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Dec 12, 2013

CNBC Morning Squawk December 12, 2013: Despite Tea Party Rancor, New Budget Deal Looks To Be On Track.

In the news today
Despite Tea Party rancor, the new bipartisan budget deal is expected to be approved by the GOP-controlled House as soon as today. (WSJ)
Programming note: House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, one of the architects of the agreement, will be our special guest at 7:40 a.m. ET.
U.S. stock futures were mixed in early premarket trading today, following the Dow’s triple-digit drop on concerns that a budget deal could mean a more imminent Fed tapering. (CNBC)
In another sign of Facebook’s influence, the stock will join the S&P 500 Index after the close of trading on Dec. 20. (Reuters)
Hilton’s IPO topped Twitter, raising more than $2.3 billion after its shares were priced at $20 each—the high-end of the expected range. (San Jose Mercury News)
Boeing landed a big order with Air Canada which is planning to buy up to $6.5 billion worth of the aircraft maker’s jets. (CBC News)
To the chagrin of some and the delight of others, the FCC is expected to vote today to advance the idea of lifting its in-flight cellphone ban. (Washington Post)
Is Warren Buffett getting closer to naming a successor? This is why the Buffett faithful might read it that way. (CNBC)
By the numbers
Today is the busiest day of the week for economic numbers, with the government issuing jobless claims, retail sales, and import/export prices simultaneously at 8:30 a.m. ET. Jobless claims are seen rising to 328,000 for the week ending December 7 , compared to 298,000 the prior week. Retail sales are expected to register a 0.5 percent increase for November, following a 0.4 percent rise in October.
At 10 a.m. ET, the Commerce Department is expected to report a 0.3 percent increase in October business inventories, compared to September’s 0.6 percent jump. And at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Energy Department will issue its weekly report on natural gas inventories.
The Treasury will auction $13 billion in 30-year bonds, with the results of that sale available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.
Earnings reports out this morning include the latest numbers from networking equipment maker Ciena, home builder Hovnanian, and athletic apparel maker LululemonAdobe Systems and Restoration Hardware are among the companies set to issue quarterly numbers after the closing bell.
Stocks to watch
Men’s Wearhouse earned 90 cents per share, excluding certain items, for the third quarter, beating estimates by four cents. Its revenue also beat Street consensus, although its results did fall below year ago levels because of higher costs and smaller profit margins for its tuxedo rental and alteration businesses.
Apple won a victory over rival Samsung in a South Korean court, which refused to ban the sale of older iPhone and iPad models in that country. Samsung had claimed those devices infringed on several of its patents.
Pepsi will replace Coca-Cola as the beverage supplier to Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), according to the New York Times.
Squawk newsmakers
Besides House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s 7:40 a.m. ET appearance, we’re jam-packed with CEOs, including Michael Dell at 8 a.m. ET.
We’re also going big on holiday shopping with the founder of consumer products powerhouse Jarden, Martin Franklin, starting at 7 a.m. ET.
Same-day delivery? Home Depot is said to be ramping up. (WSJ)
A Super Bowl streak is ending. E-Trade’s financially savvy baby won’t be making an appearance. (Ad Age)
Morning Squawk feedback
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ADVFN III Morning Euro Markets Bulletin December 12, 2013.

ADVFN IIIMorning Euro Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial newsThursday, 12 December 2013 

London Market Report
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FTSE 100EuronextDax perfCAC 40
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London open: FTSE 100 at two-month low on taper fears
- FTSE 100 at levels not seen since mid-October
- US, Asian markets fall overnight
- Sports Direct, Wood Group fall sharply early on

techMARK 2,656.26 -0.69%
FTSE 100 6,481.31 -0.41%
FTSE 250 15,310.65 -0.56%

Markets across Europe were trading in the red on Thursday morning with the FTSE 100 on trading at levels not seen since mid-October on heightened speculation that the Federal Reserve will begin to trim its asset purchase programme as soon as next week.

budget deal in Washington signed on Tuesday night was met with a mixed reaction on markets yesterday. While the agreement looks to ease spending cuts over the next two years and reduces the potential for political brinkmanship, many believe that it removes yet another obstacle standing in the way of the Fed's decision to taper following the strong labour-market figures out last week.

