MARKETS REPORT: South Korean stocks finished almost unchanged on Thursday as investors took to the sidelines amid increased political uncertainties at home. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Dec.01: Stocks almost flat as Samsung hits fresh record high

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 0.27 point, or 0.01 percent, to close at 1,983.75. Trade volume was slim at 214 million shares worth 3.89 trillion won (US$3.33 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 479 to 337.

South Korea has been engulfed in a high-profile scandal that centers on allegations that a confidante of President Park Geun-hye interfered in state affairs and peddled influence.

South Korea’s opposition parties vowed on Wednesday to push ahead with their impeachment motion against President Park, although she offered to resign.

“Economic data still point to a slump in the local economy, and consumer and business confidence is being hurt by the ongoing political scandal,” said Lee Kyong-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

Overnight, the U.S. stock market also ended almost unchanged as investors sought to cash in recent gains. Oil prices also surged after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to its first output cut since 2008.

Samsung Electronics, the top market cap, hit a fresh record high finishing at 1,749,000 won, up 0.17 percent, on hopes over its shareholder-friendly policies. On Wednesday, it jumped 4.11 percent.

SK hynix, a major chipmaker, jumped 3.03 percent to finish at 44,200 won.

Naver, the operator of the country’s top Internet portal, dipped 4.26 percent to end at 764,000 won. AmorePacific, the country’s top cosmetics maker, shed 2.74 percent to end at 319,000 won.

Auto industry leader Hyundai Motor lost 0.75 percent to 132,000 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors slipped 0.67 percent to 37,150 won.

On the back of rising oil prices, oil refiners and petrochemicals companies advanced.

SK Innovation, the country’s No. 1 refiner, gained 0.66 percent to end at 153,500 won, and LG Chem, the nation’s top chemicals firm, rose 1.32 percent to finish at 229,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,167.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.5 won from the previous session’s close.

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BRITAIN: RBS fails latest BOE stress test in surviving a global financial crisis RBS is required to submit a revised capital plan in case of a financial crisis – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Dec.01: RBS fails Bank of England stress test
Preview

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has failed key hurdles in the Bank of England’s toughest stress test to measure the UK’s seven biggest lenders against a global economic crash.

RBS is required to submit a revised capital plan in case of a financial crisis…..

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NYC: Stocks rocket as Trump appoints ex-Goldman Sachs executive to his team – RT – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Dec.01: Trump appoints ex-Goldman exec as Treasury Sec, bank’s stocks hit highest levels since 2007
Preview Goldman Sachs’ stock price jumped to levels not seen since before the financial crash, thanks to President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement of his intended Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman exec and hedge fund manager.

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#OPEC: REPORT: #Oil prices jumped more than 8 percent on Wednesday to a five-week high as some of the world’s largest oil producers agreed to curb oil output for the first time since 2008 in a last-ditch bid to support prices – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.30: #OPEC agree to cut production by 1.2-million barrels a day to keep share prices higher on stock markets as its announced Oil jumps 8 percent as OPEC agrees first production cut since 2008

Brent crude futures LCOc1 for delivery in January were up $3.86, or 8.3 percent, at $50.214 a barrel by 1405 GMT (09:05 a.m. EDT), recovering from a drop of nearly 4 percent on Tuesday and on course for their biggest one-day move in nine months. Brent crude for delivery in February was up $3.94 at $51.26 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were $3.66 higher at $48.89 a barrel, a one-week high.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed its first output limiting deal in eight years, an OPEC source told Reuters as the debates continued in Vienna on the exact size of each member’s cuts.

Key OPEC member Saudi Arabia said it was prepared to accept “a big hit” on its own production and agree to arch-rival Iran freezing output at pre-sanctions levels.

“It does rather look as though OPEC is going to come to an agreement,” said Colin Smith, director of oil and gas research at Panmure Gordon in London.

A preliminary agreement struck in Algiers in September set an output cap at around 32.5-33 million barrels per day compared with the current 33.64 million bpd.

Before Wednesday’s meeting, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC was indeed focusing on reducing output to a ceiling of 32.5 million bpd and hoped Russia and other non-OPEC producers would contribute a cut of another 0.6 million bpd.

“The extent of the (price) move shows no one wants to miss the boat. There must be a general consensus that there will be a cut, whether it’s going to be bullish, I don’t know, but it’s the domino effect,” PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said.

