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Oct 26, 2012

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCHES -October 26, 2012-: Unlimited Gov.. Debt wil take up parabolically | Argentines send money underground to evade exchange controls | Germany's isn't the only missing gold

Unlimited government debt will take 

gold up parabolically, von Greyerz says

6:42p CT Friday, October 26, 2012
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz today tells King World News that he's confident that gold will keep rising because government debt will keep rising as well -- unlimited debt going up parabolically will take gold with it. An excerpt from the interview is posted at the King World News blog here:

Argentines send money underground to evade exchange controls

Coming soon to another country with rigged markets near you?
* * *
By Katia Porzecanski
Bloomberg News
via Business Week
Friday, October 26, 2012

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchners foreign-exchange controls are driving pesos underground. 

A quarter of Argentines are keeping their pesos at home, up from 19 percent a year ago, according to a survey conducted in September by the Catholic University of Argentina and TNS Gallup. The increase reflects how people are shifting money out of banks to trade dollars in a cash-dominated black market where the cost of the U.S. currency has surged 35 percent this year, according to Buenos Aires-based research company EconViews.

The migration of cash out of the financial system is stripping banks of funding and undermining Fernandezs efforts to hold down interest rates and bolster an economic rebound. The 30-day deposit rate has jumped 1.8 percentage points in the past four months to 14.8125 percent. A three-day decline of 0.8 percentage point that pared the increase in the benchmark rate will prove short-lived as annual inflation of 24 percent drives more Argentines to move money into the underground economy, said Eric Ritondale, an economist at Econviews.

"Money's moving out of the banking system and out of the formal economy," Ritondale said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. "As much as the government wants to promote the use of pesos, the truth is they won't be able to achieve it. You can't get it done" with interest rates below inflation.
The so-called badlar rate, which banks pay on deposits of 1 million pesos ($210,400) or more, will climb to 17 percent by the end of this year, Ritondale said. That's more than double similar rates in Brazil and almost five times those in Mexico.

The average interest rate offered among private banks for time deposits less than 100,000 pesos fell to 12.64 percent on Oct. 22 from an eight-month high of 12.85 percent on Oct. 19, central bank data show. Total peso deposits increased at the slowest pace in a year in September, central bank data show.
Fernandez's controls are making it harder for Argentines to buy dollars to protect against inflation and a weaker currency.

The university survey, conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 30, found that 11 percent of individuals said they choose to buy dollars to keep at home or put in a bank as a preferred method for savings based on convenience, down from 21 percent a year ago, after the restrictions were set in place.
"Banks aren't offering attractive interest rates," Angeles Arano, one of the researchers at TNS Gallup who conducted the poll, said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. "There's no incentive for people to put their money in the system."

Argentine bonds fell today after the country lost a bid to reverse U.S. lower-court rulings that may help creditors collect $1.4 billion on defaulted debt. Dollar-denominated notes due in 2015 dropped 4.42 cents to 85.12 cents on the dollar at 11:50 a.m. New York time, pushing yields up 2.02 percentage points to 13.55 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The U.S. Appeals Court in New York ruled that Argentina, which carried out a record sovereign default in 2001, can't discriminate against holders of the defaulted bonds in favor of holders of the securities it restructured. A three-judge panel upheld orders issued by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan.
Of the 41 billion pesos pumped into the nation's monetary base this year by the central bank, 84 percent are circulating among individuals, according to the latest central bank data. That compares with 59 percent in the same period last year. In total, just 21 billion pesos are in the banking system, about 8 percent of the monetary base on Oct. 12.

Cash in the hands of individuals accounted for 51 percent of private money supply, compared with 49 percent a year ago, EconViews found in an Oct. 22 study of central bank data.
The country's money multiplier ratio, an indication of how much central bank-created cash is making its way through the financial system, fell to 1.495 on Oct. 5, the lowest since December 2007.
Bank deposits expanded 37 percent in September from a year earlier, while lending grew 40 percent, central bank data show.

Last month liquidity in the banking system dropped 0.3 percentage point from August to 35.5 percent, the lowest since December. The central bank defines liquidity as the percentage of cash, deposits in current accounts and central bank notes relative to total deposits.
The badlar will resume its climb as liquidity drops and Fernandez's recent measures, including forcing insurance companies to allocate $1.5 billion in state-sponsored projects, deter investment, according to Maria Jose Anastasio, a portfolio manager at Standard Bank Argentina SA.

