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A report by the agency's inspector general also found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld a law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers, in a victory for Gov. Scott Walker. The voting law that it upheld is blocked in federal court.
The North Carolina Senate moved toward sealing a long-sought budget accord on Thursday, voting in favor of a $21 billion plan that would raise the salaries of public schoolteachers but impose cuts elsewhere in state government.
The MoneyPak card, used to transfer cash by those without access to conventional bank accounts, has also caught the eye of criminals, from a Maryland jail gang to an online prostitution ring in North Carolina.
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Despite stronger-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data, Hong Kong stocks followed the overnight selloff on Wall Street and closed solidly lower on Friday, ending their eight-session string of gains.
In Hong Kong markets, property stocks were the main drag. Cheung Kong (Holdings) HK:0001-4.71% , owned by Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing, tumbled 4.7%, with investors setting side a 59% year-over-year jump in the company’s net profit for the first half.
China Overseas Land & InvestmentHK:0688-2.31% lost 2.3%, also failing to get enough a boost from a 18% increase in its first-half earnings.
In Japan, stocks fell to one week-low, as the Nikkei Average JP:NIK-0.63% fell by 0.6% 15,523.10. The broader Topix index JP:I0000+0.37% also dropped 0.6%, while the yen USDJPY-0.32% weakened to ¥102.941 from ¥102.779 in the previous day.
On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index CN:SHCOMP-0.74% finished 0.7% lower. Elsewhere, Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO-1.36% declined 1.4%, and Seoul’s Kospi Composite Index KR:SEU-0.15% slipped 0.2%.
Falling share prices in the mining sector and a cool reaction to quarterly results from Royal Bank of Scotland ensured that UK stocks opened in negative territory on Friday morning, following on from a sell-off on Wall Street.
The FTSE 100 was lower for a third straight day, down 0.6% at 6,689 early on. The index has not closed below the 6,700 market since July 11th.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 317 points, or 1.9%, on Thursday evening - its worst single-day decline since February - as investors fled for safety after a wave of corporate earnings, economic data and a debt default in Argentina.
Recent US figures - rising wage inflation and a sharp rebound in economic growth in particular - were causing traders to tread cautiously amid speculation that robust data could prompt the Federal Reserve to tighten policy sooner than expected after the end of quantitative easing.
As such, the US employment report will be the main event of the day on Friday. The consensus forecast is for a 231,000 gain in non-farm payrolls in July, down from an impressive 288,000 in June. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged after falling to 6.1%, its lowest since September 2008.
"As always though, the devil is in the detail and it may be that revisions and/or wages growth take centre stage in terms of what is seen as influencing the Federal Reserve's timing on that all-important first interest rate hike," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.
Mining stocks and RBS provide a drag
Mining stocks were trading in the red early on with Glencore among the worst performers. The company announced this morning that it has completed the $7bn sale of its Las Bambas copper project in Peru, proceeds of which will be used to "immediately and materially de-gear [[the] balance sheet".
Sector peers Rio Tinto, Randgold Resources, Anglo American and BHP Billiton were also out of favour.
RBS management to beat forecasts with a 367% increase in first-half operating profits to £2.6bn, but the market was left underwhelmed with the stock under pressure in morning trade. While impairment charges were sharply lower during the period - benefitting the bottom line - total income fell by 5.9% to £9.9bn.
British Airways and Iberia owner International Airlines Group was flying high as it moved into the black in the first half, said cost-cutting should help it boost annual profits and announced it was buying 16 Airbus jets.
Beverage can maker Rexam also advanced after saying it was on track after an in-line first half despite foreign exchange (FX) and high aluminium prices impacting interim results.
FX rates also weighed on first-half profits at engineering group IMI, but shares rose in early trading after the company said that organic revenues improved by 3%.
Outsourcing group Capita was a heavy faller after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to 'neutral'.
