The Christmas Eve Day Today 24 Dec 2014

* Greece Presidential Vote goes through to third and final round. The PM won an extra 8 MPs over between the 1st and 2nd rounds, can he get another 12 by Monday?

* Sony now plans to release “The Interview” in some independent cinemas on Christmas Day

* Russians rush to take out mortgages on concern interest rates may rise further – first two weeks of Dec the number of people applying for mortgages at VTB tripled versus the Nov average, at as much as 2.5bn RUB ($46m) a day
* Recent strength of the Rouble now thought to be down to Medvedev signing an order on Dec 17th  that forces large state-controlled exporters to sell their foreign currency and buy roubles – to the tune of $1bn a day
* Russia on Verge of Junk as S&P Puts Rating on Negative Watch (it was last given junk status a decade ago)

Ukraine Ends ‘Nonaligned’ Status, Earning Quick Rebuke From Russia

* China 7 day repo rate plummets

* Japan PM set to launch new government, defense minister may rile China
* Japan: Smaller companies likely to get 2-year extension on tax break

* US construction costs rising at fastest pace in 6 years
* …even as the Fed’s preferred reading of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures measure, fell 0.2% in Nov, up 1.2% from a year earlier (from 1.4% in Oct)
* American Airlines says ‘strong’ profit to allow bigger wage hikes

* Once deemed a “fair” price by many major producers, $100 a barrel crude is encouraging too much new production from high cost producers outside the exporting group, say OPEC

* It took ETFs 18 years to reach $1trn, but only another 4 years to double those assets to $2trn

* ‘Man exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms rushed to hospital’ in New York

* Dow closes above 18,000 for the first time. Since the financial crisis:
2009: Dow up 18%
2010: Dow up 10%
2011: Dow up 7%
2012: Dow up 8%
2013: Dow up 23%
2014: Dow up 9% so far
Would you bet against it in 2015?

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