Germany's isn't the only missing gold, Celente tells King World News

2:21p CT Friday, October 26, 2012

Market analyst Gerald Celente today tells King World News that Germany's gold isn't the only gold that has disappeared -- all official gold reserves are likley gone as well, the proof being the refusal of central banks to answer questions about their reserves and permit them to be audited. An excerpt from the interview is posted at the King World News blog here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.



The New York Times Global Update -October 26, 2012-: Berlusconi Gets Nearly Four Years for Tax Fraud

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
October 26, 2012

Global Update


Berlusconi Gets Nearly Four Years for Tax Fraud

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, was convicted in a case involving television rights.

Hurricane's Odds of Hitting the East Coast Climb to 90%

Forecasters cautioned that it was too early to say where on the United States coast Hurricane Sandy would strike or how intense the giant storm's winds would be when it hit.

Aging Satellite Fleet May Mean Gaps in Storm Forecasts

The United States is facing a year or more without key satellites that help predict storm tracks, a result of years of mismanagement and underfunding, several official reviews showed.

Video: The People's Premier

Wen Jiabao, the outgoing prime minister of China, is state-run media's favorite populist leader. But a New York Times investigation reveals that he is the head of one of China's wealthiest families.


China Beckons

Why is China fast becoming one of the most desirable locations for expats to live?

Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader

It is unclear how much Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has staked a position as a populist and a reformer, knows about the $2.7 billion in assets his family has amassed.


This is a Chinese-language version of an investigation by The New York Times showing that the family of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has staked a position as a populist and a reformer, owns about $2.7 billion in assets.

China Blocks Web Access to Times After Article

The Chinese government began blocking access to The Times after publication of an article describing the wealth accumulated by relatives of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
Wealth Matters

Armstrong's Fortune Likely to Withstand Doping Charges

Though the cycling star may forfeit millions in prize money, analysts say his fortune is likely to remain mostly intact.

U.S. Economy Grew at 2% Rate in 3rd Quarter

More positive consumer activity and a healthier housing sector outweighed the effects of the drought, caution on the part of businesses and weaker exports.

Citigroup Pays Fine and Fires Star Technology Analyst

Citigroup paid a $2 million fine and fired two employees after authorities accused the bank of improperly disclosing confidential information to media outlets about YouTube's earnings and Facebook's initial public offering.

Man Claiming Facebook Ownership Arrested on Fraud Charges

Federal prosecutors say that Paul Ceglia filed a sham federal lawsuit claiming to have been promised a 50 percent share of Facebook, and then doctored, fabricated and destroyed evidence to support his allegations.

Apple Profit Rises 24% on Sales of iPhone 5

Apple's profits were buoyed by sales of its new iPhone, which was introduced nine days before the quarter's end.

How India Made Its Grand Prix Dream Come True

The Indian Grand Prix, running for the second year this weekend near New Delhi, was a Formula One race that once seemed unlikely to ever happen. But when it did, it wowed the world.

India's Unassuming Formula One Pioneer

The HRT driver Narain Karthikeyan, 35, became the first Indian to race in Formula One when he started driving for the Jordan team in 2005.

Winning Is Always the Goal for Hamilton

Q. and A. with the British driver Lewis Hamilton of McLaren Mercedes.

Buyers of a Wright Home in Phoenix Reconsider a Deal 'Too Good to Be True'

A development team that bought a Phoenix, Ariz., house designed by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright will sell the house rather than accept landmark status for it.

F.D.A. Finds Unsanitary Conditions at Pharmacy

The agency said its inspectors found mold, bacteria and dirty equipment at the company where the drug implicated in the national meningitis outbreak was manufactured.

In Florida, a Wily Monkey Finally Meets His Match

The Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay was captured by authorities this week, ending a years-long search.
Op-Ed Contributor

Mars and the Science of Skipping Stones

Locating smooth and flat rocks on Mars means water once flowed there -- and nothing could be more important. It means that we sent Curiosity to the right place.
Op-Ed Columnist

What Moderation Means

If the presidential candidates are going to spend the last days of their campaigns pandering to moderate voters, they should do it right.
Op-Ed Contributors

How Castro Held the World Hostage

The Cuban missile crisis proved that a small revolutionary state, backed into a corner and convinced of its demise, can bring the world to the brink of catastrophe.

