CANADA STOCKS-Banks, resources combine to pull TSX lower

Toronto’s main stock index took a broad hit on Friday, falling more than 1 percent as weakness in the energy, materials and banking groups combined to wipe out the last vestiges of the gains the index made as the new year dawned. Commodity prices fell and bank shares were hit by concerns over a bank fee proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as by disappointing results from JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N). [ID:nN13152862] The proposed fee would see U.S. banks pay up to $117 billion to reimburse taxpayers for the government’s financial bailout of the sector. [ID:nN13152862] “There’s discussion out there whether some Canadian banks might fall under this new bank tax in the United States,” said Gareth Watson, an equity advisor at ScotiaMcLeod. Also, deep fourth-quarter loan losses reported by JPMorgan raised concerns about earnings for the broader U.S. bank sector. [Read the full article]

U.S.-traded shares of overseas companies fell on Friday, with bank shares among those leading declines after JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) reported steep loan losses. The Bank of New York Mellon index of leading American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) .BKADR fell 1.5 percent while the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX declined 1.1 percent. U.S.-listed shares of Brazil’s Banco Bradesco (BBD.N) were down 1.6 percent at $20.65, while shares of Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG (DB.N) were down 4.9 percent at $69.73. JPMorgan also was a drag on major U.S. stock market indexes as investors worried about upcoming bank results. Major financial companies including Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N) are scheduled to report earnings next week. The Bank of New York Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs .BKAS slipped 0.7 percent. In Japan, the Nikkei .N225 rose 0.7 percent or 74.42 points to 10,982.10, a 15-month closing high. [Read the full article]

* U.S. long worried by Chinese cyber-spying (Adds Yahoo, Juniper Networks also attacked, graph 28) BEIJING/WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – China sought on Friday to play down a threat by Google Inc (GOOG.O) to quit the country on hacking and censorship concerns, but the United States said it will formally express concern over the cyber attacks the Internet search giant said originated in China. A spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry said there were many ways to resolve the Google issue, but repeated that all foreign companies, Google included, must abide by Chinese laws. “Any decision made by Google will not affect Sino-U.S. trade and economic relations, as the two sides have many ways to communicate and negotiate with each other,” spokesman Yao Jian told a regular news briefing in Beijing. “We will be issuing a formal demarche to the Chinese government in Beijing on this issue in the coming days, probably early next week,” U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. [Read the full article]

Britain’s opposition Conservatives would back a global insurance levy on banks as long as the Group of 20 group of developed and emerging nations agreed to it, the party’s economics chief told the Financial Times in an interview published on Friday. The United States has set out proposals for Wall Street banks to repay taxpayers for the financial bailout and the Financial Times reported this week that the U.S. would urge other countries to introduce similar measures. Britain has introduced a one-off tax on bankers’ bonuses this year and has mooted the idea of a bank resolution fund, possibly funded by a tax on financial transactions. The Financial Times said the Conservatives’ economics spokesman George Osborne was “attracted to the Swedish idea of an insurance levy rather than a Tobin tax,” to protect the taxpayer from the costs of any future crises. [Read the full article]

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