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  • Asia stocks hobbled by growth anxiety, China PMI fails to impress
    By Hideyuki Sano TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares sagged on Thursday after a retreat on Wall Street and falling crude oil prices rekindled investor anxiety over slowing global growth, while a mixed picture on Chinese manufacturing failed to impress markets. Japan's Nikkei share average fell 0.4 percent while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.3 percent. European shares look set to slide, with spreadbetters expecting France's CAC 40 to fall as much as 0.8 percent, Germany's DAX 0.7 percent and Britain's 0.6 percent. ...
  • Bond funds stock up on Treasuries in prep for market shock

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Tim McLaughlin BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. corporate bond funds this year are adding Treasuries to their holdings at more than twice the rate of corporate debt amid concern that the struggling European economy and potential changes in Federal Reserve policy will drag down profits at U.S. corporations. Through September, corporate bond portfolios boosted their holdings of U.S. government debt by 15 percent, compared with a 6.5 percent increase in corporate bonds during the same period, according to Lipper Inc data. The funds now hold about $13 billion in Treasuries, 15 percent more than the $11. ...


  • Exclusive: U.S. stock options markets agree to need for trading halts on big moves

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy John McCrank NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. options market operators have agreed in recent months on the need for new automatic trading halts when stock options prices suddenly surge or plunge, in a bid to reduce excess volatility and blunt the impact of erroneous trades, according to five sources with knowledge of their discussions. The plan, which takes its cue from a rule known as "Limit Up/Limit Down" that U.S. ...


  • Euro zone business growth unexpectedly gains pace, prices still falling: PMI

    General view of the assembly line of the new Ford Fiesta in CologneBy Jonathan Cable LONDON, (Reuters) - Euro zone businesses performed much better than anyone expected this month but did so by slashing prices again, and optimism about the future fell to its lowest level in over a year, surveys showed on Thursday. The growth data will provide some relief for the European Central Bank but news that firms cut prices for the 31st month, and at the steepest rate than in almost five years, will stoke fears of deflation in the region. ...


  • Buffett copycats risk a pounding as Berkshire portfolio suffers

    Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Buffett talks with a shareholder before the company's annual meeting in OmahaBy Luciana Lopez NEW YORK (Reuters) - It's not been a good time for Warren Buffett wannabes. Sharp drops in many of the stocks owned by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in recent weeks hit the sprawling conglomerate's equity portfolio hard. The loss on seven of those holdings alone totals more than $5 billion provided Berkshire's stakes have remained the same since June 30, the last date for which they were disclosed. In particular, Berkshire's been stung by large holdings in IBM and long-time Buffett favorite Coca-Cola, both of which tumbled after disappointing third-quarter results. ...


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