DealBook Afternoon Edition -October 26, 2012-: Week in Review: Bank Suit Draws Fire Across Political Spectrum

Friday, October 26, 2012
Week in Review: Bank Suit Draws Fire Across Political Spectrum There is an old defense trotted out by journalists that their reporting must be fair if both Republicans and Democrats are upset with them. If that is the case, then government officials can take some pleasure from the bipartisan complaints of their disjointed efforts to clean up the mortgage mess.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in New York filed a civil suit seeking $1 billion from Bank of America for a flood of bad loans that began with its Countrywide Financial unit.

On one side, banks complained that the case was another example of a chaotic and redundant pattern of litigation. Some on Wall Street and Washington also expressed incredulity at the timing of the suit, which came less than two weeks before the presidential election.

The flip side of this anger comes from people upset that the civil cases against big banks do not go far enough. A number of readers complained that a $1 billion fine would not be a strong deterrent for a company that reported $20.66 billion in revenue in its latest quarterly earnings. They argued that nothing short of criminal complaints followed by jail terms for top Wall Street executives would prevent future financial fraud.

Prosecutors say the lawsuits should send a "clear message" that reckless lending will not be tolerated. So far, it appears that is not the message that is being received.

A look back on our reporting of the past week's highs and lows in finance.

Mergers & Acquisitions
Oshkosh Rejects Icahn and Builds Its Defenses The truck maker rejected Carl Icahn's $3 billion unsolicited takeover bid, deeming it too low, Michael J. de la Merced reported. "It also adopted a poison pill to protect itself against further moves by the billionaire investor."
Deal Professor: Few Winners in Cellphone Wars Steven M. Davidoff says that American cellphone providers may be ruined by a rush of acquisitions, leaving consumers by the wayside.
A Rosneft oil rig in Siberia in 2007.
BP Will Switch Russian Partners Through a Deal With Rosneft After years of feuding with its longtime Russian partners, the British oil giant has formally filed for divorce and announced plans to move in with someone wealthier and more powerful, Andrew E. Kramer and Stanley Reed reported.
China's Bid for Nexen May Survive a Rejection "The rejection of a major energy industry takeover by Canadian government may not indicate that it is adopting a harder line on mergers involving foreign companies," Ian Austen reported.
Private Equity
K.K.R. Swings to a Profit for 3rd Quarter The private equity industry has been the beneficiary of steady markets that have supported the value of its portfolio companies, Mr. de la Merced reported.
Hedge Funds
Farallon Capital's Founder to Step Down This Year Thomas F. Steyer, who managed a $20 billion investment firm, is part of a group of hedge fund executives who started firms from scratch and are passing the baton to successors, Mr. de la Merced and Peter Lattman reported.
Venture Capital
Anil Stocker, a co-founder of MarketInvoice, a new financial firm based in London.
In London, Nimble Start-Ups Offer Alternatives to Stodgy Banks "As consumers' trust in banks deteriorates because of a series of recent scandals, young companies are pressing their newcomer advantage," Mark Scott reported.
Citigroup Pays Fine and Fires Star Technology Analyst The bank paid a $2 million fine and fired a prominent employee after authorities accused a junior analyst of improperly leaking to the media unpublished information about YouTube and confidential research on Facebook's initial public offering, Mr. Protess reported.
Man Claiming Facebook Ownership Arrested on Fraud Charges Federal prosecutors say that Paul Ceglia filed a sham federal lawsuit claiming to have been promised a 50 percent share of Facebook, and then doctored, fabricated and destroyed evidence to support his allegations.
Lawyer Denounces Wiretaps in Appeal of Galleon Case Patricia A. Millett asked a panel of federal appeals court judges to set aside Raj Rajaratnam's conviction, arguing that the government had used deceptive methods to obtain permission to wiretap his cellphone, Mr. Lattman reported.
Rajat Gupta, a former head of McKinsey, was convicted of giving insider tips to traders.
2 Years for Ex-Goldman Director in Insider Trading Case Rajat K. Gupta is the most prominent figure to face prison in the government's sweeping crackdown on insider trading. The court also ordered Mr. Gupta to pay a $5 million fine.
Appeal in Insider Trading Case Centers on Wiretap The request is considered a long shot, but a reversal would have broad implications.
As a Benchmark Loses Status, Brazil Seeks Alternatives "A system that has been in place for decades may soon change and force fund managers to dive into riskier investments in order to meet performance goals," Dan Horch reported.
U.S. Sues Bank of America for $1 Billion Over 'Brazen' Fraud In a civil suit, federal prosecutors in New York seek to collect at least $1 billion in penalties from the bank, Mr. Protess reported.
DealBook Column: Casting Dual Roles, at Treasury and the Fed Andrew Ross Sorkin says Ben Bernanke has told close friends that he probably will not stay on for another term. So here is a field guide to handicapping the next Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman.

