Brazil stocks in choppy trade as caution lingers

Brazilian stocks seesawed in early trade on Wednesday, as investor caution lingered on doubts over the global economic recovery and ahead of key data slated for release later in the week. The benchmark Bovespa index .BVSP edged down 0.25 percent to 66,994.861 near mid-day after dipping in and out of positive territory. While private-sector employment data from the United States signaled an economic recovery could be coalescing, lingering doubts over a fiscal crisis in Greece offset some optimism, said Marianna Costa, an economist with Link Investimentos in Sao Paulo. “Deep down, the scenario still isn’t really calm,” she said. The worries over Greece are “a problem that will probably get worse before improving.” More indicative of a possible U.S. recovery, she said, will be U.S. Labor Department jobs numbers, due Friday. [Read the full article]

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Toronto’s main stock market index was slightly higher on Wednesday, helped by rising resource issues, after a service delivery issue delayed some market data. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 0.38 of a point at 11,408.72 after declining in early trading. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE did not update for several minutes after the market opened, although individual stocks were on the move. Officials with TMX Group Inc (X.TO) and Standard and Poor’s said they were investigating the reason for the delay. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson) NEW YORK (Reuters) – The pace of job losses in the private sector slowed in January as employers reported the smallest payroll decline in nearly two years, while the dominant services sector grew slightly, data showed on Wednesday. [Read the full article]

Switzerland said on Wednesday it would not help Germany hunt tax cheats on the basis of stolen Swiss bank data but hoped to finalise a new tax deal with Berlin by the end of March. Germany has said it is prepared to pay an informant for data on clients of Swiss banks who may have been using secret accounts to evade German taxes, a new blow to Switzerland’s massive private banking industry. [ID:nLDE6101VZ] “Germany is Switzerland’s most important trade partner…. With this in mind, the Federal Council wishes to resolve the problem of the stolen data which has been offered for sale to the German authorities,” the government said in a statement. “It wants to pursue talks with Germany. Nonetheless, it will not provide administrative assistance based on stolen data, even to Germany.” Switzerland moved to calm the sharply escalating row with its northern neighbour a day after the Swiss banking lobby said Berlin was acting as a receiver of stolen goods. [Read the full article]

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U.S. President Barack Obama still plans to meet the Dalai Lama, the White House said on Tuesday, despite China’s warning that such a meeting would hurt ties already strained by U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan. Digging in on two points of discord, China vowed to impose unspecified sanctions against U.S. companies selling arms to Taiwan and said any meeting between Obama and the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader would hurt bilateral ties. “The president told China’s leaders during his trip last year that he would meet with the Dalai Lama and he intends to do so,” White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters traveling with Obama to New Hampshire. [Read the full article]

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