Financial Briefs

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Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Number of rigs down 23 this week

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States dropped by 23 this week to 1,995.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,559 were exploring for natural gas and 423 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Thirteen were listed as miscellaneous.

A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,760.

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Dollar perks up as traders hold breath for financial rescue

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

The dollar edged slightly higher against the euro on Friday despite a downward revision to US growth and as traders held their breath for US politicians to decide the fate of a huge financial rescue package.The US Federal Reserve meanwhile launched a new effort with other central banks to keep money markets alive as US lawmakers wrangled over a plan to end the worst financial crisis in almost a century.

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Wall Street turmoil not affecting farm financing, loan conditions in nation’s Heartland

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

The economic turmoil on Wall Street has not reached the dusty country roads in the nation’s Heartland, where a rural economic boom has meant farmers are not having much trouble getting loans to plant crops, buy land and replace equipment.

“The fundamentals of agriculture right now, in terms of income and opportunities, is good. There are profits to be made, so I think that is underpinning the willingness to lend to that sector,” said Jason Henderson, a branch executive with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

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Gold coin sales halted after retail rush

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

The rush by retail investors into gold on Thursday forced the US government to “temporarily” suspend the sales of the popular American Buffalo one-ounce bullion coin after depleting its inventories.

The shortage of gold coins is the latest sign of investors seeking a safe haven into bullion amid Wall Street woes. Gold prices this week surged above $900 an ounce, up about 20 per cent from its level before the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

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FFA sell-off blamed for tumbling dry bulk indices

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

FORWARD freight agreement traders have again shouldered some of the blame for tumbling dry bulk indices, as investment banks and hedge funds sell off derivatives contracts during the crisis gripping the global financial sector. 

The move has added further pressure to the Baltic Dry Index, which fell 6.1% to its lowest level in 19 months today. 

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HK police arrest 11 for spreading rumors about AIG

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

Rival insurer MassMutual Asia Ltd. acknowledged that the suspects were its agents and managers and staff hired by them. However, it denied in a statement that the company was involved in the case and said it would cooperate in the police investigation.

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Weak US Oil Demand Blunts Storm Outages

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

For Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex, the good news came when twin severe hurricanes avoided its offshore oil platforms this month.

The bad news came after the storms struck U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, slashing oil demand in its biggest market. Pemex said late Wednesday it has been forced to trim its already struggling oil output by 250,000 barrels a day, or 9%, due to brimming inventories caused by lingering outages at U.S. plants.

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‘No chance’ of Fortis going bankrupt: CEO

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

There is “not a single chance” that Belgian-Dutch banking and insurance group Fortis will go bankrupt, its chief executive officer Herman Verwilst said Friday.”There is not one single chance that we will face issues in that respect,” he said when asked of the possibility of bankruptcy during a telephone conference with media.

The company’s shares took a beating for a second day Friday amid liquidity concerns brought on by turmoil in world financial markets

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Pickens’ natural gas nation

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

T. Boone Pickens, the 80-year-old oilman-turned-hedge-fund-manager, has already promised to pay $60-million (U.S.) of his own money to push his vision to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Now he is convinced he has worked up a way to drive the message home in Washington, with a burgeoning grassroots lobby force he calls his “army.”

The Texas billionaire says he has dropped a billion in the recent turmoil, but the recent painful pullback in oil prices has not shaken his conviction as a long-term energy bull, or his belief that the largest economy in the world has to source more of its energy needs at home.

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Manulife eyes bid for AIG’s Asian units

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

Manulife Financial Corp. is weighing a bid for Asian operations of American International Group Inc., a move that would vault the Canadian insurer into the top ranks of one of the world’s hottest insurance markets.

Chief executive officer Dominic D’Alessandro and his successor Don Guloien, who will take over when Mr. D’Alessandro retires in May, have been meeting with investment bankers and financial advisers in the past week to look at an offer for parts of AIG, according to people familiar with the matter.

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