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Mar 18, 2011

Miining Interactive: Zeal Intelligence Weekly - "Silver Toppings 2" by Adam Hamilton

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Adam Hamilton has posted his weekly Zeal Intelligence Newsletter on the Mining Interactive Website. Click here:

Zeal Intelligence Weekly

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U.S. CFTC announcement of Chairman's event

 CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler to address the European Parliament ECON Committee

Event Date - 03/22/2011.

European Parliament ECON Committee

MarketWatch | Weekly Roundup: Top 10 Stories March 14 - 18

Weekly Roundup
MARCH 18, 2011

Top 10 MarketWatch stories March 14 - 18

By MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — In a week that saw wild swings across almost all asset classes, U.S. Stocks posted some of their biggest declines in months and turned negative for the year on Wednesday, before recovering with two strong days at the end of the week.

Amid the chaos of a nuclear crisis in Japan and the stubbornly persistent mideast violence the S&P 500 (SPX) ended the week off 1.9%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) shed 1.5% the Nasdaq (COMP) fell 2.7%, topping the week's losers.

Please don't forget to watch our Week Ahead videos for Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Asia Week Ahead: Nuclear disaster response

U.S. Week Ahead:Consumer sentiment,gas in focus

 Europe week Ahead: Metro, Unicredit earnings

Greg Morcroft, assistant managing editor

Western powers prepare for Libya action

Western powers on Friday moved closer to military action in Libya after the United Nations authorized "all necessary measures" to protect civilians there. France, the U.K. and the United States said they were taking steps to carry out the resolution, which is aimed at protecting rebels in Libya who are fighting to overthrow the government of Moammar Gadhafi. Governments in Egypt and Tunisia have been overthrown, while protests have destabilized leaders in Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen. Unrest has also emerged in other countries in the region.Intervention in Libya would mark the most forceful action by western powers since the regional unrest broke out. Read full MarketWatch coverage of latest Libya developments

Japan raise nuclear crisis level

Japanese authorities upgraded the severity of the nuclear crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Friday and raised for the first time the possibility that they would have to encase the plant in concrete to prevent further damaging radiation releases. Japan raised the unfolding crisis at the plant to a 5 from a 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, or INES, according to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, taking it from an accident with local consequences to one with a wider impact, severe damage to the reactor core and several deaths from radiation. The assessment puts an official stamp on what nuclear experts have been saying for days: The problems at the Fukushima plant add up to the worst nuclear accident the world has seen since the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the former Soviet Union. Read MarketWatch coverage of Japan nuclear plant crisis

Many big banks hike dividends following latest stress test

The Federal Reserve announced Friday that some big banks got the green light to hike dividends and snap up their shares after the central bank completed a stress test of their capital levels. The Fed didn't disclose the results of the tests, but shortly after it released its criteria for the review some of the largest banks began announcing special dividends and share buy-back programs. Read MarketWatch coverage of bank stress tests and dividend hikes

Gold: Sell first - and then ask questions

Sell first, ask questions later. That appears to be what gold traders did earlier this week, when their actions caused bullion to suffer a huge decline — falling more than $30 alone one day this week. Consider whether or not there are good fundamental reasons for gold to have fallen so much. The default explanation, of course, is that bullion's decline somehow traces back to the Japanese earthquake and the ensuing crisis. But I'm not so sure why. Read Mark Hulbert commentary on gold's behavior

GOP lashes out at top regulator for consumers

House Republican lawmakers on Wednesday strongly criticized Elizabeth Warren and the consumer-protection agency she's charged with setting up, with some legislators saying the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be unaccountable and pose a threat for banks. The White House hasn't formally nominated anyone to head the agency because that person would have to receive a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate before being installed in the position. As Warren testified before Congress, bankers meeting in Washington took their outrage over the consumer protection bureau out on Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairwoman Sheila Bair. Read MarketWatch coverage of Elizabeth Warren's Congressional grilling

