You can sign up to receive the email here. Stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong fell on growth concerns after weekend data showed that China’s manufacturing sector shrank in January for the first time in more than two years. The Nikkei also slipped, tracking the fall in US stocks after weak GDP figures on Friday. (FT, WSJ$)
Sign up here and get the email every morning. The French government said it would deploy 10,000 troops to bolster security around the country but cracks are already beginning to appear in the united political front that was on display at rallies on Sunday. Opposition politicians are pressing for an inquiry into the attacks and the authorities’ failure to prevent them. (FT)
The euro fell to a nine-year low after Mario Draghi hinted strongly that the ECB would unveil new easing measures at its meeting on January 22. Investors were also reacting to a disputed report saying that Germany was preparing to allow Greece to exit the eurozone. The euro fell as much as 1.2 per cent against the US dollar to $1.1864 before narrowing the decline to $1.1940. (FT) The dollar index, which measures the currency against a basket of rivals rose 0.4 per cent to a nine-year high of 91.44, while Brent crude continued to slide, dropping 1.5 per cent to $55.54 a barrel. (FT)
We detect a theme. It may be that with financial markets becalmed a new subject is needed. Perhaps it reflects the way Piketty has become an instant bookshop-to-shelf classic, but something has investment strategists reaching for insight from an eighth century theologian. “And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is very close to madness.” — Alcuin to Charlemagne, 798 A.D.
Markets: Asia-Pacific equities were within striking distance of 2014 highs as bourses around the region extended a strong week of gains. The only significant outlier was Thailand, where the benchmark SET index fell 1.5 per cent after the military launched a coup late on Thursday. (FT’s Global Markets Overview) Thailand’s military has launched its 12th coup of the modern era, plunging southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy further into crisis and raising the prospect of international sanctions. General Prayuth Chan-ocha, army chief, used a televised address to urge people not to panic and said the military was taking over “to restore peace back to the country”. Minutes earlier, troops had moved to detain political leaders who had been summoned by the military to discuss the country’s future under martial law. (Financial Times)
Markets: Asian markets were mixed, with Japanese stocks dropping from a six-year high, while China stocks outperformed. Overall, most bourses weakened as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of important data due out later this week, including Friday’s US jobs report from November. (Financial Times)
RBS apologises for Cyber Monday technology breakdown || Fed clears Goldman and JPM capital plans || Rio Tinto pledges to cut capex by $6bn in two years || Pearson buys Brazilian language school chain Grupo Multi || Dow Chemical plans to shed at least $5 billion worth of low-margin businesses || Apple buys Topsy to track Twitter || Ukraine government faces no-confidence vote || Petrobas shares fall on subsidy announcement || Inflation takes root in Japan || Gold price tumbles to lowest since July || Markets
Markets:Australia’s markets fell into the spotlight after the nation’s government rejected a multibillion-dollar bid for Graincorp, the agricultural group, while miner Rio Tinto revealed further cost-cutting measures that heightened concerns over the health of the country’s mining sector. Heavy selling of the Australian currency saw it fall 0.44 per cent against the US dollar to $90.65, its lowest level since September 3. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.3 per cent, while Graincorp’s shares opened 26 per cent lower. (Financial Times)
Egypt braced for confrontations as Islamists plan ‘day of rage’ || China and Japan led a record outflow of Treasuries in June || Foreign banks in talks over Chinese bad bank || China may probe US tech giants || Chinese copper premiums reached a record level || L’Oreal has offered to buy Chinese facial mask maker Magic Holdings International for $840m || The Indian rupee hit a new record low || Markets wrap
Samsung earnings disappoint despite strong smartphone sales || Central banks send clear signal on interest rates || Morsi loyalists set to protest in Egypt || Japan banks step up interbank lending controls || China’s Rongsheng warns on profits || SAC Capital’s Steven Cohen expected to avoid criminal charges || Rupert Murdoch remarks secretly recorded || Markets
The river was deep but we swam it, Pandit.The future is ours so let’s plan it, Pandit.So please don’t tell me to can it, Pandit.I’ve one thing to say and that’sDammit, Pandit, we wanna talk to you… (about levels of executive compensation). We gave you a ring to prove that we’re no jokersThere’s three ways that love can growThat’s good, bad or mediocreOh P-A-N-D-I-T we wanna talk to you… (about executive compensation).
Police and demonstrators clashed and hundred of arrests were made in central Moscow on Monday night during protests against widespread fraud in Sunday’s election of Vladimir Putin to a third term as Russia’s president, the FT reports. Police said the protest, which began peacefully, numbered 14,000, while organisers claimed 20,000. When police tried to clear Pushkin Square at 9.45pm, a group refused to leave and scuffles broke out. Among those arrested was Alexei Navalny, the charismatic anti-corruption blogger who has become one of the main opposition leaders, though he was later released. Earlier, Mr Navalny led the crowds in a roaring chant as he denounced the elections as falsified and illegitimate. “It was a difficult day yesterday, many were disappointed. But what did you expect from this band of swindlers and thieves? They have been stealing from the country for the last 12 years. Yesterday they stole from us again.”
