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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 10 2017, 03:28 AM
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Wall Street Drops Amid North Korea Tensions



U.S. equities closed lower on Wednesday with mild declines as the market trimmed losses toward the end.

Growing tensions between the US and North Korea rattled markets around the world, which halted the rally in stocks that was spurred by corporate earnings and global economic expansion.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.17 percent to 22,048.70, as Walt Disney contributed the most declines. The S&P 500 ended below the flatline at 2,472.02. The index dropped as much as half a percent, with utilities leading losses. The Nasdaq composite was down 0.28 percent to 6,352.33.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, touched a one-month peak.

Politics raised U.S. defense stocks. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman all advanced while the Dow Jones U.S. defense index rose 1.6 percent after notching a record peak.

Some weak corporate results contributed to the pressure on U.S. stocks.

Losses in Walt Disney trimmed nearly 28 points off the Dow industrials. The company lost 3.9 percent to $102.83 after it posted a lower-than-expected decline in operating income from its cable-networks business and also announced it will end a deal with Netflix after next year. Shares of Netflix shed 1.4 percent to 175.78.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 11 2017, 02:40 AM
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New Zealand Food Prices Fall 0.2% In July



Food prices in New Zealand were down an unadjusted 0.2 percent on month in July, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday - following the 0.2 percent gain in June.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 1.0 percent on month, while meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 0.8 percent.

Seasonally adjusted, food prices were flat on month.

On a yearly basis, food prices were up 3.0 percent for the second straight month.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 8.2 percent on year, while grocery food prices increased 3.1 percent.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 11 2017, 03:13 AM
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Crude Prices Flat as Oversupply Worries Persist



Oil prices were almost unchanged in early Friday Asian trading after pulling back in the prior session, pressured by the ongoing global oversupply concerns despite the bigger-than-anticipated drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Brent crude futures rose by 1 cent and traded at $51.91 per barrel. Meanwhile, the U.S. WTI crude traded up 3 cents or 0.1 percent at $48.62 per barrel.

Oil prices hit a two-and-a-month high during the previous session, but ended down around 1.5 percent, with the U.S. benchmark falling back below the $50-per-barrel mark due to persistent global glut worries.

ANZ bank said crude prices failed to maintain its recent gains, as the anxious market began to question the recent decline in stockpiles. The supply fundamentals also affected prices, with data indicating Libyan production in July reaching its highest level for the year.

Official government data showed crude stockpiles in the U.S. steeply declined by 6.5 million barrels in the latest week, as refiners bolstered processing due to solid demand.

But there are persisting worries whether enough crude will be used to end a global oversupply after OPEC posted another increase in the producer cartel's production, despite lifting its outlook for demand in 2018.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 14 2017, 02:59 AM
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Japan GDP Jumps 1.0% In Q2



Japan's gross domestic product expanded 1.0 percent on quarter in the second three months of 2017, the Cabinet Office said in Monday's preliminary reading.

That beat forecasts for a gain of 0.6 percent following the upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in the three months prior (originally -0.3 percent).

On a yearly basis, GDP surged 4.0 percent - again topping expectations for 2.5 percent and up from the upwardly revised 1.5 percent jump in the first quarter (originally 1.0 percent).

Nominal GDP jumped 1.1 percent on quarter, beating forecasts for an increase of 0.7 percent following the 0.3 percent decline in the previous three months.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 14 2017, 03:41 AM
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Oil Steady, Buoyed by Firm Demand and Drop in Inventories



Oil prices were steady on Monday, buoyed by firm demand and a fall in inventories. However, it remains under pressure due to high output.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 stood at $48.85 per barrel, higher by three cents.

According to Anz bank, prices are supported by a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which stated that crude oil stockpiles were now below 2016 levels. Stocks continue to be at 219 million barrels above a 5-year average, which is a level that OPEC is aiming for with its output cuts, the IEA said.

The agency increased its 2017 demand growth forecast to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.4 million bpd in its earlier monthly report and said it sees demand to grow further by 1.4 million bpd in 2017.

Shale production in the biggest U.S. oilfield should increase by as much as 300,000 bpd by December, according to industry forecasts.

Drillers added three rigs looking for new oil in the week to Aug. 11 which brings the overall count up to 768, the most since April 2015, according to General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services company.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 15 2017, 02:46 AM
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VALE: Company To Increase Corporate Governance Level Sooner Than Expected



The chief executive officer of the Brazilian miner Vale, Fabio Schvartsman, said that the company could enter the Novo Mercado stock market segment - which means that the firm will follow the highest standards of corporate governance available in Brazil - sooner than expected.

"We do not have the date yet, but we will do everything at reach to make it fast. It is possible that it will happen later this year," the executive said in a teleconference with reporters.

His statement came after Vale's stockholders agreed to convert 84.4% of the company's preferred shares into common shares. According to Schvartsman, nobody expected such high level of commitment to the share conversion process.

Now, Vale is reviewing what to do with the remaining preferred shares. One possibility would be to hold a new shareholder meeting to convert those stocks. Schvartsman also reiterated that it would not be necessary to use company money to buy the shares, since shareholders who did not join the conversion did not do so due to regulatory issues, such as index funds abroad.

Vale needed a conversion rate of at least 54.09% to proceed with its corporate restructuring and for changes in corporate governance, such as those required to enter the Novo Mercado segment.

After the conversion, Valepar - Vale's controlling shareholder - will merge with and into the mining company. Valepar is formed by Bradesco, Mitsui, BNDESPar and state pension funds, such as Previ. In this way, shareholders linked to the government will have smaller shares.

