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With stocks at highs, investors eye consumer results

U.S. stock investors may look to a host of results from consumer-facing companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) next week for signs on whether the recent market rally has more room to run. The consumer names are among the last major companies of the S&P 500 earnings season to report, but the results will also be watched for a read on spending as well as for commentary from executives on President Donald Trump’s proposal to tax imports. Retail executives, some of whom met with Trump this week, have argued such ...

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Sovereign funds increasingly do their own private equity deals

Some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds are increasingly striking their own private equity deals rather than relying on external fund managers, in a drive to cut costs and gain more control. With some $6.5 trillion in assets, sovereign investors already account for 19 percent of capital committed to private equity, according to data from research firm Preqin. But mega-funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Singapore’s GIC, are hiring specialists to find or vet deals – enabling them to ...

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Lure of record stocks give ‘long-only’ funds first gain in a year – BAML

The lure of record high world stock markets gave funds that only bet on rising prices their first weekly inflows in a year, data showed on Friday, while emerging markets saw their best week in six months. Figures from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), which track investment flows up until Wednesday, said it was “a sign of rising investor confidence and broadening participation in the equity rally,” that has driven global shares up 10 percent since November’s U.S. election. As well as the switch into ‘long only’ funds, the ...

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China Futures Volume Surges as Brokers Climb on Looser Curbs

Trading in Chinese stock-index futures almost doubled after regulators loosened curbs on the contracts, the latest sign of Beijing’s relaxed grip on markets as shares recover from their 2015 crash. More than 11,600 March contracts on the CSI 300 Index changed hands on Friday, up from the 6,333 average over the past five trading sessions. Shares of Chinese brokerages advanced on the prospect of higher commissions, with Citic Securities Co. rising 1.2 percent in Hong Kong. The China Financial Futures Exchange announced relaxed position limits, lower fees and reduced margin ...

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Allianz Sees `Incredibly Cheap’ Europe Ripe for Investor Influx

With Europe’s economy on the mend, its markets are primed for a resurgence once the risk posed by elections ebbs, according to Allianz SE. “Europe is, at the moment, so incredibly cheap,” Joerg de Vries-Hippen, the Frankfurt-based chief investment officer for European equities at Allianz Global Investors, said in an interview. Once election results prove the European Union isn’t about to break up, “that could be the trigger point of people coming back.” Europe’s crowded electoral calendar — with ballots due soon in France, the Netherlands, Germany and possibly Italy ...

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Funds boost euro equity holdings but wary of France – BAML survey

Global investors have stepped up euro zone and emerging equity holdings while cooling towards France in the volatile run-up to its presidential election, a monthly survey showed. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BAML’s) poll of investors managing $632 billion (507 billion pounds) worldwide was conducted from Feb. 3-9, a period when far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron emerged as front-runners in the French election as conservative Francois Fillon was hit by a finance scandal. National Front leader Le Pen, campaigning on an anti-EU, anti-euro stance, is hoping ...

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Dollar knocked back after 11 days of gains

The dollar broke an 11-day winning streak on Thursday, falling against the euro, yen and the basket of currencies that measures its broader strength, after hitting its highest in a month a day earlier. Analysts pointed to a mixture of unexpected drops in U.S. industrial output on Wednesday and a retreat by U.S. treasury yields from recent highs as possible drivers of the dollar fall, while markets weigh the likelihood of an early rate increase. A rise in January inflation numbers on Wednesday and testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve chief ...

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World stocks ride to record high, dollar retreats

World stocks hit an all time high on Thursday as the latest round of robust global data matched hopes that major economies like the United States will soon be serving up large helpings of fiscal stimulus. MSCI’s All Country World index, which spans 46 countries, notched the milestone as Wall Street hit its latest record and Asia and Europe consolidated the roughly 10 percent gains both have made since mid-December. There were surges in exports from Indonesia and Taiwan, falls in unemployment in Europe from Sweden to the Netherlands while ...

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As banks surge, will shareholders get their cut?: James Saft

That the Trump agenda is good for banks is self-evident; that shareholders will get their cut is a lot less likely. Friday’s news of the resignation of Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve official who served as quarterback of the effort to tame systemic risk in the banking system, touched off another leg in a sustained and powerful rally of U.S. bank shares, which are up nearly 30 percent since shortly before the election. Coming just after Trump’s order to review and likely gut Dodd-Frank Act legislation, Tarullo’s exit, planned for ...

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U.S. investors brace for mounting political risks as they decode Trump

Barry James built up his $4 billion mutual fund largely by studying balance sheets, earnings and market share. In the last few weeks, however, he has realized that he must look at a new force in the market: U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump’s unpredictable governing style and stated desire to renegotiate trade agreements and punish companies that seek out lower-cost forms of labor are upending the classic notion of fundamental investing, said James, who manages the James Balanced Golden Rainbow fund. As a result, he said, his Xenia, Ohio firm ...

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World stocks at 21-month highs on Yellen, U.S. outlook

World stocks hit 21-month peaks on Wednesday and the dollar rose for the 11th straight day, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen flagged a possible interest rate rise next month during upbeat comments on the U.S. economy. The dollar notched up its longest winning streak in almost five years after Yellen said on Tuesday the Fed would probably need to raise rates at an upcoming meeting and that delaying could leave the central bank’s policymaking committee behind the curve. Propelled by record highs on Wall Street, MSCI’s benchmark global equity ...

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For Asia’s Best-Performing Stocks Look to China

Asia’s best-performing stocks in 2017 are from a country that many had expected would have a tough year–China. The MSCI China Index–a measure of Chinese stocks mostly listed offshore in cities such as Hong Kong and New York–is up 10.6% already this year, in contrast to early 2016, when a plunge in mainland Chinese equities roiled global markets. The index’s surge is outpacing a 4% gain in the S&P 500 and an 8.5% rise for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. It is now at its highest level since mid-October, reversing ...

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European Stocks Decline From One-Year High Amid Global Pullback

European stocks declined, heading for their first drop in six sessions, as a broad selloff began after shares had reached their highest level since 2015 on Monday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2 percent at 8:32 a.m. in London, led by health-care shares, following Asian equities lower. Defensive companies in the utilities sector outperformed. The regional gauge yesterday closed 0.8 percent higher, in a broad rally underpinned by higher raw-materials prices and forecasts of stronger inflation. German growth accelerated less than anticipated in the fourth quarter as strong fundamentals ...

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Euphoria Sweeps China Stocks as Momentum Gauge Reaches 2015 High

The MSCI China Index has surged 13 percent from its December low, sending a momentum indicator to its highest level since April 2015, while the percentage of members trading above their 200-day moving average has climbed above 85 percent for the first time since the bubble burst almost two years ago. Improving earnings in industries such as automakers, a pick up in economic growth and valuations that trail global peers are luring investors back to a market that’s burnt optimists before. Just last quarter the gauge sank about 7 percent ...

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Investors still aren’t taking ‘Frexit’ seriously enough

Over recent weeks, the premium for French government bonds over their German equivalent has widened to its highest level since November 2012. But financial markets still may be underestimating the threat from France’s presidential election scheduled for April and May. Having failed to anticipate Brexit or Donald Trump’s victory, unchastened pollsters and analysts are confident that the far-right’s National Front’s Marine Le Pen will not become France’s next president. Instead, they believe, Le Pen will make the run-off but be defeated in the second round by a moderate center-right or ...

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