Nuclear Renaissance in peril after Japan quake

A series of incidents at a nuclear plant in Japan after last week's disastrous earthquake is threatening to snuff out the global nuclear renaissance as popular opinion quickly turns on the technology. The shift in sentiment, already visible in newspaper headlines and protests across the globe over the weekend, means plans to build dozens of new nuclear reactors could be derailed, to the benefit of alternative energy sources like solar and wind power. Read MarketWatch story on future of nuclear industry

Berkshire pays up for Lubrizol

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) said Monday it will buy specialty-chemicals maker Lubrizol Corp. in a deal valued at almost $10 billion, as Chairman Warren Buffett puts a big chunk of his cash pile to work. The deal is valued at approximately $9.7 billion, including around $700 million in net debt. That makes it Buffett's second-biggest acquisition in the past decade, after his 2010 purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which valued the railroad operator at more than $40 billion, including debt. Berkshire had $38 billion in cash at the end of 2011. Read MarketWatch coverage of Buffett's big buy

Fed stands pat on rates, sees inflation tame

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday said a run-up in commodity prices is unlikely to result in a sustained inflation increase as it left its key short-term interest rate unchanged at a record low and continued its plan to buy government bonds. In a statement, the Federal Open Market Committee of the central bank said any rise in inflation would be "transitory" though it would "pay close attention to the evolution of inflation and inflation expectations." Read MarketWatch coverage of FOMC rate meeting

Tapping home equity in retirement

Most people would rather not tap their home equity in retirement, but given the state of retirement savings in the U.S., they may not have a choice. Only 16% of retirees and 20% of pre-retirees plan to use their home equity to help them pay for retirement, or have done so already, according to a recent report from the Society of Actuaries. The survey was based on interviews with 804 adults between the ages of 45 and 80. Read MarketWatch coverage of using home equity in retirement

Cisco sets first-ever dividend

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) said Friday it would begin paying a dividend for the first time in its history, following through on a promise the tech giant made late last year. Shares of Cisco gained roughly 2% to $17.31 after the announcement, making the stock one of the top gainers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday.The San Jose, Calif., technology giant's board of directors approved the initiation of quarterly cash dividends, starting with a payment of 6 cents a share. Shareholders of record as of March 31 will receive the payment on April 20. See MarketWatch story on Cisco initiating dividend

The Economist | Selected Stories

Newsbook: Will a no-fly zone over Libya work?

Free exchange: The G7 sends Japan a sympathy card

Babbage: The really big one

Newsbook: The Grey Lady builds a paywall

Audio: The week ahead

Obituary: Simon van der Meer

Daily chart: A cartographic chronicle of unrest in the Middle East

Johnson: Check out this "blog"

Financial And Forex Info | Kitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Mar 18/11 05:20 PM EDT

Financial And Forex Info | Reuters Daily Investor Update: Wall Street rebounds but ends lower for week

Wall Street rebounds but ends lower for week
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rallied on Friday after a week of volatility, but light trading volume suggested investors are still reluctant to make big bets due to turmoil in the Middle East and Japan's nuclear crisis. | Full Article

Fed joined G7 in yen intervention: NY Fed spokesman
March 18, 2011 10:30 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve joined other Group of Seven central banks in intervening in currency markets to help weaken the Japanese yen on Friday, a New York Federal Reserve spokesman told Reuters. | Full Article
JPMorgan, Wells Fargo boost payouts after Fed tests
March 18, 2011 02:40 PM ET
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo & Co and other major U.S. banks plan to boost their dividend payments after passing stress tests evaluated by the Federal Reserve. | Full Article
Goldman to buy Buffett's $5 billion preferred shares
March 18, 2011 04:15 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc will buy back $5 billion of preferred stock from Warren Buffett, ending a costly deal that had helped shore up confidence in the bank at the height of the financial crisis. | Full Article
G7 central banks in rare currency action after yen surge
March 18, 2011 03:21 PM ET
TOKYO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A coordinated move by central banks of rich nations to stabilize the yen appeared to be working on Friday, tamping its value down after Japan's devastating earthquake and nuclear crisis triggered a yen surge and raised fears about the global economy. | Full Article

Financial And Forex Info : Reuters: - Technology Report


Work has begun on the first Nokia smartphones based on Microsoft software following the partnership announced by the companies last month, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told Reuters.

