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  1. #181
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    Post Euro shares edge higher on Greece consensus hopes

    (Reuters) - European shares drifted higher in choppy trade on Friday as signs Greece would seek political consensus on a new aid package and dump a referendum helped cap some fears of an imminent default, although the outcome remains uncertain.

    Banks, many of which have a significant exposure to the peripheral euro zone economies and have taken a hit on their balance sheets, were among the top gainers, while miners got some support from firmer metals prices that rose on hopes of an improvement in demand for raw materials.

    The STOXX Europe 600 banking index .SX7P rose 1 percent, while the basic resources index .SXPP was up 1.2 percent. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) rose 4.3 percent on its third-quarter profits and robust capital position.

    However, Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) fell 2.5 percent after it took a Greek impairment hit, forcing it to abandon its 2012 operating profit target.

    The FTSEurofirst 300 finance/markets/index?symbol=gb%21FTPP">.FTEU3 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 993.06 points at 0956 GMT (5:56 a.m. EDT), after climbing 1.9 percent in the previous session, on hopes the referendum, which could be the beginning of an exit for Greece from the euro zone, could be avoided.

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou bowed to cabinet rebels and agreed to step down and make way for a negotiated coalition government if his Socialists back him in a confidence vote on Friday, government sources told Reuters.

    "Even if Greece doesn't have a referendum, you have got several weeks of political instability there. They could very well have to form a new government, which delays the ratification of the whole process.

    "It seems a Greek drama has been avoided for the time being as there are some signals that the proposed referendum on the bailout package will be scrapped," said Koen De Leus, strategist at KBC Securities, in Brussels.

    "But the situation is far from clear yet and there is a possibility that the Greek government might fall, which would mean that no bailout money will be available to them for some time. Any such outcome would create more uncertainties."

    Investors kept a close eye on a meeting of G20 leaders in Cannes that discussed increasing the International Monetary Fund's resources and building a financial firewall to protect vulnerable euro zone economies Italy and Spain from a possible Greek default.

    Fund managers said that investors would stay highly cautious unless there was some clarity on the Greek situation.

    "Even if Greece doesn't have a referendum, you have got several weeks of political instability there. They could very well have to form a new government, which delays the ratification of the whole process," said Felicity Smith, fund manager at Bedlam Asset Management that manages $700 million.

    "We are trying to see if, in the panic, some otherwise perfectly good and sound companies get unduly knocked back. Some of those industrial stocks, which have a variety of businesses and where the end demand is likely to be robust, could be interesting," she said, giving an example of British engineer Invensys (ISYS.L).

    Investors awaited data on U.S. employment growth, which is expected to show that it was too weak in October to pull down the nation's lofty jobless rate, though it may have been strong enough to suggest some economic momentum is building.

    The 30-day implied volatility for Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE, Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC 40 .FCHI fell for a second straight session on Thursday, according to data from Thomson Reuters Datastream, indicating that investors were gradually increasing their exposure to riskier assets.

    The Euro STOXX 50 volatility index .V2TX, Europe's main fear gauge, also fell 4.5 percent on Friday, suggesting an improvement in investors' sentiment.

  2. #182
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    Post Brent crude climbs over $114 on euro zone hopes

    (Reuters) - Brent crude oil jumped more than $2 per barrel to more than an seven-week high on Monday on hopes Greece and Italy could resolve their debt crises and minimize the chances of a further slowdown in global economic growth.

    Brent futures for December rose $2.91 to a high of $114.88, their highest since mid-September, before easing back to trade around $114.50 by 1440 GMT. Brent settled $1.14 higher on Friday, rising for a second week.

    U.S. December crude oil futures rose $1.20 to $95.46 a barrel. The contract rose 1 percent last week, posting a fifth straight weekly gain.

    The market rose through early European trade and took another step higher as U.S. traders came into the market, brokers said.

    "We started strong today, then there was a slight fall in prices, and now we see a positive spin with news on Greece and Italy," said Robert Montefusco, a senior broker at Sucden Financial Ltd.