The FTSE 100 was trading around 6,481.31 early on, down 0.41% on the day; it has not closed below this level since October 10th when it finished at 6,430.49. This follows a sharp sell-off across US and Asian markets overnight.

"The negative market sentiment is caused by fears that the US budget deal will be the final sign the Fed needs to start tapering the $85bn [monthly] bond purchasing as early as December, spooking investors into pulling their money out of equities," said Alex Conroy, Financial Sales Trader at Spreadex.

Economic data from the States will be closely watched today, particularly the release of jobless claimsnumbers for the week ended December 7th. The consensus forecast is for a pick-up to 320,000, from 298,000 the week before.

Sports Direct underwhelms with H1 report

Sportswear and equipment retailer Sport Direct slumped early on despite delivering a near-17% jump in underlying profits during its first half, driven by an increase in online and international sales. However, the company did say that "[current] trading has now reverted to management's original expectations" following the outperformance in the first half.

Energy services firm Wood Group disappointed with a pre-close trading update this morning after saying that trading remaining mixed across its three main divisions. Nevertheless, it reiterated guidance for "good growth" in 2013. Sector peers AMEC and Petrofac fell in sympathy.

Imagination Technologies was a high riser on the FTSE 250 today, bouncing slightly after a steep fall on Wednesday following its first-half results, in which it warned of slowing growth in the high-end smartphone market. The stock this morning was upgraded by Liberum Capital to 'buy'.

Fashion retailer SuperGroup was lower after a strong first-half report as it warned that comparatives for the third quarter "are more challenging than those experienced so far this year".

Transport group Go-Ahead gained after saying it expects full-year results to come in a touch above previous expectations as after strong first half.

FTSE 100 - RisersStandard Chartered (STAN) 1,307.00p +1.28%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 767.50p +0.92%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,239.00p +0.79%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 391.00p +0.77%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 647.50p +0.47%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 262.30p +0.42%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 370.20p +0.33%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,270.00p +0.22%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 305.50p +0.18%
Hammerson (HMSO) 496.80p +0.08%

FTSE 100 - FallersSports Direct International (SPD) 742.50p -3.70%
Amec (AMEC) 1,073.00p -2.81%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,159.00p -2.52%
Mondi (MNDI) 921.50p -2.07%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 320.50p -1.96%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 456.00p -1.94%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 3,974.00p -1.90%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 825.50p -1.78%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,534.00p -1.67%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 283.80p -1.59%

FTSE 250 - RisersImagination Technologies Group (IMG) 196.70p +3.53%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,672.00p +2.70%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 364.80p +2.53%
Bwin . party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 117.20p +2.27%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 44.10p +1.97%
AZ Electronic Materials SA (DI) (AZEM) 389.80p +1.64%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 773.00p +1.24%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 293.70p +0.96%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 293.80p +0.96%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 497.20p +0.93%

FTSE 250 - FallersWood Group (John) (WG.) 711.50p -10.73%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,201.00p -4.23%
Computacenter (CCC) 651.50p -3.41%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,663.00p -3.09%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 611.00p -2.86%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,105.00p -2.50%
Hunting (HTG) 772.50p -2.15%
Telecity Group (TCY) 677.50p -1.95%
Inchcape (INCH) 571.00p -1.81%

UK Event Calendar
Thursday December 12

Sports Direct International, Supergroup

London Security

Bloomberg Consumer Confidence (US) (14:45)
Business Inventories (US) (13:30)
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
ECB Report (EU) (09:00)
Import and Export Price Indexes (US) (13:30)
Industrial Production (EU) (10:00)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
Manufacturing Inventories (US) (15:00)
Retail Sales (US) (13:45)
Retail Sales Inventories (US) (15:15)

Integra Group GDR (Each GDR Repr 2 A Com Shr) (RegS)

Domino Printing Sciences, Terrace Hill Group


Integra Group GDR (Each GDR Repr 2 A Com Shr) (RegS)

Avanti Capital, Fidelity Special Values, Northern Venture Trust, Pipehawk, Savile Group, Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust, Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust, Trading Emissions, Wessex Exploration, World Careers Network

Go-Ahead Group, Wood Group (John)

Avingtrans, Hargreaves Services

Europe Market Report
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FTSE 100EuronextDax perfCAC 40
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Europe open: Stocks fall ahead of Eurozone and US data
- Eurozone industrial output to be released
- US retail sales and jobless claims in focus
- ECB's Draghi to speak
- ECB monthly report out

FTSE 100: -0.39%
DAX: -0.48%
CAC 40: -0.15%
FTSE MIB: -0.60%
IBEX 35: -0.42%
Stoxx 600: -0.41%

European stocks declined ahead of the release of Eurozone industrial production data and reports on US retail sales and jobless claims.

