The 6am London Cut | FT Alphaville

The 6am London Cut

Resurgent nervousness about looming military action in Syria and a lack of strong economic or corporate data pushed Asian equities into the red. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.7 per cent, with the Topix down 0.4 per cent. In greater China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.5 per cent while Taipei’s Taiex was down 0.2 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi Composite was off 0.2 per cent and in Indonesia the Jakarta Composite was down 0.9 per cent. (Financial Times)

Today: UK and Eurozone Markit services PMI; EU GDP; US Trade balance, Beige book and vehicle sales.

UK economy picking up speed and outpacing peers, says OECD. It predicted that growth would accelerate in the second half of the year, with the economy expanding by 1.7 per cent between June and December. If that pace of expansion continues into 2014, Britain’s recovery would begin to resemble a normal upswing rather than the slowest recovery from recession that it has endured since 2010. (Financial Times)

The UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency has been hit with an ultimatum to publish a secret list of over 100 City companies who employed rogue private detectives in seven days – or MPs will do so themselves. (Financial Times)

US senators offer support for Syria strike, adding momentum to Barack Obama’s risky push for congressional approval for military action. The motion, which could be voted on as early as Wednesday, specifically rules out the deployment of US forces in Syria and only allows Mr Obama to repeat strikes once he has certified that chemical weapons have been reused. It sets a 60-day deadline for military action, with a possible 30-day extension. (Financial Times) (Wall Street Journal)

The HSBC/Markit China services PMI rose to 52.8 in August, from 51.3 in July, its fastest pace in 5 months. (FastFT)

Jiang Jiemin the minister in charge of China’s state-owned assets regulator has been removed from his post as an investigation widens into suspected high-level corruption among senior Communist party officials. Mr Jiang is a close associate of Zhou Yongkang, the man in charge of China’s sprawling internal security and intelligence services until March this year, and his downfall has raised expectations that Mr Zhou could be next. (Financial Times)

“Bank of America raised $1.47 billion by selling its remaining stake in China Construction Bank Corp, ending an eight year-old investment that generated a paper profit more than five times the original cost.” (Reuters)

“Chinese insurers could spend about $14.4 billion on overseas commercial real estate, aided by a stronger local currency and easier regulations amid a limited supply of prime properties at home, CBRE Group Inc. said.” (Bloomberg)

Australia’s second quarter economic growth came in a smidgen above expectations with growth of 2.6 per cent year on year, and 0.6 per cent quarter on quarter.” (FastFT)

News Corp spins off local news titles: The group sold the 33 publications in its Dow Jones Local Media Group to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, highlighting how the newspaper industry is quickly separating into groups that either own big, national publications or smaller, local outlets. (Financial Times)

Kenya lines up record $1.5bn bond debut, to be sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest debut sovereign bond, betting that the forthcoming trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta for alleged crimes against humanity will not deter foreign investors. (Financial Times)

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services escalated its legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department, accusing it of filing its $5 billion lawsuit against S&P in “retaliation” for the company’s downgrade of America’s debt in 2011.” (Wall Street Journal)

ON FT ALPHVILLE:

Collateral scarcity, India edition

The all you can eat collateral buffet

The smell of burnt platforms

COMMENTS & CURIOS

Posen: Germany is being crushed by its export obsession (Financial Times)

Fannie and Freddie: Back from the bailouts (Financial Times)

Bank leverage is apparently the defining debate of our time (Bloomberg)

“I don’t think any country in the world has enough clear information about the plan for [US] quantitative easing,” (Financial Times)

Hopes for some EM-balm at the G20 (Wall Street Journal)

And “what the Fed will do with its taper and why” from El-Erian (Financial Times)

Remembering Ronald Coase (and trolling socialists) (Wall Street Journal)

OVERNIGHT MARKETS: MIDDLING

Asian markets
Nikkei 225 down -86.90 (-0.62%) at 13,892
Topix down -1.00 (-0.09%) at 1,148
Hang Seng down -149.52 (-0.67%) at 22,245

US markets
S&P 500 up +6.80 (+0.42%) at 1,640
DJIA up +23.65 (+0.16%) at 14,834
Nasdaq up +22.74 (+0.63%) at 3,613

European markets
Eurofirst 300 down -4.62 (-0.38%) at 1,212
FTSE100 down -37.78 (-0.58%) at 6,468
CAC 40 down -31.94 (-0.80%) at 3,974
Dax down -63.16 (-0.77%) at 8,181

Currencies
€/$ 1.32 (1.32)
$/¥ 99.55 (99.56)
£/$ 1.56 (1.56)

Commodities ($)
Brent Crude (ICE) up +0.04 at 115.72
Light Crude (Nymex) down -0.18 at 108.36
100 Oz Gold (Comex) up +1.00 at 1,413
Copper (Comex) down -0.01 at 3.28

10-year government bond yields (%)
US 2.86%
UK 2.90%
Germany 1.94%

CDS (closing levels)
Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe -0.31bps at 89.63bp
Markit iTraxx Europe +1.66bps at 105.19bp
Markit iTraxx Xover +1.09bps at 419.82bp

Sources: FT, Bloomberg, Markit