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By LIZ ALDERMAN
President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus was set to return to the negotiating table with lenders after lawmakers rejected a package that had sought to tax depositors to help pay for a bailout.
By JODI RUDOREN and ISABEL KERSHNER
During a visit to Israel, President Obama will confront a public still smarting from perceived slights in years past.
By STEPHEN CASTLE and ALAN COWELL
An array of newspapers protested on Tuesday against the attempt to impose stricter curbs on this country's scoop-driven dailies, calling potential fines a "crippling burden."
By FATOU BENSOUDA
Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. The road to peace should be seen as running via justice.
By TIM ARANGO
Eighteen bombs and an assassination on Tuesday served as a reminder of the violence that regularly afflicts Iraq a decade after the American-led invasion.
By TIM ARANGO
As historians, pundits and officials elsewhere mark 10 years since the invasion of Iraq, Iraqis are more attuned to the bombings, protests and political strife of the present.
By ANNE BARNARD
Coalition representatives meeting in Istanbul chose Ghassan Hitto, 50, who emigrated from Syria and until recently lived in Texas, to head a planned interim government.
|NYTimes.com Home |Business Day| Video|
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Debevoise & Plimpton's Trusts and Estates Group Finds a New Home Loeb & Loeb has hired the group of trusts and estates lawyers from Debevoise & Plimpton, which had decided last year to eliminate the practice.
Judge Approves Sale of Rights to Hostess Brands, Including Twinkies A bankruptcy judge has approved the sales of several major Hostess Brands product lines, including Twinkies, fetching about $800 million for the bankrupt baker.
Senate Panel Advances White's S.E.C. Nomination Mary Jo White has cleared an important hurdle on her path to becoming a top Wall Street regulator, as the Senate Banking Committee cast a 21-1 vote in her favor.
|London Market Report|
London close: Cypriot vote on deposit tax sinks stocks late on
After a brief spell in positive territory at lunchtime, UK stocks sunk back into the red by the close of trade on Tuesday as leaders in Cyprus gathered to vote on the deposit tax, a controversial measure deemed necessary to save the country from default.
Traders were also nervous ahead of tomorrow's Budget Statement from UK Chancellor George Osborne, in which he is expected to announce further spending cuts worth £2.5bn.
Meanwhile, markets were looking ahead to the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington which kicks off this evening.
All eyes on Cypriot parliament
The proposed levy, widely criticised by the public and politicians abroad, is part of a plan to raise €5.8bn so that Cyprus can secure its €10bn bailout from the Troika. It is thought to be key to preventing Cyprus from defaulting on its debts, which would inevitably lead to its exit from the Eurozone.
Rumours surrounding the vote, which kicked off in parliament just before markets closed today, sparked a volatile finish for London's FTSE 100 as traders digested market chatter: there were unconfirmed rumours that Cyprus's finance minister had resigned; while Prime Minister Nicos Anastasiadesis is thought to be preparing a 'Plan B' in case the vote fails.
Meanwhile, according to the British Ministry of Defence, an RAF plane has flown €1.0m over to Cyprus to give military personnel emergency loans in case ATMs or debit cards stop working.
Current Cypriot plan won't achieve target
A draft proposal on the one-off deposit tax would fail to meet the €5.75bn revenue target agreed with international lenders, according to Cypriot central bank governor Panicos Demetriades.
With leaders desperately scrambling to come up with plans to ease the impact of a potential levy on low-income families, Demetriades has warned that the shortfall in revenues from the smaller savings would not be covered by taxes on larger deposits.
While Demetriades told the Cypriot parliament's finance committee that the current bill wouldn't achieve the Troika target, he also warned that “if the draft bill passes, we would see deposit outflows of 10%, or maybe more, in the first few days”.
FTSE 100: Miners tank; Sainsbury gains after update
Mining stocks were dominating the fallers list on the FTSE 100 this morning as risk appetite waned, with Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton both hit by a downgrade by Goldman. Citi was also pressuring stocks lower after cutting its estimates for iron ore prices on concerns of over-supply.
Precious metals group Fresnillo dropped after Deutsche Bank cut its rating from 'hold' to 'sell', saying that the current share price is pricing in a near-perfect delivery of their medium-term growth prospects and a recovery in metals prices.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury was edging higher after beating forecasts with its fourth-quarter sales as the firm saw customer transactions grow to a record 22.9m per week.