Eurozone industrial output may have climbed 1.1% in October, in line with the previous month's rate of growth, according to the consensus estimate.

US retail sales are expected to have risen by 0.6% in November, up from the prior month's 0.4% increase.

Weekly jobless claims, which fell below 300,000 last week, is tipped to rise slightly this week to 320,000.

The reports come ahead of next week's Federal Reserve policy meeting when the central bank may announce a tapering of monetary stimulus.

"This is the final piece of the jigsaw ahead of the Fed meeting and could make the difference when it comes to the decision on tapering," according to Alpari analyst Craig Erlam.

According to a recent survey by Bloomberg, 12 out of 35 economists believe that the Fed will begin to taper at its December 17th-18th meeting, nine said a withdrawal will start in January while the remaining 14 don't expect a scaling back of stimulus until March.

Draghi speaks, ECB monthly report

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak in Strasbourg today.

The market will be looking for insight on the ECB's next move on policy.

The ECB has reportedly been considering the use of negative deposit rates but Draghi has kept mum when quizzed on the topic. The central bank last month lowered its benchmark interest rate to 0.25% from 0.5% to curb falling inflation.

Today the ECB will also release its monthly report which is anticipated to mirror what Draghi said at a press conference following the policy meeting last week.

Peugeot's shares tumble

PSA Peugeot Citroen declined after disclosing a charge of about €1bn in its auto operation and lowering its estimate for savings from its partnership with General Motors.

Fortum Oyj gained after saying it will sell its Finnish power distribution business for €2.55bn to Suomi Power Networks Oy.

Metro AG edged higher after Germany's biggest retailer posted an increase in earnings for its shortened financial year.

The euro fell 0.01% to $1.3784.

Brent crude dropped $0.018 to $109.680 per barrel, according to the ICE.

US Market Report
US close: Stocks drop sharply as taper bets increase
- Taper bets increase after budget accord
- Obama pledges to sign deal if Congress approves
- Markets suffer worst losses since November 7th
- Costco fails to hit forecasts in Q1

Dow Jones: -0.81%
Nasdaq: -1.40%
S&P 500: -1.13%

US markets finished with steep losses on Wednesday on concerns that a budget deal in Washington would remove one more obstacle standing in the way of a Federal Reserve's decision to taper stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 indices all registered their worst daily losses since November 7th.

Chief Congressional negotiators Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan last night worked out a deal that would set spending at about $1.01trn in the current fiscal year, up from the $967bn required in a 2011 budget plan. The budget still needs to be passed in both the Senate and the House.

If passed, it will end three years of impasse and fiscal instability in Washington that culminated in October with a partial government shutdown. The budget comes before a non-binding Friday deadline and more than a month before the January 15th date when existing funds to run many federal programmes expire.

President Barack Obama labelled the agreement as "a good first step" and said he would sign the deal into law if it is passed by Congress.

According to analyst Michael Gapen from Barclays, the agreement will cut the estimated drag from fiscal policy next year in half and, if passed, "would lead to a modest direct boost to gross domestic product (GDP) and some upside risk to our forecast of 2.4% for real GDP growth in 2014".

However, he said that while the deal reduces the potential for fiscal brinkmanship surrounding the budget, it "does not provide for an increase in the debt ceiling past February 7th, nor does it address longer-term structural budget issues".

Nevertheless, with Fed officials recently citing the negative impact that fiscal policy has had on the economy, some analysts believe that this new accord supports the case for a scaling back of stimulus at the central bank's policy meeting on December 17th-18th.

Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets, said: "There was […] the prospect that having removed a potential road block to further political dysfunction in the New Year, prospects of some form of action from the [Fed] next week had increased, which […] appear[ed] to be weighing on risk appetite."

