- The People's Bank of China (PBOC) pumped around 130 billion yuan ($19.9 billion) in seven-day reverse repurchase operations in the markets, demonstrating it had not changed its easing bias, according to the Wall Street Journal. The central bank also intervened in currency markets to prop up the rapidly falling renminbi, after having weakened its exchange rate towards a psychologically important threshold of 6.5 yuan to the dollar yesterday. The Shanghai Composite closed down 0.3% after falling by more than 3% earlier in the day. The offshore Chinese yuan, which trades freely, traded at 6.6384 to one U.S. dollar on Tuesday, from 6.6283 late on Monday.
- Unemployment in Germany fell by more than expected in December. The number of people without work fell by 14,000 vs. expectations of a fall of 8,000, while the unemployment rate remained at 6.3%, the lowest since the reunification of Germany.
- German carmaker Volkswagen (VLKAY) faces fines worth more than $90 billion in theory in the U.S., after it was sued by the U.S. Department for Justice for violating the Clean Air Act.
- Consumer lending in the U.S. rose at the fastest pace in nearly a decade last November, data from the Bank of England show. Net lending to consumers in November was up 8.3% compared with a year earlier, the biggest such increase since February 2006.
- Chinese property and investment firm Dalian Wanda, which is run by China's richest man Wang Jianlin, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in U.S. movie studio Legendary Entertainment. The offer values the U.S. company at between $3 billion and $4 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter quoted by Reuters.
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When there is fear in a sector, there is often opportunity as well.
It is still a surprisingly sedate market, despite indexes sitting close to all-time highs, earnings season, possible interest-rate cuts and endless speculation about China trade.
From a technical standpoint some downside at this juncture may be what is needed to shake things up and create better trading conditions into earnings.
A Japanese drink-maker, as well as Cigna and Yum! Brands' Pizza Hut, have been swept into the 'product politics' battle between pro-democracy demonstrators and pro-Mainland authorities.