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Asia Stocks Rise as Earnings Awaited, Won Weakens: Markets Wrap

Asian equities edged higher ahead of the start of the region’s earnings season this week, with investors betting that the outlook for economic growth and profits is strong enough to support record-high stock prices. The Korean won fell. Shares from Sydney to Seoul climbed with markets in Tokyo closed Monday for a holiday. Samsung Electronics Co. and a slew of Japanese retailers and manufacturers are among companies giving profit updates this week. South Korea’s currency reversed gains as authorities said they would take action to stem one-sided moves in the won. Oil…

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No Idea What MiFID Stands For? Here’s What You Need to Know

Everyone in European finance has been abuzz over an obscure acronym — MiFID II — that’s about to radically change how assets from stocks to commodities are traded and investors’ money is managed. Banks and asset managers across the European Union have spent more than $2 billion preparing for it. Regulators say it will protect investors, boost transparency and rebuild trust that was tarnished by the 2008 global crash. The industry has even spent months finding ways to sidestep parts of it. But you’d be forgiven for not paying attention:…

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From Bitcoin to Belize, Here Are Best and Worst Assets of 2017

It was a great year to hold bitcoin, but a bad time to have been invested in the Uzbek soum. As 2017 winds to a close, a look at the winners and losers around the globe shows that, broadly speaking, the riskiest assets performed well, with bullish sentiment on display in stocks, emerging-market sovereigns and corporate debt. Securities generally seen as the safest and least volatile bets — think Japanese government bonds — trailed behind. There was perhaps no investing idea that attracted more attention in 2017 than cryptocurrencies, from Jamie…

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Worlds Biggest Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil and Gas

The $1 trillion fund that Norway has amassed pumping oil and gas over the past two decades wants out of petroleum stocks.   Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its coal stocks. “Our perspective here is to spread the risks for the…

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Norway Idea to Exit Oil Stocks Is Shot Heard Around the World

Norway’s unloading its shares of Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other oil giants to diversify its holdings and guard against drops in crude prices. European oil stocks fell. Big Oil is under pressure, read more here Norway’s Finance Ministry, which oversees the fund, said it will study the proposal and will take at least a year to decide what to do. The fund has already sold off most of its coal stocks. “People are starting to recognize the risks of oil and gas,” said Jason Disterhoft of…

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The Making of a Millionaire and a Massacre

Five days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, Jeremiah Cottle, ashen-faced and unshaven, looks toward the four flags by his company’s front gate in Moran, Texas. There’s the Lone Star State flag, the Stars and Stripes, a POW-MIA one, and another with the green-and-black logo of his company, Bump Fire managers told the court they’d hired subcontractors to make its bump stocks and that they had sold more than 2,000 in Texas alone, Slide Fire’s main market. In court, Slide Fire said Bump Fire’s price-cutting had cost…

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Las Vegas Horror Drives All-Too-Predictable Gun Stock Rally

The grim predictability of stock-market reactions to U.S. mass shootings—where before a final tally of casualties can be reached, shares of gun makers rise—continued Monday in the wake of a Las Vegas attack that killed at least 58 and wounded 515. Historically, gun stocks have experienced a bump after a mass shooting for reasons both political and emotional. Gun sales typically rise over concerns that a deadly event could lead to more stringent gun-control legislation. An additional driver of sales, and by extension shares, is the rush by some consumers to purchase guns to…

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