Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quick Overview

  • Prichard: Europe's key powers are on the brink of a €130bn (£108bn) debt deal to rescue Greece and avert the first sovereign default in Western Europe in over half a century.

  • Abbott (ABT) increased the quarterly common dividend from 48 cents per share to 51 cents per share. This marks the 40th consecutive year that Abbott has increased its dividend payout and the 353rd consecutive quarterly dividend to be paid by Abbott since 1924.

  • Retail sales in Britain increased 1.9 % YoY

  • China loosened monetary policy in a surprise move over the weekend, taking precautionary action to shore up the economy after a slew of weak data. The cut, the second of its kind in three months, will drop the RRR by 50 basis points to 20.5% for large commercial banks and 17% for mid- and small-sized banks.
  • China: In January, 48 cities out of the statistical pool of 70 major cities saw drops in new home prices MoM, while new home prices in 22 cities remained unchanged. On a YoY basis, property prices are still higher in most cities.
  • Foreign trade in south China's Guangdong Province, the nation's key production and export base, fell 16.7% YoY in January.

  • Iran has halted oil shipments to Britain and France, the Oil Ministry said, in an apparent pre-emptive move against the European Union.

  • Tranquilo Favero, the head of Paraguay's largest soy producer, took out ads in national news media on Sunday to ask forgiveness for telling a Brazilian newspaper that Paraguayan farm workers are lazy and that "you have to treat them like a bad woman, with a stick."

  • (Bloomberg) The U.S. cattle herd as of Jan. 1 was the smallest for that date since 1952, and beef exports surged 21 percent in 2011, government data show. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast a 4.1 percent drop in beef output in 2012, boosting the cost of the meat for consumers by as much as 5 percent this year, more than any other food group except seafood.

  • Billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson told investors it’s time to buy gold.

  • Lack of rain in Texas may lead to the smallest planted rice acreage since the 1920s.

  • Implats forecasts the platinum market will reflect a 335000oz deficit in the coming financial year compared with a surplus of 120000oz this year, marketing director Derek Engelbrecht said at the group’s interim results presentation yesterday.

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