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Oct 16, 2018

Before the Bell: Wall Street futures rise ahead of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley earnings I CNBC
Fred Imbert, Spriha Srivastava

U.S. stock index futures indicated a slightly higher open Tuesday as investors looked ahead to a slew of corporate earnings releases.
At around 6 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 103 points, indicating a gain of 60.45 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rose.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are among the companies scheduled to report earnings before the bell Tuesday, along with asset-manager BlackRock. IBM and Netflix are also expected to report after the bell Tuesday.
Investors came into the earnings season with high hopes. Analysts polled by FactSet expect third-quarter S&P 500 earnings to have grown by 19 percent.
The earnings season comes as Wall Street tries to recover from sharp losses seen last week.
On Monday, the major indexes saw declines, led by tech, continuing from their overall trend last week. The S&P 500 slipped by 0.6 percent to close at 2,750.79 while the Nasdaq composite fell by 0.9 percent to end the trading day stateside at 7,430.74. The Dow Jones industrial average also shed 89.44 points to close at 25,250.55.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 10, 2018 in New York City. 
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 10, 2018 in New York City.
Equity markets across the globe are feeling the pressure due to the tensions surrounding the missing Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with markets concerned about the possible impact it could have on oil prices.
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi administration, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia's King Salman has ordered an internal investigation, in collaboration with a Turkish team, regarding his disappearance amid an international outcry.
On the data front, the U.S. Redbook data is due at 8:55 a.m. ET, followed by the industrial production numbers at 9:15 a.m. ET, and the Housing Market Index and the JOLTS numbers at 10 a.m. ET.

Asian Markets at Close Report: Asian stocks mixed following overnight slide on Wall Street; oil prices fall I CNBC

Eustance Huang

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Tuesday, as Wall Street slipped overnight and amid geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and the international community.
The Greater China markets lost their earlier gains to land in negative territory. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped by 0.23 percent in afternoon trade. The Shanghai composite shed 0.85 percent to close at around 2,546.33, while the Shenzhen composite fell by 1.929 percent to end the trading day at about 1,256.37.
China's consumer inflation in September rose 2.5 percent compared to a year ago and 0.7 percent higher than August, government data on Tuesday showed. Producer inflation however cooled from gains of 4.1 percent in August — an indication of slowing economic momentum amid escalating trade tensions with the U.S.
Meanwhile in Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced by 1.25 percent to close at 22,549.24, while the Topix index also saw gains of 0.74 percent to close at 1,687.91. Shares of Softbank bounced by 3.62 percent following yesterday's tumble.
South Korea's Kospi closed largely flat at 2,145.12.
The ASX 200 also advanced by 0.56 percent to close at 5,869.9, with most sectors trending higher. The heavily weighted financials subindex saw gains of 0.55 percent with major banks trending higher — Australia and New Zealand Banking Group was higher by 0.47 percent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 0.21 percent while National Australia Bank (NAB) advanced by 0.55 percent.
NAB had announced additional costs of 314 million Australian dollars ($224 million), which will go toward refunding customers who were overcharged. Australia's largest financial institutions have been under the spotlight after an inquiry exposed large-scale wrongdoing across the entire sector.
NIKKEI Nikkei 225 Index 22549.24 277.94 1.25%
HSI Hang Seng Index 25462.26 17.20 0.07%
ASX 200 S&P/ASX 200 5869.90 32.80 0.56%
SHANGHAI Shanghai 2546.33 -21.76 -0.85%
KOSPI KOSPI Index 2145.12 --- UNCH 0%
CNBC 100 CNBC 100 ASIA IDX 7594.28 44.42 0.59%
Overnight on Wall Street, the major indexes saw declines, led by tech, continuing from their overall trend last week. The S&P 500 slipped by 0.6 percent to close at 2,750.79 while the Nasdaq Composite fell by 0.9 percent to end the trading day stateside at 7,430.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also shed 89.44 points to close at 25,250.55.