Asked about government participation in the company, Schvartsman said that this issue is "100% solved" and that government interference in the company "is a page turned." "Not that there was interference, but the government is very welcome as a minority shareholder," he said.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 15 2017, 03:24 AM
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Wall Street Higher as North Korea Tensions Dwindle Down



U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday from the previous week's selloff, as traders saw geopolitical tensions subsiding.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.62 percent to 21,993.71, as Goldman Sachs, Apple and Boeing contributed the most advances.

The S&P 500 advanced one percent to 2,465.84, as the information technology ended at a record peak. The S&P also recorded its best day since April 24, when it climbed 1.08 percent. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.34 percent to 6,340.23, with shares of Amazon, Facebook and Tesla all increasing.

The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street's fear gauge, dropped over three points after it jumped to a nine-month peak last week.

Technology shares were among stocks that gave the index its largest boost. Apple rose 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 technology index climbed 1.6 percent.

Tesla advanced 1.7 percent after two brokerages increased their price targets on the stock, citing possible success of the firm's Model 3 sedan.

Snap Inc rose 6.5 percent after notching a record low early in the session, as investors posted their stakes in the social media firm while a wave of employees became eligible to sell their shares.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 16 2017, 02:30 AM
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Australia Leading Index Climbs 0.12% In July



The Australian economy picked up steam in July, the latest survey from Westpac Bank revealed on Wednesday.

The bank's leading index moved up 0.12 percent on month, the bank said.

That follows the downwardly revised 0.15 percent decline in June (originally 0.14 percent).

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 16 2017, 03:18 AM
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Wall Street Flat as Retail Stocks Sharply Drop



U.S. equities closed little changed on Tuesday as losses in Home Depot and other retailers followed results which counterbalanced strong U.S. retail sales data.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.02 percent to end at 21,998.99, with Home Depot contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 slipped 0.05 percent to 2,464.61, as telecommunications lagged behind. The Nasdaq composite was down 0.11 percent to 6,333.01.

The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) dropped 2.7 percent.

Advance Auto Parts marked their worst day ever after reporting lower-than-expected earnings. Dick's Sporting Goods tumbled 23 percent after its results fell short of expectations. The company also lowered its 2017 outlook.

Home Depot reported better-than-expected earnings and sales for the second quarter. However, its stocks dropped 2.7 percent. Investors seem to be worried about supply constraints in the housing market which could add more pressure on the company's future earnings. Bank stocks climbed following higher-than-expected economic data which raised Treasury yields.

General Electric fell 0.9 percent and dropped to an intraday low of $25.10, its weakest point since October 2015. A quarterly report from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc revealed that it reduced its investment in the industrial company.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 17 2017, 02:50 AM
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Japan Has Y418.8 Billion Trade Surplus



Japan had a merchandise trade surplus of 418.8 billion yen in July, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.

That topped forecasts for a surplus of 327.1 billion yen but was down from 439.8 billion yen in June.

Exports climbed 13.4 percent on year, beating forecasts for 13.2 percent and up from 9.7 percent in the previous month.

Imports picked up an annual 16.3 percent versus expectations for 17.1 percent and up from 15.5 a month earlier.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 17 2017, 03:28 AM
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UK Employment Notched Record Peak but Pay Remains Under Pressure



British employment reached a record peak, but workers' wages are still being squeezed as productivity drops.

Official statistics that were recently published signified the resilience of the UK jobs markets and its constant underlying problem. The workforce has been less productive than it was a decade ago, while employers are reluctant to increase salaries.

In the three months to the end of June, another 125,000 people have found jobs. This means that 75.1 percent of all people between the ages of 16 and 64 were in work, the highest employment rate since records started in 1971.

The jobless rate dropped from 4.5 to 4.4 percent in the quarter, the lowest marked rate since 1975.

The majority of new jobs were full-time, while the count of people on insecure zero-hours contracts fell by 20,000 to 883,000.

The productivity of Britain's workers dropped 0.1 percent in the second quarter after a 0.5 percent decline in the first.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 18 2017, 02:36 AM
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European Markets as Banks, Energy Stocks Drop



European shares broke their three-day winning streak on Thursday as banks declined after a cautious minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve, while energy stocks were also under pressure.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.6 percent as eurozone blue chips fell 0.7 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.6 percent while Germany's DAX was down 0.5 percent.

European lenders, which benefit from higher interest rates, were the worst-performing sector as it fell 1.6 percent. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank dropped which led the DAX lower with declines of 2.8 to three percent.

Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas weighed on th France's CAC, tumbling 1.6 to 2.3 percent.

Energy stocks are the worst-performing European sectors so far in 2017, declining one percent.

Geberit led construction firms to the third-worst performance among Stoxx 600 groups, dropping 5.8 percent after its quarterly earnings fell short even of their lowest analyst estimate.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals plunged ten percent after the company trimmed its guidance for the generics business.

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IFX Gertrude
post Aug 18 2017, 06:11 AM
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Malaysia GDP Growth Improves Unexpectedly In Q2



Malaysia's economic growth accelerated unexpectedly in the three months ended June, figures from the Department of Statistics showed Friday.

Gross domestic product advanced 5.8 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, faster than the 5.6 percent rise in the Mach quarter. Meanwhile, economists had expected the growth to ease to 5.4 percent.

During the fourth quarter of the previous year, the rate of expansion was 4.5 percent.

Malaysia's economy remained its uptrend momentum since second quarter of 2016.

On the expenditure side, private final consumption expenditure grew 7.1 percent annually in the second quarter and gross fixed capital formation rose by 4.1 percent.

Both exports and exports climbed by 9.6 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively.

Quarter-on-quarter, the seasonally adjusted GDP increased at a slower pace of 1.3 percent in the June quarter, following a 1.8 percent growth in the preceding three-month period.

Separately, the statistical office revealed that the current account surplus of the country rose to MYR 9.6 billion in the second quarter from MYR 5.3 billion in the first quarter.

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