Chip designer ARM Holdings was in the red after its CEO Warren East called it quits after nearly 12 years as frontman. He will be replaced by ARM's current President Simon Segars.
Defence giant BAE Systems was in the top spot after having released its annual report, in which it revealed plans to freeze the salary of its Chief Executive and two other senior management members after the group's earnings per share came in below expectations.
Lloyds was lower on reports that it is considering the sale of Irish real estate loans in an effort to pull itself out of Europe’s property slump. Sector peer RBS was also down despite Investec upgrading the stock from 'sell' to 'hold'.
FTSE 250: Bumi drops after delaying results
Coal miner Bumi, which has made headlines on numerous occasions over the past few months, plunged in afternoon trade after delaying the publication of its full-year results.
Mining peer Kazakhmys, which was recently demoted from the top-tier index, was hit after Canaccord Genuity slashed its target price by 30% after increasing its cost forecasts and cutting estimates of by-product output rates.
Fibre and foam products provider Filtrona rose after it was announced its subsidiary, FIL International, has signed an agreement for the acquisition of Contego Healthcare.
|FTSE 100 - Risers |
BAE Systems (BA.) 393.40p +2.47%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,673.00p +1.70%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 371.40p +1.70%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 695.50p +1.68%
National Grid (NG.) 746.50p +1.56%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,513.50p +1.51%
Diageo (DGE) 2,042.50p +1.47%
SSE (SSE) 1,480.00p +1.44%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 187.60p +1.43%
Centrica (CNA) 355.00p +1.43%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,107.00p -5.19%
Evraz (EVR) 233.40p -4.54%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,325.00p -4.36%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,981.50p -3.53%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,406.00p -3.43%
Standard Life (SL.) 367.70p -3.24%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,820.00p -2.86%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 312.70p -2.86%
Barclays (BARC) 297.50p -2.76%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,521.00p -2.69%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Filtrona PLC (FLTR) 690.50p +4.23%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 88.00p +3.71%
Senior (SNR) 251.80p +3.66%
Carpetright (CPR) 679.50p +3.50%
Computacenter (CCC) 543.50p +2.94%
Cobham (COB) 247.30p +2.91%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,093.00p +2.80%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 429.30p +2.73%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 246.70p +2.28%
William Hill (WMH) 385.70p +2.07%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 181.60p -8.14%
Bumi (BUMI) 308.10p -7.62%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 655.00p -6.43%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 473.90p -6.25%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 153.30p -5.95%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 105.40p -5.47%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 145.70p -4.96%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 259.50p -4.42%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 535.50p -3.95%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 278.40p -3.73%
|Europe Market Report|
|Europe midday: Cyprus vote may be delayed, reports say |
- Cyprus vote on depositor 'bail-in' to be delayedCompanies still in defensive mode
- 'In-line' reading on German economic confidence
- Periphery debt yields still slightly higher
- Apparently successful Spanish bill auction
FTSE Mibtel 30: -0.68%
Ibex 35: -0.88%
Stoxx 600: -0.04%
The main European equity benchmarks are still registering mixed readings, following an earlier start moderately lower, but have moved up a tad from their lows. That comes on the back of concerns regarding the situation in Cyprus and whether or not that sets a precedent for other countries, which could see financial stocks in particular come under pressure and weigh on Eurozone periphery debt markets.
For some the situation faced by European authorities is more nuanced. For these observers what must be avoided is a 'bail-in' of depositors with less than 100,000 in their accounts, the same level of guarantees as is offered in other nations.
Not coincidentally, that is precisely what the European Union is now asking of the Mediterranean nation.
Speaking of which, according to Cypriot broadcaster CYBC this evening´s parliamentary vote on whether to accept the European Union´s modified demands has been postponed until tomorrow.
Spain´s Treasury has this morning auctioned 4bn in 3 and 9 month bills, with mixed bid-to-cover ratios versus the last time around, although before the sale Unicredit was pointing out how the shortest part of the Spanish interest rate curve was relatively expensive now versus Italy.