    Italy, with debts amounting to 120 percent of gross domestic product, has the biggest government bond market in the euro zone. An Italian financial collapse would pose a huge risk to markets but might bring an administration that would be better able to handle the debt crisis, some investors say.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday denied reports he was about to resign.

    In Greece, political change is also on the agenda as leaders set to choose who will lead a new coalition and push through a bailout before the country runs out of money in mid-December.

    The dollar and gold rose on Monday as investors looked for safe havens, while many stock markets, base metals and other risky assets fell. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.7 percent and the FTSEurofirst finance/markets/index?symbol=gb%21FTPP">.FTEU3 fell 0.5 percent.

    "Economic news around Italy and Greece is dominating the market," said Christophe Barret, global oil analyst at Credit Agricole.

    Prime Minister George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras agreed to form a new coalition government, but details of a deal to resolve Greece's debt crisis remained sketchy, while the country was due to run out of money in a few weeks.

    The European Union told Greek leaders to explain by Monday evening how they would form a government to get 130 billion euros ($180 billion) in emergency funding.

    ITALY

    Market attention, meanwhile, shifted to Italy as its government bond yields hit their highest levels since 1997 and political turmoil threatened to drag the economy deeper into crisis.

    Italy faces a vote on public finance in parliament on Tuesday, and the center-left opposition said it was preparing a motion of no-confidence that would bring Berlusconi down even if he should survive Tuesday's vote.

    Seasonal factors offered some support to oil.

    Low fuel inventories in the world's top oil consumer, the United States, amid signs of an earlier-than-usual onset of winter may prompt refiners to ramp up output. That may further squeeze an already tight crude market coping with disruption in supplies from Libya and the North Sea.

    Investors watched the unfolding bankruptcy of MF Global (MFGLQ.PK). CME Group (CME.O) and IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N) moved over the weekend to limit the fallout from the bankruptcy filing on futures markets by lowering margin requirements on some accounts.

    The CME said on Monday it asked brokers who have taken over customer accounts from MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy protection on October 31, to not disburse any of the money until the close of business on Tuesday as it looks to verify the amounts involved.

  3. #183
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    Post McDonald's October same-store sales rise 5.5 percent

    (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) reported a higher-than-expected rise in worldwide October sales at established restaurants, aided by a popular promotional game in the United States.

    The world's largest hamburger chain, whose shares rose nearly 1 percent on Tuesday in premarket trading, said sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 5.5 percent globally. Analysts were looking for a 4.1 percent gain, according to Consensus Metrix and McDonald's had previously forecast a 4 percent to 5 percent increase.

    Same-restaurant sales rose 5.2 percent in the United States, beating analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.7 percent and helped by the Monopoly game promotion. In Europe -- McDonald's largest market -- the company reported a 4.8 percent increase, better than the analysts' call for a 3.4 percent rise.

    Sales in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa rose 6.1 percent, beating the analysts' call for a 4.3 percent rise.

    McDonald's has been outpacing rivals such as Wendy's Co (WEN.N), Burger King Corp BKCBK.UL and Yum Brands Inc's (YUM.N) KFC by attracting a broader range of diners than fast-food's typical young adult males.

    It has done that with menu items like kids' meals, premium Angus beef hamburgers and a selection of high-margin drinks ranging from lattes to fruit smoothies. It also is renovating its dining areas to be more modern and comfortable.

    McDonald's shares were at $95 in premarket trading, up from Monday's New York Stock Exchange close of $94.62.

  4. #184
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    Post Commodities news: Gold rising and steady on European crisis.

    Tuesday, October 8th, 2011.

    Gold has risen above USD 1790 on European crisis, supported by a safe-haven demand as Italy is in the spotlight on Eurozone debt crisis. With this gold rises to its highest in six weeks.

    The debt problems of Italy, the third largest economy of the Eurozone represent a much bigger risk to the markets than Greece. The surprise interest rate cut by the European Central Bank last Thursday also helped gold to post its second consecutive weekly gain last week.

