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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei up nearly 1 per cent, hitting an 8-month high on expectations of stimulus after the Liberal Democratic Party resumed power. Europe is mostly higher, and U.S. futures are moderately higher.
- Democrats and Republicans are inching closer to a fiscal cliff deal. The AP reported that president Obama has agreed to raise the threshold for tax increases to incomes over $400,000, and his plan includes $1.22 trillion in spending cuts. Obama is also reported to have stopped trying to extend payroll tax cuts. The truth about the deficit >
- Spain sold €1.9 billion of short-term debt with yield of 1.195 per cent on the 3-month bills, down from 1.254 per cent the previous month. Borrowing costs also declined for the six-month bills.
- November home prices climbed 0.3 per cent month-over-month in 70 major Chinese cities, after rising 0.05 per cent the previous month. Home prices were up in 53 of 70 major cities, up from 35 in October. Meanwhile, Beijing continues to maintain curbs on its property sector. 8 big ways China’s policies screws its citizens >
- The housing market index for December is out at 10 a.m. ET. Expectations are for the index to rise to 47. Follow the release at Money Game >
- A U.S. judge denied Apple’s request for a permanent injunction against Samsung’s smartphones. Apple was looking for a ban on the sale of Samsung’s electronics in the U.S. market.
- Boeing announced a $3.6 billion share buyback plan that resumes the remainder of a $7 billion program announced in 2007, but suspended in Q1 2009 during delays on its 787 Dreamliner, according to Bloomberg. Boeing will also increase its quarterly dividend by 10 per cent to $0.48 a share.
- Knight Capital’s board is split on acquisition offers from Getco Holdin Co. and Virtu Financial, according to CNBC. Both companies have offered a sweetened bid to Knight’s directors, with Getco’s cash-and-stock offer valuing it at $1.8 billion, and Virtu’s all-cash bid valuing it at $1.6 billion.
- India’s central bank left interest rates unchanged. The repurchase rate was maintained at 8 per cent, and cash reserve ratio was maintained at 4.25 per cent. Central bank governor Duvvuri Subbarao has ignored called from the finance minister to lower interest rates and support the economy. Gary Shilling explains why in the long run he is betting on India, not China >
- UK consumer prices were up 2.7 per cent on the year in November, the same as October. Inflation is being fuelled by higher electricity and gas prices.
- Bonus – Leonardo DiCaprio is reported to have stayed the night at Wolf of Wall Street co-star, Margot Robbie’s apartment.