Ian's Feed
May 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

Global sell-off could echo summer of 2011

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By Ian Campbell
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.Global investors have been sucking money out of risk assets. Credible reassurance that Greece will stay in the euro would see risky bets poured back on. But for now Greece looks headed for the exit door and markets’ trajectory is downwards. The global sell-off in stocks, commodities and many currencies is likely to get worse as the dollar advances.

It might seem Greece is not a big enough to warrant global concern. But a Greek default would impose losses on the rest of Europe . And Greece will be seen as the first domino. Spanish and Italian bonds will be among those selling off, exacerbating financing pressures in southern Europe’s two big economies. A huge European effort would be required to calm fears that they and Portugal will not ultimately go the way of Greece.

May 16, 2012

U.N. atom talks with Iran may show progress: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran may be narrowing their differences on how to tackle concerns over Tehran’s atomic ambitions, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday, suggesting a previously unexpected agreement was now not ruled out.

They spoke a day after the U.N. agency said there was a “good exchange of views” with Iran in a May 14-15 meeting which tested the Islamic state’s readiness to address questions about suspected nuclear weapons-relevant research.

May 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

The pound’s climb may send the UK down

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By Ian Campbell

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

British holiday-makers will welcome it. The pound is rising as the euro weakens. Sterling will rise further in the coming months if Greece exits the euro zone and exacerbates the single currency’s crisis. But the pound’s rise promises UK pain-and serious problems for policymakers.

May 16, 2012

Iran nuclear concession would test big power unity

LONDON/VIENNA (Reuters) – Facing an imminent toughening of sanctions, Iran is hinting at a readiness to give some ground in its long nuclear stand-off with world powers, but any flexibility could split their ranks and lead to protracted uncertainty about how to respond.

The stakes are high, for the longer the impasse goes on, the closer Iran will get to the technological threshold of capability to develop atomic bombs, raising the odds of last-ditch Israeli military strikes on its arch-foe and the risk of a new Middle East war a troubled global economy cannot afford.

May 16, 2012

U.N. and Iran agree to keep talking on nuclear

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog ended two days of talks on Tuesday by agreeing to meet again next week, just two days before Tehran resumes negotiations with world powers concerned it may be seeking to develop atomic bomb capability.

While both sides were upbeat about the discussions, which will continue on Monday, there was no word on whether the U.N. agency had made progress towards one of its main aims – to secure access to a suspect military site near Tehran.

May 15, 2012

U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran agree – to talk more

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog and Iran will meet again next week after a “good exchange of views” during two days of talks on the Islamic state’s atomic programme, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.

The head of the Iranian delegation said progress was made in the meeting in Vienna which dealt with the U.N. agency’s mounting concerns that Tehran may be seeking to develop the capability to develop nuclear weapons.

May 15, 2012

Iran upbeat on U.N. nuclear talks, diplomats sceptical

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran gave an upbeat assessment on Tuesday of talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog about its atomic activity but diplomats voiced doubt inspectors would gain access to a military site where they believe tests of use in making atomic bombs were carried out.

The discussions tested Iran’s readiness to address U.N. inspectors’ concerns over suspected military dimensions to its nuclear work ahead of diplomatic negotiations on the programme’s future in Baghdad next week between Tehran and six world powers.

May 15, 2012

Iran says nuclear talks with UN “good, constructive”

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog about Tehran’s atomic activities are going well, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday, the second day of discussions.

The talks will test Iran’s readiness to address U.N. inspectors’ concerns over military links to its nuclear work, ahead of wider diplomatic negotiations on the programme’s future in Baghdad next week between Tehran and world powers.

May 15, 2012

Iran official says talks with IAEA good, environment constructive

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog about Tehran’s atomic programme are going well, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday, the second day of discussions.

The talks will test Iran’s readiness to address U.N. inspectors’ concerns over military links to its nuclear work, ahead of wider diplomatic talks on the programme’s future in Baghdad next week between Tehran and world powers.

May 14, 2012

U.N. nuclear agency to push Iran on military site access

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United Nations nuclear watchdog signalled on Monday it would press Iran for access to a military installation where it suspects Iran has built a chamber for high-explosive tests that could serve to develop atomic bombs.

The Vienna talks will test Iran’s readiness to address U.N. inspectors’ suspicions of military dimensions to its nuclear programme, ahead of broader-ranging talks on the programme’s future in Baghdad next week between Tehran and six world powers.