Economic news was thin on the ground on Wednesday; however, one important indicator showed that the US federal government recorded a budget deficit of $135.2bn in November, below the consensus forecast of $140bn and 21.4% less than a year ago.

Costco misses estimates

Costco Wholesale declined as the US warehouse-club chain said net income rose to $425m or 96 cents a share in its first quarter, up 2.2% year-on-year but below the 102 cents expected by analysts. Revenue grew 5.5% to $25.02bn but this also missed the forecast for $25.35bn.

Mastercard jumped after saying its board of directors approved an 83% dividend increase.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals dropped after the drugmaker said a phase II study of AVP for the treatment of multiple sclerosis did not meet the primary efficacy endpoint.

Cisco retreated after losing a European Union (EU) General Court bid to overturn EU approval of Microsoft Corp.'s 2011 takeover of Skype Technologies. The stock was also started at 'sell' on Wednesday by analysts atCitigroup.

S&P 500 - RisersScripps Network Interactive Inc. (SNI) $81.00 +7.64%
Mastercard Inc. (MA) $790.57 +3.53%
Visa Inc. (V) $205.66 +3.12%
Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) $36.84 +3.08%
Iron Mountain Inc. (IRM) $29.17 +2.21%
Walgreen Co. (WAG) $57.68 +1.91%
Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI) $25.98 +1.80%
AbbVie Inc (ABBV) $52.67 +1.02%
Dollar General Corp (DG) $61.31 +0.94%
Altria Group Inc. (MO) $37.67 +0.94%

S&P 500 - FallersLaboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH) $88.25 -10.99%
Quest Diagnostics (DGX) $55.20 -5.80%
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) $21.08 -4.44%
Avon Products Inc. (AVP) $17.03 -4.43%
Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $51.43 -4.26%
Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC) $40.78 -4.16%
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) $24.01 -4.11%
First Solar Inc. (FSLR) $54.20 -4.05%
Delta Airlines Inc. (DAL) $27.66 -3.86%
Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) $31.93 -3.62%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Visa Inc. (V) $205.66 +3.12%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $40.13 +0.70%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $79.00 +0.50%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $84.02 +0.44%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $79.09 +0.01%

Dow Jones I.A - FallersNike Inc. (NKE) $76.84 -3.00%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $30.65 -2.20%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $108.66 -2.09%
General Electric Co. (GE) $26.58 -2.06%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $60.29 -1.87%
American Express Co. (AXP) $83.90 -1.63%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $24.42 -1.61%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $20.88 -1.56%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $87.10 -1.52%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $94.26 -1.51%

Nasdaq 100 - RisersNuance Communications Inc. (NUAN) $14.25 +1.21%
Dentsply International Inc. (XRAY) $48.49 +0.87%
Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) $56.18 +0.85%
Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) $28.68 +0.60%
Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR) $55.90 +0.47%
Sigma-Aldrich Corp. (SIAL) $89.65 +0.34%
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $363.98 +0.24%
Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ) $34.08 +0.06%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $16.83 +0.00%

Nasdaq 100 - FallersRandgold Resources Ltd. Ads (GOLD) $65.30 -3.91%
Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $173.24 -3.72%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $366.62 -3.40%
NetApp Inc. (NTAP) $40.06 -3.38%
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) $70.61 -3.02%
Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI) $3.49 -2.92%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $121.60 -2.91%
Mylan Inc. (MYL) $41.42 -2.78%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $64.39 -2.78%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $22.50 -2.77%

Broker Tips
UK economy, EU banks, Co-op
The UK downturn is finally expected to be left behind next year as the size of the economy surpasses its pre-recession peak, according to a new forecast from the British Chambers of Commerce upgrading prospects for growth. – The Telegraph

The European Union has agreed a common rule book for handling failed banks, in a compromise that brings forward the date when senior creditors must face losses but still leaves room for governments to launch bailouts. – Financial Times

The troubled Co-operative Group has brought in former City minister Lord Myners on a salary of just £1 to help turnaround the bank after its reputation was left in tatters by the Paul Flowers scandal.- The Guardian

Asda Chief Executive Andy Clarke is looking to launch an own-brand tablet to rival Tesco’s Hudl as he signalled last week’s day of discounts known as ‘Black Friday’ would return next year. – The Daily Mail

Bank of England rate-setter Martin Weale yesterday said that Threadneedle Street's flagship forward guidance policy was likely to have had little impact on the economy and appeared to clash with Governor Mark Carney over the timing of possible rate rises. – The Independent

Consumers are splashing their cash again after several years of belt-tightening, new figures from Barclays revealed yesterday. Spending has jumped 3.3% in the year so far, outstripping inflation, as the recovery gathers speed and shoppers regain confidence. – City AM

A South Korean court has handed Samsung Electronics an unexpected loss on its home turf, dismissing claims that Apple violated three of Samsung’s mobile patents. – Financial Times

Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch December 12, 2013: China Cinda IPO Pops in Soft Asian Market.

