Nov 28, 2019

EU - FX: US sparks risk-off move by backing Hong Kong; dollar flat

2-3 minutes - Source: CNBC

GP: Japanese Yen notes currency 181225
Japanese yen banknotes of various denominations are arranged for a photograph in Tokyo, Japan, on July 22, 2015.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The dollar was little changed in early London trading on Thursday as a mild overnight risk-off move, sparked by the United States and China clashing over Hong Kong, subsided.
After the U.S. passed legislation backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, China warned that it would take “firm counter-measures” if the U.S. continued to interfere in Hong Kong, saying that the legislation was “doomed to fail”.
The dollar index was last down less than 0.1%, trading within narrow ranges, while the Japanese yen — a perceived safe haven — was up around 0.2% versus the dollar.
The Swiss franc was up around 0.1% versus the dollar.
Heightened discord between the United States and China risks jeopardizing negotiations around the “phase one” trade deal - a proposed preliminary deal to end the tit-for-tat tariff war between the world’s two largest economies.
“The moves have been quite modest because we’re still waiting to see what China’s response is - what they’ve said so far is quite vague,” said Adam Cole, chief currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
“They’ve not gone so far as to say explicitly that this threatens the phase one trade deal, which is clearly what markets are worrying about, and for that reason the reaction so far has been quite mild,” he said.
The offshore yuan was down 0.2% versus the dollar, still trading within the week’s ranges.
The trade-exposed Australian dollar was also down versus the U.S. dollar, with losses due to the risk-off mood compounded by weak domestic data.
Record-low volatility and the United States’ Thanksgiving holiday mean traders are expecting a quiet day in markets.

Euro zone consumer confidence data for November is due at 1000 GMT and German CPI data for November is due at 1300 GMT. Spanish pricing data held no surprises and did not move the market.
RBC’s Cole said the hurdle was quite high for such data to move markets. 

Energy | Oil | Oil Price Report: Oil falls as US rights bill fuels tensions with China

3-4 minutes - Source: CNBC

GP: US Oil workers Oil Boom in Texas's Permian Basin 1
Workers extracting oil from oil wells in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas on May 1, 2018.
Benjamin Lowy | Getty Images

Oil prices fell for a second day on Thursday after official data showed U.S. crude and gasoline stocks rose and President Donald Trump signed into law a bill backing protesters in Hong Kong, fueling tensions with China.
Brent crude was down 19 cents, or 0.3%, at $63.87 a barrel by 0854 GMT, having dropped 0.3% on Wednesday.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $57.78, after losing 0.5% in the previous session.
China warned the United States that it would take “firm countermeasures” in response to U.S. legislation backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.
Investors are concerned that the move might delay further a preliminary agreement between the United States and China to put an end to their trade war that has slowed global economic growth, and consequently consumption of oil.
“The approval of the Hong Kong legislation backing protesters is likely to put the trade agreement into question as China has reiterated its threat of retaliation,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.
“If investors suspect that the trade agreement is under real danger, expect to see a sharp sell-off in December. For now, investors are taking a wait-and-see approach.”
Crude stockpiles in the United States swelled by 1.6 million barrels last week as production rose to a record 12.9 million barrels per day (bpd) and refinery runs slowed, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a drop of 418,000 barrels.
Investors have also been focusing on next week’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, which have been withholding production to support prices.
“We expect OPEC+ to roll over its current production-cut deal, which is set to expire at the end of March, by three to six months,” UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said. “The upshot is that deeper cuts by the entire membership are unlikely.”
Reuters reported that Russia may call on OPEC+ to exclude condensate — a high-premium light oil mainly extracted during gas production — from its crude oil production numbers.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday there was no decision yet on this issue.

“We are holding discussions, making calculations,” Novak told reporters.
In the United States, energy services company Baker Hughes reported that the country’s oil drillers reduced the number of drilling rigs for a record 12th month in a row.

Commodities | Gold | Gold Price Report: Gold gains as Hong Kong tensions fuel trade deal doubts

3-4 minutes - Source: CNBC

GP: Gold Bars And Coins 181129
Canadian maple leafs sit on the faces of one ounce gold coins in London, the United Kingdom, on July 15, 2014.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices rose on Thursday as investors bought the safe-haven metal on doubts about whether the United States and China will seal a trade deal after President Donald Trump signed a legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters.
Palladium retreated slightly after hitting an all-time peak of $1,836.61 earlier in the session.
Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,455.63 per ounce by 0659 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,454.80.
Trump on Wednesday signed a legislation into law that requires the State Department to certify, at least annually,
that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to justify favorable U.S. trading terms.
Beijing condemned the move and said it would take “firm counter measures.”
“With the latest developments of Trump signing the Hong Kong bill, there are doubts that there will be any deal, even a first phase,” said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
“Even though they’ve said they will sign a deal by year-end, they’ve not talked about the venue, or who will go to whom. So, I don’t think the trade deal will be signed so easily and gold will be supported.”
Asian shares fell, while the safe-haven yen rose against the dollar on concerns that the protracted tariff dispute between the world’s two biggest economies could become more complicated.
Gold eased 0.5% in the last session on a raft of upbeat economic data from the United States. Economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, weekly jobless claims fell, while new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods increased.
“Global growth concerns have definitely eased, but not gone,” said John Sharma, an economist at National Australia Bank, adding gold would remain supported even if an interim deal is passed since the most complex issues, such as intellectual property, have been pushed down the road.
Gold, considered a safe store of value during economic or political uncertainties, has gained more than 13% this year, mainly due to the tariff dispute.
Among other precious metals, palladium shed 0.1% to $1,831.69 per ounce.
The autocatalyst metal used in vehicle exhaust systems to reduce harmful emissions has risen about 45% this year on a supply crunch. 
“Strong demand from China and sluggish supply growth have tightened palladium’s physical market this year...,” ANZ said in a note.
Platinum was flat at $892.95 per ounce and silver rose 0.1% to $16.96 per ounce.

Health Report: Large waist in normal-weight elderly tied to higher dementia risk

Saumya Joseph

(Reuters Health) - Older adults with normal weight but a wider waist may be at a higher risk of developing dementia, a Korean study suggests.
Doctors should consider an older person’s waist circumference in assessing their risk for dementia, the research team advises.
The study doesn’t prove that extra fat around the waist causes dementia in healthy-weight individuals; it only suggests a link between the conditions. Among older adults with a normal body mass index (BMI), rates of dementia rose consistently along with waist sizes of at least 90 cm (about 35.5 inches) for men and 85 cm (about 33.5 inches) for women, researchers report in Obesity.
BMI, a ratio of weight to height, has long been used to look for links between obesity and dementia. But the authors of the new study contend that waist circumference is a better indicator of excess fat than BMI, especially in older people, who tend to lose lean body mass like muscle and gain fat without a change in weight.
In the current study, normal-weight participants with so-called abdominal obesity had a significantly increased risk.
People who were overweight or obese had a lower risk of dementia than normal-weight individuals, but those who were underweight actually had the highest risk.
Katherine Possin, a researcher at the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco, believes the increased risk of dementia in underweight individuals may be due to underlying medical conditions. A low BMI in late life often reflects a loss of lean muscle mass, which may be due to medical conditions or a change in eating behavior, while people who are overweight likely have maintained their lean muscle mass, said Possin, who was not involved in the study.
She agrees with the researchers that in late life, waist circumference is a better measure of obesity than BMI. She added, “Successful treatment of obesity can substantially reduce dementia risk.”
The study by Dr. Geum Joon Cho and colleagues at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea involved more than 870,000 people, age 65 and older, who were part of a national health screening examination in 2009. By the time half of them had been followed for at least 6.5 years, 13% had been newly diagnosed with dementia.
“The onset of dementia is really complicated and we don’t completely understand it yet. But there seems to be something related to central adiposity (abdominal fat) that can relate to incidence of dementia,” said Sarah Szanton, Director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland, who was not involved in the study.
Szanton believes that despite the new findings regarding waist size, physicians will continue to focus on whether an elderly patient is getting regular, well-balanced meals.
“In geriatrics, we try not to focus too much on someone’s weight. It’s much more around quality of life and staying active and getting a range of things (to eat),” she told Reuters Health by phone.
The authors of the study were not available for comment.
SOURCE: Obesity, online November 5, 2019

US Politics: Trump makes surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan

By Missy Ryan and Philip Rucker

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — President Trump visited Afghanistan for the first time on Thursday, delivering Thanksgiving greetings to U.S. troops deployed here in America’s longest-running war and announcing he had resumed peace negotiations with the Taliban.
Making an unannounced trip, Trump touched down at 8:30 p.m. local time at Bagram air base — the primary hub for U.S. air operations located outside the Afghan capital of Kabul — after secretly departing Florida in the dark of night.
Trump has long wanted to draw down forces in Afghanistan and he said during a meeting here with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that he had restarted peace talks with the Taliban and was hopeful of brokering an accord.
“The Taliban wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has s to be a ceasefire and they didn’t want to do a ceasefire, and now they do want to do a ceasefire,” Trump said. “I believe it’ll probably work out that way.”
The Trump administration appeared to be on the brink of striking a deal to jump-start the peace process in September, when the president extended and then canceled an invitation for Taliban representatives to Camp David to cement an agreement to reduce U.S. forces.
This is Trump’s second visit to a combat zone; he visited troops in Iraq the day after Christmas in 2018. Vice President Pence made a surprise trip last week to Al Asad air base in Iraq, where he served turkey and greeted troops.
Addressing troops assembled in a hangar here, Trump said, “We are winning like we have not won in a long time. We are respected like we have not been respected in a long time. Our citizens know that we are standing guard, crushing our enemies.”
The president served turkey to troops in a cafeteria and posed for photos with many of them.
Trump was on the ground at Bagram for about three-and-half hours after flying there overnight from the United States. His visit was shrouded in secrecy and kept off his public schedule, and aides took extreme security precautions to transport the commander in chief to Afghanistan.
Trump, who had been vacationing with family at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., flew from an undisclosed Florida airport after nightfall Wednesday to Joint Base Andrews near Washington, where he boarded Air Force One for the 13-hour flight to Afghanistan.
The president’s aircraft took off without lights and with its cabin window shades drawn shut to preserve operational secrecy. To limit suspicions about Trump’s whereabouts, White House staff sent tweets from the president’s Twitter account during the time he was flying.
Air Force One descended and touched down at Bagram in complete darkness, and once on the ground, the president was flanked by combat troops wearing night-vision goggles and bearing rifles.
First lady Melania Trump remained in Florida and the president was accompanied by a retinue of senior aides, as well as Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). He was joined here by Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had been traveling in the region.
During Trump’s bilateral meeting with Ghani, he confirmed that he would like to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 8,600, down from about 13,000 currently.
“We’ve made tremendous progress and at the same time we’ve been drawing down our troops,” Trump said.
Ghani told Trump that “Afghan security forces are taking the lead now.”
Trump’s visit had a political dimension, too. With House Democrats poised to impeach him for abusing his office and military leaders alarmed by his intervention in war crimes cases, Trump stood with cheering service members as a reminder that for all his troubles in Washington, he remains the commander in chief.
Trump addressed a campaign rally-style crowd of several hundred troops in an aircraft hangar, where Ghani took the stage to heap praise on him.
Ghani celebrated Trump as the architect of a strategy that had helped weaken the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and personally credited him for the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi — which Ghani suggested was more important than the killing of the former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
“I’d like to thank you for your leadership, for your determination,” Ghani told Trump. He went on to thank Trump, too, for “your very principled decisions regarding putting limits on the type of peace that will ensure the gains of the past year and ensure your security and our security.”
Trump has repeatedly questioned why the United States has kept troops in Afghanistan after nearly two decades of fighting, billions of dollars in aid, and more than 2,000 U.S. military lives have failed to transform the country.
Nineteen U.S. service members have been killed this year in Afghanistan by hostile forces, an increase from 2018.
Trump campaigned in 2016 on withdrawing the United States from foreign wars, but in 2017, he agreed to authorize an increase in U.S. forces as part of a major strategy overhaul of the war. The president’s patience appears to have been wearing thin, however.
Trump complained on Twitter in September that American forces have been acting as “policemen” for Afghanistan. “That was not meant to be the job of our Great Soldiers, the finest on earth,” he wrote.
The Afghan army continues to struggle to mount offensive operations and suffers high casualties 18 years after international forces first arrived in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Ghani recently announced a step forward in his country’s battle against the Afghan branch of the Islamic State after at least several hundred of the hard line militants surrendered to the government.
But the Taliban still poses a formidable threat, retaining an estimated force of 40,000 to 60,000 militants who hold sway across many of Afghanistan’s remote areas and represent the only form of governance in certain places.
Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, commander of the U.S. coalition forces here, has already executed a modest reduction in the U.S. force level to about 13,000. But further withdrawals appear to be on hold for now as diplomats seek a breakthrough in hoped-for peace talks.
It remains unclear whether Trump will order more troops home in the absence of a political resolution to the war. The proposed U.S.-Taliban agreement, which was intended as a step toward establishing peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban, has been shelved since the Camp David talks were called off in September.
Miller has said he could conduct the current mission, which includes training and support to Afghan forces and a parallel counterterrorism effort, with as few as 8,600 U.S. troops. There are currently 13,000 American troops in Afghanistan.
The concern about Afghanistan's future is compounded by prolonged uncertainty surrounding the results of presidential elections in September. Ghani, a former World Bank official, is seeking another term; his challengers include Abdullah Abdullah, who has served as chief executive since September, 2014.
Military commanders point to some important improvements in Afghanistan's fighting ability, in its air forces and ability to mount independent offensives, but anticipate the Kabul government would face an existential threat if foreign troops were to withdraw.
For the Pentagon, the fact that the Afghanistan war has stayed largely out of the headlines of late has been beneficial as officials try to better position the Afghan government.
Rucker reported from West Palm Beach, Fla.