FTSE 100 - RisersInternational Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 339.60p +2.66% Rexam (REX) 513.00p +2.40% Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,044.00p +1.75% Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 170.60p +1.19% Admiral Group (ADM) 1,474.00p +1.17% IMI (IMI) 1,429.00p +0.85% British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 885.00p +0.68% Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,280.00p +0.67% Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 314.70p +0.58% Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,101.00p +0.36%
FTSE 100 - FallersCapita (CPI) 1,173.00p -2.41% United Utilities Group (UU.) 869.00p -2.36% Schroders (SDR) 2,336.00p -2.26% GKN (GKN) 335.50p -2.02% Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 348.20p -2.00% Glencore (GLEN) 352.95p -1.97% Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,329.00p -1.86% Mondi (MNDI) 1,024.00p -1.82% BT Group (BT.A) 382.00p -1.67% Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,035.00p -1.66%
FTSE 250 - RisersDirect Line Insurance Group (DLG) 294.80p +3.44% Afren (AFR) 112.40p +2.18% Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,468.00p +1.36% PZ Cussons (PZC) 357.60p +1.19% Tate & Lyle (TATE) 629.50p +0.88% Informa (INF) 491.70p +0.78% Pets at Home Group (PETS) 179.60p +0.73% Just Eat (JE.) 202.90p +0.69% SIG (SHI) 168.40p +0.60% Premier Oil (PMO) 323.70p +0.59%
FTSE 250 - FallersMan Group (EMG) 113.30p -4.79% Infinis Energy (INFI) 224.90p -3.27% Hochschild Mining (HOC) 158.00p -3.07% Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,023.00p -2.97% RPS Group (RPS) 248.50p -2.74% Exova Group (EXO) 225.20p -2.51% Ferrexpo (FXPO) 131.40p -2.38% Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 346.10p -2.29% Interserve (IRV) 622.00p -2.28%
UK Event Calendar
Friday August 01
INTERIMS Capital & Counties Properties , Direct Line Insurance Group, IMI, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (Singapore Reg), Jardine Strategic Holdingd Ltd. (Singapore), Man Group, Rentokil Initial, Rexam, Robert Walters, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Smith & Nephew, UBM, Vesuvius, William Hill
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS Auto Sales (US) (15:00) Construction Spending (US) (15:00) ISM Manufacturing (US) (15:00) ISM Prices Paid (US) (15:00) Non-Farm Payrolls (US) (13:30) Personal Consumption Expenditures (US) (13:30) Personal Income (US) (13:30) Personal Spending (US) (13:30) PMI Manufacturing (EU) (09:00) PMI Manufacturing (GER) (08:55) U. of Michigan Confidence (Final) (US) (14:55) Unemployment Rate (US) (13:30)
Q2 Smith & Nephew
ANNUAL REPORT M&G High Income Inv Trust Income & Growth Units
SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE Electronic Data Processing
AGMS Hyder Consulting, Vedanta Resources
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS PMI Manufacturing (09:30)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE Alpha Real Trust Ltd., API Group, Bisichi Mining, British Smaller Companies VCT, Brown (N.) Group, Carphone Warehouse Group, CML Microsystems, De La Rue, Dee Valley Group, Dee Valley Group (Non-Voting), Grafenia , Halfords Group, Homeserve, KCOM Group, Next, Shanks Group, TalkTalk Telecom Group , Tate & Lyle, Telecom Plus, United Utilities Group, Vianet Group, Workspace Group
Europe Market Report
Europe open: Stocks fall before US non-farm payrolls
- US non-farm payrolls in focus - Eurozone PMI revised lower
European stocks declined as investors awaited the release of the US non-farm payrolls report.
The US Labor Department's report is expected to show employers added 230,000 jobs in July, less than the 288,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate is forecast to hold at 6.1%.
The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring jobs data to gauge whether the economy is healthy enough to sustain an interest rate hike.
The central bank on Wednesday decided to keep interest rates unchanged after its two-day policy meeting, saying while the jobs market has improved it still has room to grow. The Fed also cut monthly bond purchases by a further $10bn.
Analysts at Danske Bank predict a first increase in interest rates to come in April 2015, instead of towards the middle of next year.
In the Eurozone, Markit's purchasing managers' index for manufacturing was revised lower to 52.4 in July from 52.9, previously, surprising analysts who had expected it to remain unchanged. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
ArcelorMittal, Societe Generale
ArcelorMittal declined after lowering its full-year profit estimate.
Societe Generale jumped after second quarter profit beat analysts' forecasts.
Iliad slumped after offering $15bn for a controlling stake in T-Mobile US.
Vinci SA edged lower as Europe's biggest builder forecast a slight drop in 2014 revenue, compared to previous guidance of little change.
International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) gained after the parent company of British Airways reported better-than-expected second quarter operating profit. IAG also announced an order for 16 new wide-body jets at its Iberia arm.
The euro fell 0.06% to $1.3382.
Brent crude futures slipped 0.123% to $105.89 per barrel, according to the ICE.