Saudi King orders probe

Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding missing Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi remained in focus, with markets concerned about the possible impact it could have on oil prices.
In oil markets during the afternoon of Asian trade, prices fell in the afternoon of Asian trade after seeing gains earlier. The global benchmark Brent crude futures contract decreased 0.38 percent to $80.47 per barrel, while the U.S. crude futures contract fell 0.47 percent to $71.44 per barrel.
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi administration, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia's King Salman has ordered an internal investigation, in collaboration with a Turkish team, regarding his disappearance amid an international outcry.
"The Saudi and Turkish leaderships are likely to contain the crisis in bilateral relations triggered by the disappearance of Khoshaggi," said analysts from Eurasia Group in a note.
"Following days of heightened tensions, King Salman sent to Ankara a senior delegation that was likely headed by his personal envoy Khalid al Faisal," they said. "The effort behind the scenes is focused on avoiding a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and has succeeded in finding a pathway to deescalate tensions."


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 95.156 in the afternoon, after sliding from levels above 95.3 yesterday.
The Japanese yen was at 112.11 against the dollar, losing much of its gains from yesterday, while the Australian dollar was at $0.7119 after rising from the $0.71 handle in the previous session.
— CNBC's Huileng Tan and Reuters contributed to this report.

Oct 15, 2018

Market Insider: Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: Adobe, JB Hunt and more I CNBC

Only a U.N. investigation of Khashoggi’s disappearance could lead to the truth: Global Opinion I The Washington Post

By David Kaye and Agnes Callamard October 15 

A security guard looks out from the entrance of the Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul on Sunday. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
David Kaye is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, and Agnes Callamard is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on summary executions.
Nearly two weeks ago, journalist Jamal Khashoggi stepped into the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. He has not been seen since. The Turkish government has signaled that there is evidence connecting Saudi Arabia not only with his disappearance but also with his brutal murder. The Saudis have shown zero evidence or even a plausible argument of innocence in response. Saudi responsibility seems practically irrefutable.
Case closed, no? Unfortunately, we are far from that. Turkey’s investigation remains hidden in the murky shadows of intelligence and security services. Any criminal investigation that would naturally lead to accountability for murder would be difficult, subject to concerns of diplomatic pressure on Turkey. There is a big risk that this case could be further politicized. To avoid this, we think Turkey should not be leading the investigation. We say this not as a criticism of Turkey as much as a belief in the necessity to protect an effort to achieve truth.
Who then can “get to the bottom of it,” as Donald Trump put it, in a credible way? The Saudis cannot investigate themselves, obviously. Any investigation involving the United States or European governments would face the same type of politicization and diplomatic conflict as one led by Turkey. U.S. objectivity would be particularly in question given the Trump administration’s close relationship with the current Saudi leadership.
There are at least two alternatives, as we see it, and both involve Turkey’s consent. One is that Turkey invites an international team of investigators to evaluate the evidence and allow a transparent disclosure and evaluation of the findings of Turkish authorities. Our fear is that such a process would still face criticism for depending on Turkey’s control of the evidence and access to information.
The other, better possibility could be to establish an emergency independent international team to conduct its own investigation. The U.N. Security Council should authorize an immediate investigation that would report back to it within the next four to six weeks. If any country blocks a Security Council-sanctioned investigation, the U.N. Human Rights Council should authorize one, as it has done for Syria, Myanmar, Burundi and elsewhere.
What might that investigation look like? There have been similar investigations in the past, and there’s ample drafting expertise for getting this right. We believe the importance of this issue calls for a Security Council authorization. Just last year the Security Council appointed an investigative team to look at the crimes of the Islamic State. In 2004, it authorized a key commission about crimes in Darfur.
At a minimum, an international investigation should involve the appointment, by the secretary general, of a high-profile and well-respected former international prosecutor or judge. That person would lead a small team of international investigators with global experience to examine the existing evidence, provided by Turkey, and have the authority to seek additional evidence. The resolution authorizing the investigation should welcome Turkey’s consent to full cooperation and compel Saudi Arabia to provide access to the consulate and to relevant officials and other sources.
We are not calling for an international tribunal but rather for an independent investigation that could produce credible findings and provide the basis for clear punitive actions, including the possible expulsion of diplomatic personnel, removal from U.N. bodies (such as the Human Rights Council), travel bans, economic consequences, reparations and the possibility of trials in third states.
There is another reason for the international community to engage in this way right now. Khashoggi’s disappearance comes at a moment of extreme threat to journalists worldwide. The Committee to Protect Journalists has identified 44 cases of journalists killed this year. A few days ago Bulgarian TV reporter Viktoria Marinova was raped and killed.
An international investigation would at least start to change that narrative. To be sure, several countries in the Security Council are dangerous places for journalism and free expression. An inquiry investigation cannot be cover for their own bad behavior.
But Khashoggi’s disappearance must lead to accountability and consequences. Only an independent investigation can put this case on that path.
Read more:

Israel embassy move, MPs' Nauru call, Trump cites 'rogue killers' | Australia news I The Guardian

Helen Sullivan

Good morning, this is Helen Sullivan bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Tuesday 16 October.

Top stories

Australia may follow US president Donald Trump’s lead and move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The prime minister, Scott Morrison, is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday as part of a foreign policy statement on Israel in Canberra. Morrison has credited the Liberal party’s Wentworth byelection candidate Dave Sharma, a former Australian ambassador to Israel, with raising the issue.
Wentworth, the blue-ribbon Sydney electorate formerly held by Malcolm Turnbull, has a large Jewish community and voters will go to the polls this weekend. Any move by Australia would be a departure from the position taken by Turnbull when he was prime minister and by the former foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, and would have global ramifications.
Thirteen million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen if war continues, in what would be “the worst famine in 100 years”, the UN has warned. If airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition are not halted, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. She told the BBC: “I think many of us felt as we went into the 21st century that it was unthinkable that we could see a famine like we saw in Ethiopia, that we saw in Bengal, that we saw in parts of the Soviet Union – that was just unacceptable … and yet the reality is that in Yemen that is precisely what we are looking at.” Yemen has been in the grip of a bloody civil war for three years after Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, seized much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a.
Three government MPs have urged Scott Morrison to remove children and their families from Nauru, declaring conditions in offshore detention have now reached a tipping point. Craig Laundy, Julia Banks and Russell Broadbent have appealed directly to Morrison to end what the Australian Medical Association has termed a “a humanitarian emergency requiring urgent intervention”. Doctors, including Paul Bauert – a Darwin-based paediatrician who has been active in legal cases involving recent medical transfers from Nauru – have been in Canberra lobbying MPs in the hope of achieving a breakthrough.
Donald Trump has said “rogue killers” may have murdered the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is believed to have been killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The US president speculated on the presumed death of the Washington Post columnist as he announced he was dispatching his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to Riyadh to discuss the deepening crisis with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. After speaking to the Saudi king by phone, the US president said Salman “denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened”. Trump told reporters: “It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?”
The Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly has said he wants renewable energy subsidies axed. The outspoken conservative and chairman of the Coalition’s backbench energy committee told Guardian Australia the government needed to wind up the program, which offers subsidies for households and businesses to install renewable energy technology such as solar panels. The former prime minister Tony Abbott has already prevailed upon the energy minister, Angus Taylor, to axe the small-scale scheme and the federal renewable energy target, which is due to wind down from 2020, will not be replaced by the government.


Graham Arnold’s reign as Socceroos coach got off to the perfect start overnight with a 4-0 friendly win in Kuwait. Australia led 2-0 at half-time through an own goal and a second from Apostolos Giannou, before Tom Rogic and debutant Awer Mabil added two more in the final 10 minutes.
The mood at suburban basketball courts across Australian is buoyant. Two weeks ago the Liz Cambage-led Opals claimed the silver medal at the Fiba World Cup. And when the NBA begins across the Pacific on Wednesday (AEDT), nine Australians will grace team rosters, several with legitimate hopes of challenging for a championship ring, writes Mike Hytner.