RIM is battling wireless carriers over control of where key data related to mobile payments will reside in upcoming BlackBerry devices equipped with near field communication (NFC) technology, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Phred Dvorak and Stuart Weinberg.

A letter that had prompted Mark Hurd’s abrupt exit as chief of Hewlett-Packard Co was ordered unsealed by a Delaware judge, potentially revealing more details of his dramatic exit last year.

Rovio, the developer of the "Angry Birds" mobile game, plans a U.S. initial public offering in the next five years, a move that could give investors a chance to tap into the fastest growing segment of the video game industry.

AT&T started cracking down on mobile customers using an app to enable tethering on their jailbroken iPhones, asking them to stop or pay up, writes Engadget’s Donald Mendelson.

The 21st century needs a revitalized consumer advocacy movement driven by social media, writes’s Jeremy Heimans. He suggests scaling platforms like Carrotmob to make activism fun, supporting location-based initiatives such as Good Guide, helping consumers distinguish between authentic and inauthentic corporate realignments through crowdsourced campaigns like parodies of Chevron’s “We Agree” ad campaign and using online organizing techniques to instantly coordinate campaigns that encourage companies to do the right thing.

Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap
Friday, March 18, 2011,

Stocks failed to sustain an initial rally and gave back some ground over the course of the trading day on Friday but still closed mostly higher. While certain positive developments overseas generated buying interest, lingering concerns helped to limit the upside.Full Article (Mar 18, 2011)

Corporate News

Celera Corp. (CRA) fourth-quarter net income decreased to $2.5 million or $0.03 per share from $3.6 million, on a restated basis, or $0.04 per share last year. On a non-GAAP ba

Cosmetics company Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL) Friday reaffirmed its earnings and sales growth forecast for fiscal 2011, despite the recent tragic earthquake in Japan. The earnings forecast is higher than last year's results, but below current market projections. The company also backed its long-term fiscal 2013 goals. (Mar 18, 2011) Full Article

Canada-based pharmaceutical company Cangene Corp. (CNJ.TO) reported second quarter net income of $2.4 million or $0.04 per share, compared with $5.7 million or $0.08 per share in the same quarter last year. The drop in net income resulted from higher cost of sales, and increased amortization and selling, general and administrative expenses in the current-year quarter. (Mar 18, 2011) Full Article

General Mills Inc. (GIS) Friday announced it is in exclusive negotiations with European private equity firm PAI Partners and French dairy co-operative Sodiaal to purchase interests in French yogurt maker Yoplait S.A.S. and affiliated companies. General Mills didn't disclose any financial details of the proposed transaction. (Mar 18, 2011) Full Article


The dollar rebounded against the yen after an historic invention aimed at halting the Japanese currency's dramatic rise. However, the dollar was hammered versus the euro a

Political News

A Wisconsin judge Friday temporarily blocked the state's controversial anti-union law aimed at stripping most collective bargaining rights from state employees. The law, which was passed despite Democratic State Senators fleeing the state to prevent the chamber from reaching a quorum, had drawn national attention and large groups of protesters to the state capitol. (Mar 18, 2011) Full Article

NYT: Afternoon Business News: A Shift in the Balance of Debt Obligations.

Off the Charts

A Shift in the Balance of Debt Obligations

After growing rapidly for almost 20 years, the outstanding debts of the financial sector and households fell in the last two years.

Radiation Fears Add to Japan's Economic Woes

While experts say there is little danger of contaminated food or manufactured products entering the United States from Japan, such fears could hurt Japanese exports.

