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In this list

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Reinsurance price declines moderate; feds seek refund from state exchange

In the news

Reinsurance rate reductions continued during the Jan. 1, 2017, renewal season, but the pace has moderated mainly due to the "relatively stable" U.S. property-catastrophe renewals, according to Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc's JLT Re.

JLT Re's Risk-Adjusted Global Property-Catastrophe Reinsurance Rate-on-Line Index, a measure of global property catastrophe reinsurance pricing, dropped by 5.7% at the Jan. 1, 2017, renewals, versus the 8.2% decline seen in 2016, 11% in 2015 and 12% in 2014, the company's global head of analytics, David Flandro, said in a news release.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General recommended that state-based Affordable Care Act exchange Connect for Health Colorado return approximately $9.7 million in federal funds for violating federal grant rules. The department had awarded approximately $185.0 million in startup funds to the health insurance exchange.

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Looking for ways to lower expenses, large life insurance companies have turned to offering policies with a simplified underwriting process and presenting them directly to consumers in different ways, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.

Based on S&P Global's review of product filings, companies including MetLife Inc., Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., New York Life Insurance Co. and AEGON NV's U.S.-based Transamerica Group have a digital footprint to sell individual term insurance products directly to consumers, while some companies also work with large retailers to access potential consumers directly.

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After collapsing on two separate occasions in 2016, life insurance stocks soared after the presidential election, finishing the year far higher than the wider market, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.

Featured news:

Johnson & Johnson to split Actelion; Gates Foundation invests in HIV vaccine: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committing up to $140 million in Intarcia Therapeutics Inc. as part of an effort to combat HIV.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Mackenzie to buy China Asset Management stake; RBI to set up NBFC ombudsman

Middle East & Africa: Popularizing e-money in Africa; looming layoffs at Kenyan banks

Europe: US expels Russian diplomats in hacking scandal; cyber insurance demand to rise

Latin America: Financial irregularities detected at Agrobanco; B&MA gains final approvals

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.96% to 22,000.56, while the Nikkei 225 slid 0.16% to 19,114.37. In Europe, around midday, the Euronext 100 was down 0.04% to 930.40.

On the macro front

The Chicago purchasing managers' index and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.