14 Mar 2012: Stocks at cyclical highs, India braces for fiscal challenge

  • Stocks at cyclical highs, Gold and Copper down: US banking data stirs risk appetite. FTSE All World advances 19% since Oct. JP Morgan announces an increase of quarterly dividend by 5 cents, and its shares gain a whooping 7%
  • Stocks: FTSE All World is up 0.2%, FTSE Eurofirst is up 0.7%; S&P 500 expected to open higher; FTSE 100 flirts with the 6000 mark, currently at 5980
  • Currencies: Euro down 0.2% and is at $1.3052
  • Commodities: Brent Crude is at $126.17/barrel; Copper loses 0.9% to sit at $3.86/pound; Gold loses a full percent and is at $1659/ounce
  • Other news, briefly
  • US banks shored up by stress test success: All but 4 banks pass the US regulators’ stress tests. This has ofcourse sparked a massive stock rally, not only in the US (with S&P Financials gaining 3.9%) but also in Global Equities. However, Citi Group is one of the banks to have failed this test, and has lost 4% on its shares.
  • Endemol debt deal to smooth its restructuring: Barclays, Endemol’s biggest lender agrees to sell its stake to Apollo; Apollo will take charge of the TV group behind Big Brother and Fear Factor in a debt for equity restructuring.
  • India prepares for a fresh fiscal test: Manmohan Singh’s Govt must try to consolidate India’s fiscal position, urgently to reign in borrowing. Populist policies, failure to reign in subsidies and a lack of confidence are all being cited as the reasons for India’s dismal growth last year.
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