Yen Eases and Stocks Rise on G-7 Intervention

The intervention, the first such coordinated G-7 action since the euro was propped up in September 2000, brought some stability to the currency markets.

Fed Releases Results of Bank Stress Tests

The Federal Reserve is relaxing its hold on some of the nation's biggest banks - permitting them to raise dividends or buy back shares for the first time since the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

Panel Urges F.D.A. to Review Menthol in Cigarettes

The scientific panel's findings could provide a legal basis for the F.D.A. to try to limit, phase out or even possibly ban menthol in cigarettes.

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: Tax credits you don't want to miss

Personal Finance Daily
MARCH 18, 2011

Friday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

I think any of us can understand and accept the fact that companies will make mistakes. The problems often stem from how the company then deals, or doesn't deal, with its error.

In Realty Q&A today, Lew Sichelman offers help to a reader who says his title company gave his mortgage lender the wrong information. That mistake resulted in the lender tapping the homeowner's escrow account to pay both his property tax — and his neighbor's. Nice surprise for the neighbor. Not so much for Lew's reader.

So, yes, mistakes happen. But the title company has yet to respond to the unlucky homeowner, who has been contacting the company for a couple of months now. It's a scenario that plays out across the real-estate industry all the time — as so many people trying to get a home-loan modification know well.

Read Lew's story today for more, plus don't miss Amy Hoak's video today on new ideas and products that help you squeeze more of your stuff into less space. And read Eva Rosenberg's TaxWatch for a look at all the tax credits out there that could shave money off your tax bill — and possibly even send some extra money your way.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


Organize your small spaces with these new products

As more Americans live in smaller homes or are forced to move in with family and friends, they need ways to fit more stuff in less space. These products, on display at the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago, can help.
Watch video: Organize your small spaces with these new products.

Title-company error drains homeowner's escrow

One reader's quest to correct a title company mistake that effectively caused him to pay his neighbor's taxes, and Lew Sichelman's take on how to get the company to respond.
Read more: Title-company error drains homeowner's escrow.

A matter of trust: giving away a home

Depressed real-estate values and changes in tax rules make this a good time for older homeowners to transfer property to their children using a specialized trust designed to save on gift and estate taxes.
Read more: Giving away a home.


Tax credits you don't want to miss

Whether you itemize or not, be sure to make the most of tax credits that can slash your tax bill — and put money in your pocket.
Read more: Tax credits you don't want to miss.


Top 10 TV shows that lost lead actors, in pictures

Before Charlie Sheen was fired from "Two and a Half Men," these television shows lost lead actors — and went on to mixed fates.
Read more: Top 10 TV shows that lost lead actors.

The fate of 10 top TV shows that lost lead actors

Replacing the lead player on a television show is a hit-or-miss proposition.
Read more: The fate of 10 top TV shows that lost lead actors.


The economy this week: inflation, housing starts, jobs

he week's economic data show building inflation and a big slide in housing starts, but a jobs picture that continues to be on the mend.
Read more: Inflation, housing starts, jobs.

Fed gives green light for dividend hikes

The Federal Reserve gives some big banks the green light to hike dividends and snap up shares in a development that have some worried that the approach will result in banks reducing their equity and raising their leverage.
Read more: Fed gives green light for dividend hikes.

As regulator, Fed more cheerleader than coach

If Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were a basketball coach, he'd be a lot closer to John Calipari than Mike Krzyzewski.
Read more: As regulator, Fed more cheelearder than coach.


How to Black-Swan-proof your portfolio

An "all-weather" strategy that protects against predictable economic events as well as rare ones should give an investor courage. Here are five investment steps that advisers say should be part of every investor's "Black Swan survival kit:"
Read more: How to Black-Swan-proof your portfolio.

Why Warren Buffett just spent $10 billion

In other news on the markets this week, Warren Buffett quietly made an acquisition. A big one. Even by his standards.
Read more: Why Warren Buffett just spent $10 billion.

