall Street Journal).
Citi Private Bank will withdraw $410m from John Paulson’s hedge fund Paulson & Co, according to people familiar with the decision (Reuters).
News Corp’s digital chief Jonathan Miller will leave at the end of September as the restructuring of the company into two goes ahead (Financial Times).
COMMENT AND CURIOS
- The deadly tin inside your iPad. (BusinessWeek)
- The FSA still inspires little fear. (Financial Times)
- John Plender: Britain’s fiscal straitjacket. (Financial Times)
- Stockton’s big creditors vs pensioners. (New York Times)
- The unrisky euro. (Wall Street Journal)
- How China’s slowdown hurts construction equipment companies. (Bloomberg)
OVERNIGHT MARKETS: DOWN
Nikkei 225 down -100.94 (-1.10%) at 9,077
Topix down -8.22 (-1.08%) at 756.37
Hang Seng down -235.12 (-1.17%) at 19,897
S&P 500 down -11.41 (-0.81%) at 1,402
DJIA down -115.30 (-0.88%) at 13,057
Nasdaq down -20.27 (-0.66%) at 3,053
Eurofirst 300 down -6.75 (-0.62%) at 1,089
FTSE100 up +2.40 (+0.04%) at 5,777
CAC 40 unchanged 0.00 (0.00%) at 3,433
Dax unchanged 0.00 (0.00%) at 6,950
€/$ 1.26 (1.26)
$/¥ 78.59 (78.45)
£/$ 1.59 (1.59)
Brent Crude (ICE) down -0.52 at 114.49
Light Crude (Nymex) down -0.47 at 95.80
100 Oz Gold (Comex) down -3.80 at 1,666
Copper (Comex) down -1.45 at 348.15
10-year government bond yields (%)
CDS (closing levels)
Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe +3.46bps at 229.84bp
Markit iTraxx Europe +2.58bps at 144.39bp
Markit iTraxx Xover +9.49bps at 585.13bp
Markit CDX IG +2.27bps at 101.75bp
Sources: FT, Bloomberg, Markit