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Tue, 25th April 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “Politics” Category

Le Pen Says Macron ‘Weak’ in Fight Against Islamist Terrorism

During her visit to one of the local markets in France’s northern Pas-de-Calais district, Le Pen said she was going to “emphasize the fight against Islamist terrorism,” on which Macron was “weak,” Les Echos newspaper reported.

She added that the run-off will be “a referendum for or against uncontrolled globalization,” according to the newspaper.

With most of the votes counted, the National Front leader received 21.43 percent in the first round of the election held Sunday, while the “En Marche!” movement founder Macron came first with 23.86 percent, according to the preliminary results, published by the French Interior Ministry.

The second round of election is slated for May 7.

Bookies See Almost 90% Chance Of Macron Becoming French President

As results begin to trickle in (with pollsters showing Macron leading and official French Interior Ministry showing a Le Pen lead), betting odds ( according to Betfair) are now giving Macron comfortably over 80% chance of becoming France’s next President.

As the evening has gone on and the picture becomes clearer, his odds continue to increase. The market is clearly expecting a ‘Front Republicain’ to form, as it did in 2002, to rally behind Emmanuel Macron and to deny Marine Le Pen.

Of course, bookies didnt quite get Brexit and Trump right…

French election results soothe investor fears

Investors breathed a sigh of relief following the first-place showing of centrist and pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron in the first round of France’s presidential elections Sunday, sending the Euro to a five-month high relative to the dollar. Populist Marine Le Pen ranked second in the voting.

Why it matters: The results make it more likely that Macron will be France’s next president, keeping France in the EU. That should have a positive impact on both French stocks and the U.S. economy.

 Paris rising: High Frequency Economics’ Carl Weinberg predicts that French stocks will rally in trading Monday, and that interest rates on French government debt will fall. France isn’t out of the woods, however. Weinberg writes that Macron will have a tough time corralling a divided Parliament to implement pro-growth reforms.

Domestic affairs: A Blackrock Investment Institute note to clients calls Macron a “business friendly” candidate that will not get in the way of Europe’s improving economy. The U.S. economy has seen the benefits of faster growth in Europe—political stability across the Atlantic is good for business here.

Caveat: David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments warns that “it’s not a done deal yet,” and that the push and pull of a high profile election will cause “markets to remain volatile in the run-up to the final round of voting on May 7 and potentially even beyond.”

French election – 95% counted: Macron 23.85%, Le Pen 21.58%

France’s Interior Ministry counting continues

95+ % of votes now counted in this first round. Results refining, Macron adding a few 2nd place decimals to his lead:
  • Macron 23.85%
  • Le Pen 21.58%
ps.
  • Fillon 19.96%
  • Melenchon 19.49%
The second, and final round will be a Macron, Le Pen runoff
  • Latest opinion polls: Opinion polls for 2nd round released: 60%+ Macron, Le Pen around 40%
  • The second round is two weeks off: When is the final round of the French election? (Spoiler alert, May 7)

North Korea Warns China Of “Catastrophic Consequences” For Siding With U.S.

Having repeatedly threatened the annihilation of its neightbor to the south, and most recently warning of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” against the US, one day after it emerged that Pyongyang appeared to have resumed activity at its Punggye-ri Nuclear test site, North Korea asked China not to step up anti-North sanctions, warning of “catastrophic consequences” in their bilateral relations.

Pyongyang issued the warning through commentary written by a person named Jong Phil on its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which was released Saturday.

As South Korea’s Yonhap news agency writes, it’s rare for Pyongyang’s media to level criticism at Beijing, though the KCNA didn’t directly mention China in the commentary titled “Are you good at dancing to the tune of others” and dated Friday. The commentary instead called the nation at issue “a country around the DPRK,” using North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Not a single word about the U.S. act of pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a war after introducing hugest-ever strategic assets into the waters off the Korean peninsula is made but such rhetoric as ‘necessary step’ and ‘reaction at decisive level’ is openly heard from a country around the DPRK to intimidate it over its measures for self-defense,” the commentary’s introduction in English read.

‘Repeal or Replace’: Israeli PM Claims Iran Deal Allows Tehran to Develop Nukes

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, uses a diagram of a bomb to describe Iran's nuclear program while delivering his address to the 67th United Nations General Assembly meeting September 27, 2012 at the United Nations in New York.The prime minister added the Iranian deal should be reviewed or revoked.

“There’s no question that the deal with Iran, which paves the way to eventual Iranian acquisition of the critical elements of nuclear bombs and nuclear arsenal, something we don’t accept and never signed on the deal and we won’t let happen,” Netanyahu said Friday.

“My position vis-a-vis the deal with Iran… repeal or replace,” Netanyahu said, adding that Washington should not let Tehran “have the best of all world.”

The relations between Israel and Iran have been strained since the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s. The ties are overshadowed by a number of issues, including Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs accompanied by controversial anti-Israeli statements of high-ranking Iranian officials, such as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

N Korea Ready to Respond to US Threat, Win in Confrontation – Foreign Ministry

A man watches a TV news program showing an image that North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper reports of a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engineNorth Korea is a “peaceful state” but it is determined to respond to the US threat with pre-emptive strikes and other methods, North Korean Foreign Ministry officials said on Saturday.

“North Korea is a peaceful socialist state, but it is not afraid of war and does not try to avoid it… North Korea has a strong desire to go to the bitter end, if the United States intends to continue its confrontation policy. The North Korean army has clearly indicated that its countermeasures will include sudden pre-emptive strikes and other methods,” the representatives of the ministry said in a statement, as quoted by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

According to the statement, Pyongyang would respond with “nuclear strikes on nuclear war” and would definitely win in this confrontation.

North Korea carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests, with one of the latest constituting a launch of a ballistic missile from Sinpo, South Hamgyong province, in the direction of the Sea of Japan on April 5 and a missile test on Sunday which was unsuccessful, according to South Korean defense officials. The launches are considered to be in violation with the UN Security Council resolution.

In response to the tensions in the region, the United States sent a naval group led by US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula. On April 14, US media reported that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea should Pyongyang decide to carry out another nuclear weapon test.

Analyst Who Predicted Trump’s Rise Bets On Le Pen Victory

Don’t bank on a relief rally in the euro area anytime soon…

 Le Pen’s momentum is a slow-moving reaction against the men of Davos – as we have seen with Brexit and Trump – but markets don’t want to believe it.”  

That’s the conclusion drawn by Charles Gave, founder of Hong-Kong based asset-allocation consultancy GaveKal Research, who, as Bloomberg reports, predicted the triumph of Donald Trump in the U.S. election, and is now betting on a win for the anti-euro National Front candidate.

Markets are underpricing the prospect of Marine Le Pen emerging victorious in the French election as a sea of undecided voters throws into sharp relief pronounced apathy for center-leftist Emmanuel Macron — the front-runner by a whisker — and the backlash against the European Union project.

Le Pen to Hold Referendum on French EU Exit in First Half of 2018 if Elected

Image result for Le PenThe first round of the French presidential elections is scheduled for this Sunday, while the run-off is set for May 7.

“Marine Le Pen said that she wanted an exit of the European Union organized with our European partners and that this departure would be sanctioned by a referendum. [Which will be held] undoubtedly in the first half of 2018,” David Rachline said.

According to Le Pen’s campaign manager, she also wants to “drastically change economic policy, while putting an end to increasing financialization and globalization of the economy.”

“We were warned of a catastrophe with the Brexit vote, the facts, however, disagree with those merchants of fear who in reality do not want us to touch this system, which grants them numerous advantages!” Rachline pointed out.

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election in 2016 were seen as big victories for the anti-establishment and anti-globalist movement. Le Pen’s approach seems in sync with the growing anti-globalism trend.

China has yet to stop its runaway property bubble

Wu Jianying, a company employee in Beijing, visited her father’s hometown in Hebei Province, in mid-March. In Wen’an County, a one-and-a-half-hour drive south from the capital, she heard a strange rumor: The government might soon place restrictions on property purchases. In such a rural town, she wondered.

On April 1, China Central Television, the state TV broadcaster, reported in its evening news that the Communist Party and the State Council had decided to build a large city in Hebei Province. The new city, Xiongan New Area, would be created in an area adjacent to Wen’an.

 Real estate transactions have since been forbidden in Xiongan. It is rumored, however, that condominium prices rose from 6,000 yuan ($871) per sq. meter around noon on April 1 to 24,000 yuan later that evening after the news.

“A group of speculators from Beijing had collected cash and had been actively looking for and buying properties for half a year,” read an internet post. Although definite plans for the new city were unknown, just who had bought Xiongan real estate and how they did it became hot topics online.

Speculative money has also poured into real estate around Xiongan, prompting Wen’an County to restrict property purchases since April 5 in order to halt another asset bubble from forming like the ones in Beijing and Shanghai, where prices have continued to rise.