Stocks post worst month in three years in May - The Guardian Stocks post worst month in three years in May - The Guardian

Friday, June 1, 2012

Stocks post worst month in three years in May - The Guardian

Stocks post worst month in three years in May - The Guardian

Commercial and Business Director

Liverpool, Chester | £50,000 + PRP of up to £50,000


Rod Staatz: Maryland’s students need financial literacy - Maryland Community Newspapers Online

Financial education would seem to be one issue on which we all could agree. Dont most of us believe fostering positive attitudes about money can help to lay the foundation for a lifetime of financial security?

Even students themselves concur. In a recent Charles Schwab poll, 79 percent of teens indicated money management was one of their top priorities. Given that, financial literacy in our schools would seem to be a no-brainer.

The issue, however, is not that simple in Maryland. Only six of the states 24 school systems require a dedicated financial literacy class for students to earn a high school diploma.

Under the financial education standards approved by the Maryland State Board of Education, each of the states school systems is required to embed financial literacy in classes from grades three through 12. But while the financial education standards adopted by the state board allow for stand-alone financial literacy courses, they do not require them for graduation.

Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot is trying to change that. Franchot recently launched a petition drive to require all of the states public schools to make a stand-alone financial literacy course covering personal financial basics such as compound interest, budgeting and credit a graduation requirement for high school seniors.

Learning how to manage money is an essential life skill, every bit as important as reading and writing. Yet, as savvy as young adults are in this Information Age, they remain dangerously uninformed about money. As someone who has been in the financial industry for several decades, I have seen firsthand the negative impact a lack of financial literacy can have on individuals and their families.

Unfortunately, the financial realities currently facing the state probably mean that embedded financial literacy is likely to be the only exposure to finance and money management basics most Maryland students receive. Both the state Board of Education and state Department of Education contend there are no financial literacy content specialists on staff and no state money to help implement a financial literacy curriculum.

Given that, the responsibility for financial literacy would appear to fall to parents. Undoubtedly, parents play a key role in this regard. As parents, its important for us to teach our children how to think about money and how to make responsible decisions in using it. We also must review our own financial activities. Like it or not, kids quietly observe adults, so it is essential for us to model responsible financial behavior.

Given todays complex financial landscape, however, I would argue parents also must advocate for their children. And while recognizing the financial constraints under which all of us are operating in todays tight economy, I would urge parents to demand that their local school boards make financial literacy a key component of their childrens education.

The recent recession cost far too many Marylanders their jobs, homes and life savings. It also drove home the need to provide our children with the essential tools they will need to grow into financially responsible adults. The rewards of providing them with the basics of financial literacy are nothing short of life altering, enabling them to live within their means, free from the anxieties of debt and secure in their futures. Allowing them to graduate into the real world with anything less is simply unacceptable.

Rod Staatz is president and CEO of SECU, Marylands largest state-chartered financial cooperative.

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Friday June 1 - Reuters UK

Fri Jun 1, 2012 7:47am BST

(Adds further company news)

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - * Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat to up 0.3 points, or 0.1 percent higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, tracking overnight falls on Wall Street and in Asia, with investors looking cautiously ahead to the U.S. jobs report for May. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index officially closed up 23.58 points, or 0.5 percent on Thursday at 5,320.86, having been recalculated after-hours by FTSE because of problems with data from a third-party vendor, the index provider said.

* All eyes will be on the latest U.S. jobs report, due for release at 1230 GMT, with May non-farm payrolls seen rising by 150,000 on the month, and the unemployment rate expected to hold steady at 8.1 percent in May.

* BP - BP said on Friday it will look to sell its shareholding in TNK-BP after the British oil major received unsolicited indications of interest in its stake in the Russian joint venture.

* China's official purchasing managers' index - covering the country's biggest, mainly state-backed firms - fell more than expected to 50.4 in May, the weakest reading this year and down from April's 13-month high, with output at its lowest since November 2011.

* The HSBC China manufacturing PMI, tracking smaller private sector firms, retreated to 48.4 from 49.3 in April - its seventh straight month below the 50-mark that demarcates expansion from contraction - with the employment sub-index falling to 48.1, its lowest level since March, 2009.

* Short-covering and bargain hunting lifted London copper on Friday after prices hit their lowest level so far this year in the previous session, with disappointing, but expected, Chinese manufacturing data having little effect as investors had already priced it in, traders said.

* Brent crude fell on Friday, staying below $102 per barrel and extending its May swoon, after weak manufacturing activity data from No. 2 oil user China fueled further selling ahead of a key U.S. employment report.

* XSTRATA Chief Executive Mick Davis will get a three-year deal worth almost 30 million pounds ($46 million) to stay at the helm once the miner joins forces with trader Glencore, a windfall likely to sow a shareholder storm at votes due in July.

* BT GROUP - The telecoms provider said it is to sell its French application development services business to Osiatis.