Money Show Investors Daily Alert -October 26, 2012: Are Apple Investors Spooked?

Investors Daily Alert

im Jubak on

Today's Top Pros' Top Picks
Bumpy Economy Could Mean $2,400 Gold, Mary Anne & Pamela Aden

Today's Gurus' Views & Strategies

Today's Charts in Play Exclusive Interviews
Will the Taxman Attack Annuities?, Stan The Annuity Man
A Top Canadian Pick, Roger Conrad

Ideas from Around the World

Today's Featured Videos & Exclusive Interviews
A Top Canadian Pick, Roger Conrad

Wall Street at Close Report | MarketWatch -October 26, 2012-:U.S. stocks finish with weekly losses

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks on Friday finished with weekly losses after earnings reports did little to offset worry about the global economy. 

“When you saw these solid companies reporting basically negative revenue growth, it painted a very clear picture that the global economy is growing at a very modest rate,” said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management in Des Peres, Mo., pointing to Dow components International Business Machines Corp. IBM +0.87%  and McDonald‘s Corp. MCD -0.71%  as among those setting the tone for third-quarter earnings. 

“Investors are adjusting to a sluggish growth environment and focused on earnings, and it’s clear the global economy is in a slowdown,” Skrainka said. 

Week ahead: U.S. jobs report The all-important October monthly jobless rate is released next week, in addition to more earnings from big name U.S. corporations. 

Finishing with a weekly drop of 1.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.03%  added 3.53 points to end at 13,107.21. 

“Over the last several months, investors have focused on the Federal Reserve, and the Fed going all in. Now the recognition is taking hold that quantitative easing has less and less effect at this stage of the game, and the troubles in Europe, the slowdown in China, and the year-end issues facing the U.S. provide the fuel for this correction,” said Skrainka. 

Down 1.5% for the week, the S&P 500 index SPX -0.07%  fell 1.03 point to 1,411.94, with financials falling the most and telecommunications the best performer among its 10 sectors. 

Down 0.6% from the week-ago finish, the Nasdaq Composite COMP +0.06%  rose 1.83 point, or less than 0.1%, to 2,987.95, leaving it with its third consecutive weekly loss. 

For every two stocks that rose nearly three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where nearly 738 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.3 billion. 

Data had the U.S. economy expanding more than forecast in the third quarter and consumer sentiment rose in October from the prior month. Read: U.S. economic growth speeds up in third quarter. 
“The good news is the consumer was more active in the third quarter than the consumer was in the second quarter. We expected good news and this is better news; the only caveat is part of the increase is government spending, and that is going away,” said Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets. Read: Consumer sentiment highest in 5 years. 
Ahead of Friday’s open, U.S. stock futures had fallen sharply in disappointment over quarterly results from Apple Inc. and Inc. 

“The stock market is going to spend some time trying to digest what Apple and Amazon mean. Apple was still priced for perfection and didn’t deliver that, and Amazon was worse,” Hogan said.
Apple AAPL -0.91% reported a weaker-than-expected 24% jump in earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter and slashed its outlook. See: Apple faces tight supply in busy quarter

And AMZN +6.87% reported a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss. See: Friday's biggest gaining and declining stocks

The government reported the U.S. economy picked up speed in the third quarter, growing 2% versus 1.3% in the second quarter. Analysts had expected the initial reading on growth in gross domestic product for the third quarter to come in at 1.7%. See: U.S. economy speeds up in third quarter.
Separately, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment for October rose to 82.6 from 78.3 the month before. 

