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Monday, February 1, 2010


Concern about monetary tightening leaves Asian markets mixed
Share markets across the Asian-Pacific region closed mixed Monday, weighed down by Wall Street losses and concern about Asia's monetary tightening. Japan's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.1%, South Korea's Kospi Composite added 0.3% and China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.6%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 0.6%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gave up 1% and Taiwan's Taiex dropped 1.5%. The Wall Street Journal (01 Feb.)

Wednesday is judgment day for Greek finances
Talk of an EU rescue for Greece and its budget deficit is steadily hardening into a plan for action. The European Commission is scheduled to address the problem Wednesday and decide whether Greece's austerity plan has any hope of success. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (01 Feb.)

Obama's budget seeks $100 billion for jobs, sets deficit record
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected propose a $3.8 trillion budget that includes a record-high deficit of $1.6 trillion as well as a $100 billion program to create jobs, Obama administration and congressional sources said. The spending to create employment includes tax cuts for small businesses, financial assistance for state and local governments, and extra money for social programs. To bring the budget deficit under control, Obama will rely on proposals including a freeze on domestic programs, taxes on big banks and the expiration of tax cuts for families with an income of more than $250,000 a year. The New York Times (01 Feb.)

Economic risk remains in U.S. despite GDP growth of 5.7% in Q4
Americans got a clear indication that the worst of the recession is over when economic data for the fourth quarter were announced. GDP expanded at an annualized rate of 5.7%, the most since 2003. However, "only cautious celebration is in order," according to The Economist. "There are reasons to doubt that the impressive performance in a single quarter will be repeated in the coming months." The Economist (29 Jan.)

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