    PRICES

    Precious metals prices 0007 GMT

    Spot Gold 1792.09 -2.70 -0.15 26.25
    Spot Silver 34.87 0.01 +0.03 12.99
    Spot Platinum 1648.49 -7.01 -0.42 -6.73
    Spot Palladium 657.00 -1.49 -0.23 -17.82
    TOCOM Gold 4501.00 52.00 +1.17 20.70 25489
    TOCOM Platinum 4161.00 28.00 +0.68 -11.39 5362
    TOCOM Silver 86.70 1.20 +1.40 7.04 140
    TOCOM Palladium 1656.00 -9.00 -0.54 -21.03 105
    COMEX GOLD DEC1 1793.90 2.80 +0.16 26.21 1843
    COMEX SILVER DEC1 34.91 0.08 +0.24 12.83 986

  5. #185
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    Post Analysis: Gold rising, greenback losing to EUR: Italy approves austerity measures.

    Friday, November 11th, 2011.

    Gold and Euro rose in line this Friday backed by optimism as Italy has approved the austerity measures to reduce debt.

    Spot gold rose 0.7 percent to $1,770.79 an ounce by 1525 GMT and was on course for a third straight week of rises with a 1.0 percent gain. U.S. gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,775.00

    Since ECB will have to create more money to cover the debt burden in Eurozone, the increasing liquidity will make gold even more attractive as seen as an asset that holds its value better than paper currencies in times of high inflation.

    The euro also rose, staying high from the low 1.3484 touched on Tuesday.

    European indices also end higher today Friday thanks to the political progress of the Italian Goverment, calming down fear on the immediate outlook for the debt crisis.

    At the provisional close, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of leading European shares was up 2.1 percent at 983.73 points, led by Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), which rose 8.8 percent.

    Italy’s 10-year benchmark government debt yields fell to 6.4 percent, comfortably below the 7 percent level seen by many as unsustainable.



    (Source: Reuters).

  6. #186
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    Post Italy pays euro-era high cost to sell its 5-year debt

    (Reuters) - Italy paid a euro-era high price to sell five-year bonds on Monday, with investors wary of buying its debt until the country's new leadership undertakes profound economic reform.

    The 3 billion euro sale, small by Italian standards, met slightly improved demand compared with a month ago, but the 6.29 percent cost of borrowing was seen as unsustainable as Italy tries to refinance its 1.9 trillion euro debt.

    However, the yield was below secondary market levels, reflecting expectations of a more reform-friendly Italy after European Commissioner Mario Monti was asked to form a government on Sunday.

    "(Monti) is perceived to be a positive change for the country," said Annalisa Piazza, rate strategist at Newedge.

    "Cautiousness on the future developments in Italy is fully justified. Credibility has been lost and it will take a while for market participants to believe that the country is back on the right track."

    Italian yields soared above 7 percent last week -- levels that ultimately led Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek international aid.

    Yet Italy is too big to be bailed out with currently available resources and preventing it becoming the next victim of the two-year old euro zone debt crisis is seen as crucial to future of the single currency itself.

    Bids at Monday's auction were 1.469 times the amount on offer, compared with 1.344 percent at last month's sale, when gross yields were just 5.32 percent.

    "(The results) just basically tell us in the short term that we are not (spiraling) out of control," said Marc Ostwald, strategist at Monument Securities in London.

    "But in the long run, paying 6.29 percent for five-year paper is just not an option, it's not sustainable over the long term. You would need to be back below 5 (percent) before we get there and that looks very far away still."

    Yields on benchmark Italian 10-year bonds climbed to 14-year highs of around 7.5 percent last week before Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, seen by many in the market as an obstacle in the way of reforms, said he would resign.

    The political change -- and European Central Bank debt purchases -- pushed yields back to 6.40 percent early on Monday, but the improved sentiment seemed fragile -- yields last stood at 6.64 percent, up 14 bps on the day.

    "We've seen a substantial move in yields over the past few days and the 6.40 percent level, where the first (ECB) intervention took place, is a big one, and people have started to book some profits at around that level," one trader said.

    Five-year yields stood close to 10-year levels at 6.63 percent.

  7. #187
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    Post Analysis: Europe debt fears grow, Gold rising, Italian 10-yr yields above 7 percent.

    Tuesday, November 15th, 2011.


    Italian 10-year yield bonds have risen above the key 7 percent level after the new Italian goverment failed to calm fears on the eurozone debt crisis, giving the perception of Italy being economically unsustainable.


    Euro tumbles as well agains greenback and hits a five-week low against Yen. The euro fell 0.7 percent to $1.3527, having dropped to a session trough of $1.3495 according to Reuters data. Key downside support lies around $1.3481, a one-month low set last week.


    The euro zone common currency also lost 0.9 percent to 104.17 yen, after sliding as low as 103.95 — the weakest since October 10.


    Finally, safe-haven buyers have lifted gold after the Eurozone turmoil, the worries over an economic slowdown and the fears that France could be sucked into a spiraling crisis.


    Spot gold was off 0.6 percent to $1,769.09 an ounce at 11:38 a.m. EST (1638 GMT), having traded as low as $1,760.04 an ounce early on Tuesday. U.S. gold for December delivery stood $8.40 lower at $1,770 an ounce. Silver eased 0.3 percent at $34.12 an ounce.



    (Source: Reuters).

  8. #188
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    Post Analysis: Stocks and Euro slide. Gold drops on USD rise.

    Wednesday, November 16th, 2011.


    The euro has fallen for the thirds straight session against the usd, hitting a five-week low as investors doubt of the abbility of Eurozone goverments to contain the crisis.

    Despite the ECB (European Central Bank) buying Italian and Spanish bonds, this has only brought temporarily relief to the markets. The euro was down 0.3 percent at $1.3501, oil prices in London fell and stocks on Wall Street were lower.

    French borrowing costs rose, with the yield premium of the French 10-year government bond over German Bunds rising to a euro-era high near 2 percent.

    Wall Street has fallen. Analysts called a 0.1 percent drop in the U.S. Consumer Price Index in October a non-event for markets.

    The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 74.43 points, or 0.62 percent, at 12,021.73. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was down 7.50 points, or 0.60 percent, at 1,250.31. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 16.30 points, or 0.61 percent, at 2,669.90.

    Gold has also fallen this Wednesday, after the greenback strenghtened. Selling gold also continued, after more Eurozone headlines negatively affected the outlook for economic recovery, being that more portfolio managers are preferring cash rather than entering into risks.

    Gold, a traditional safe haven which has recently performed more like a riskier asset, was about 1 percent lower in the last three sessions.



    (Source: Reuters).

  9. #189
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    Post Spain bond sale costs soar toward danger levels

    MADRID, Nov 17 - Spain paid the highest rate to sell its 10-year debt since 1997 Thursday, just shy of the 7 percent mark seen as unsustainable, as the country is swept deeper into the euro zone's debt crisis ahead of a Parliamentary election Sunday.

    The euro fell and demand for safe haven German bonds jumped after auction as investor fears about the stability of the whole the currency bloc grew.

    "The result was dreadful. They didn't manage to raise the full amount and the bid-to-cover is really poor. The fiscal profiles of Spain and Italy are different but their yields seem to be aligning now," said Achilleas Georgolopoulos, rates strategist at Lloyds in London.

    Countries at the fringes of the euro zone saw their financing costs leap this week over fears Italy could eventually default, and the tensions spilled over into core euro zone countries such as France. That was despite ongoing support from the European Central Bank's bond purchases of periphery debt.

    The Treasury managed to sell 3.6 billion euros of a new 10-year 5.85 percent coupon benchmark bond, in the middle of its 3 billion to 4 billion euro target at the auction.

    Spain's government was forced to pay an average yield of 6.975 percent for the bond, the highest since 1997 when the average yield was 7.26 percent. The highest paid this year on a separate 5.5 percent coupon 10-year bond was 5.986 percent on July 21.

    The bid-to-cover ratio in the Spanish auction, an indicator of investor demand, was 1.5, down from 1.8 in October for a similar bond.

    A separate auction of saw France's cost of borrowing over two and four years jumped by around half a percentage point at an auction Thursday, reflecting growing concerns it may be dragged into the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis.

    Spain faces a Parliamentary election Sunday, which polls show the center-right People's Party winning by a wide margin. Leader Mariano Rajoy will quickly be tasked with assuring markets Spain can take the right measures to avoid a bailout like Portugal.

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