-Metals Rally on Chinese Support, Boosting Stocks; Aussie Slides: Signs China is moving to prop up metals prices boosted aluminum to zinc, helping to fuel a second day of gains in European equities. Copper jumped as much as 4.2 percent and aluminum rose the most since early October, pushing up miners on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index for the first time in five days. Automakers led the gauge higher as the euro slipped toward a seven-month low, boosting export prospects. While emerging-market stocks climbed for the first time this week, rising metals prices failed to support currencies of raw-material-producing nations. China is stepping up to support metals amid a slump that saw the Bloomberg Commodity Index end last week at the lowest since 1999. The country’s largest copper and nickel suppliers plan to meet this week to weigh their response to the rout, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
-Credit Suisse Wins Approval for Broking in China Economic Zone: Credit Suisse Group AG’s joint venture in China won approval to offer securities brokerage services for the first time, in the economic zone of Qianhai in the southern city of Shenzhen. The venture may start offering the services early next year after the approval by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, Credit Suisse said in a statement Thursday. Set up in 2008 and controlled by local partner Founder Securities Co., the business was previously restricted to capital market services such as underwriting stock and bond offerings.
-Lloyds Says It Plans to Eliminate 945 Jobs Across Businesses: Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Britain’s largest mortgage provider, plans to eliminate a net 945 jobs across operations, including staff at its branch network, as part of broader cost cuts announced last year. The cuts are part of a plan to pare about 9,000 jobs by 2017, the London-based bank said on Thursday. The job losses are in divisions such as consumer lending and commercial banking, risk and finance and human resources with the bank seeking to redeploy some people in other roles. Lloyds said it’s creating about 150 new roles.
-Vale Cut From Brazil Index Measuring Environmental Performance: Vale SA, the world’s biggest iron-ore miner, was removed from an index that measures companies with the best social and environmental performance in Brazil. Shares pared gains. While exchange BM&FBovespa didn’t give a reason for the Rio de Janeiro-based company’s elimination from the ISE corporate sustainability index, it comes three weeks after Vale’s joint venture with BHP Billiton Ltd suffered a dam collapse that authorities are describing as Brazil’s worst mining disaster.
-CEO of Brazil’s largest investment bank arrested: Brazil arrested the CEO of Latin America’s largest investment bank and the governing party’s leader in the nation’s Senate on Wednesday. The arrests stem from an investigation into a money laundering scandal that has undermined Brazil’s government and once-strong economy. The scandal involves Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petrobras, and has entangled many of the country’s business and political leaders. It has even caused Brazilians to demand the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. The country’s Supreme Court authorized arrest warrants for Senator Delcidio Amaral and Andre Esteves — the billionaire CEO of BTG Pactual — on suspicions of obstructing justice. A judge said he issued the warrants on evidence that Amaral and Esteves had tried to silence a key witness in the corruption probe.
-Britain hikes taxes on investors to cool housing market: Finance minister George Osborne said Wednesday people buying a second home, or a home for rental income, will have to pay an extra 3% of the purchase price in tax. Currently, anyone buying a property worth £125,000 ($188,000) to £250,000 ($375,000) pays «stamp duty» of 2%. Duty of 5% is levied on any value above that, up to £925,000 ($1.4 million). The rate rises to 12% above $2 million. The extra 3% will be charged on top of those rates, and will apply to British buyers of investment or holiday properties, as well as foreign investors, who have been blamed for pushing prices out of reach of many people — particularly in London.
-Barclays fined $109 million for trying to hide ‘the deal of the century’: The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined Barclays £72 million ($109 million) on Thursday for trashing its own rules on making background checks on clients and the origin of their cash, and whether they figured on international sanctions lists. Barclays (BCS) said there was no evidence a crime had been committed, and that it «continues to apply significant resources and training to ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.» But regulators said the lengths a handful of Barclays employees went to hide the £1.9 billion transaction ($2.8 billion), including from the bank’s own staff, «threatened confidence in the U.K. financial system.»