By Daniel Inman
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian markets fell Thursday on continued fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon start cutting its bond-buying program, though Hong Kong’s largest listing in 2013 started trading with a pop.
China Cinda Asset Management HK:1359 0.00%  , Hong Kong’s largest initial public offering this year, surged 27.5% on its debut. The financial firm, which processes Chinese bad debt from Chinese banks and converts it into equity stakes, raised $2.5 billion in an IPO that priced at the top of its price range.
A number of other companies started trading in Hong Kong. Among them was Qinhuangdao Port Co. HK:3369 0.00% , which raised $561 million after pricing its IPO at the low end of its range. Shares in China’s largest coal-port operator by capacity dropped 6.3% on its first day.
Chinese pharmaceutical retailer Jintian Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. HK:2211 0.00% , which raised $189 million in an IPO after pricing its deal at the low end of the price range, plunged 18.6% on its first day of trading.
The Hong Kong stock market moved lower, with the Hang Seng Index HK:HSI -0.52% down 0.5% at 23218.12, while the Shanghai Composite CN:SHCOMP -0.06%  fell less than 0.1% to 2202.80.
More broadly, overnight trading on Wall Street gave Asia a negative lead, as U.S. stocks fell sharply after a bipartisan budget deal from Congress raised expectations that the Fed could start to scale back its stimulus measures as early as next week.
The forthcoming Fed policy meeting, set to end Dec. 18, has weighed on market sentiment in Asia in recent sessions — especially after the U.S. posted another strong monthly labor report on Friday. Speculation over when the central bank will pare its easy-money policies has been a constant theme in Asia for much of the year and has triggered a number of selloffs during the summer.
The dollar lost 0.4% against the yen USDJPY +0.32%  overnight, though it made a recovery on Thursday, trading at ¥102.79, compared with ¥102.45 late Wednesday in New York. Earlier this week, the dollar was close to reaching a fresh multiyear high against its Japanese counterpart.

The weaker yen was a catalyst for strong gains in Japanese stocks in November. Although the dollar recovered on Thursday, the Nikkei JP:NIK -1.12% was more focused on the overnight declines on Wall Street. The index lost 1.1% to 15341.82.

Who controls the North Pole?
With sea ice receding around the polar ice cap, various countries are now jockeying to control a potential goldmine of natural resources that are becoming more extractable. But just who controls the North Pole? Image: Associated Press

South Korea’s Kospi KR:SEU -0.51%  fell 0.5% to 1967.93.
Stock trading in Sydney remained depressed, with the S&P/ASX 200AU:XJO -0.82%  down 0.8% at 5,062.50, after Australia’s unemployment rate rose in November to 5.8%, moving closer to a post-financial crisis high.
The market has been weighed by a flood of IPOs hitting the market before Christmas, as well as a surprise profit warning earlier in the week from QBE Insurance Group Ltd. AU:QBE -5.54%  QBEIF +1.40%  that hit broader market sentiment. The insurer lost another 5.5% on Thursday, bringing its total weekly loss to 32.7%.

More MarketWatch news

Fischer close to becoming No. 2 at Fed: reports
Here’s what you’ll save by ditching cable TV
Champion forecaster says economy better than GDP shows

Bloomberg Share The View December 12, 2013: Obama Needs to Fire People.