Traders said markets were jittery and prices could swing sharply in either direction depending on developments in Vienna.

Iran and Iraq have been resisting pressure from Saudi Arabia to curtail production, making it harder for the group to reach an agreement on output cuts.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and ANZ said oil prices would quickly fall to the low $40s a barrel if OPEC fails to strike a deal to cut output.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; editing by David Clarke and David Evans)

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MARKET REPORT: The dollar surged to a near 14-year high on Thursday, clocking up a string of milestones against other top world currencies and clobbering emerging markets – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.27: Surging dollar skittles euro, yen and EM currencies

Stronger data from the world’s biggest economy underpinned the greenback’s gains, which were further amplified by thinner volumes as U.S. traders stayed away for the Thanksgiving holiday. [FOX/]

The dollar pushed its way past more of last year’s peaks against the euro EURO= to hit $1.0550 in early European action, with only the March 2015 high of $1.0457 standing in the way of a drive towards parity.

The yen JPY= skidded to an eight-month low and China’s yuan CNH=D3 to an 8-1/2 year low, while the highly sensitive Turkish lira TRY= and Indian rupee IDR= hit new historic troughs. [EMRG/FRX]

“There doesn’t seem to be anything stopping U.S. yields going higher in the near-term so I think people are going to stay on the dollar trend,” said Michael Metcalfe, head of global macro strategy at State Street Global Markets.

“The only risk to this are that the dislocations in markets outside of the U.S., particularly in emerging markets, get to a point where they start to feed back into concerns (for the Federal Reserve as it looks to raise interest rates),” he said.

In contrast to all the FX noise, European shares .FTEU3 saw a broadly quiet start, with most of the main bourses <0#.INDEXE> edging marginally higher on gains from chemical and insurance firms. [.EU]

German business confidence data showed firms remained unfazed, for now at least, by the U.S. election win for Donald Trump and the political uncertainty currently bubbling in euro zone peers such as Italy.

However, the European Central Bank delivered an unusually downbeat message, warning that global political shifts could compound existing vulnerabilities to rising interest rates and revive worries about the euro zone’s weaker sovereigns.

This in turn could delay much-needed fiscal and structural reforms and could in a worst-case scenario reignite pressures on more vulnerable sovereigns,” it added. “In particular, concerns about debt sustainability might re-emerge despite relatively benign financial market conditions.”

EMERGING STRAINS

It was enough to keep bond markets playing the transatlantic divide that has been widening again on bets that, while the United States may be about to raise interest rates, Europe is unlikely to follow suit for a couple of years.

The yield on Germany’s 10-year government bond, the benchmark for the region, fell 4.2 basis points to 0.24 percent, while Italy, which has been plagued by political concerns ahead of a referendum on constitutional reform, outperformed with yields down 7 basis points to 2.06 percent.

In the United States on Wednesday, the two-year government bond yield US2YT=RR hit its highest since April 2010.

The firm dollar kept most emerging market currencies on the ropes, with China’s yuan nearing the 7 per dollar level for the first time since May 2008. [CNY/]

State banks or foreign exchange authorities in China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines were all suspected of intervening to slow the slide in their currencies traders said. Turkey’s lira TRY= and India’s rupee both rang in record lows.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS lost 0.4 percent, though the drop in the yen lifted the export-orientated Nikkei in Tokyo .N225 to a near 11-month high. [.T]

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI shed 0.2 percent while higher metals prices lifted China’s blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 0.4 percent.

Oil prices were little changed amid all the dollar commotion and ahead of a planned OPEC-led cut in crude production at a meeting on Nov. 30. [O/R]

U.S. crude was up 3 cents at $47.99 a barrel CLc1 and Brent LCOc1 was flat at $48.95.

Industrial metals remained red-hot on hopes of a revival in U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure spending under Trump. London zinc CMZN3 hit an 8-year high and copper CMCU3 jumped for a fourth day in a row to put $6,000 a tonne within reach. [MET/L]

Strong durable goods orders in the U.S. helped buoy investors who have viewed Trump’s upcoming presidency as a positive for industrial metals demand,” said ANZ in a report.