Leading car-marker Volkswagen now sees lower growth in Brazil this year, according to company executives cited by Reuters.
German steel maker Thyssen Krupp is preparing to carry out a capital increase, Handelsblatt reports.
From a sector stand-point the worst performance is now to be seen in the following sectors: Basic resources (-1.95%), Automobiles (-0.69%) and Banks (-0.66%).
'In-line' economic confidence in Germany
The German ZEW institute´s economic confidence index for the month of March has come in at 48.2 points, up by 16.7 points (Consensus: 47.5).
Other asset classes move lower
The euro/dollar is nudging higher by 0.02% to 1.2946.
Front month Brent crude future are now falling by 0.275 dollars to the 109.21 dollar mark on the ICE.
|US Market Report|
Stocks Experience Choppy Trading Amid Focus On Cyprus
After failing to sustain an early upward move, stocks have wavered over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. Uncertainty about the situation in Cyprus is contributing to the choppy trading.
The major averages have moved to the downside in recent trading and are currently posting modest losses. The Dow is down 18.05 points or 0.1 percent at 14,434.01, the Nasdaq is down 11.12 points or 0.3 percent at 3,226.47 and the S&P 500 is down 6.15 points or 0.4 percent at 1,545.95.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders are keeping a close eye on developments in Cyprus, where the parliament is expected to vote on a proposed bailout that would tax bank deposits.
In response to the turmoil that erupted in Cyprus in response to the proposed taxation of depositors, Eurozone finance ministers agreed that smaller depositors should be given more protection, signaling some flexibility on the proposed bank tax.
At the same time, the ministers maintained that the nation should still raise 5.8 billion euros from the banking system.
Uncertainty ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting may also be contributing the volatility, with the central bank due to announce its latest monetary policy decision Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, some positive sentiment was generated by the Commerce Department's upbeat report on new residential construction in February.
The report showed that housing starts edged up by 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 in February from the revised January estimate of 910,000. Economists had expected housing starts to climb to an annual rate of 915,000.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, jumped 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 946,000 in February from the revised January rate of 904,000.
While many of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, steel stocks are seeing considerable weakness in mid-day trading. The NYSE Arca Steel Index is down by 2.4 percent after hitting its lowest intraday level in over three months.
Cliffs Natural Resources and Mechel are turning in two of the steel sector's worst performances, falling by 7 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.
Oil service stocks have also come under pressure, adding to the steep losses posted in the previous session. After ending Monday's trading down by 2.4 percent, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 2.4 percent.
Meanwhile, airline stocks are seeing continued strength, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 1.1 percent. The index reached a six-year intraday high earlier in the session but has given back some ground since then.
In overseas trading, stock across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday following yesterday's sell-off. While Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rebounded by 2 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged down by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, while the German DAX Index has fallen by 0.7 percent, and the French CAC 40 Index has tumbled by 1.3 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have climbed firmly into positive territory, extending the upward move seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.5 basis points at 1.911 percent.
|Broker tips: Fresnillo, RBS, Kazakhmys|
Deutsche Bank has cut its rating for precious metals giant Fresnillo from 'hold' to 'sell', saying that the current share price is pricing in a near-perfect delivery of their medium-term growth prospects and a recovery in metals prices.
They said that the stock's premium against the sector could shrink due to the "near-term headwinds" of flat production, a Mexican royalty tax and an equity issuance to meet free-float requirements.
Investec has upgraded its rating for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) from 'sell' to 'hold', saying it sees a "speck of light in the gloom".
"Given the risk of a potentially horrific and dilutive outcome for shareholders after today's Financial Policy Committee meeting, despite a c.20% two-month correction, we are still not yet brave enough to call the bottom. That said, at the risk of sounding crass, 'the passing of time' genuinely supports the RBS valuation i.e. the discount factor that we apply to a (still distant) recovery in group profitability and returns erodes over time."
Canaccord Genuity has slashed its target for copper-focused mining giant Kazakhmys by 30% from 810p to 570p after updating its estimates for group's pre-close trading update for 2012. A 'hold' rating was kept.
The broker has increased its cost forecasts and cut by-product output rates for the company, which leads to a reduction in short- and medium-term cash inflows. As such, net debt is expected to peak at $4.0bn by 2015.