Saturday 21st January 2017
NEWS TICKER, Friday, January 20th 2017: Reforms to create a more stable and resilient monetary union will be voted by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. MEPs are keen to complete the banking and financial union, make progress towards more convergent economies in the Eurozone and prevent unsustainable risk-sharing in order to protect taxpayers and restore trust. (Wednesday. EP President Antonio Tajani will meet Spanish Minister of Health Dolors Montserrat on Monday and Pakistan Minister of Trade Khurram Dastgir Khan on Tuesday -Western Union will pay $586 million to settle U.S. civil and criminal cases that alleged the company turned a blind eye for years to criminals who used its money transfer network to commit fraud. Clearly today’s outlook is dominated by incoming US president Donald Trump. US. stocks rose amid gains across sectors on Friday as investors counted down to Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States. Trade, or at least worries about the incoming president’s approach to current trading treaties looks to be the main weight on political thinking. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble waded into the pre-inauguration coverage saying that he thought Trump should abide by current trade treaties, adding he did not expect a major trade war despite Trump's attack on German car makers. "I don't think a big trade war will break out tomorrow, but we will naturally insist that agreements are upheld. Schaeuble told Der Spiegel -- .Alexey Zabotkin economist at VTB Capital reports both Europe (Stoxx600 -0.1%) and the US (S&P500 -0.4%) slid on Thursday, the latter seesawing between gains and losses for the sixth consecutive session. Toiday, Europe's markets continued to hover around the flatline ahead of the inauguration, the FTSE dropped 8,93 points to 7199.51, while the DAX was up 23.60 points to 11620.49; similarly the CAC rose minimally by 14.06 points to 4854.6. Investors seem to be taking a cautious approach as they wait for clarity on what the new US administration will do. It was generally lacklustre in the Asian market, with the Kospi, Hang Seng and CNBC dropping marginally in the session. The Nikkei up 65.66 points and the Shanghai Composite, up 21.53 points were them main highlights of a mixed cocktail of a session. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 finished down 0.66% or 37.4 points at 5,654.8, dragged by material and financial plays, but the Australian dollar remains on track to finish higher for the fourth straight week In Europe, basic resources traded down by more than 0.44% on a stronger dollar while autos and health care also moved lower this morning. Oil stocks led gains this afternoon as investors expect producers to confirm compliance with an output cut deal during a meeting this weekend. At last look, Brent crude was around $55.71 a barrel, up 2.86%, while U.S. crude was at $52.83 a barrel, up 2.84%. – In the US, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was higher at around 2.489%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at 3.064% as the US market opened. Yields move inversely to prices -- VTB reports that Russian equities went lower yesterday. The RTS Index lost 1.3% (the fourth decline in five sessions and dipped into the red YTD) and RUB drifted back closer to 60 versus USD (but the last two weeks’ 59.00-60.70 range holds). Utilities were in the spotlight: MSCI EM (-0.4%) was also in the red. In CEEMEA, Russia (RTSI -1.3%, RUB -0.5%) kept drifting lower for the fourth day in five, as Oil fluctuated along the 2017 lows and media reports questioned the government’s determination to enforce the highest dividend payouts for SOEs. The dividend payouts of state-controlled Russian companies should be kept at no less than half of their profits until 2019, with no exceptions, the finance ministry proposed in April last year. Since then were mixed messages on the policy, with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich saying some firms could be let off higher dividend payments on their profits from last year. The move came as Russia searches for ways of boosting budget revenue to offset the effects of lower oil prices and Western sanctions. Yesterday, Russian first deputy premier Shuvalov expressed reservations about the country’s new 50% dividend payout rule – advocates a ‘hard’ 25% of IFRS rule – with higher payouts considered on a case-by-case basis -- The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 2.86 points or 0.1% higher to 3011.08, taking the year-to-date performance to +4.45%. The top active stocks today were DBS, which declined 0.06%, Singtel, which gained 0.79%, UOB, which declined 0.39%, OCBC Bank, which closed unchanged and CapitaLand, with a 0.31% advance. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.10%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined 0.14% -- Russian first deputy premier Shuvalov has expressed reservations about the country’s new 50% dividend payout rule – advocates a ‘hard’ 25% of IFRS rule – with higher payouts considered on a case-by-case basis -

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