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Morgan Keegan settles Fairfax suit; Bank of Canada expected to keep rates steady


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Morgan Keegan settles Fairfax suit; Bank of Canada expected to keep rates steady

Raymond James Financial Inc. broker/dealer unit Morgan Keegan & Co. LLC agreed to pay $20 million to settle a long-standing litigation with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. over the alleged manipulation of the insurance and reinsurance company's stock.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said he does not see a need for further interest rate hikes. "[W]e've got a pretty good policy right now and we should stay where we are and see how the data come in," Bullard said in an interview with FOX Business.

Citigroup Inc. won a tender to acquire the Israeli government's remaining 5.37% stake in Bank Leumi le-Israel BM, Reuters reported, citing Israel's finance ministry. The stake, comprised of 81 million shares, is worth roughly 2 billion shekels and Citigroup is expected to distribute the shares to its clients, according to the report.

John Gerspach's tenure at Citigroup will end in March 2019. The retiring CFO will be succeeded by Mark Mason, who has 17 years' experience with Citigroup and is responsible for Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review submissions. Other leadership changes at the bank include the departure at the end of the year of North America CEO Bill Mills and Europe, Middle East and Africa CEO Jim Cowles. Kristine Braden, Citigroup's country officer for Switzerland, was also named as CEO Michael Corbat's new chief of staff.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. named Arleas Upton Kea deputy to the chairman and COO, and Arthur Murton deputy to the chairman for policy.

The U.S. is the world's top financial center in terms of quantitative value, according to New Financial's international financial centers index. U.K. comes second and is the most dominant financial center in Europe, although Britain's impending exit from the European Union poses risks to its international activity, according to the think tank.

Bank of Canada is expected to keep its benchmark interest rates steady at 1.50% amid increased uncertainty over Canada's inclusion in the North American Free Trade Agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing economists from primary dealers of Canadian government securities. Most of those surveyed expect the central bank to likely wait until October to raise its target for the overnight rate, according to the report. Talks between the U.S. and Canada over NAFTA are set to resume today.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Tokyo Century may raise Indonesian bank stake; Philippines OKs Axa/XL Group deal

Europe: EU money laundering shortcomings; TSB Pester's £1.7M in spotlight

Middle East & Africa: Citigroup snaps up Leumi stake; South Africa slips into recession

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Melrose's imminent failure may have impacted stabilization fund rebates: The imminent failure of Briarwood, N.Y.-based Melrose Credit Union may have played a role in the amount of money the National Credit Union Administration rebated to credit unions in July, experts said.

Commercial loan spreads drop for smaller, riskier borrowers in July: Prime-linked commercial loan spreads dropped for less creditworthy borrowers in July after trending higher for the first six months of 2018.

C&I loans continued to rise as credit quality improved in Q2: Aggregate commercial and industrial loans at U.S. banks and thrifts hit $2.077 trillion, up 1.2% from the previous quarter amid improvements in credit quality.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 2.61% to 27,243.85, and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.51% to 22,580.83.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 decreased 0.45% to 7,424.68, and the Euronext 100 decreased 0.84% to 1,039.01.

On the macro front

The Mortgage Bankers' Association's mortgage applications report, the international trade report and the Redbook report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

As of Sept. 4, US$1 was equivalent to 3.62 Israeli shekels.

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