A quick look at Bloomberg News's opinion section
December 12, 2013For more, visit»

The Editors: "It's hard to imagine how something as pipsqueak as an $85 billion, two-year budget deal could be so consequential. Yet the agreement struck yesterday could mark the end of paralyzing budget politics, avoid another government shutdown, remove Washington as a roadblock to recovery and help spur economic growth." Read more
Albert R. Hunt: "Representative Paul Ryan's long-shot presidential aspirations weren't helped by the budget deal he crafted with Democratic Senator Patty Murray this week. The agreement is already drawing fire from movement conservatives." Read more 

CLEANING HOUSE: President Barack Obama needs to fire some people, Ezra Klein writes. "At some point, Obama needs to recognize that temporary staffing and stopgap solutions are insufficient. His second term, so far, has been broken rather than simply glitchy. He needs to fix it." Read more 

ISRAEL: "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a passionately pro-Israel speech this past weekend at the Saban Forum in Washington,"Jeffrey Goldberg writes. "On matters concerning Israel's security, its international legitimacy and its demographic future, he showed himself to be a true friend." Read more 

TRADE TALKS: "The standards ensuring the safety of our food, medicines and cars, the energy and climate policies needed to save our planet, and the financial regulations designed to prevent banks from creating another crisis all involve decisions that should be made in open, democratic venues," write consumer advocate Ralph Naderand lawyer Lori Wallach. "Yet the Obama administration is engaged in closed-door negotiations for free-trade agreement." Read more 

ITALY: "Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi's recent thumping victory in a vote to lead Italy's center-left party is the first true ray of political hope the country has seen in years," the Editors write. "Italy may at last get a leader with a popular mandate and the appetite to make economic changes the country needs." Read more

CUBA: "Are the 1950s coming back?" Leonid Bershidsky: "The U.S. and Russia appear to be vying for influence on Cuba again, one with a handshake and the other with money." Read more 

UPWORTHY: "It's fair to say that Upworthy is an Internet sensation,"Megan McArdle writes. "Yet there's a vulnerability at the heart of its business model." Read more 

AMERICA'S CUP: Kavitha A. Davidson: "San Francisco residents had the chance to see a stunning, comeback victory for the home team in the America's Cup, but it came at a price: $5.5 million, to be exact."Read more 

RBS: RBS wins this year's "Dumbest Bank of the Year" award,Jonathan Weil writes. "RBS, which is still government-controlled more than five years after taking a U.K. taxpayer bailout, will pay $100 million to federal and state banking regulators as punishment for using U.S. correspondent banks to conduct transactions with customers in Iran, Sudan and other countries subject to international sanctions." Read more 

MINIMUM WAGE: "Enthusiasm for a big increase in the federal minimum wage is building in the U.S.," Clive Crook writes. "It's a shame to see so much energy devoted to a policy that's not only dubious but also sidelines better ideas." Read more 

Mining Sector Top Stories December 12, 2013: Joy Global predicts tough times for mining to continue 2014.

Mineweb logo

Top Stories | Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Joy Global predicts tough times for mining to continue 2014

During the past year, Joy Global has “seen customers stretching rebuild, delaying regular maintenance and taking risk with equipment that they hadn’t done in the past,” says Joy’s CEO designee. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Iamgold suspends dividend

Iamgold’s all-in sustaining cost per ounce is too close to current gold price for comfort, says Motley Fool’s Rupert Hargreaves. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Roxgold cashes up, XDM Royalty seeks redemption in takeover

We speak with XDM about the Roxgold's takeover of it - a story of redemption and cash resources. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Taper talk boosts gold. Is this a fundamental change in direction?

Does the recent upwards movement in the gold price on the suggestion that Fed tapering may be imminent constitute a major shift in gold market sentiment?Wednesday , 11 Dec 2013

Kefi acquires 75% stake in Nyota’s Tulu Kapi gold project

Kefi Minerals has announced the conditional acquisition of a 75% stake in Nyota Minerals’ 100% owned Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia and is confident it can substantially improve the project economics. Wednesday , 11 Dec 2013

China Nov refined copper, aluminium output at records

Production of refined copper rose 2.6% from October, while primary aluminium output also hit a record for the second straight month. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Freeport Indonesia warns of output cuts, layoffs

The company has warned that Indonesia's plan to ban mineral exports from next month will cut its revenues in the country by 65%. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

London Mining lowers 2013 production guidance

London Mining has lowered its guidance due to the impact of the rainy season in Sierra Leone and slower-than-expected completion of processing plant upgrades.Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Global refined copper surplus to grow by over 60% - ICSG

The International Copper Study Group says the surplus in the global market for refined copper will widen by over 60% in 2014. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Mercator to merge with Russian mining firm Intergeo

The completion of the deal with Intergeo is conditional on the continued listing of the combined company's shares in Toronto. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Zimbabwe diamond mine Anjin to fire 190 workers amid price slump

The country is expected to mine 16.9 million carats this year, according to Mines Ministry estimates. Last year, the country produced 8 million carats, generating $685 million. Thursday , 12 Dec 2013

Kazakh copper/gold mine chooses Metso grinding system

Metso has been awarded another contract for Altay Polimetally’s big new open pit copper/gold mine in Kazakhstan – this time for the supply of a complete grinding system. Wednesday , 11 Dec 2013

Rio Tinto targets debt reduction as costs come down

The global miner plans to cut its debt burden in 2014, pressing ahead with cost reductions that have already exceeded a $2 billion target it had this year. Wednesday , 11 Dec 2013

Indonesia's president to weigh into mineral export confusion

The president will make the final decision in a furious debate over next month's scheduled ban on the export of unprocessed metal ore. Wednesday , 11 Dec 2013

How much gold should one hold in a portfolio?

At first blush, our analysis may lead one to conclude investors may want to hold 30% or more in gold, says Axel Merk. Wednesday , 11 Dec 2013

Yesterday's top story: Is North Korea selling ‘large amounts’ of gold to China?

Reports out of the Republic of Korea say that North Korea is being forced to sell ‘large amounts’ of gold to China to help mitigate a domestic economic crisis.Wednesday , 11 Dec 2013

Podcasts / Radio

Looking for the inflection point between gold and equities - Davies

Hinde Capital's Ben Davies discusses the inflationary and deflationary pressures affecting gold and looks ahead to 2014.

PMI bell ringing and gold’s love trade – Holmes

Frank Holmes discusses the implications of recent PMI data as well as interest rates, the Asian love trade and the outlook for gold equities.

A bottom for gold likely to be around $1,000 - Shaoul

“To me, the bottom of this bear market will be significantly lower than $1,250, I would bet on somewhere around $1,000”, says Michael Shaoul.

Gold Fields quarterlies - Holland

Gold Fields CEO, Nick Holland, discusses the group's quarterly results and why the group is cutting back on exploration.

The Telegraph City Briefing December 12, 2013.

The Telegraph
In association with TD Direct Investing
 TD Direct Investing
Lord Myners has been appointed to join the board of the Co-Operative Group and will chair a Governance Review - the fourth on-going investigation into the troubled mutual. Gordon Brown's former City Minister will start as the Co-Op's senior independent director with immediate effect. As well as being an expert on corporate governance, Myners is the sort of City heavyweight the Co-Op desperately needs to help restore its shattered reputation. His previous chairmanships include M&S, the Guardian Media Group and Land Securities. He's got some strong views on sinful banks too: last night on Sky he said Lloyds' £28m fine was not tough enoughUrsula Lidbetter, the new chairwoman of the Co-Op, said she wants Lord Myners to "embed the very best standards of corporate governance". The Co-Op said its looking to appoint two more non-executives too.

Another winning set of results from Sports Direct today which has announced a 23.5pc jump in half year revenues to £1.4bn and a 14.3pc rise in pre-tax profits to £143.1m. The retailer, which is majority owned by Newcastle FC's Mike Ashley, says the performance has smashed even management's expectations. Online sales rose 43pc and now account for 15.5pc of total retail sales, up from 12.5pc last year.Supergroup, the retailer behind the Superdry brand, has announced a 21.4pc jump in revenues and an 8.1pc rise in like-for-like sales. Pre-tax profits have dropped 28.8pc on a reported basis but chief executiveJulian Dunkerton says that's due to the "significant infrastructure investment" made over the period. On an underlying basis, pre-tax profits are up 21.8pc.

WPP has bought a majority stake in Social Lab, a marketing agency based in Belgium, through its marketing network, Ogilvy & Mather.AkzoNobel has confirmed the sale of its German decorative paint stores to five independent whole distributors. Ashtead has raised its debt offering launched yesterday by $400 due to heavy demand. Wood Group has issued a pre-close statement saying it's on track to deliver earnings growth of around 10pc-15pc. Neil Smith is retiring from the board after 10 years. Go-Ahead has also confirmed its trading is inline with expectations ahead of half year results. 