(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne, Balazs Koranyi in Frankfurt)

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#AFNews – With U.S. consumers bolstered by wage gains and higher employment, holiday sales will grow 3.6 percent, National Retail Federation predicts – Yahoo – @AceFinanceNews

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York#AceFinanceNews – Nov.26: Wall Street expects consumers to open their wallets a little wider this holiday shopping season but bargains among red-hot retail stocks could be hard to find, especially as profit growth proves elusive for many big names.

Retailers, including Best Buy, Kohls Corp and Macy’s, that were pummeled in last year’s disappointing holiday quarter have seen their shares surge recently on expectations that the worst is over, and that an improved economy will send more shoppers into their stores.

With U.S. consumers bolstered by wage gains and higher employment, holiday sales will grow 3.6 percent, National Retail Federation predicts.

Original Article: http://news.yahoo.com/retail-stock-rally-leaves-few-bargains-investors-095633040–sector.html

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LONDON: Philip Hammond got some rare good news about the country’s finances on Tuesday as he finalises his first budget statement, which is still likely to forecast a surge in borrowing as Britain prepares to leave the EU – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.22: Hammond gets boost from October borrowing data
// Reuters UK
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond arrives at 10 Downing Street in London

Breaking with a pattern of borrowing overshoots earlier in the financial year, official figures on Tuesday showed public borrowing in October was 25 percent less than a year earlier at 4.8 billion pounds ($6.0 billion), its lowest since 2008 and beating all economists’ forecasts.

But Hammond still stands little chance of meeting the budget deficit reduction target for the current financial year which his predecessor, George Osborne, set out in March. He has already abandoned Osborne’s goal of reaching a budget surplus by 2020.

Instead, economists predict Hammond could announce more than 100 billion pounds of extra borrowing on Wednesday, as Britain’s independent budget office is likely to forecast slower growth, weaker tax revenues and higher social security costs in the wake of June’s vote to leave the European Union.

“To put it bluntly, Brexit will be assumed to make the UK poorer which means the government must eventually lower spending, raise taxes, or permanently borrow more,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Robert Wood said.

Hammond played down expectations of much extra spending on public services or infrastructure to cushion the effect of years of uncertainty as Britain negotiates to leave the EU on Sunday, and described debt levels as “eye-wateringly” high.

Bank of America’s Wood said he expected Hammond to announce extra discretionary stimulus that amounted to just 0.5 percent of gross domestic product, in part because he may want to keep his powder dry in case of a sharper economic slowdown.

This could include freezes to taxes on vehicle fuel and air travel, and modest further investment in infrastructure such as roads and broadband internet connections.

Britain’s economy has slowed much less than most economists forecast since the Brexit referendum, and on Tuesday the Confederation of British Industry reported the fastest growth in factory orders since the June 23 vote.

But analysts see tougher times ahead for households as a 15 percent fall in the value of sterling against the dollar feeds into higher prices.

The public finances were underperforming even before the Brexit vote. Borrowing since the start of the tax year in April is 10 percent lower than in the same period of 2015 at 48.6 billion pounds, the Office for National Statistics said, versus a 27 percent fall needed to meet Osborne’s 55 billion pound target for the whole tax year.

“The government is committed to fiscal discipline and will return the budget to balance over a sensible period of time, in a way that allows space to support the economy as needed,” a finance ministry spokesman said after Tuesday’s data.

Britain’s budget deficit was 4 percent of GDP last year, down from 10 percent at the height of the financial crisis but still more than almost all other big economies.

The ONS said net public debt rose to a record 1.642 trillion pounds in October, equivalent to 83.8 percent of gross domestic product.

October’s improvement in the public finances was driven by faster growth in tax revenues. Overall these were up 6.8 percent on the year, with particularly strong growth in corporation tax. The ONS was not able to say if the trend was likely to last.