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin -October 26, 2012-.

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin  
Daily world financial news

Friday, 26 October 2012

US Market
Stocks Seeing Modest Strength On Upbeat GDP Data

With traders reacting positively to upbeat U.S. economic data, stocks have moved modestly higher in early trading on Friday. The major averages have climbed into positive territory, adding to the slim gains posted in the previous session.

The major averages have pulled back off their highs for the young session but currently remain positive. The Dow is up 11.25 points or 0.1 percent at 13,114.93, the Nasdaq is up 10.72 points or 0.4 percent at 2,996.84 and the S&P 500 is up 1.48 points or 0.1 percent at 1,414.45.

The early strength on Wall Street comes on the heels of the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing stronger than expected U.S. GDP growth in the third quarter.

The report showed that U.S. gross domestic product rose by 2.0 percent in the third quarter following a 1.3 percent increase in the second quarter. Economists had been expecting third quarter GDP to increase by about 1.8 percent.

The stronger than expected GDP growth reflected positive contributions from consumer spending, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment.

However, disappointing earnings news from Apple (AAPL) is limiting the upside for the markets, as the iPad and iPhone maker reported weaker than expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings despite reporting stronger than expected revenue growth. Apple also issued downbeat guidance for its fiscal first quarter.

Online retailer Amazon (AMZN) reported a third quarter loss that was wider than analysts had expected. The company's net sales also trailed expectations.

Merck (MRK) reported better than expected third quarter earnings, although the drug giant's revenues fell by more than analysts had anticipated. Looking Ahead, Merck said 2012 revenues are still projected to be at or near 2011 levels on a constant currency basis.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in early trading, although strength is visible among telecom, networking, and semiconductor stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region came under pressure during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 1.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day down by 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside over the course of the trading day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining some ground after coming under pressure in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.7 basis points at 1.791 percent.

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TSX Edges Up At Open Friday

Bay Street stocks edged up at open Friday amid marginal buying in metal stocks, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index adding 26.36 points or 0.31 percent to 12,326.59.

Among base-metals stocks, First Quantum Minerals edged up 0.50 percent, while Inmet Mining and Teck Resources were losing around 1 percent each.

In the oil patch, Paramount Resources and Baytex Energy Corp. were down about 1 percent each.

Energy marketing company TransAlta Corp. gained over 1 percent after reporting improved third quarter funds from operations.

Insurance services provider Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. eased 0.25 percent after reporting a much lower net income for the third quarter.

Commercial and industrial equipment dealer Toromont Industries Ltd. shed 0.50 percent even after reporting improved third-quarter net earnings.

The price of crude oil was flat, with crude for December edging up $0.22 to $86.27 a barrel. The price of gold was moving back toward its seven-week low Friday morning as the U.S. dollar was trading firm amid GDP data. Gold for December lost $2.90 to $1,710.10 an ounce.

Crude oil and natural gas distribution company Enbridge Inc. said it would transfer certain of its assets to Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. at a price of $1.164 billion.

Energy marketing company TransAlta Corp. reported improved third quarter funds from operations at C$232 million or C$0.99 per share compared to C$168 million or C$0.75 per share in 2011. However, comparable earnings declined to C$41 million or C$0.18 per share from C$61 million or C$0.27 per share last year.

In economic news from south of the border, the Commerce Department said that U.S. gross domestic product rose by 2.0 percent in the third quarter following a 1.3 percent increase in the second quarter. Economists had been expecting third quarter GDP to increase by about 1.8 percent.

From the euro zone, confidence among German consumers is set rise in November, according to the latest survey results from market research group GfK. The consumer confidence index for November rose to 6.3 from an upwardly revised 6.1 in October. Economists had forecast the index to remain unchanged from October's original score of 5.9.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in France deteriorated for the fifth consecutive month in October, data released by statistical office Insee showed. The consumer confidence index dropped to 84 in October from 85 in September, in line with economists' expectations. The index has declined for the fifth month in a row.

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European Markets In Negative Territory, Data Eyed

The European markets are in negative territory in afternoon trading Friday, as investor sentiment continued to be weak, ahead of the advance estimate of third quarter GDP data from the U.S., after Apple reported unimpressive earnings.

