The 6am London Cut | FT Alphaville

The 6am London Cut

Markets: Markets across the Asia Pacific region are mixed as investors weigh a series of data releases against the implications of a stellar US jobs report­. In Japan, Friday’s news that the US economy added 203,000 jobs in November outweighed disappointing gross domestic product revisions. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index is up 1.9 per cent, on pace for its best session in more than two weeks. (Financial Times)

Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the lower house of parliament and called national elections in an effort to end political protests that have brought the capital to a standstill. Monday’s dramatic events followed the decision of the country’s main opposition party to quit parliament en masse on Sunday. (Financial Times)

Ukraine security services investigate opposition for alleged coup plot as hundreds of thousands of pro-EU protesters gathered on Sunday in Kiev in response to calls for a “million-man march”. (Financial Times)

N Korea confirmed purge of supreme leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle and top adviser, accusing him of seeking to undermine the country’s leadership while pursuing a “depraved” lifestyle. (Financial Times)

President “Maduro’s government won a majority of votes in Venezuela’s local elections on Sunday, disappointing the opposition and helping his quest to preserve the late Hugo Chavez’s socialist legacy.” (Reuters)

India’s Sensex hit a fresh record high within the first hour of Mumbai trading — up 1.78 per cent at 21370, topping the record-high it hit a month ago at 21,293. Its 2013 gain is now in double-digits, just barely, at 10.02 per cent. The gains follow Sunday’s state elections in which the ruling Congress party was routed by the opposition BJP. (FastFT)

Japanese Q3 growth revised down: An updated calculation showed economic output increased at an annualised rate of 1.1 per cent, compared with an initial estimate of 1.9 per cent announced in November. (Financial Times)

Chinese inflation slowed in November due mainly to a drop in food prices giving the government more room to push ahead with its slate of financial reforms. The consumer price index rose 3 per cent year-on-year, down from its 3.2 per cent pace in October and comfortably below the official 3.5 per cent target for 2013. (Financial Times)

HSBC sounds out spin-off of UK unit: As well as sounding out investors, the bank has also discussed the issue informally at board level, according to three people familiar with the project. Thinking is at an early stage, according to those involved, but the plan would be likely to involve the listing of a minority stake of up to 30 per in the UK retail and commercial banking operation. Investors estimate that such a business could float with a market capitalisation of about £20bn. (Financial Times)

Cerberus is offering its investors a way to sell their interest in the maker of the gun used in the Newtown school shootings a year ago after the US private equity group failed to deliver on its promise to dispose of the company. (Financial Times)

Shares in QBE, the Australian insurer, tumbled 20 per cent on Monday, after the company said that it now expected to report a US$250m full year loss due to increased claims in the US, a goodwill impairment charge of $600m, and writedowns related to a restructuring of one of its businesses. Expectations were for a $1.1bn net profit for 2013. (Financial Times)

Ex-Barc chief exec Bob Diamond has secured the preliminary support of several big institutional investors for his planned $250m cash shell targeting the African banking sector. He plans to float the acquisition vehicle, known as Atlas Mara, on the London Stock Exchange before Christmas. (Financial Times)

Fund sees Brazilian fraud as next big thing in emerging markets: The move by New York-based hedge fund Platinum Partners to invest in the recovery of Brazilian fraud claims worth R$12bn (US$5.1bn) shows how investors are venturing deeper into the more esoteric areas of emerging markets in their quest for yield. (Financial Times)

Alp Ercil, a former Perry Asia head, said to Raise $1.1bn for new fund aimed at Asia distressed debt. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTS & CURIOS

JPMorgan’s Sons and Daughters” hiring program, now with documentation (NYT)

Cracking inflation should be India’s priority (Financial Times)

Obama cannot lead from behind on trade (Financial Times)

After vote, lawsuits likely next hurdle for Volcker rule (Reuters)

Darkness in Detroit (WSJ) and Chinese real estate hunters (CNN)

Glenn Stevens warns that Australia faces a new threat: hubris (WSJ)

First China default seen as record $427bn debt due (Bloomberg)

Photos from Singapore’s first riot in quite a while (WSJ)

OVERNIGHT MARKETS

Asian markets
Nikkei 225 up +277.93 (+1.82%) at 15,578
Topix up +15.12 (+1.22%) at 1,251
Hang Seng up +87.27 (+0.37%) at 23,830

US markets
S&P 500 up +20.06 (+1.12%) at 1,805
DJIA up +198.69 (+1.26%) at 16,020
Nasdaq up +29.36 (+0.73%) at 4,063

European markets
Eurofirst 300 up +9.08 (+0.72%) at 1,270
FTSE100 up +53.66 (+0.83%) at 6,552
CAC 40 up +29.46 (+0.72%) at 4,129
Dax up +87.46 (+0.96%) at 9,172

Currencies
€/$ 1.37 (1.37)
$/¥ 102.96 (102.85)
£/$ 1.63 (1.63)
€/£ 0.8383 (0.8395)

Commodities ($)
Brent Crude (ICE) up +0.11 at 111.72
Light Crude (Nymex) up +0.18 at 97.83
100 Oz Gold (Comex) up +0.20 at 1,231
Copper (Comex) at 3.27

10-year government bond yields (%)
US 2.86%
UK 2.91%
Germany 1.85%

CDS (closing levels)
Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe +0.01bps at 64.28bp
Markit iTraxx Europe -2.4bps at 80.67bp
Markit iTraxx Xover -5.23bps at 325.79bp
Markit CDX IG -2.84bps at 69.42bp

Sources: FT, Bloomberg, Markit