Anglo American is holding an analysts and investor day at whichMark Cutifani, chief executive, is expected to outline his plans for the company. He's expected to explain his progress since taking over fromCynthia Carroll in April. Whitbread is holding an investor day focusing on Costa Coffee. The Co-Operative Group is due to announce the result of its creditors' vote on its £1.5bn recapitalisation plan.

Ofcom has announced "major changes" to its business and services numbers, including making 080 free to call from mobiles. The regulator has laid out plans to simplify the charges for 08, 09 and 118 numbers to make them "clearer for consumers".  Ofcom is also presenting its 7th International Communications Market Report at 1030am. The watchdog will outline the latest trends and data in the global telecoms and media markets.

George Osborne is appearing in front of the Treasury Select Committee at 10am to answer questions on his Autumn Statement. He'll face a grilling on the cost of living crisis.  But his claims that economy is on the mend have been received extra backing today. TheBritish Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has raised its growth forecasts to 1.4pc from 1.3pc in 2013 and from 2.2pc to 2.7pc next year. If the trade body is correct, UK GDP will rise above its 2008 pre-recession peak in the second half of 2014. The BCC has also forecast that public borrowing will be £106bn for 2013-14, £5.2bn lower than the OBR predicted.

In other economic news, the UK-EU trade statistics are due at 930am. The Council of Mortgage Lenders is due to release its regulated mortgage survey. The Chartered Management Institute is due to release its Future Forecasts survey. Later in America, the latestmanufacturing and trade data for October is due as well as the monthly sales for retail and food services. And the Debt Management Office is due to sell £4.5bn of 2019 gilts today.

The Lords EU sub committee is taking evidence from motor industry bosses on plans for the EU-US trade agreement. Witnesses include bosses from Ford, McLaren, Jaguar Land Rover and the SMMT. Meanwhile, Ed Davey the Energy Secretary is off to Brussels for a meeting with Joaquin Almunia, the European competition commissioner.And tonight at the London School of Economics, Sir Christopher Pissarides is delivering his inaugural lecture as the first Regius Professor of Economics. 
Clearly there are lots of challenges there; maybe it’s a reflection of the difficult job he inherited.
One top 10  investor in Royal Bank of Scotland on the unexpected departure of the lender's finance chief, Nathan Bostock.
The record fine for Lloyds Banking Group, imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority for putting staff under so much pressure to sell some even bought the products to save themselves from the axe. 
Harriet Dennys believes that the Glencore trader fired for saying drinking comes with the job would have fitted in far better in one of the Square Mile's more heady decades.
Graham Ruddick reports that Asda's chief has claimed its US-style"Black Friday" discounts were a "phenomenon" with customers and has pledged to run the initiative again.
Denise Roland
 explains why you won't be seeing Bitcoins on the high street any time soon.
Financial Times (£)JP Morgan has signalled it plans to pay penalties over allegations that it failed to notify US authorities that it was worried Bernard Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.

The Guardian: GM Holden will cease producing cars in Australia from 2017, putting 2,900 employees out of work.

The Independent: 
Soaring energy prices and a rush to the rental market have helped make housing the most expensive part of the weekly family budget for the first time ever.

In London, the FTSE 100 yesterday slid 15.59 points to 6,507.72.

In the US, the Dow fell 129.60 points to 15,843.53, the S&P 500 closed 20.40 lower at 1,782.22, and the Nasdaq fell 56.68 to 4,003.81. The Nikkei fell 1.12pc to 15,341.82.
Analysts at Berenberg  were dismissive of recent TalkTalk bid rumoursOur TalkTalk 'sell' recommendation is a painful trade currently. In terms of fundamental performance, the financials for TalkTalk have been exceedingly poor. But what we view as very hopeful guidance has helped to avert a disaster, and now M&A speculation is driving the stock into super-expensive territory. However, we still view a take-out of TalkTalk as a very unlikely scenario
Brent crude oil rose 0.29pto $109.70 a barrel. Gold fell 0.43pc to $1,261 an ounce. More here.
Sterling fell 0.60 cents against the euro to €1.1869 and dropped 0.60 cents against the dollar to $1.6367. More here.