Confidence among German consumers is set rise in November, reports said, citing the latest survey results from market research group GfK. The consumer confidence index for November rose to 6.3 from an upwardly revised 6.1 in October.

Consumer confidence in France deteriorated for the fifth consecutive month in October, data released by statistical office Insee showed. The consumer confidence index dropped to 84 in October from 85 in September, in line with economists' expectations. The index has declined for the fifth month in a row.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.70 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. Companies is falling 0.60 percent.

The German DAX is losing 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 is falling 0.4 percent and the FTSE 100 of the U.K. is dropping 0.7 percent. Switzerland's SMI is receding 0.4 percent.

In Frankfurt, Fresenius Medical Care is declining 1.8 percent and parent Fresenius is falling 1.7 percent. Deutsche Bank reduced its rating on Fresenius.

RWE is losing 0.8 percent. UBS added the stock to ''Least Preferred List.'' SAP is gaining 1.1 percent after Merrill Lynch raised the stock to "Buy" from "Neutral." Kloeckner is falling 2.3 percent, following a broker downgrade.

In Paris, Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale are falling between 3.6 percent and 2.5 percent.

Publicis Groupe is dropping 1.6 percent. The advertising and communications firm said its third-quarter revenues increased 14.7 percent, with an organic growth of 2 percent. Carrefour is gaining 2.5 percent after Morgan Stanley raised the stock to "Overweight'' from "Equalweight.''

In London, Kazakhmys is losing 2.5 percent and Fresnillo is falling 2.1 percent.

Chipmaker ARM Holdings is dropping 2.4 percent on disappointing earnings report from Apple. Anglo American is gaining 2.6 percent after announcing that its chief executive is leaving.

Weir Group is rising 3 percent and Pearson is up 1.4 percent. Ericsson is losing 4.6 percent in Stockholm after reporting a 43 percent decline in third-quarter profit.

Statoil is down around 1 percent in Oslo. The energy firm reported a rise in third-quarter profit, reflecting mainly higher gas prices and volumes of gas sold.  KPN is gaining 1.8 percent in Amsterdam despite a broker downgrade.

Asia Market
Asian Stocks Fall On Earnings Concerns

Asian stocks fell broadly on Friday as weaker than expected regional corporate earnings coupled with downbeat earnings from Apple last night dented investor sentiment. Hopes that the U.S. economy is recovering gave way to caution ahead of GDP data due tonight after the latest data on U.S. housing showed the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously-owned homes rose only slightly in September from August, indicating that sales may level off in the coming months after steady gains in the past year.

Japanese stocks fell sharply as the yen's brief rally against the dollar and the euro caused jittery investors to take some profits off the table following recent gains. The Nikkei average and the broader Topix index fell about 1.4 percent each. Bellwether exporters such as Toyota Motor and Nikon fell 2-3 percent amid a steady yen ahead of BOJ policy meeting next week.

Japan's consumer prices slid for a fifth month in September, data released today showed, adding pressure on the Bank of Japan to expand monetary easing to help fight deflation and achieve its inflation target. The government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda approved additional spending to the tune 422 billion yen today to bolster a flagging economy, which is feared to fall into a recession amid weakening domestic demand.

Heavyweight Fanuc lost 3.1 percent on a brokerage downgrade after the industrial robot maker posted a second-quarter operating profit of 47.7 billion yen, down 23 percent from a year earlier. Canon also tumbled 3.2 percent after the world's largest camera maker reported weak results and cut its full-year profit and sales outlook.

Shares of Fuji Electric plummeted 7.5 percent on concerns it may miss its full-year operating profit forecast. On the positive side, Advantest rallied 3.6 percent after turning in group net profit of 1.52 billion yen in the first half versus a 4.54 billion yen loss in the year-ago period. Sharp jumped 3.8 percent on reports that it has its eye on fresh talks with firms such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Apple over a possible capital alliance.

China's Shanghai Composite index retreated 1.7 percent, dragged down by cement and steel companies on worries over weak earnings. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 1.2 percent, snapping a 10-day winning streak after mobile operator China Unicom posted third-quarter net profit that missed analysts' estimates.