Set my dividend free, but stop buybacks

Why do companies always ruin a good thing by doing stock buybacks?
Read more: Set my dividend free, but stop buybacks.

Why this isn't time to panic about Japan

After the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan last Friday, investors dumped Japanese and U.S. stocks in what can only be called panic selling.
Read more: Why this isn't time to panic about Japan.

Japan's ‘random' events are no shock

Investors have been thrown for a loop by events that seemingly came out of nowhere, but these happenings shouldn't have been a shock.
Read more: Japan's ‘random' events are no shock.

CBS Political Hotsheet Top Stories

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter
March 18,2011 


President says Libyan leader must immediately pull back forces or face military action, though U.S. will not send ground troops
Read full story
Obama to Qaddafi: Compliance is

Wash. Post reporter joins Biden staff Shailagh Murray joins long line of journalists who have signed on with White House, among them press secretary Jay Carney

Judge blocks Wisc. union collective bargaining law A county judge today issued a temporary restraining order against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's controversial anti-union legislation

The week in quotes: Mr. Burns Washington Unplugged uncovers the best quotes in the week of politics

Obama signs spending bill, averts gov't shutdown President Obama today signed a bill to keep the government running for another three weeks while Congress continues its budget battle

Market Watc | Market Pulse: Stocks rise on currency coordination, bank payouts

By Laura Mandaro

 SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks ended higher Friday, softening weekly losses, with sentiment lifted by a coordinated effort by several central banks to help Japan deal with the earthquake aftermath and plans by several major banks to hike dividends. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 11,859, +83.93, +0.71%) ended up 83.93 points, or 0.7%, at 11,858.52, scaling back from the day's highs as investors monitored fast-changing events in Japan and the Libyan conflict. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!jpm/quotes/nls/jpm (JPM 45.74, -.00, -0.01%) and Caterpillar Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!cat/quotes/nls/cat (CAT 105.06, -0.01, -0.01%) led gains. The S&P 500 /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,279, +5.49, +0.43%) rose 5.49 points, or 0.4%, to 1,279.21. The Nasdaq Composite /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,644, +7.62, +0.29%) gained 7.62, or 0.3%, to 2,643.67. The Dow fell 1.5% for the week, the S&P 500 lost 1.9%, and the Nasdaq sank 2.7%.

The Washington Post: | Politics Afternoon Edition Headlines


1) Poll: Majority of Americans back gay marriage
For the first time in Washington Post-ABC polling, a slim majority of respondents say same-sex marriage should be legal. Five years ago, only a third of Americans supported gay marriage.
» Read full article

2) Senators call on Obama to join deficit-reduction talks
More than 60 senators from both parties are calling on President Obama to lead them in developing a comprehensive plan to rein in record budget deficits.
» Read full article

3) Gingrich predicts health-care repeal by early 2013
Even if Republicans can’t get a repeal, Gingrich said, the bill is doomed because GOP House leadership will refuse to fund it.
» Read full article

4) THE FIX: Obama’s 2012 money machine
Could President Obama raise $1 billion for 2012? His campaign’s early fundraising goals would put him on a solid pace to do just that.
» Read full article

5) Health law at mercy of changing state politics
Wisconsin made more headway than virtually any other state at preparing to carry the health-care law. Then a Republican governor came to power and changed all that.
» Read full article

MarketWatch | Bulletin: Green light for dividend hikes: Fed

By Ronald D. Orol, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve announced Friday that some big banks got the green light to hike dividends and snap up their shares after the central bank completed a stress test of their capital levels.
“As a result of the [Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review,] some firms are expected to increase or restart dividend payments, buy back shares, or repay government capital,” the Fed said in a statement.
Specifically, the central bank released details about their methodology for the “stress tests” it conducted on the 19 big banks, including a requirement that the institutions test their revenue and capital against three different economic outcomes including a severe recession scenario generated by the Fed in which the unemployment rate rises to 11% in 2011.

