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Trump picks Tillerson for secretary of state. Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson has been chosen as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state. “He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States,” Trump said in a statement.
Italy’s biggest bank has a plan to save itself. UniCredit says it will shut 3,800 branches, cut 14,000 jobs, or 11% of its workforce, and raise €13 billion as part of a plan to streamline its business and restructure its balance sheet.
China got some good data. Industrial production rose 6.2% year-over-year in November and retail sales surged 10.8% YoY, both topping economists’ expectations, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
UK inflation hit a 2-year high. The Office for National Statistics showed consumer prices in the UK climbed 1.2% YoY in November, their fastest pace since late 2014 as an increase in fuel prices made for the bulk of the gain. The British pound is up 0.2% at 1.2706 against the dollar.
Germany’s ZEW held steady. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany held at 13.8 in December, missing economists’ expectations of a jump to 14.2. “The considerable economic risks arising from the tense situation in the Italian banking sector, as well as the political risks surrounding upcoming elections in Europe, seem to have faded into the background at the moment,” ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach said. The euro is down 0.3% at 1.0608 versus the dollar.
The Fed begins a 2-day meeting. World Interest Rate Probability data compiled by Bloomberg shows a 100% probability the Fed will raise its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points to a range of 0.50% to 0.75% at the conclusion of its two-day meeting. There’s an 8% chance the Fed hikes 50 bps, according to the data.
Gary Cohn says goodbye to Goldman Sachs. “You know, this has been 26 years, literally, I finish my 26th year next week — really hard. I always knew I would say goodbye — everyone has to leave someday — but it’s hard,” Cohn said on the company’s podcast Monday morning. Cohn is leaving the firm to become director of the National Economic Council, an advisory role to Trump on US and global economic policy.
SABMiller is selling its European beers. Japanese brewer Asahi will pay about $7.7 billion for SABMIller’s European beers, including Czech beer Urquell and other Eastern European brews.
Sony is rated investment grade at Moody’s again. Bloomberg reports, Moody’s Japan KK raised its rating on electronics maker Sony one-notch to Baa3, making it investment grade nearly three years after losing the status. Moody’s cites the “expectation of further improvement in operating profit, setting aside one-off factors” as a reason for the upgrade.
Stock markets around the world are higher. Japan’s Nikkei (+0.5%) paced the gains in Asia and Germany’s DAX (+0.8%) leads the advance in Europe. The S&P 500 is on track to open higher by 0.2% near 2,262.
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