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July 2, 2013

Key Market Trends, July 2, 2013

US intelligence services are spying on the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington, according to the latest top secret US National Security Agency documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

One document lists 38 embassies and missions, describing them as "targets". It details an extraordinary range of spying methods used against each target, from bugs implanted in electronic communications gear to taps into cables to the collection of transmissions with specialised antennae.

Transatlantic relations plunged at the weekend as Berlin, Brussels and Paris all demanded that Washington account promptly and fully for new disclosures on the scale of the US National Security Agency's spying on its European allies.

As further details emerged of the huge reach of US electronic snooping on Europe, Berlin accused Washington of treating it like the Soviet Union, "like a cold war enemy".

BERLIN — Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, on Tuesday again defended its bond-buying program, saying that the strategy was even more important now after recent market turbulence caused by other central banks around the world.

Mr. Draghi, in a speech in Berlin that did not mention any central bank by name, said the offer to buy bonds issued by heavily indebted countries “is even more essential now as we see potential changes in the monetary policy stance, with associated uncertainty, in other jurisdictions of the global economy.”

After Fed Chairman Ben Bernankespooked the hell out of markets, sparking a global downturn in global risk assets speaking of possible QE tapering this year, one of his closest allies in the FOMC, New York Fed chief Bill Dudley, came to his support. On Thursday, the former Goldman Sachs partner told reporters the Fed generally overshoots its economic projections, indicating that if the outlook isn’t looking all that good, asset purchases could not only continue for longer, but there is also room for them to be ramped up. Dudley also called markets “out of sync” for their outsized reaction to the Chairman’s comments, and noted deflation remains a risk.

BRUSSELS, June 28 (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) leaders on Thursday and Friday have agreed on a series of measures to boost growth and jobs, and to build a European banking union to maintain financial stability.

"It's been a productive summit," Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President, told reporters at a press conference after a meeting of EU leaders.

BERLIN, June 29 (Reuters) - The United States bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents cited in a German magazine on Saturday, the latest in a series of exposures of alleged U.S. spy programmes.

Der Spiegel cited from a September 2010 "top secret" document of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) which it said fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had taken with him and which the weekly's journalists had seen in part.

The fall of Tal Kalakh follows the seizure of Qusair, a town close to the Lebanese border, and further chokes rebel supply lines from neighboring countries.

The Syrian opposition has made desperate pleas for the United States to follow through on its decision to arm the rebels, after it cited evidence of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government, the “red line” for the Obama administration. Britain and the United States have notified the United Nations of 10 instances in which chemical weapons were allegedly used, a U.N. diplomat told the Associated Press on Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the incidents have not been publicly divulged.

Russia has no intention to end its military presence in Syria despite the ongoing violence in the Arab nation, the Head of Russian army says.

Chief of Staff General Nikolai Makarov on Tuesday rejected the reports that Moscow was in the process of evacuating its naval base in Syria and pulling out its high ranking military personnel.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister says all personnel had been evacuated from the navy resupply base in Tartus, Syria, adding that not a single Russian military serviceman remained in the country.

Mikhail Bogdanov made the announcement in an interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper. “Presently, the Russian Defense Ministry has not a single person stationed in Syria. The base does not have any strategic military importance,” the newspaper quoted the Russian official as saying.

This week:

-Outcomes: Conflict, Chaos or a Gold Standard?
-2008 Crisis Risks Magnified
-Danger: Fed gets more than bargained for

Marc Rich, a shrewd, swashbuckling oil trader who fled to Switzerland after being indicted on charges of widespread tax evasion, illegal dealings with Iran and other crimes, and who was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton in his last hours in office, setting off a whirlwind of criticism, died on Wednesday in Lucerne, Switzerland. He was 78.

In a bleak warning, the Bank of England warned that just a small rise in rates from the current 0.5 to 1.5 per cent could cause significant levels of "borrower distress" and yet more bank losses.

A rise to 2.5 per cent could force households holding 20 per cent of Britain's £1.3 trillion of mortgage debt to take some kind of action to keep up with repayments.

There is not enough space on airlines flying in to Dubai to meet the rapidly rising demand for physical gold in the emirate since the price plunged to record lows this week.

The price drop led to a rush of buyers for Dubai gold from the Middle East, South East Asia, the Balkans, Turkey and parts of Europe according to Tarek El Mdaka, the managing director of Kaloti Gold in Dubai.

And now can we please fast forward to the wrist-slap settlement. Of course, assuming there is no "settlement", what dreadful fate await Corzine? "The CFTC also seeks full restitution and penalties against Holdings, Corzine, and O’Brien, in addition to trading and registration bans and injunctions against Corzine and O’Brien." Not the dreaded registration ban. Anything but the dreaded registration ban...

Henry Bath & Son Ltd., owned by JPMorgan Chase & Co., requested the London Metal Exchange to delist 21 of its warehouses and storage facilities.

Five warehouses in Baltimore, three in Liverpool and two in Bilbao, Spain, were delisted with immediate effect, the bourse said in notices to members today. Henry Bath also had two Singapore warehouses, and one warehouse in Chicago, New Orleans and Busan, South Korea removed, according to the LME.


Jeff Olson, a 40-year-old man from San Diego, Calif., will face jail time for charges stemming from anti-big bank messages he scrawled in water-soluble chalk outside Bank of America branches last year.

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Item Reviewed: Key Market Trends, July 2, 2013 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Econ Matters