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Frontrunning: March 5


  • China cuts 2012 growth target to 7.5 percent, stability key (Reuters)
  • Freom the Fed scribe himsef - Fed Takes a Break to Weigh Outlook (WSJ)
  • Greek bond swap deal rests on knife-edge (FT)
  • Lenders Stress Over Test Results (WSJ)
  • China to Curb Auto Production Capacity, Promote New-Energy Car Development (Bloomberg)
  • China military spending to top $100 billion in 2012, alarming neighbours (WaPo)
  • Warning: A New Who's Who of Awful Times to Invest (Hussman)
  • EU to push quota for women directors (FT)
  • Romney Advances As Obama Gains (WSJ)
  • Saudi Aramco Raises Oil Premium for April Sales to Asia, U.S.; Cuts Europe (Bloomberg)
  • Tearful Putin claims election victory (FT)

Overnight Press Digest

WSJ

* Mitt Romney has regained the lead in the Republican presidential contest thanks to new support from conservatives, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

* The $7.8 billion settlement between BP and residents and businesses along the Gulf of Mexico clears the way for what may become a far more expensive battle between the oil giant and the government.

* Some very large banks are clashing with the Federal Reserve over how much detail the central bank will reveal about them when it releases the results of its latest stress test.

* Chrysler and GM both plan to offer pickup trucks powered by compressed natural gas, making use of an energy source that's bountiful in the U.S.

* Some large European banks are using cheap loans from the European Central Bank to insulate themselves from new problems that could flare up in their businesses in financially ailing European countries.

* AIG kicked off a $6 billion sale of shares in Asian life insurer AIA Group on Monday morning in Hong Kong, moving forward with plans to repay another chunk of its 2008 U.S. bailout.

* Tesco, the U.K.'s largest supermarkets group, was expected to announce it would create 20,000 new U.K. jobs over the next two years as it seeks to shore up its dominance over the country's retail sector.

 NYT

* Nearly two years after an explosion on an oil platform killed 11 workers and sent millions of gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, deepwater drilling has regained momentum in the gulf and is spreading around the world.

* The wave of incriminating headlines and the surging stock price reflect the cognitive dissonance generated by News Corp's phone hacking scandal. Even while Rupert Murdoch, the company's chairman and chief executive, has doubled down on one of the newspapers at the center of the worsening scandal, creating a new Sunday edition of The Sun, investors have been cheering the possibility that the negative news in Britain could prompt the company to spin off its newspapers.

* Emboldened by Rush Limbaugh's public apology over the weekend to a law school student whom he had called a "slut" and a "prostitute," critics of the radio talk show host are intensifying their online campaign against his advertisers.

* Apple has made its first attempt to quantify how many American jobs can be credited to the sale of its iPads and other products, a group that includes the Apple engineers who design the devices and the drivers who deliver them - even the people who build the trucks that get them there.

European Economic Update:

  • UK PMI Services 53.8 – lower than expected. Consensus 55.0. Previous 56.0.
  • UK Official Reserves (changes) $746m. Previous $2477m.
  • Spain PMI Services 41.9 – lower than expected. Consensus 45.4.
  • France PMI Services 50.0 – lower than expected. Consensus 50.3. Previous 50.3.
  • Germany PMI Services 52.8 - higher than expected. Consensus 52.6. Previous 52.6.
  • Switzerland Retail Sales 4.4% y/y. Previous 0.6%. Revised 1.7%.
  • Euro-Zone Retail Sales 0.3% m/m 0.0% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus -0.1% m/m -1.5% y/y. Previous -0.4% m/m -1.6% y/y.
  • Eurozone PMI Services 48.8 – lower than expected. Consensus 49.2. Previous 49.4.
  • Eurozone PMI Composite 49.3 – lower than expected. Consensus 49.7. Previous 49.7.

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