* PLUS MARKETS GROUP The firm said it has received a letter relating to a possible acquisition by Gulf Merchant Bank (GMB) of its Plus Stock Exchange (Plus-SX) unit, with the headline consideration from GMB appearing to be greater than that currently being offered by ICAP, however, Plus Markets said the terms put forward by GMB are materially less attractive to the group's shareholders and, accordingly, the board continues to recommend the proposed disposal of Plus-SX to ICAP.

* HARVEY NASH GROUP - The staffing firm said it performed ahead of budget during the first quarter ended April 30, with revenue up 18 percent and gross profit ahead 6 percent compared with the same period last year.

* NATIONWIDE ACCIDENT REPAIR - The group said it expects a revenue shortfall of approximately 10 million pounds for the current financial year due to a significant reduction in the volume of vehicle accident repair work undertaken for insurer Aviva.

* ENTERPRISE INNS - The pubs operator said it has agreed a new banking deal, with a new forward start facility of 220 million pounds to commence on the expiration of its existing facilities on December 16 2013, allowing the company to follow its strategy of bank debt reduction.

* HMV - The struggling retail group said after the London close that it had agreed to sell the Hammersmith Apollo music venue to Stage C limited for a total cash consideration of 32 million pounds, with the sale enabling HMV to extend its bank facilities, strengthen capital structure and ensure strong future for group.

* The Markit/CIPS British manufacturing PMI report for May will be released at 0828 GMT.

* Among other U.S. data, April personal income and consumption figures will also be released at 1230 GMT, followed by April U.S. construction spending and May's ISM report, both at 1400 GMT.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit (Reporting by Jon Hopkins)

Bankia SA : Money flies out of Spain, regions pressured - 4-traders (press release)
05/31/2012 | 10:34pmA Spanish flag flutters in the wind near a statue of Columbus in Madrid

Spaniards alarmed by the dire state of their banks are squirreling money abroad at the fastest rate since records began, figures showed on Thursday, and the credit ratings of eight regions were cut.

Spain is the next country in the firing line of the euro zone's debt crisis, with spendthrift regions and shaky banks threatening to blow a hole in state finances and pushing funding costs towards levels that signal the need for a bailout.

The European Commission gave new help on Wednesday, offering direct aid from a euro zone rescue fund to recapitalize Spanish banks and more time for Madrid to reduce its budget deficit.

That helped lower the risk premium investors demand to hold Spanish 10-year debt rather than the German benchmark on Thursday, but it remained close to the euro-era record, at 520 basis points.

Bank of Spain data showed a net 66.2 billion euros ($82.0 billion) was sent abroad in March, the most since records began in 1990. The figure compares to a 5.4 billion net entry of funds during the same month one year ago.

Spaniards are worried about the health of their banks, hit by their exposure to a 2008 property crash, and have been sending money to deposit accounts in stronger economies of northern Europe.

Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos however said the data was more a reflection of the troubles of the banking sector to fund itself externally than deposits flying abroad.

The capital flight data predates the nationalization of Spain's fourth biggest lender Bankia in May when it became clear the bank could not handle losses from bad real estate investments, compounded by a recession.

Spain's centre-right government has contracted independent auditors to assess the health of its financial system in an effort to restore faith in its banks.

Spain must lay out its restructuring plans for Bankia to the European Commission (EC), a spokesman for the EU executive arm said on Thursday. He added that a domestic solution to the country's bank crisis would be better than a European rescue.

The government said on Wednesday it would finance a 23.5 billion euro rescue of the bank through the bank fund, FROB but senior debt bankers said that the syndicated bond market is currently closed for Spanish agencies.


The prospect that Spain might not be able to handle losses at its banks has pummeled shares and the euro, although both regained some stability on Thursday.

De Guindos said that the future of the euro would be at stake in the next few weeks in Spain and Italy, adding that the rumors that Spain was negotiating financial assistance with the International Monetary Fund were "complete nonsense."

"The battle of the euro is being fought right now in Spain and Italy," he said at an event in Sitges, in the north-eastern region of Catalonia.

He also said Germany should help correct imbalances in the euro zone created by a loose monetary policy over the last decade and by the non-respect by Berlin of the stability and growth pact in 2003.

"We need to correct decisions which favored Germany... Germany has to assume its part," he said, adding that decisions in this respect would be taken in the next few days.

The Spanish government also hopes to clear doubts on Friday about how it plans to ease financing problems among its 17 autonomous regions.

Treasury ministry sources said a mechanism to back the regions' debt would be agreed at the weekly cabinet meeting and figures showing they were on track to meet their spending cuts targets would be released.

Fitch Ratings downgraded eight regions on Thursday, warning that a failure from the government to adopt new measures would result in further ratings cuts.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria was meeting U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and International Monetary Fund Director General Christine Lagarde in Washington on Thursday.

The deputy PM will outline Spain's measures to tackle its crisis during the meetings, which were scheduled before Spain's situation reached boiling point, a government spokesman said. ($1 = 0.8069 euros)

(This version of the story has been corrected in the fifth paragraph to say data was for March not last month)

(Writing by Julien Toyer; Editing by Diana Abdallah)

By Nigel Davies and Sonya Dowsett

No comments: