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    * Nikkei's winning streak longest in 27 years * Fuji Heavy hits record high on weak yen, U.S. econ optimism By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, May 28 - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Thursday morning, extending its gains to a 10th day as investors hoped exporters' earnings will rise after the dollar hit eight-year highs against the yen.

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    Hong Kong stocks traded lower Thursday morning, although mainland Chinese shares extended gains in choppy trading after a seven-day bull run. The Hang Seng Index turned lower after a positive open and dropped 0.9%, with the mainland-China-tracking Hang Seng China Enterprises Index down 0.8%, even as the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.3% in seesaw trade. Most Chinese securities firms suffered losses after several brokers tightened up their margin-financing...

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    The euro rose on Thursday as Greece fought to reach an agreement with its lenders to avoid an imminent default, but mixed signals on the state of the negotiations kept other markets little changed. Crude oil futures rose in choppy trade after two days of sharp losses after data showed a fourth weekly drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.

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    Japanese stocks boogied higher in early Thursday action, as the yen plumbed fresh multiyear lows and U.S. shares offered a strong lead. The Nikkei Average was 0.6% higher, hunting what would be its 10th straight winning session, while the Topix improved by 0.5%. The dollar marched ever higher, buying Yen123.75 after hitting its best level since the summer of 2007 before the open of Tokyo trade.

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    * USD holds near 124.00 yen, consolidates vs other peers. * Break of 124.14 yen would take dollar to 12-year highs. * Aussie eyes capex data at 0130 GMT. By Ian Chua. The dollar hovered at eight-year highs against the yen early on Thursday, having stopped short of breaking above its 2007 peak as it consolidated recent gains against the euro and other peers.

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    HONG KONG-- China has set up its largest gold-investment fund ever, expected to total 100 billion yuan, aiming to invest in mining projects in the region and enhance Chinese influence in global gold markets, local media reports said Wednesday. The "Silk Road Gold Fund"-- led by the Shanghai Gold Exchange and others-- is reportedly focused on investing in gold projects as part of China's "New Silk Road" push to deepen economic ties with other countries in the region, particularly those along...

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    The Treasury market sold off on Wednesday, sending yields higher, as global equities rebounded from Tuesday's rout and investors sold bonds in favor of riskier assets. News that Greece is on the brink of crafting a deal with its creditors enhanced the risk-on sentiment and favored European stocks, while the benchmark 10- year Greek bond yield declined by 63.5 basis points to 11.281%. But the good news was bad news for the Treasury market, which saw selling pressures throughout the...

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    * TSX ends up 59.66 points, or 0.40 percent, at 15,110.47. * Most sectors broadly positive but energy weighs. By Alastair Sharp. Canada's main stock index bounced back on Wednesday, with gains for banks and industrial stocks leading the charge and overshadowing losses among energy names, which wilted along with underlying commodity prices.

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    By Joseph Adinolfi, MarketWatch, Hiroyuki Kachi. Euro rises on reports that a Greek deal is near. The dollar briefly broke above 124 yen Wednesday, hitting its highest intraday level since June 2007..

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    * Canadian dollar at C$1.2459, or 80.26 U.S. cents * Bond prices flat to higher across maturity curve By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, May 27 - The Canadian dollar regained a little ground against the greenback on Wednesday but still ended the day weaker after the Bank of Canada said it is standing pat on interest rates, a stance that contrasts with the U.S. Federal Reserve's moves to ready markets f...

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    Canada's main stock index ended higher on Wednesday, as gains in banking and industrial stocks offset losses among energy shares as resource prices dragged. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed up 59.66 points, or 0.40 percent, at 15,110.47.