US Market Report
US close: Stocks fall after US jobs, manufacturing data disappoints
- Weekly jobless claims rise - Chicago PMI falls - Argentina misses debt payment
DJIA: -1.88% Nasdaq: -2.09% S&P 500: -2.00%
US stocks slid after worse-than-expected reports on jobs and manufacturing in the world's biggest economy.
US initial weekly unemployment claims rose by 23,000 in the week ended 26 July to 302,000, according to the US Department of Laboron Thursday. The consensus estimate had been for a reading of 300,000. The previous week's estimate was revised sharply lower to 279,000.
The report comes ahead of Friday's official government monthly jobs data which will be closely watched by the market.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said the labour market was improving but still had room to grow, as it decided to keep interest rates unchanged and cut a further $10bn from monthly bond purchases.
Analysts at Danske Bank said they now project a first hike in interest rates arriving in April 2015, instead of towards the middle of next year.
Another US report on Thursday showed manufacturing activity unexpectedly fell in July. The Chicago purchasing managers' index declined to a reading of 52.6 from 62.6 in June, well below forecasts of 63.5 but above the 50 level that signals expansion.
Meanwhile, Argentina missed a deadline on Wednesday to pay $539m in interest after failing to agree on an accord with creditors from its last default in 2001.
Whole Foods, Kraft Food
Whole Foods retreated after the natural-goods grocer lowered its 2014 revenue forecast amid competition from new rivals.
Kraft Food Group also slumped after posting second quarter results that beat analysts' estimates.
Micron Technology dropped after earnings from Samsung Electronics posted its lowest quarterly profit since it became the largest mobile-phone producer in 2012.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures declined 6.8% for July, the most since May 2012, as US gasoline demand fell and as a strong dollar weighed on commodities. Oil for September delivery dropped 2.1% to $98.17 a barrel on Thursday.
The US 10-year yield was down one basis point to 2.56%.
S&P 500 - Risers Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) $83.48 +5.70% Tesoro Corp. (TSO) $61.54 +3.62% Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $70.00 +3.11% Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NWL) $32.48 +2.75% Allstate Corp (The) (ALL) $58.45 +2.74% Staples Inc. (SPLS) $11.59 +2.20% Discovery Communications Inc. Class A (DISCA) $85.21 +1.79% Avon Products Inc. (AVP) $13.20 +1.62% Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) $50.80 +1.48% United States Steel Corp. (X) $33.49 +1.39%
Dow Jones I.A - Fallers Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $98.94 -4.17% American Express Co. (AXP) $88.00 -3.20% Nike Inc. (NKE) $77.13 -3.12% Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $50.42 -2.59% Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $100.75 -2.54% Chevron Corp. (CVX) $129.24 -2.48% Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $56.74 -2.31% Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $81.05 -2.29% Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $100.09 -2.16% AT&T Inc. (T) $35.59 -2.12%
Nasdaq 100 - Risers Staples Inc. (SPLS) $11.59 +2.20% Discovery Communications Inc. Class A (DISCA) $85.21 +1.79% Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) $38.26 +1.03% KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC) $71.49 +0.13%
Nasdaq 100 - Fallers Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (KRFT) $53.58 -7.23% Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $30.55 -6.09% TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) $94.84 -5.18% Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) $154.52 -4.48% Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) $55.02 -4.45% Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $159.91 -4.09% Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $53.35 -4.06% Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $69.25 -3.67% Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $88.91 -3.37%
Newspaper Round Up
Friday newspaper round-up: Argentina, Gaza, Shell... Argentina's government was in a defiant mood on Thursday after defaulting on its debt for the second time in 13 years. Economy minister Axel Kicillof, speaking after 11th hour talks with bondholders in New York failed to avert a default, played down the impact it would have on the country's citizens. "We're not going to sign an agreement that jeopardises the future of all Argentinians," he told a press conference in New York. "Argentinians can remain calm because tomorrow will just be another day and the world will keep on spinning." - The Guardian
Hamas and Israel have this morning begun a tense 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire after The White House described the Israeli shelling of a UN school which killed 15 people as "totally unacceptable and totally indefensible". A spokesman said there appeared to be little doubt "whose artillery was involved". The school in northern Gaza was sheltering civilians who had been told to leave their homes by the Israeli army. - The Independent
Shell has mothballed a multibillion-dollar shale gas joint venture in eastern Ukraine amid the escalating conflict with Russia. The Anglo-Dutch oil group said that the project, to drill for shale gas in almost 8,000 sq km near the site of the downed Malaysian airliner, was on hold. Analysts had expected the company to invest up to $10 billion after signing an agreement with the Ukrainian government in September in what would have been one of the largest foreign investments in the country. - The Times
The owner of British Gas has attacked the energy industry regulator for making "false" accusations of profiteering in an escalating rift over the size of household bills for electricity and gas. Centrica yesterday revealed a 40 per cent slump in half-year profits, partly due to mild winter weather, and insisted that its profits for the year would be less than half the £106-per-home cited as an industry average by Ofgem this week. - The Times
The shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine highlights how businesses must protect themselves in an increasingly dangerous world, according BAE Systems' chief executive. Ian King, boss of the defence group, said the loss of the aircraft showed how systems originally produced for the military could now be needed by civil companies. [[...] Mr King said: "After events that have recently happened to commercial airliners [[I can see] a lot more of our technology being used." - The Telegraph
More than 4,000 households in England used the government's Help to Buy loan scheme to buy properties in June, the highest monthly total since the scheme began in 2013. The latest government data indicated more than 4,300 completions during the month, with more than 27,100 homes bought using the scheme. The figures refer to the first phase of Help to Buy, which offers buyers an interest-free loan worth up to 20% of the price of a new-build home. - The Guardian
Inheritance tax payments are closing in on pre-recession levels after climbing 8.6 per cent in just one year, official figures show. Total payments hit around £3.4billion in the last year as rising house prices saw thousands more middle class families snared by the £325,000 threshold. - The Daily Mail
A landmark day for British Airways owner International Airlines Group, which has seen its Spanish airline Iberia finally fly back into profit following two years of restructuring, including thousands of job cuts. IAG says Iberia made a €16m operating profit in the second quarter of the year, following years of losses after the 2011 tie-up between BA and the airline.
Willie Walsh, IAG's chief executive, says the company's three airlines - BA, Iberia and the Spanish carrier Vueling - are seeing their best trading since 2007, and have pushed the parent company to a €96m first half profit, against a €503m loss last year.
New William Hill boss James Henderson takes over from long-time boss Ralph Topping today, and has used the occasion to announce that the company was one of the winner's from this summer's World Cup. Britain's biggest bookmaker returned to profit growth in the second quarter of the year, with World Cup betting increasing by 80pc on the last tournament in 2010, and online gambling up 211pc.
However, the tournament was a bright spot in a first half of 2014 that saw a 15pc decline in pre-tax profits, which William Hill has put down to "less favourable sporting results". The group says it is successfully moving towards digital channels, with over half of its operating profits coming from online and mobile channels as high street operations face an increasing tax burden.
Royal Bank of Scotland unexpectedly announced a near-doubling in profits ahead of schedule last week, but the bank has used its full results announcement this morning to once again warn on Scottish independence. The state-owned bank says a vote in favour of independence would be "likely to significantly impact the group's credit ratings". RBS adds that the aftermath of a yes vote would have a "material adverse effect on the group's business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects".
Meanwhile, Direct Line, sold off by RBS over the last two years, says cost cuts have led to an 8pc rise in first half profit. Insurance giant Axasays earnings in the UK and Ireland are up 33pc in the first half of the year.
Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, has watered down proposed increases in fees mobile phone networks pay to use the airwaves. And Smith & Nephew, the medical technology giant, has posted a 3pc rise in second-quarter revenues to $1.15bn due to emerging market growth.
The health of the UK's manufacturing sector is in focus this morning, with the Markit/CIPS PMI figures for July out at 09.30. Analysts are expecting a slight slowdown in growth, although the sector is still believed to be expanding strongly.
Equivalent figures for the eurozone are out at 09.00 - France'snumbers in particular have been dreary recently - while China'smanufacturing sector is expanding at the fastest rate for two years, according to official statistics.
This afternoon, US unemployment figures for July will be released.June's figures blew away expectations, with jobless numbers falling to a six-year-low of 6.1pc. The question for traders is whether this momentum has continued, or if June simply saw a sharp snapback after a cold start to the year. The numbers will be out at 13.30.
Join the Telegraph's Questor Editor John Ficenec and markets reporter Ben Martin at 08.30 this morning for our markets webchat, discussing all the key issues affecting this morning's trading.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Somewhere between a punt and a hunch
Matthew Freud describes his £5m stake in PR company Huntsworth
FIGURE OF THE DAY
The total amount of money Lloyds has now set aside to cover PPI claims
The Mail: Two thirds of Britons aspire to buy a larger house as the average size of homes continue to decrease - but only about third believe they will actually manage to move up the ladder, a survey shows.