Australian shares fell notably ahead of U.S. growth data due later in the global day. Both the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 and the broader All Ordinaries index fell about 0.8 percent each. Resource stocks turned lower on revelations the minerals resource rent tax failed to earn any revenue from the three big miners in the first quarter.

BHP Billiton fell 1.5 percent while smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group lost 2.4 percent. Rio Tinto declined 1.8 percent after an Australian lawyer working for Rio Tinto subsidiary SouthGobi Resources in Mongolia was stopped from leaving the country to quiz her about allegation of bribery. Gold miner Newcrest added 0.6 percent.

Whitehaven Coal tumbled 4.7 percent after warning of a steep drop in its full-year earnings. Oil & gas firm Woodside and Oil Search lost about 1.4 percent each, while Santos ended down 1.2 percent. Banks ended on a subdued note after the collapse of prominent financial group Banksia Securities. Westpac, NAB, ANZ and Commonwealth fell between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent. Investment bank Macquarie Group rallied 3.5 percent as it announced an 18 percent rise in first-half profit on strong income from its trading and funds businesses.

Seoul shares tumbled on foreign fund selling after data showed the South Korean economy grew at the slowest pace in nearly three years in the third quarter, as the global slowdown hurt corporate investment. According to the latest figures from Bank of Korea, the gross domestic product expanded 0.2 percent quarter-over-quarter in the third quarter, slower than the 0.3 percent increase recorded in the second quarter. This marked the weakest growth since the fourth quarter of 2009.

The benchmark Kospi average lost 1.7 percent. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 2.7 percent despite announcing record third-quarter profit. Kia Motors plunged 5.6 percent after its third quarter profit came in below expectations.

New Zealand shares fell in thin trading, dragged down by losses in heavyweights. The benchmark NZX-50 index slipped 0.2 percent. Shares of Fletcher Building, the nation's largest construction company, dropped 1.3 percent, F&P Healthcare, the maker of breathing masks and respirators which gets more than 50 percent of its sales in U.S. dollars, lost 1.7 percent, utility Contact Energy shed 0.7 percent and Telecom, the biggest phone company on the exchange, edged down 0.2 percent.

Restaurant Brands declined 1.6 percent after the fast-food franchise operator forecast a flat annual profit. Freightways shed 1.6 percent after climbing to a five-year earlier this week on improved Q1 performance. Stock market operator NZX led the gainers on the exchange, climbing 4.1 percent, while investment company Infratil, dual-listed lender Westpac Banking and jeweler Michael Hill rose about 3 percent each.

Elsewhere, India's benchmark Sensex was moving down 0.8 percent, and the Taiwan Weighted average fell 1.8 percent, while the markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were closed for holidays.

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Crude Eases Near $85

The price of crude oil slipped Friday morning as traders await U.S. economic growth data due today for clues about the health of the world's biggest economy.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for December delivery, lost $0.41 to $85.64 a barrel. Yesterday, oil snapped its five-day losing streak to settle higher on some upbeat macroeconomic data from the U.S. with initial jobless claims indicating a sharp decline.

The price of gold was moving back toward its seven-week low Friday morning as the U.S. dollar was trading firm ahead of GDP data.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed $8.60 to $1,704.40 an ounce. Yesterday, gold settled higher mostly on bargain hunting and the Federal Reserve reiterating its continued commitment to the highly accommodative monetary policy at the end of its FOMC policy meet.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 1,336.90 tons.

This morning, the U.S. dollar advanced back toward a 2-week high versus the euro and leveling off from a weekly low against sterling. The buck was hovering around its 4-month high versus the yen and ticking higher against the Swiss franc.

In economic news from the euro zone, Confidence among German consumers is set rise in November, according to the latest survey results from market research group GfK. The consumer confidence index for November rose to 6.3 from an upwardly revised 6.1 in October. Economists had forecast the index to remain unchanged from October's original score of 5.9.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in France deteriorated for the fifth consecutive month in October, data released by statistical office Insee showed. The consumer confidence index dropped to 84 in October from 85 in September, in line with economists' expectations. The index has declined for the fifth month in a row.

Traders will look to the advance estimate of third quarter GDP report from the U.S. Commerce Department, due out at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect sequential GDP growth for 1.9 percent for the growth compared to 1.3 percent growth in the second quarter.