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    The only thing we know for sure is that stock in Hanergy Thin Film Power (HNGSF), a solar panel company equipment owned by what was at the time China's richest man, fell 47 percent last Wednesday. We don't know exactly why it fell, or even how much its Chairman Li Hejun lost when it did, since he apparently upped his bet against his own company in the days before the crash. Just that it did.When you put all the pieces together, though, it looks even worse. It looks like Hanergy might be China's Enron: an Energy Company of the Future whose stock price could only go up as long as it was borrowing money and could only borrow money as long as its stock price was going up. In other words, a house of cards that was just waiting for the first piece to fall.Now, the first thing to know about Hanergy is that it's really two companies. There's the privately owned parent corporation, Hanergy Group, and the publicly traded subsidiary, Hanergy Thin Film Power (HNGSF) . So far, so normal. The curious part, though, is that almost all of HFT's sales are to its parent company at a net profit margin of 50 percent. And even more curious is that the parent company hasn't actually, well, paid for most of the solar panel equipment it's ostensibly bought from HFT. Through 2013, only 35 percent of the accounts between the two had been settled.Why so low? The question answers itself. Hanergy must not have the cash. The problem is that the parent company has borrowed a lot of money at high interest rates, but can't make that back since its factories, which, remember, are supposed to be building solar panels out of the equipment it's gotten from HFT, are running at such low capacity—or maybe none at all, according to a hedge fund manager who visited a plant—that they must be losing money. So it sure seems like Hanergy Group has more debt than it can pay back, but is trying to keep people from realizing that by moving money from its left hand to its right and back again—that is, between its parent and subsidiary—to make it look like there's actually money coming in.The question, then, isn't how this fell apart. It's how it lasted as long as it did. And the answer is HFT's stock. Think about it like this. How does a company that's got too much debt and too little profits—if any—convince people to keep lending to it? Well, it could try to hide what it owes and what it's making, but even that probably wouldn't be enough. It'd need collateral. Like, say, its subsidiary's booming stock. Although in this case, the word "booming" doesn't come close to describing what happened. Before its recent plunge, HFT's stock had risen more than 20-fold since the start of 2013 on its supposedly brisk business with its parent company. But even then, this made approximately zero sense. It wasn't just that HFT went up so much that, on paper, it was worth more than six times as much as its closest competitor. It was the way it went up—specifically, in the last 10 minutes of every day.It turns out there are two HFT stocks. There's the money-losing one most of the day, and the invincible one at the end of it. By the Financial Times' calculation, if you'd bought $1,000 worth of HFT stock at 9 a.m. every morning and sold it at 3:30 p.m. every afternoon since January 2013, you'd have only had $635 left by this February. But if you'd sold at 3:50 p.m. instead, your stock would have gone up to a healthy to $1,285. And if you'd held on until closing at 4 p.m., your stock would have shot up a more-than-healthy eight times to $8,430.That's some pattern. And it's one that isn't likely to have happened by chance. It sure seems like—there are those words again—HFT's stock must have been getting manipulated up at the end of every trading day. But who could have been doing this? Well, there aren't too many suspects. That's because Hanergy's Chairman, Li Hejun, is not only the person with the strongest motive to do so, but he's also about the only one who seems to have been buying HFT's stock in the first place. Indeed, while hedge funds have been so eager to bet against HFT that it's hard to find shares to short, Hejun has increased his holdings up to the legal limit. He now owns 74.96 percent of HFT against the 75 percent he's allowed to own.Here's one theory about what happened. Suppose that Hanergy wasn't making enough money to pay back what it owed other than by borrowing from new lenders to pay off the old. And then suppose it got these new loans by pledging its subsidiary HFT's shares as collateral. (We actually know it did this). It'd need those shares to keep going up if it was going to keep getting the loans it needed—so it'd use what money it did have to push the stock price higher and higher. But there's only so much it could do this. Once Hejun hit the 75 percent limit on how much of the company he could own, he couldn't push up its price anymore. Then Hanergy wouldn't be able to borrow anymore, and, as a result, wouldn't be able to pay back what it owes anymore. It'd default, and its lenders would sell the HFT shares being held as collateral to try to recoup their losses—which, the Financial Times reports, is exactly what happened.Again, this is just speculation. It's trying to fit what we know into a story that makes sense. But if it were true, we might expect Hejun to start betting against his company once he realized it was all going to come crashing down. And that seems to be what he did. Hejun increased his short position against HFT from 5.81 to 7.71 percent right before its stock halved. It's certainly curious.It might just be Enron with Chinese characteristics.




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    * Japanese minister's concern not enough to halt yen selling. * Euro hits 1-month low versus dollar before Greece news. * Reports raise hopes of Greece reaching debt deal soon. By Richard Leong.

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    * Stocks rebound after Tuesday losses. * Crude futures prices continue to slide. * Euro ticks up; dollar index higher as yen falls. By Rodrigo Campos. European stocks lead major markets higher on Wednesday and the euro edged up on signs, later dismissed, that Greece and its creditors were drafting an agreement that would provide Athens much-needed debt relief.

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    By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, May 27 (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based mutual funds poured $4.3 billion into funds that specialize in international shares in the week ended May 20 as part of a continued rotation into European shares, data from the Investment Company Institute showed on Wednesday. The inflows were the biggest in four weeks for the funds and marked their 20th straight week of new demand, according to the data from ICI, a U.S. mutual fund trade organization. Funds that specialize in U.S. shares posted $5.4 billion in outflows, marking their biggest outflows in three weeks and their 12th straight week of withdrawals. Overall, stock funds posted their second straight week of investor withdrawals, at $1.1 billion. Bond funds attracted $2 billion in new cash to mark their fifth straight week of inflows. All of the new money went into taxable bond funds, while municipal bond funds posted their third straight week of outflows, at $138 million. The benchmark U.S. S&P 500 stock index rose 1.3 percent and hit record closing highs on multiple days during the reporting period, while Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index of top regional shares rallied 2.8 percent. "You had a substantial over-allocation to the U.S. over the last couple of years," said Bryan Novak, portfolio manager at Astor Investment Management in Chicago. "You're seeing the pendulum swing back the other way," he said regarding the demand for funds that hold international shares. He said investors have been chasing strong performance from European stocks in the first quarter, and that European Central Bank stimulus was adding to recent positive signs such as improved employment growth in the euro zone to lure investors into the region's shares. The FTSEurofirst 300 rallied about 16 percent in the first quarter, while the S&P 500 rose less than 1 percent. Hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks and fixed income securities, attracted $536 million, reversing minor outflows over the prior week and marking the funds' biggest inflows in seven weeks. The following table shows estimated ICI flows for the past five weeks (all figures in millions of dollars): 5/20 5/13 5/6 4/29 4/22/2015 Total equity -1,061 -2,801 1,330 -3,192 3,140 Domestic -5,390 -5,052 -1,729 -7,269 -3,397 World 4,329 2,251 3,059 4,076 6,537 Hybrid* 536 -30 522 -358 143 Total bond 1,984 2,172 2,459 2,954 3,770 Taxable 2,123 2,340 2,485 1,926 3,098 Municipal -138 -169 -26 1,028 672 Total 1,459 -659 4,311 -597 7,053 *Hybrid funds can invest in stocks and/or fixed income securities. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Paul Simao)

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    European stocks leapt Wednesday following reports debt-strapped Greece is in the final stages of reaching a deal with its international creditors. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed up 1.3% at 408.88, breaking a three-session losing streak, following comments from Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that suggested Athens may be closer to a deal that would end the country's monthslong deadlock with international creditors. Stocks started to surge following a Bloomberg...

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    * Japan minister's concerns not enough to halt yen selling. * Euro hits 1-month low versus dollar before Greece news. * Reports raise some hopes Greece clinches debt deal soon. By Richard Leong.

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    British Airways parent, Imperial Tobacco gain. U.K. stocks jumped Wednesday, following reports Greece and its creditors were getting close to a debt deal, and as International Consolidated Airlines PLC and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC each rose on deal talks. The FTSE 100 gained 1.2% to 7,033.33, the highest close in nearly three weeks, after media reports late Wednesday afternoon indicated that Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is nearing a deal with international...