London authorities have begun the eviction of the tent city outside St Paul’s Cathedral, reports the FT, seeking to bring down the curtain on the highest-profile remaining protest camp of the worldwide Occupy movement. Police began to encircle the camp shortly before midnight on Monday, after a legal challenge against the City of London Corporation’s eviction order failed last week. By 2am only a hard core of protesters denouncing the banking system from a makeshift barricade remained to be evicted and there were scuffles as dozens of riot police encircled them. Bailiffs and police manhandled the FT and other journalists away from the barricade, before beginning to tear it down.
Comment, analysis and other offerings from Thursday’s FT, John Gapper: The smart technology loser foldsEastman Kodak’s last big investor meeting ended with its executives trying to finish while a shareholder shouted at them: “You guys have no credibility. Zero.” Since then, things have got worse, writes the FT’s Gapper. The company founded by George Eastman in 1880, which used to be a constituent of the “Nifty Fifty” blue-chip companies, is perilously close to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Antonio Perez, its chief executive, has spent six years battling to rescue Kodak from the terminal decline of its analogue film business. He may have run it into the ground. Kodak’s experience has a lesson for companies in the grip of rapid technological change. As Kenny Rogers sang, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ’em”.
Authorities around the world have begun moving against anti-capitalist protesters, with police in the US and Switzerland clearing camps from their cities, reports the FT. In the UK, the City of London Corporation relaunched legal action against protesters camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral. The leaders of 18 US cities with “Occupy” movements held a conference call shortly before the camps were broken up, Jean Quan, Oakland mayor, told the BBC. In New York, the state supreme court upheld a court order disallowing protesters from setting up camp in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street’s home for the last two months, reports Reuters. If you like your news with added drama, the New York Times splash recounts the day’s events.
Authorities around the world have begun moving against anti-capitalist groups, with police in the US and Switzerland clearing protest camps from their cities, reports the FT. In the UK, the City of London Corporation relaunched legal action against protesters camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral. The leaders of 18 US cities with “Occupy” movements held a conference call shortly before the camps were broken up, Jean Quan, Oakland mayor, told the BBC.
Update (4:54pm New York time): The state supreme court declined to extend the earlier court order, judging that protesters’ first amendment rights weren’t being undermined by the city’s enforcement of its park and health and safety rules. Full judgement here. _________
In an early morning raid on Tuesday, New York City police cleared Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park. The temporary evacuation saw the area cleared of tents as these were deemed to be illegal structures said to present fire hazards, reports the WSJ. The Mayor’s office made it clear via Twitter that protesters could return once the tents and tarps were cleared. Many rushed to the park in support of those being evicted, but were held back by the police lines. The group intends to hold a street carnival on Thursday with the intent of marking two months of the campaign and closing down the financial district for the day, the FT reports. Local businesses have mixed views about the presence of the protesters, according to the WSJ.
Comment, analysis and other offerings from Monday’s FT, Edward Luce: Mr President, it’s time to panic A few weeks ago, James Carville, the legendary manager of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, had a choice word of advice for Barack Obama: “panic”, writes the FT’s Edward Luce. The president was heading to disaster in 2012 with the same crew of advisers that had led him up this blind alley. “Mr President, your hinge of fate must turn,” Mr Carville said. “This may be news to you but things are not going well.” Thus, Mr Obama should “fire a lot of people” and set a new course. Such is the counsel given to every American president at one time or another. And many of them follow it.
Thousands of people, including representatives of several trade unions, marched through the streets of lower Manhattan on Wednesday in an escalation of the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations that began last month, the FT reports. A police spokesman declined to estimate the size of the crowd, but one policeman at the scene said about 10,000 people had gathered outside the federal courthouse in Foley Square. Occupy Wall Street organisers put the figure closer to 15,000. Helicopters hovered in the sky above the park, while the New York Police Department used metal barricades to direct the heavy flow of pedestrian traffic. Police said they arrested 28 people, mostly for disorderly conduct, after protesters sat on footpaths outside the police-erected barriers, the WSJ reports.
The arrest of more than 700 protesters on Saturday has drawn worldwide attention to Occupy Wall Street, a fledgling protest movement modelled on the Arab spring, protests in Greece, and demonstrations in the state of Wisconsin earlier this year, the FT reports. The protesters were arrested while crossing a roadway of Brooklyn Bridge, stopping traffic. Protesters claimed that police had entrapped them by leading them on to the vehicle section of the bridge. The police said the demonstrators ignored warnings of arrest. Competing videos by the demonstrators and police were posted to YouTube. In one posted by police, officers can be seen warning protesters that they risked arrest by entering the roadway. A video posted by demonstrators shows police walking in front of protesters – and filming them with hand-held recorders – as they marched on to the road without attempting to stop them.