90 seconds at 9 am: US stocks close down after losing early gains; NZ$ down to 80.5 USc; German GDP better than forecast, but Italy, Spain contract sharply; StanChart settles for US$340 mln

Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news the New Zealand dollar fell below support around 80.8 USc to settle around 80.5 USc in morning trade after a late selloff on US stock markets took appetites for riskier assets lower.

US stocks closed down around 0.2%, giving up earlier gains as technology stocks and financial stocks fell. Markets remain subdued during the Northern Hemisphere holidays, but are wary of the risks the much-hoped-for easing of monetary policy expected on both sides of the Atlantic in September may not materialise. See more here at Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, European stocks rose around 0.6% after slightly better than expected GDP growth figures for some parts of the Euro-zone economy.

German GDP grew 0.3% in the June quarter from the March quarter, which was better than the 0.2% growth expected.

French GDP was flat when economists had expected a small contraction. But Spanish and Italian GDP fell sharply and the overall Euro-zone area GDP contracted 0.2% in Q2 from Q1 and contracted 0.4% in Q2 from the same quarter a year ago. See more here at Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered has settled allegations by New York's financial regulator that it covered up US$250 billion of Iranian money laundering by paying a settlement of US$340 million. See more here at Reuters.

(Updated to correct figure in headline for settlement to US$340 million from US$380 million)

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I guess standard chartered didn't have the right contacts in Government Sacs then...

More of a top ten link but this seems mighty close to sabre rattling by George Friedman at strafor.com.

Interesting that a currency trader is calling a top in the AUD.

Bobby calves and NAIT - I'm hearing that there aren't the buyers of bobby calves around this year due to NAIT.  The cost in terms of time and dollars in being NAIT compliant isn't worth it, especially for the smaller rearers, so they say. With a $5 NAIT tag price some dairy guys are finding it uneconomic to keep bobbies once cost of milk, labour, tags etc are taken in to account - even at $30 a bobby calf. So an increase in slinks??
Any comments from others out there as to what is happening in their areas?

Is the govt opening up more land based oil and gas exploration because it doesn't seem to attract the environmentalists outcry the same as offshore drilling does?  Also land based exploration and extraction can't be stopped on private land whereas offshore work usually brings in the claims from Maori.  With district councils now being given the the power in the decision making process, it conveniently removes govt from being held responsible with the voters.
Under the Crown Minerals Act the Government could allow exploration and extraction on private land without landowners permission, Dr Ilg said.
A change in Government policy means district councils are now playing a greater role in processing and awarding mining permits,’’ he said.

CO - no, it's not a result of such intelligence.
Growth requires exponential extraction - can't be sustained, but that's what it requires.
So at this point in the 'doubling' process, we get simultaneous needs for housing, roads, food, mining, fishing (Antarctic, aquaculture - the virgin paddock in simpleton minds) the need to commercialise the DoC estate, repress the RMA .
That just tells you how big the current doubling had to be, tells you that there won't be another, and the question of what environmentalists do or do no hit is a matter of their resources.
The sickest joke is Gareth Morgan - talking tonight about his conservation efforts in the Antipodes. The threat? Growth-based finance, as practiced by Gareth Morgan.
Cognitive dissonance in it's most starkly obvious form.

Don't be so hard on Gareth every journey to enlightenment requires more than one step. To his credit he has at least opened his eyes even if he is struggling to evaluate what he sees