Europe Stocks Drop As Bullard Says October Taper Possible

Russia makes new threats over Ukraine’s pro-Europe policy

Ukraine’s pro-Europe drive has already drawn threats of counter-measures from Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as pressure on Kiev to join the Customs Union. Speaking after Azarov on Saturday, Sergei Glazyev, an aide to Putin, returned to the attack, saying that Russia might be obliged to impose duties on any goods arriving from Ukrainian territory, at a huge financial cost to Ukraine. Saying 40 percent of Ukrainians had doubts over the agreements with the EU, Glazyev, who has made hawkish comments before about Ukraine’s pro-Europe policy, urged the Kiev government to ballot its people. “Let us … ask the Ukrainian people what choice they prefer,” he said. TYMOSHENKO RELEASE Azarov had sharp words for Russia over its refusal to cut the price of its gas, which hangs heavy on Ukraine’s cash-strapped economy. Ukraine pays what it sees as an exorbitant $400 per thousand cubic meters under a 2009 contract, which Russia has refused to redraw. In a bid to break away from reliance on Russia, Ukraine hopes to find alternative energy sources through shale gas exploration and imports from other sources. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday reiterated that Kiev was committed to signing the agreements with the EU at a November 28 summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, marking a pivotal shift away from Russia. But he refused to say whether he would free his jailed political rival, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who the EU says is a victim of ‘selective justice’. Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2011 for abuse of office after a trial that she says was a vendetta by Yanukovich. Former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski, who is involved in mediation missions on behalf of the EU to get Tymoshenko released, urged Yanukovich to free her for medical treatment in Germany.

Europe shares close lower after Bullard comments

The U.K. FTSE closed down 0.4 percent, the German Dax closed down 0.2 percent and the French Cac closed up 0.1 percent. Bullard emphasized in an interview with Bloomberg the role that economic data has played, and will continue to play in Fed decisions “This was a close decision here in September,” he told the network. Europe stocks started the day in negative territory, bringing an end to the broad rally which started after the Federal Reserve surprised markets by opting to maintain its $85 billion-per-month asset purchases. However, Bullard’s comments on Friday backed up the belief that the Fed still plans to taper soon. In Europe, German voters are preparing to go the polls in Sunday’s general elections . The current chancellor, Angela Merkel, is expected to win a third term in office, but the future composition of the governing coalition remains unclear. It is possible that Merkel might have to form an alliance with the rival Social Democrats party (SPD). In Asia, Indian equities led the region lower on the final trading day of the week, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unexpectedly raised interest rates. India’s Sensex index closed down 1.8 percent, Japan’s Nikkei index ended just below the flatline and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 fell off the previous day’s five-year high. (Read More: India unexpectedly hikes rates, shares tumble ) Elsewhere, die-hard Apple fans in Asia and Europe lined up outside stores for the launch of the tech firm’s latest handsets. At the biggest Apple store in Asia, in Beijing, several security guards kept the line in order to avoid a repeat of the egg-throwing that marred a previous launch.

The equity benchmark has still risen 0.9 percent this week, extending its rally so far this year to 12 percent, as the Fed refrained from slowing the pace of its bond-buying program at its last policy meeting on Sept. 17-18. Almost every single investor expected the Fed to taper, Henrik Drusebjerg, who helps oversee $220 billion as a senior strategist at Nordea Bank AB in Copenhagen, said by telephone. Bullards comments are definitely something that would concern investors as weve seen quite a rally this week on the back of the Fed indicating that it will delay tapering. Bullard said that economic reports over the next month may lead the Federal Open Market Committee to cut its monthly purchases of Treasuries or mortgage bonds when it next meets on Oct. 29-30. Its possible that you could get some data that change the complexion of the outlook and could make the committee be comfortable with a small taper in October, Bullard said in an interview with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Televisions Bloomberg Surveillance . Fed Stimulus The Stoxx 600 climbed to its highest level since June 2008 yesterday after the Fed said it needs to see more evidence of lasting improvement in the U.S. economy before slowing the pace of its bond-buying program. In Germany , an INSA opinion poll published yesterday showed the opposition Social Democrats climbing one percentage point to 28 percent, 10 points behind Chancellor Angela Merkel s Christian Democratic Union and its sister party the Christian Social Union of Bavaria. Both main groups fell short of a majority with their preferred coalition partners in the survey. Some polls show the Free Democrats, the junior member of the governing coalition, struggling to reach the 5 percent threshold they need to enter parliament, meaning that Merkel may have to form a government with another party. National benchmark indexes fell in 10 of the 18 western-European markets. The U.K.s FTSE 100 slid 0.4 percent and Germanys DAX slipped 0.2 percent. Frances CAC 40 Index added 0.1 percent. Consumer Confidence A European Commission report showed an index of household sentiment in the euro area climbed to minus 14.9 in September from minus 15.6 in August. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg had called for a reading of minus 14.5.

Europe’s Ryder Cup hopefuls have one last chance to make their mark at the Italian Open

Daniel Radcliffe on going from boy wizard Harry Potter to gay sex scenes, love triangles and what it would be like to grow a devilish pair of horns FORMER Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe talks to RICK FULTON. Amazing reunion for baby born in secret after war-time fling 70 years ago ABERDEEN-BORN Judy Patchett was reunited with her sister Brenda Chandler after a family secret kept them apart for almost 70 years. Play Daily Record Bingo now for great prizes! Search: EUROPEAN Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley will name his three wild card selections after next year’s Italian Open. European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley Andrew Redington/Getty Images THE European Tour today confirmed that the battle to qualify for Europe’s next Ryder Cup team will conclude at the Italian Open on Sunday, August 31, 2014. Captain Paul McGinley will name his three wild card selections the following day, with nine players qualifying automatically, the first four coming from the European Points List and the remaining five coming from the World Points List. Italian Golf Federation president Franco Chimenti said: “This is a great boost for the Italian Open and we are already counting down to what I am sure will be a very exciting week both for Italian golf and for the Ryder Cup. “Of course, it would also be very special if we were able to welcome some of our own players to the team next year to follow in the footsteps of Costantino Rocca and Francesco and Edoardo Molinari.” McGinley added: “The Italian Open is steeped in history and is one of the great championships on the European Tour, and I look forward to being in Italy when the nine automatic qualifiers are determined.” Francesco Molinari, whose halved match with Tiger Woods ensured Europe won the last Ryder Cup outright thanks to the ‘Miracle at Medinah’, added: “It’s great news for the Italian Open. You only have to look at how successful the tournament has been this week, and hopefully the Ryder Cup points finishing here will add to its profile. “There is a long way to go, but it would be pretty special to qualify for the team at the Italian Open – that is certainly the goal.” The venue for the 2014 event, which was won in Turin on Sunday by France’s Julien Quesne, has yet to be decided.