Thinking time

The photographer David Goldblatt documented the casual horror of apartheid, and captured the unease that pulsed through Alexandra Spring’s childhood. In anticipation of a new retrospective of Goldblatt’s work at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Spring looks back at her own experiences alongside his photos. Goldblatt’s 1980 photograph Saturday Morning at the Hypermarket: Miss Lovely Legs Competition was taken at the supermarket where Spring’s mother shopped. “It recalls things I saw but did not see. And it drags up the old questions that lurk beneath my memories – how could such ordinariness take place while countless horrors were happening off camera?”
The Wentworth byelection must be a referendum on climate change, argue Richard Flanagan and former Howard government adviser Geoff Cousins. Senior members of the Australian government responded to last week’s sobering IPCC report by saying, variously, that they had not read it, did not intend to change policy because of “some sort of report” and would still be tying Australia’s future to coal. “In the face of such sustained stupidity by our leaders many Australians have felt an overwhelming sense of powerlessness,” Flanagan and Cousins write. “But we should not.”
Australia’s housing boom won’t get its hoped-for soft landing. The release of the latest housing finance data shows the biggest annual fall in housing finance commitments for nearly eight years. And both the Reserve Bank and the IMF are pointing to concerns about the level of household debt as we reach a decade since the global financial crisis. Greg Jericho asks how we got here.

What’s he done now?

Donald Trump has a new painting hanging in the White House, showing him drinking with his Republican predecessors. Hannah Jane Parkinson asks what we should make of it.

Media roundup

The Sydney Morning Herald calls Scott Morrison’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “a historic change of policy that would align Australia with Donald Trump’s controversial shift but jar with much of the western world and risk angering Arab and Muslim nations.” The Herald Sun writes that Labor will today announce its plan for a 200km/h fast rail link from Melbourne to Geelong and Ballarat, rivalling opposition leader Matthew Guy’s $19bn pledge. And the Australian reports that Australia’s grand mufti, Sheik Taj El-Din Hilaly, whose standing is disputed by the Australian National Imams Council, has signalled “open hostility to gay teachers in Islamic schools”.

Coming up

The latest Australian Council of Social Services report into poverty in Australia is to be released at noon.
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, whose pregnancy was confirmed last night, are in Sydney today, where they will open a new research institute at Taronga zoo and greet the crowd at the Opera House.

EU FX I Currencies: Dollar dips as US retail sales misses expectations I CNBC


The U.S. dollar dipped on Monday after retail sales data for September missed economists expectations, and as benchmark U.S. Treasury yields consolidated after last week hitting their highest level in seven years.
U.S. retail sales barely rose in September as a rebound in motor vehicle purchases was offset by the biggest drop in spending at restaurants and bars in nearly two years. Retail sales edged up only 0.1 percent in the month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an increase of 0.6 percent.
We had softer than expected retail sales, that was another leg of dollar selling, said Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.
It comes after data last week showed that U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in September, held back by a slower increase in the cost of rent and falling energy prices, as underlying inflation pressures appeared to cool.
Higher 10-year Treasury yields, which on Tuesday shot to 3.26 percent, helped to boost the greenback last week. With yields now having retraced to 3.15 percent, investors are looking for fresh impetus for dollar buying.
Until we get another leg up in U.S. yields, the dollars going to be sort of in limbo, said Thin.
Safe haven currencies the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc gained on Monday as European stocks tumbled to 22-month lows, with rising tensions between Western powers and Saudi Arabia adding to a cocktail of concerns that battered global stocks last week.
Saudi Arabia has been under pressure since a prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh and a U.S. resident, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian sister party also said on Monday it would back political stability in Berlin after suffering big losses in a regional election which their far-right foes hailed as "an earthquake" that would rock the coalition government.
"I don't think (the German election result is) a huge political risk, but it does tell you that political risks in Europe are not going away," said Alvin Tan, a currencies analyst at Societe Generale in London.