U.S. week ahead: Consumer sentiment, gas in focus
How the U.S. consumer feels about gas prices and discretionary spending will take center stage on the economic front in the coming week, along with a fresh reading on orders for durable goods. Kelsey Hubbard as a look at the policy and market implications of the new data with MarketWatch economic reporter Greg Robb.

Parts of economy beating Great Recession
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Latest news on the Federal Reserve
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The Fed didn’t disclose the results of the tests, but shortly after it released its criteria for the review some of the largest banks already began announcing special dividends and share buy-back programs.
Wells Fargo & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!wfc/quotes/nls/wfc (WFC 32.12, +0.76, +2.42%)  announced a special first-quarter cash dividend of 7 cents a share. It also said its board has raised the share-repurchase plan by an additional 200 million shares. /quotes/comstock/13*!wfc/quotes/nls/wfc (WFC 32.12, +0.76, +2.42%) J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!jpm/quotes/nls/jpm (JPM 45.94, +1.38, +3.09%)  said Friday that it will increase its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share and buy back up to $15 billion in shares, of which $8 billion is earmarked for 2011.
U.S. Bancorp /quotes/comstock/13*!usb/quotes/nls/usb (USB 27.02, +0.67, +2.52%)  on Friday raised its quarterly dividend to 12.5 cents a share from 5 cents a share, and said its board authorized the repurchase of up to 50 million common shares.
BB&T Corp /quotes/comstock/13*!bbt/quotes/nls/bbt (BBT 27.43, +0.56, +2.08%)  also upped its quarterly dividend, raising it 1 cent to 16 cents per share, and said it will pay a special 1-cent dividend in second quarter 2011.
The Fed said its actions on capital distribution come after “significant improvements” in both economic conditions and the capital positions of financial institutions. It added that the action will support lending to consumers and business.
That test scenario also considered negative economic growth for a couple quarters and a sharp drop in risky asset prices. The banks were required to project revenues and capital positions based on these scenarios for a nine-quarter period from the fourth quarter 2010 to the fourth quarter 2012.
The Fed justified their approval of bank dividend increases, in part, by noting that the 19 banks have added roughly $25 billion in retained earnings to their common equity since the end of 2008. The Fed added that the quantity and quality of capital at many large banks has improved at the banks, adding that between the fourth quarter of 2008 and fourth quarter of 2010 their Tier 1 common capital – a core measure of a bank’s financial strength -- increased by $275 billion.
However, critics argue that no matter how tough the stress tests, allowing large institutions to hike dividends is not appropriate at this stage of the economic recovery.
“It makes no sense to let them increase dividends,” said Simon Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management professor and former International Monetary Fund economic counselor. “This lets the banks reduce their equity funding and raise their leverage. In a highly unstable world, this increases the implicit taxpayer subsidy that too big to fail banks will receive.”
This new round of Fed stress tests has given the central bank information on whether each institution should be eligible to hike their dividends or repurchase stock.
During the financial crisis that shook the economy to the brink in Sept. 2008, dividends were suspended or reduced to minimal levels by all 19 of these select banking groups. The new stress tests set in place a mechanism so that, if institutions pass the tests, as many are expected to, banks this year can hike their dividends to as much as 30% of their anticipated earnings.
However, those participating institutions, such as Suntrust Banks Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!sti/quotes/nls/sti (STI 29.50, +1.25, +4.43%) , and KeyCorp /quotes/comstock/13*!key/quotes/nls/key (KEY 9.15, +0.30, +3.39%) , that have not repaid taxpayer-funded capital injections from the crisis-response Troubled Asset Relief Program, are not likely to be permitted to hike dividends.
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FInancial And Forex Info : | Kitco Fix Market Report


London Fix Fri Mar 18 00:00:00 EDT 2011
USD 1415.50 1420.00   35.15 1719.00
722.00 727.00
UK 878.65 877.95   21.76 1068.40
448.75 450.00
EURO 1004.54 1004.39   24.88 1221.75
513.15 514.50