World News: North Korea fires unidentified projectiles, South Korea military says

2-3 minutes - Source: CNBC

RT: North Korea missiles on TV 191031
People watch a TV broadcast showing file footage for a news report on North Korea firing two projectiles, possibly missiles, into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, in Seoul, South Korea, October 31, 2019.
Heo Ran | Reuters
North Korea fired unidentified projectiles on Thursday, South Korea’s military said, the first such launch in nearly a month, amid a stalemate in denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington, as a year-end deadline looms to strike a deal.
Japan’s Coast Guard said it had detected what appeared to be a missile launched by the North and was monitoring where it would land. The defense ministry said the projectile did not enter its airspace or its Exclusive Economic Zone, however.
South Korea’s military said the North fired two projectiles from an eastern province into the sea off its coast. The launch is the first since the North fired two suspected missiles into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Oct. 31.
It comes after South Korea pulled back from a decision to scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a key element of regional security cooperation between the two biggest Asian allies of the United States.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has set an end-of-the-year deadline for denuclearization talks with Washington, but negotiations have been at an impasse after a day-long working level meeting on Oct 5 ended without progress.
North Korean officials have warned the United States to abandon its hostile policy toward the North or Pyongyang would walk away from the talks.
The North has demanded the lifting of sanctions against it and the abandonment of joint military drills by the United States and South Korea, which it calls preparations for an invasion.  

UK Politics: 'They don't know we're here': In Britain's most pro-Brexit town, voters are still angry and disillusioned

Elliot Smith

11-14 minutos - Source: CNBC

Shoppers in Boston England 191108
Shoppers walk past an empty commercial unit in the central market square of Boston, England, Nov. 8, 2019.
Elliot Smith | CNBC
BOSTON, England — With Britain facing its second general election since the historic vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, voters in the nation’s most pro-Brexit town are even more angry and disillusioned than they were three years ago.
More than three quarters of the people of Boston, in the county of Lincolnshire in the East Midlands of England, voted to leave the EU.
According to the most recent U.K. census in 2011, Boston also has the highest proportion of eastern European immigrants of anywhere in the U.K., after an influx of EU workers to the area’s agricultural sector, earning it the label of Britain’s “most divided town.”
Between 2004 and 2014, the town’s migrant population grew by 460%, and the proportion of residents of the Borough of Boston born in EU accession countries such as Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, stands at around 12%.
The center of the quaint English farming town is a melting pot of local and eastern European chatter as residents work, shop, visit the bank, the drug store, the pub, and co-exist seemingly without incident.
Yet the first word out of the mouth of every local when asked about the difficulties facing the town is “immigration.”
St. Botolph’s Church, known in typically blunt local parlance as the “Boston Stump,” formerly served as a landmark to sailors arriving at the town’s docks. In its neighboring Stump & Candle pub, cries of “sh-t”, “fed up” and “p----d off” ring out when the current state of British politics is mentioned.

Brexit, immigration and the death of hope

Slogans like “will of the people” and “leave means leave” still dominate the local lexicon, and almost to a man, the regulars will be voting for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party next month in the hope of getting Brexit over the line before the extended deadline of January 31. The simmering frustration with opposition lawmakers for their successful attempts to block a “no-deal” Brexit in Parliament is palpable.
The constituency of Boston and Skegness has been a safe Conservative seat since its inception in 1997, and the party is almost certain to retain it in December after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage announced that he would not stand candidates in seats carried by the Conservatives in 2017.
The River Witham and St. Botolph’s Church, known locally as the ‘Boston Stump’, in Boston, England, Nov. 8, 2019.
Elliot Smith | CNBC
This notwithstanding, nobody in Boston seems to believe that the upcoming general election will resolve the country’s political divisions, and the tone is one of exasperation.
“I’m not bothered if there’s a deal or no deal,” one regular says indignantly. “Everybody’s frightened to death about what might happen, but nobody knows what will happen. We should just go with the deal, but the opposition are always going to block it.”
Some of the patrons accuse migrants of “coming over here to claim benefits” while others simultaneously allege that they have taken jobs and opportunity away from low-skilled workers in the area.
Migrants from the eastern European countries which joined the EU after 2004 are more likely to be in work than British born working-age adults, according to the Migration Advisory Committee.
Boston’s employment rate is comfortably higher than the U.K. average and its percentage of out-of-work benefits claimants sits at 2.7% compared to a national average of 2.9%, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Boston’s total population did grow by nearly 16% between 2001 and 2011, double the national average, but around 42% of the town’s workforce is employed in the categories of “process plant and machine operatives” or “elementary occupations,” versus a national average of just below 17%.
Its proportion of workers employed in managerial, professional or technical occupations is 18.4% versus 47.1% across Great Britain. Median wages are well below the national average.
The bottom 10% of earners are more detrimentally affected by EU migration, but the change is comparatively small compared to overall wage growth for U.K.-born workers. So while low income U.K.-born workers experience more of the negative impact of increased unskilled migration compared to higher earners, this is outstripped by the average increase to their wages over that same period.
An Oxford Economics study in 2018 estimated that EU migrants’ annual net tax contributions are approximately £2,300 ($2,960) more than the average U.K. adult.
A Union Jack flies from an apartment block against the backdrop of the ‘Boston Stump’ in Boston, England, Nov. 8, 2019.
Elliot Smith | CNBC
One man in his sixties who spoke to CNBC in the Stump & Candle attributed the disgruntlement not to the migrants themselves, but to a lack of U.K. government spending to enable public services to deal with the surging population.
“Did they give us more police, more doctors, more hospitals, more schools, better roads? Did they give us anything to cope with it? No. We got dumped on,” he says, adding that Boston used to be a “beautiful little town and still could be,” but has been reduced to an “empty shell.”

‘We’ve been robbed blind’

Contrary to his peers, he welcomes the presence of migrant workers as a positive for the area, but claims the presence of large supermarkets at the expense of local businesses has “drawn the lifeblood” out of Boston.
“In the old days, that money used to circulate in Boston, we all got a bit of it. It would go round and round and round — now the money flies, it’s gone, we never see anything,” he says.
The group paints a dystopian picture of Boston’s decline, describing a wasteland of boarded up windows, businesses closing down to be replaced by charity stores.
There are indeed an increasing number of empty commercial units dotted throughout the central shopping district, but as locals greet one another gleefully on the sidewalk on a wintry Friday morning, it evokes greater likeness to the archetypal sleepy, post-industrial East Midlands town than the nightmare they are depicting.
A vacant furnishing store in Boston, England, Nov. 8, 2019.
Elliot Smith | CNBC
Much of the anger which fueled the Brexit vote seems to stem from a sense of neglect by consecutive British governments, rather than any long-running gripe with the EU itself.
“When you come up from London and you see the roads in London, and then you see from Peterborough to here, they don’t spend any money on any of it,” the man points out indignantly.
“We’re stuck out here in the Wash, nearly in the North Sea, and they don’t even know we’re here. That’s what it’s all about.”
Responses vary with regards to what Brexit will achieve, however.
“We don’t want to be dictated to!” one elderly gentlemen yells from across the room, which by now has escalated from a quiet midday hum to a bellowing cacophony. “I’m not bothered, as long as we’re out!” a gaunt, wild-eyed man shouts, adding that “it’ll get rid of the foreigners.”
“It’s not going to solve anything,” the first man sighs, “because we’ve got no pull on government, we’ve got no voice, we’ve got nothing to help us.”
He points out to his friend that Boston will still need EU migrant labor on the farms and in the packhouses, but says the money which once circulated within the local economy will still “fly away” and the town will continue to be “robbed blind.”

Strained public services

Financial pressures on the U.K.’s national health service (NHS) are, aside from Brexit, one of the pre-eminent battlegrounds in British politics.
A burly man in his late fifties says the local NHS is “overwhelmed” and “you can’t get a doctor’s appointment,” while the gaunt man angrily claims that he has been waiting over a year for a pacemaker.
Out in the central market square, Pat, a 74-year-old former secretary at Boston’s flagship Pilgrim Hospital, claims it is no longer “fit for purpose.”
“We can’t blame the foreigners for everything but our services are stretched to the limit and have been for a good few years due to the influx of people coming here,” she says, adding that the “schools are packed to capacity” and “English children are having to be held back” due to the growing proportion of non-English speaking pupils.
NHS trusts across the country are spending more than they are bringing in, and the NHS was asked several years ago to find £22 billion in savings by 2020, prompting further cuts.
A commercial unit sits empty beside a pawn shop in Boston, England, Nov. 8, 2019.
Elliot Smith | CNBC
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which runs the Pilgrim, has racked up almost £4 million in fines for missing key waiting time targets over the last four years.
Meanwhile, EU immigrants make up about 5% of English NHS staff and about 5% of the English population, according to the best available data. Across the U.K., EU immigrants make up 10% of registered doctors and 4% of registered nurses.
Pat does not think the election will help to heal the nation’s divisions, and suggests lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to “get round the table and work together.”
She empathizes with ousted former Prime Minister Theresa May and complains that under Johnson, the country is “two steps back from where we were” on Brexit. “We’ve become the laughing stock of the world,” she says, adding that she is unsure which way she’ll vote in December.
A young woman nearby confirms that she will vote Conservative, but is not sure how it will help, or whether anything will change in Boston, regardless of the result.

‘Everyone is going home’

Contrary to the bleak representation of the town given in the Stump & Candle, the Bulgarian grocery store neighboring it is bustling with activity, and the two female clerks chat jovially in native dialect to customers and a group of men congregated by the store room.
Beside them are a string of Western Union posters headlined “Know Your Rights” and containing a string of advice for migrants on how to avoid exploitation and discrimination.
“It is your right to be treated honestly and fairly,” the top bullet point reads.
Graffiti on the wall of a private car park in Boston, England. Nov. 8, 2019
Elliot Smith | CNBC
Interaction between Bostonian and Eastern European residents seems minimal at best. One 28-year-old employee at a Romanian butchers has lived here for six years and says that while she has found the locals to be generally friendly, her community very much keeps to itself.
Over on the less postcard-worthy side of the River Witham, West Street, a long, straight road toward the railway station, is lined on both sides with Eastern European stores, in an area which once hosted more empty units than occupied ones.
Romas Latvenas, a grocery and protein supplement store owner who moved to Boston from Lithuania in 2004, says despite the relative prosperity they have enjoyed in Boston, Brexit is forcing EU migrants to consider relocating, while already driving up food prices for businesses.
Eastern European shops on West Street, Boston, England, Nov. 8, 2019.
Elliot Smith
“Our businesses are already being affected, and it is not just European shops, but everything. People who are working in the factories, the Lithuanians, Polish, Latvians, everyone is going home, or they are going to Germany, Holland or Belgium,” he says.
“The currency going down means that people can just move to mainland Europe and it is the same, and now look around — the shop is empty, the streets are empty.”
Romas also says his own family is considering moving, despite having lived in Boston for over a decade.
“With fewer people, fewer workers, the local economy is going off a cliff. Fifteen years ago, these shops were empty — there was maybe one European shop and that was it, the windows and houses and estate agents were boarded up,” he says.
“We all come here to work, we pay our taxes, and I don’t know what the English people think will happen. The big people in London do not care about this place, they do not care about us — it is very bad for us now.”

Nov 27, 2019

EU - FX: Europe stocks close higher after Trump says US-China close to a trade deal

Elliot Smith, Ryan Browne

European markets closed higher on Wednesday, as investors tracked positive mood music around U.S.-China trade talks and promising consumer confidence figures out of France.
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The pan-European Stoxx 600 came down off the day’s peak to end the session 0.3% higher, having earlier hit a four-year high. Telecoms led the way with a gain of 1% while oil and gas stocks slid 0.3% lower.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that Washington and Beijing were in the “final throes” of talks aimed at securing a trade deal, though the U.S. leader also expressed his administration’s support for protesters in Hong Kong, a particularly thorny issue for China at the moment.
Stocks on Wall Street were mostly higher on Wednesday, with both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rising while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped into negative territory.
As for data, fresh figures showed that Chinese industrial profits dropped for a third consecutive month in October.
In Europe, French consumer confidence data exceeded analyst expectations to hit 106 in November, its highest since June 2017 and up from 104 in October. The pleasant surprise offered a tailwind to cautious European stocks Wednesday morning.
Market participants also kept a close watch on the latest political developments out of the U.K., as the country heads for a fresh set of elections on Dec. 12.
Britain’s two main political parties have become embroiled in a debate over religious prejudice. The opposition Labour party was accused by the chief rabbi of failing to tackle anti-Semitism seriously, while a Muslim group said the ruling Conservative party has an Islamophobia problem.
In corporate news, Reuters reports that Lufthansa is in final talks to complete the sale of its European catering operations to Swiss firm Gategroup.
In terms of individual stocks, UDG Healthcare rose 8% after reporting positive full-year results on Tuesday, while SEB added 3.4% after the Swedish bank announced that it had found no evidence of alleged links between the bank and companies sanctioned for involvement in Russian tax fraud.
Knorr Bremse stock slid 3.6% after the German brake system manufacturer reported disappointing results before the bell, while Hexpol shares shed 2.8%.
Altran shares edged 0.3% higher after activist hedge fund Elliott said Capgemini’s 3.6 billion euro ($3.96 billion) offer for the French engineering group was too low.

Bonds | Treasury Yields Report: Treasury yields rise after a slew of better-than-expected economic data

Yun Li, Silvia Amaro

U.S. government debt prices fell on Wednesday as traders monitored fresh economic data and developments in the U.S.-China trade war.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was higher at around 1.7127%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at around 2.1837%.
Market players have been monitoring trade developments between the U.S. and China with mixed messages about the prospect of the two countries reaching a phase one deal before the end of the year. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that a deal with Beijing is in the “final throes.”


US 3-MOU.S. 3 Month Treasury1.6130.0080.00
US 1-YRU.S. 1 Year Treasury1.6010.0180.00
US 2-YRU.S. 2 Year Treasury1.6280.0420.00
US 5-YRU.S. 5 Year Treasury1.6290.0410.00
US 10-YRU.S. 10 Year Treasury1.7710.0310.00
US 30-YRU.S. 30 Year Treasury2.1920.0140.00
Earlier this week, officials from both countries spoke over the phone in an attempt to “resolve core issues.” The U.S. is due to impose fresh duties on Chinese goods by December 15, if there is no agreement by then.

Energy | Oil | Oil Price Report: Oil snaps 2-day win streak on surprise US inventory build

3-4 minutes - Source: CNBC

GP: Tullow Oil 190812 EU
The Tullow Oil Plc Prof. John Evans Atta Mills Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel sits docked in Singapore on Jan. 21, 2016.
Nicky Loh | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Oil eased on Wednesday after a report showing U.S. crude inventories grew unexpectedly last week and gasoline stocks surged, but losses were limited by optimism that a U.S.-China trade deal would be reached soon.
Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at $64.00 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 30 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $58.11 a barrel.
WTI trade volumes were also on track to be lower for the week ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
U.S. crude stocks swelled by 1.6 million barrels last week as production hit a record high at 12.9 million barrels per day and refinery runs slowed, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a drop of 418,000 barrels.
The more bearish news from the EIA was that U.S. gasoline inventories soared 5.1 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 1.2 million-barrel gain.
U.S. gasoline futures dropped 3.63 cents, or 2.1%, to $1.67 a gallon.
“Overall, the inventories were disappointing, led by a much greater-than-expected increase in gasoline inventories,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. “That’s definitely leading the way down.”
Oil prices pared losses slightly after a report showing U.S. oil drillers reduced the number of drilling rigs for a record 12 months in a row, despite fresh production highs.
Drillers cut three oil rigs in the week to Nov. 27, bringing the total count down to 668, the lowest since April 2017, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in data released two days early due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
Hopes that Beijing and Washington would strike a trade deal limited losses in oil.
Prices had risen for the last two days on expectations that China and the United States, the world’s two biggest crude users, would soon sign a preliminary agreement, signalling an end to their 16-month trade dispute.
“Trade deal optimism persists,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM. “The belief in a positive trade deal continues unabated.”
That was fuelled by comments from U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, who said the United States and China were close to agreement after top negotiators spoke by telephone and agreed to keep working on remaining issues.
Expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia will maintain their deal to restrain supply have supported prices.
The producers, known as OPEC+, hold their next oil policy review meetings on Dec. 5-6 in Vienna. They are expected to extend their supply cut agreement further into 2020.

Commodities | Gold | Gold Price Report: Gold drops as trade deal hopes boost Wall Street to record

3minutes - Source: CNBC

GP: Gold bar in hand 171122
A worker holds a gold bullion on January 13, 2015 at Istanbul Gold Refinery in Istanbul, Turkey.
Ozan Kose | AFP | Getty Images

Gold fell on Wednesday as equities climbed to record levels bolstered by hopes that the United States and China were close to signing an initial trade deal. Also boosting risk appetite was robust U.S. economic data, which assured investors of the health of the country’s economy.
Spot gold dipped 0.47% to $1,454.28 per ounce, slipping five sessions in six. U.S. gold futures also shed 0.4% to $1,455 per ounce.
“Given the situation, the statements from the White House that the U.S.- China trade deal may be imminent is continuing to drive risk appetite a bit higher,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities. “There is less interest in gold as a hedge, and a higher opportunity cost to hold zero yielding assets like gold.”
Wall Street hit fresh record levels on Wednesday while world shares were close to notching a record peak in the session after U.S. President Donald Trump said the world’s two largest economies were in the “final throes” of signing an initial trade deal. Market confidence was buoyant and investors moved away from safe-haven gold.
The CBOE VIX equity volatility index, often referred to as a fear gauge, was at seven-month lows. Lack of signs of further monetary policy easing in the near term by the U.S. Federal Reserve did little to support gold. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday that monetary policy was “well positioned” to support the strong U.S. labor market.
Higher interest rates boost the dollar, making dollar-denominated gold more expensive for buyers using other currencies, and they reduce investor interest in non-yielding bullion. Boosting market sentiment, U.S. economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, rather than slowing as initially reported, assuring markets that the world’s largest economy was healthy despite fears of the impact of the long-drawn trade war.
Weekly jobless claims also declined, while core capital goods ordered posted their biggest gain in nine months.
“Gold remains range-bound with hard support sitting toward $1,445-$1,450... While top-side resistance cuts in toward $1,475-$1.480,” analysts at MKS PAMP said in a note.
Among other precious metals, silver dropped 0.5% to $16.98 per ounce, platinum was down 1.6% to $893.25. Palladium gained 0.6% to $1,819.82 an ounce.

US Economic Growth Report: US economy grew at a moderate 2.1% annual rate in the third quarter

1-2 minutes - Source: CNBC

RT: Manufacturing General Motors GM assembly 190821
A General Motors assembly worker moves a V6 engine, used in a variety of GM cars, trucks and crossovers, from the final assembly line at the GM Romulus Powertrain plant in Romulus, 
Michigan, August 21, 2019.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate over the summer, slightly faster than first estimated. But many economists say they think growth is slowing sharply in the current quarter.
The Commerce Department says the July-September growth rate in the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services slightly exceeded its initial estimate of a 1.9% rate.
The economy had begun the year with a sizzling 3.1% GDP rate. Many economists have estimated that GDP growth is weakening in the current quarter to as slow as a sub-1% annual rate, largely because the U.S.-China trade war has led businesses to cut investment and inventories.
Still, the holiday shopping season is expected to be relatively healthy given solid job growth and consumer spending.

Exclusive: China's ByteDance moves to ringfence its TikTok app amid U.S. probe - sources

Echo Wang

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - ByteDance has stepped up efforts to separate its social media app TikTok from much of its Chinese operations, amid a U.S. national security panel’s inquiry into the safety of the personal data it handles, people familiar with the matter said.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the TikTok app is seen on a mobile phone screen in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2019. Picture taken February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration
The Chinese technology company is seeking to provide assurances to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that personal data held by TikTok, which is widely popular with U.S. teenagers, is stored securely in the United States and will not be compromised by Chinese authorities, the sources said.
CFIUS, which reviews deals by foreign acquirers for potential national security risks, is looking into ByteDance’s $1 billion acquisition of social media app in 2017, which laid the foundations for TikTok’s rapid growth, Reuters reported earlier this month.
ByteDance’s response represents a key test of corporate China’s ability to operate businesses in the United States that handle personal data, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China fans suspicion between the world’s two largest economies.
ByteDance is hoping to avoid the fate of Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd (300418.SZ), which said in May it would agree to a CFIUS request to divest popular gay dating app Grindr following concerns about the security of personal data. It is also exploring exiting its investment in Grindr through an initial public offering.
ByteDance started to separate TikTok operationally before CFIUS approached it in October, because it wanted some of its staff to focus on TikTok, according to the sources.
It completed the separation of TikTok’s product and business development, marketing and legal teams from those of its Chinese social media app Douyin in the third quarter of this year, according to the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss the company’s internal arrangements.
During the summer, it also hired an external consultant to carry out audits on the integrity of the personal data it stores, the sources added. The company has said U.S. user data is stored entirely in the United States, with a backup in Singapore. It has also said that the Chinese government does not have any jurisdiction over TikTok content.
Following the approach by CFIUS, TikTok is making a new push to set up a team in Mountain View, California, that will oversee data management, according to the sources. This team will determine whether Chinese-based engineers should have access to TikTok’s database, and monitor their activity, the sources said.
TikTok is also hiring more U.S. engineers to reduce its reliance on staff in China, according to the sources.
It is not clear how effective these changes will be in appeasing CFIUS. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department, which chairs CFIUS, said it does not comment on information relating to specific CFIUS cases.
“Shifting a company’s operations away from China, geographically and technically, can give CFIUS more comfort that the company is really independent of its Chinese owner and the Chinese government,” said Nevena Simidjiyska, a partner at law firm Fox Rothschild LLP who advises companies on CFIUS reviews and is not involved in the TikTok case.


TikTok employs about 400 people in the United States, up from 20 people at the time of the acquisition, the sources said. Most of the new employees joined this year, as TikTok built its U.S. operations, the sources added. ByteDance has 50,000 employees around the world.
U.S. lawmakers called last month for a national security probe into TikTok, expressing concern that the Chinese company may be censoring politically sensitive content, and raising questions about how it stores personal data. Last week, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said the U.S. military is undertaking a security assessment of TikTok.
Facebook Inc (FB.O) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose social media platform competes with TikTok for younger users, has also criticized the app over censorship concerns.
The CFIUS probe is currently focused on the handling of personal data, rather than censorship, according to two of the sources. ByteDance views the CFIUS investigation as informal, and has not yet been subjected to an official review, one of the sources added.
Some of the personal data that TikTok stores, such as a person’s name, age, email address and phone number, is submitted by its users. Other information, related to a person’s location, is collected automatically, according to TikTok’s website. TikTok also stores user-generated content, such as photographs and videos.
Launched just two years ago, TikTok has been downloaded 1.5 billion times, making it the third most downloaded non-gaming app of the year, after Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger apps, according to research firm SensorTower.
FILE PHOTO: TikTok logo is displayed on the smartphone while standing on the U.S. flag in this illustration picture taken, November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

ByteDance is one of China’s fastest growing startups. It owns the country’s leading news aggregator, Jinri Toutiao, as well as TikTok, which has attracted celebrities like Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.
ByteDance counts Japanese technology giant SoftBank Group Corp (9434.T), venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, and private equity firms such as KKR & Co Inc (KKR.N), General Atlantic and Hillhouse Capital Group as backers.
Reporting by Echo Wang in New York, Alexandra Alper in Washington and Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Greg Roumeliotis and Lisa Shumaker

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: Deere, Boeing, Dell, Guess, VMWare, HP, Box & more

Peter Schacknow

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:

Deere (DE) – The heavy equipment maker reported quarterly earnings of $2.14 per share, a penny a share above estimates. Revenue also topped forecasts, however Deere said its results continue to be affected by lingering trade tensions and ongoing uncertainties in the agriculture sector.
Boeing (BA) – The Federal Aviation Administration said it would now take sole responsibility for inspecting and signing off on any newly manufactured 737 Max jet before delivery to airlines. Boeing had previously been permitted to perform those functions. The move does not affect any of the 737 Max jets that were already in service but could signal further delays in a return to service for the grounded jet.
Dell Technologies (DELL) – Dell reported quarterly earnings of $1.75 per share, 13 cents a share above estimates. The computer maker’s revenue came in below Wall Street forecasts, however, and it cut its full-year revenue forecast as it tries to deal with a shortage of chips from supplier Intel (INTC).
Guess (GES) – Guess reported quarterly profit of 22 cents per share, 4 cents a share above estimates, but missed top-line forecasts. The apparel retailer also lowered its revenue outlook, but raised the lower end of its projected adjusted earnings range. Comparable-store sales in the Americas region fell 3% during the quarter.
VMWare (VMW) – VMWare came in 6 cents a share above estimates, with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.49 per share. The software provider’s revenue also came in above forecasts and the company issued a better-than-expected sales outlook for the current quarter.
HP Inc. (HPQ) – HP beat estimates by 2 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 60 cents per share. The computer and printer maker’s revenue also came in above analysts’ projections despite printing business weakness. The company raised its full-year earnings forecast as well.
Box (BOX) – Box lost a penny a share for its latest quarter, matching Street forecasts, with the cloud management platform company reporting better-than-expected revenue. Box also raised its full-year revenue forecasts as its customer base grows.
British American Tobacco (BTI) – British American Tobacco said a slowdown in the U.S. vaping market would result in slower revenue growth for the world’s second-largest tobacco company.
Tesla (TSLA) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated in a tweet that the automaker has received 250,000 orders for its electric pickup truck, although that number was not immediately confirmed by the automaker.
Apple (AAPL) – Apple has asked its Chinese manufacturer Luxshare to double production of its AirPods Pro earphones, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Such a move would increase production to 2 million units per month in China.
Autodesk (ADSK) – Autodesk reported quarterly profit of 78 cents per share, 6 cents a share above estimates. The design software maker’s revenue also came in above forecasts, however the company issued weaker-than-expected guidance for the current quarter.

Politics: Rudy Giuliani Has Curious Links to a Jewish Village in Ukraine

By Stephanie Baker and Daryna Krasnolutska

Three apartment blocks housing both refugees and Jewish families from Kyiv.
Three apartment blocks housing both refugees and Jewish families from Kyiv.
Photographer: Stephanie Baker/Bloomberg

It doesn’t look like much: a muddy site roughly four football fields long with a dozen buildings, some half-finished, on the grim outskirts of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. But Anatevka, as it’s named to invoke the Jewish shtetl in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” has at least a walk-on role in the Donald Trump impeachment drama.
Anatevka’s honorary mayor is Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s Ukraine point man, and its fundraisers include Giuliani’s two associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who’ve been indicted for funneling foreign money into U.S. political campaigns.
The questions hanging over Anatevka are whether it is what its sponsors claim -- a refuge for Jews driven from eastern Ukraine by the Russian-backed separatist war -– and what role, if any, it played as Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman sought to persuade Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump’s political opponents in the U.S.
The mystery begins with the residents. Only about 20 are Jews who fled the east and live in three small apartment blocks, according to two residents who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. The project’s leaders say more than 100 people live in the village; residents put the number at closer to 65, the majority Jews from nearby Kyiv, they say. A large dormitory for those displaced by the war stands empty. About 200 children attend three well-equipped schools, most bused in daily from Kyiv and nearby villages, some paying tuition.

Guards in Camouflage

Giuliani Ukraine Allies Arrested With One-Way Flight Tickets
Rudy Giuliani arrives with his associate Lev Parnas before a state funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush in Washington, D.C., in 2018.
Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
Visitors are kept at arm’s length by guards in gray camouflage. The village’s founder, Rabbi Moshe Azman, declined repeated requests for comment.
Azman has known Giuliani for about 15 years, according to people familiar with the situation. The former New York mayor made his first trip to Kyiv in 2003 to give a speech hosted by Ukrainian oligarch Vadim Rabinovich. Azman is also close to Parnas and Fruman, who say they’ve raised $500,000 for the village through a U.S. nonprofit called American Friends of Anatevka. The group’s website says they will match every dollar donated up to $1 million. Plaques highlighting contributions by Fruman hang at the boys’ school.
But American Friends of Anatevka hasn’t filed a financial report in two years, so it’s not possible to verify the matching offer. The group’s accountant, Michael Koloden, declined to speak when contacted at his office in Brooklyn next to a shuttered Italian social club. A lawyer for Parnas declined to comment. Fruman’s lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment. Giuliani declined to answer questions about Anatevka, saying he believed Bloomberg News would misinterpret or bury whatever he said.
relates to Rudy Giuliani Has Curious Links to a Jewish Village in Ukraine
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman leave federal court in New York on Oct. 23.
Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg; Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg
Last month, Parnas and Fruman were indicted in New York on charges of funneling foreign money into U.S. Republican political campaigns. They’ve pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors in New York have been examining records from more than 50 bank accounts including that of American Friends of Anatevka, the U.S. nonprofit the pair established in 2017.
Giuliani was due to accept his title as honorary mayor in Anatevka in May. Parnas was already in Kyiv awaiting his arrival when Giuliani called off the trip amid a public outcry over his plans to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on Trump next year, and Biden’s son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Cigars in Paris

Instead Giuliani met Azman over cigars in Paris and accepted a large key to the village to mark his role as honorary mayor. While in Paris, he also met Ukraine’s Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytskiy as part of his efforts to set up investigations into the Bidens and unfounded allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.
Over the past four years, Azman, with help from Parnas and Fruman, has raised millions of dollars for Anatevka from Jewish oligarchs across the former Soviet Union. Alexander Mashkevich, the billionaire founder of a Kazakh mining company under investigation in the U.K, donated $200,000 to the U.S. nonprofit set up by Parnas and Fruman, according to its website. He didn’t respond to requests for comment. The donation of Yitzchak Mirilashvili, a co-founder of the Russian social-media network, is highlighted on a plaque outside the boys’ school. His father Mikhail has given as well.
In Anatevka, several of the displaced Jews from the east complained about their circumstances, saying they are just scraping by, working in the village in construction and cleaning for low pay. One family in a tiny two-bedroom apartment with no refrigerator said they’d refused to pay for tuition and repairs because they barely have enough for basics and utilities, which Anatevka doesn’t cover. Residents said that when they asked other organizations for help, they were told that Anatevka provides them with everything so they didn’t qualify for more.

A Tour

Besides a synagogue and rehabilitation center, the village has a large two-story home for members of the rabbi’s family. After repeated requests for a tour of Anatevka, Shmuel Azman, one of his sons, agreed to show the boys’ school. He said village residents include those who fled the war and some locals who pay rent and tuition. He said a structure, still half built, will house 40 orphans brought daily to the schools. “Some are from the east and some are the children of dysfunctional families like drug addicts,” he said.
Shmuel’s mother, Hannah Azman, who runs another of the schools, said she thought about 40 of the children across the three are displaced from the east but wasn’t sure. “I don’t ask these questions,” she said.
Sitting in a woodworking shop, Sergey Yarelchenko said he and his family, among the first to flee the war in eastern Ukraine, arrived in Anatevka in 2015. But his children are gone; they moved to Israel.
relates to Rudy Giuliani Has Curious Links to a Jewish Village in Ukraine
A playground outside one of Anatevka’s three Jewish schools.
Photographer: Stephanie Baker/Bloomberg
The project helped cement ties among Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman and Azman. A 2018 video posted on Anatevka’s Facebook page shows Giuliani, tie undone, sitting with Parnas and Fruman in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Waving and smiling, Giuliani asks, “Moshe, How are ya baby?” adding, “I can’t wait to come back.”
On Nov. 2, 2018, Azman posted pictures of himself in New York with Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman and Charles Guiccardo, a Long Island lawyer. Guiccardo had paid Giuliani $500,000 as part of an investment into Fraud Guarantee, a company started by Parnas, according to Randy Zelin, a lawyer for Guiccardo. He declined to comment on Guiccardo’s relationship with Azman.
This past summer, Giuliani attend a lunch in London for “British Friends of Anatevka.” He was photographed alongside Anthony Fisher, who had served as director of a foundation set up by Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch fighting extradition to the U.S. on bribery charges. Around the same time, Parnas and Fruman met in Vienna with Firtash, who began digging up dirt on the Bidens in an effort to get Giuliani’s help to fight his extradition. Fisher didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Other well-known donors to Anatevka in Ukraine include Vadim Rabinovich, the oligarch who sponsored Giuliani’s trip in 2005 after he donated a memorial in Kyiv to victims of 9/11. Rabinovich founded a pro-Russian political party called For Life. That party includes Viktor Medvedchuk, who named Russian President Vladimir Putin godfather to his daughter.

— With assistance by Irina Reznik, and Greg Farrell

Nov 26, 2019

EU - FX: Dollar hits two-week high on yen, yuan up after China-US trade call

3-4 minutos - Source: CNBC

GP: Background of dollar bills 191004
Background of U.S. dollar bills.
Alena Vikhareva | iStock | Getty Images
A telephone call between top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators lifted the dollar to a two-week high against the yen while China’s yuan edged up on Tuesday, due to optimism that the two sides will soon agree an interim deal to halt their trade war.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed issues related to a “phase one” trade agreement and agreed to maintain communication on remaining issues.
The dollar rose as high as 109.205 yen, its strongest in two weeks, before settling back at 109.01 yen to show a gain of 0.1% from the previous close.
The yuan also rose to 7.240 to the dollar, about 0.15% higher than the previous close.
“It wasn’t like they agreed to the phase one deal. They just agreed to continue their talk. So some people appeared to have been caught in long position a bit too much,” said Shingo Sato, director of forex at MUFG Bank.
“Still, the bottom line is, we just had additional support to back up optimism since last week on the trade deal,” he said.
On Monday, China’s Global Times, a tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said the two countries were very close to a “phase one” trade deal.
“China appears positive to the deal. The dollar could rise further to around 109.50 if U.S. officials will visit China,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Last week, the Chinese government invited Lighthizer and Mnuchin to Beijing for face-to-face talks, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Trading in the next couple of weeks will be all about the U.S.-China deal,” said Daiwa’s Ishizuki.
The euro softened to $1.1008, near the one-week low of $1.10035 touched on Monday.
Sterling traded at $1.2894, supported by hopes that the ruling Conservatives could win a majority in the Dec. 12 election to end a hung parliament.
Against the euro, the British unit stood at 85.365 pence per euro, near a six-month high of 85.22 touched Monday last week.
The Australian dollar fetched $0.6772, having touched a one-month low of $0.6768 overnight.
Despite rising hopes of U.S.-China trade deal, the Aussie has been pressured by a run of disappointing local economic data that has led investors to narrow the odds on another rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
Overall, currency trading is slowing down ahead of U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
Traders are also increasingly pricing in tighter trading ranges for major currencies, based on implied volatilities.
One-month euro/dollar implied volatility has fallen to 4.15/4.40%, the lowest in five years, while three-month volatility hit a record low of 4.4/4.6%.
The dollar/yen’s three-month volatility also stood at 4.775/5.025%, the lowest since late April and near its historical lows above 4% while three-month volatility on the Australian dollar hit five-year low of 6.12/6.42%.

Bonds | Treasury Yields Report: Treasury yields fall after consumer sentiment data disappoints

Yun Li, Sam Meredith

U.S. government debt prices rose on Tuesday as investors digested weaker-than-expected economic data and the latest development on U.S.-China trade.


US 3-MOU.S. 3 Month Treasury1.6050.0080.00
US 1-YRU.S. 1 Year Treasury1.5860.0080.00
US 2-YRU.S. 2 Year Treasury1.588-0.0170.00
US 5-YRU.S. 5 Year Treasury1.596-0.020.00
US 10-YRU.S. 10 Year Treasury1.738-0.0260.00
US 30-YRU.S. 30 Year Treasury2.175-0.0320.00
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was lower at around 1.7345%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at around 2.1731%.
Consumer confidence dipped for a fourth straight month in November as economic conditions weaken towards the end of 2019. The index for consumer confidence came in at 125.5 this month, compared to a Dow Jones’ estimate of 126.6.
Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments after China’s Ministry of Commerce said the leaders of U.S.-China trade talks held another phone call on Tuesday morning.
The online statement reported that both sides had reached a consensus on how to move forward in their long-running dispute, raising hopes of a so-called “phase one” deal.
Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.
The S&P Case-Shiller index showed home price gains accelerated in September, gaining 3.2% annually.
The U.S. Treasury auctioned $41 billion in 5-year notes and $18 billion in 1-year and 11-month floating rate notes (FRNs) on Tuesday.

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