(Editing by Catherine Evans)

http://reut.rs/2gHDXzK

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MARKET REPORT: US Stocks: S&P 500 hits new all-time high as energy stocks rally 2%, as earlier Dow up 52, Nasdaq 23 and S&P500 nearly 10 points as investors added to a post-election advance spurred by speculation the incoming administration’s policies will incite brisker economic growth – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.21: US stocks open higher as #oil prices jump 2%; Dow up 52 points, NASDAQ up 23, S&P 500 up nearly 10 – CNBC – http://cnb.cx/2fxxtOM

US markets (open): DJIA 18898.68 (+30.75), S&P 500 2186.43 (+4.53), NASDAQ 5336.78 (+15.27), NYSE 10709.51image

U.S. stocks rose, pushing the S&P 500 Index to an all-time high on a closing basis, as investors added to a post-election advance spurred by speculation the incoming administration’s policies will incite brisker economic growth.
The S&P 500 rose 0.4 to 2,190.84 at 9:34 a.m. in New York, surpassing the Aug. 15 closing high of 2,190.15. The intraday record sits above 2,193. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 46.92 points to 18,914.85 to an all-time high. The Russell 2000 Index rose for a 12th day in its longest rally since 2003.

The new milestone for the S&P 500 arrived as companies ended a five-quarter profit slump and Donald Trump’s election fueled optimism that his plans to cut taxes and boost fiscal spending will benefit industries more geared toward economic growth. Acknowledging the strength in the economy, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday that the central bank is close to lifting interest rates, comments that sent Treasuries lower and yields on the 10-year note toward 2.25 percent.

“There’s optimism that it’s more likely that Trump is going to put us on an economic fast track versus Clinton,” said Terry Morris, manager director of equities at BB&T Institutional Investment Advisors in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. “The election had something to do with this, and I also think there’s some short covering going on. People that were hedging the election had to rush to cover after the news, and I think generally the perception is the economy is starting to pick up as the Fed is likely to raise rates in December.”

Investors have boosted bets for tighter monetary policy since Donald Trump’s election win, on speculation his policies will spur growth and increase inflation. After Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the central bank is close to raising rates, traders are now pricing in a 98 percent chance of a move in December. If the Fed doesn’t act as expected, it may bring on more market turmoil, says Seven Investment Management’s Ben Kumar.

Most-hated stocks are among the biggest winners since Trump’s victory. A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. basket of 50 companies that have the highest short interest in the Russell 3000 Index climbed 9.7 percent through Friday since Nov. 8, four times the gain in the broad market measure.m

Energy shares rallied Monday, following crude higher, after Iran signaled optimism OPEC will agree to a supply-cut deal and Iraq said it will offer new proposals to help bolster the group’s unity before members meet next week. Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Murphy Oil Corp. led gains.

S&P 500 hits new all-time high as energy stocks rally 2%

U.S. equities traded higher as oil prices rose on renewed optimism that OPEC was closing in on a deal to cut production – CNBC – http://cnb.cx/2gCrE7H

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#AFN BRITAIN: Mitie outsourcing group healthcare shares fall 18% in early trading as a £128-million write-off drives it to £100m pre-tax loss for half-year as they decide to withdraw from healthcare market – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.21: Mitie has published its second profit warning in two months after the outsourcing company’s customers continued to reduce spending due to rising costs and economic uncertainty.
image

The company also said it would withdraw from its healthcare business, which provides home care for the elderly.

The £128m cost of writing off the business drove Mitie to a £100m pre-tax loss for the first half of the year.

http://bitly.com/2ge0XCH

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US JOBS REPORT: The fewest Americans since 1973 filed for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the U.S. labor market is getting tighter as claims dropped by 19,000 to 235,000 in the week ended Nov. 12, which included the Veterans Day holiday, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.17: Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline to Lowest Level in Four Decades

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for an increase to 257,000. Continuing claims fell below 2 million to a 16-year low.

The biggest drop in initial claims since June suggests employers are loath to fire workers as the economy continues its modest expansion and the number of experienced applicants available for hiring remains limited. Filings for unemployment benefits have stayed below 300,000 for 89 straight weeks — the longest streak since 1970 and a level typical for a healthy labor market.

“We’re exhausting the pool of workers that we can draw from out of the unemployed,” said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “We’re approaching full employment, so we’re seeing really strong job gains, but they can’t continue for very long.”

Estimates for initial claims in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 245,000 to 275,000. The prior week’s reading was unrevised at 254,000.

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, declined to 253,500 from 260,000 in the prior week.

Continuing Claims

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 66,000 to 1.98 million in the week ended Nov. 5. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits fell to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

No states had estimated claims last week and there was nothing unusual in the data, according to the Labor Department.

Though applications for unemployment insurance are at historic lows, there are other factors that have pushed claims down in recent years, including cuts in the duration of benefits and changes to claim-filing technology.

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