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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia rallied in overnight trade, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.2 per cent. Shares in Europe are flat in afternoon trade while U.S. futures point to a positive open.
- The Bank of Japan said it will continue to ease monetary policy as it increases its asset buying program by ¥10 trillion, or $127 billion, to ¥55 trillion yen. Together, with the central bank’s ¥25 trillion credit-loan program, total easing now stands at ¥80 trillion. Gold has now hit a 6-month high. Meanwhile, China is hinting at economic warfare with Japan.
- The Bank of England voted 9-0 in its September meeting to keep its asset purchase program and headline interest rates unchanged, newly released minutes from the central bank show.
- Australia’s ‘AAA’ rating was affirmed by Standard & Poor’s. The ratings agency cited the country’s strong mining portfolio, which helped offset domestic consumption weakness.
- Goldman Sachs will replace its longtime chief financial officer David Viniar with Harvey Scwhartz, the company’s global co-head of the Securities Division. Scwhartz will assume the role in January when Viniar retires. Viniar will join the firm’s board of directors at that time. Meet Mr. Schwartz >
- Heineken says it has won major shareholder approval in its offer for Asia Pacific Brewery shares. Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, whose entities control more than 30 per cent of APB, said he had reached an agreement with the firm and backs the deal.
- China’s ZTE said it would work with Mozilla on creating a new mobile operating system by the end of this year or early next year. Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, will challenge Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS systems. So far the reviews for the iPhone 5 have been surprisingly positive.
- U.S. housing starts increased 2.3 per cent in August to an annual pace of 750,000 units. Although that fell below expectations, it was the second strongest reading since 2008. Existing home sales follow at 10:00 a.m, with expectations for a 2.0 per cent rise to an annual run rate of 4.56 million units. Follow it live on Money Game >
- President Obama strengthened his lead over Republican Challenger Mitt Romney, a new poll out of NBC News and the Wall Street Journal shows. Obama led Romney 50-45 among likely voters as his job approval rating jumped to its highest level since March. These are the big trends that will drive headlines over the next decade >
- The Chicago Teachers Union ended its strike last night, allowing the country’s third-largest school district to return to classes today. Some 350,000 students were kept out of classes following the union’s strike over job security and evaluations.
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