Trading Now

Trading Now

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Asian markets rally, with trading resuming in Hong Kong
Asian stock markets gained Wednesday as higher commodity prices boosted resource shares and a weaker yen spurred exporters in Japan. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.7%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 2.2% and South Korea's Kospi Composite added 1.7%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, which resumed trading after Lunar New Year, climbed 1.3%. In afternoon trading, India's Sensex rose 1.2% and Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 0.9%. Markets in China, Vietnam and Taiwan remained closed. The Wall Street Journal (17 Feb.)

*a jobs bill I can live with
Obama announces $8B in loan guarantees for 2 nuclear reactors
U.S. President Barack Obama announced more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees to build two nuclear facilities in Georgia. The nuclear industry is aiming for at least six power plants to begin construction during the next 10 years. Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office have the default risk on loans as high as 50%. The Sun (Baltimore) (17 Feb.)

Banks embrace "short sales" to clear books of troubled mortgages
JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and other major banks are turning to "short sales" to clear their books of souring home loans. As home values continue to decline in some areas of the country, short sales are expected to become increasingly popular. "If 2009 was the year of the loan modification, 2010 will be the year of the short sale," said Jim Klinge, a real-estate broker in San Diego. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (2/17)

Goldman's Greek swap wasn't disclosed in subsequent bond sales
Goldman Sachs participated in $15 billion in bond sales for the Greek government after arranging a currency swap that allowed the country to keep its budget deficit a secret from the EU and bond investors, according to a Bloomberg review of documents. In at least six of the 10 bond offerings, there was no mention of the currency swap, according to the review. Not disclosing the swap -- and the deficit it concealed -- might have helped Goldman get better pricing for the bonds, said Bill Blain, co-head of fixed income at Matrix Corporate Capital. Bloomberg (2/16)

JPMorgan analysts outline worst-case regulatory scenario
Analysts at JPMorgan Chase figured out what will happen if all financial regulatory proposals made by governments worldwide are implemented at the same time as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's changes to capital and liquidity standards. The analysts concluded that major banks would see a significant decline in profitability. Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Scotland and other European banks would be hurt the most, the analysts determined. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (2/17)

*effects take time
Canada moves to head off housing-market bubble
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced home-mortgage regulations aimed at cooling off the housing market. The action came after months of public debate about whether rapidly increasing home prices are signaling the development of a property-asset bubble. The rules are aimed at discouraging speculation and protecting consumers from becoming burdened with more debt. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (16 Feb.)

Analysis: Partisan standoff boosts fear of U.S. debt crisis
The U.S. is slipping toward a debt crisis, said foreign creditors of the country and domestic economists, and partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill is blocking efforts to prevent it. "I used to think it would take a global financial crisis to get both parties to the table, but we just had one," said G. William Hoagland, a former fiscal-policy adviser to Republican senators. "These days I wonder if this country is even governable." Spiegel Online (Germany) (16 Feb.)


  1. Jobs bill for Nuke plants? Sounds real good- but we shall see. Very easy to just "throw a bone out there"- those things can be held up for years with red tape. Question- since the storage facility in Nevada is closed by order of current admin, where will the waste go? Hmmm-

  2. The waste will go to Oklahoma. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if states start begging the administration for the waste. Revenue baby, revenue!



Wikinvest Wire