Syria Tension Pushes Stocks to Monthly Loss; Survey Says Europe is Back in the Mix; Banks May Raise Rates to Attract Depositors

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Syria Tension Pushes Stocks to Monthly Loss (Bloomberg)

Investors are hesitant to put their money into the markets, as they wait to know what exactly will happen in troubled Syria. As a result, as of Friday afternoon, the S&P 500 was on pace to extend its worst monthly drop in 15 months. “People don’t want to go into the weekend hugely exposed up or down, especially with this fear of Syria overhanging the market,” Beth Lilly, a Minneapolis-based portfolio manager with Gabelli Funds, said. “There’s a lot of concern of if we get involved in a bombing, how protracted will our involvement be. The market does not like uncertainty, and there’s a lot of uncertainty as it relates to Syria.”

Survey Says Europe is Back in the Mix (Reuters)

Reuters’ monthly survey of global fund managers shows European asset allocations hitting highs not seen since March 2012, due to an increasingly positive outlook on the global economy. However, holdings in emerging markets and Asia outside of Japan and China are falling. “We remain upbeat about the global economy into 2014, as the private sector is still expanding,” said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life in Edinburgh. “In some countries, a virtuous circle could be starting between consumer demand, production and credit growth.”

Banks May Raise Rates to Attract Depositors (CNBC)

In response to the financial crises beginning in 2008, global bank regulators have increased bank-capitalization requirements. Because of a six-year trend of ever rising bank deposits, American banks have had no difficulty with compliance. That picture is starting to change. “The overall decline in deposits balances in the second quarter of 2013 is an indication that interest rates on deposits are likely to start climbing up in the near future” Dan Geller, executive vice president at Market Rates Insight, said.

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Both European and U.S. stocks rose today, following a more-positive-than-expected revision of second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Asian currencies, such as the Indian rupee and the South Korean won, and indices tracking East Asian markets also came up.

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