The Woolsey Fire in suburban Los Angeles is now 35% contained, despite a flare-up Tuesday caused by strong Santa Ana winds, while the fire in total has scorched 97,000 acres, destroyed 435 buildings and "deep infrastructure," such as power lines, water lines, sewers and roads. The death toll from the Camp Fire has risen to 48 as forensic teams sift through charred homes in search of bodies.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has told a financial-technology conference central banks should consider issuing digital currency. Lagarde acknowledged risk and that "the case for digital currency is not universal" but said "technology will change, and so must we".
Crude oil has lost 28% since an October peak, and technical analyst Blake Morrow notes it is testing support not encountered since 2012. A near-term upturn is not impossible, Morrow writes, but the move would be impulsive and likely would trigger a fresh bout of selling.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo is pushing the agency toward digitalization "to keep pace with the pace of markets." The CFTC needs "to take an 80-year-old statute and a 40-year-old agency and reform it for this new digital marketplace we are in, and it begins with understanding these changes," Giancarlo says.
CoreLogic estimates that 48,390 residences in California are at "high or extreme risk" from the wildfires now burning in the state, and the potential rebuilding cost is at $18 billion. The fires are also causing smoke and ash to spread through the state, affecting homes, heating, water supply and ventilation, while the cost of recovery and reconstruction after each fire causes the cost of home construction to soar, potentially raising the average home price.
Three existing buildings totaling 500,000 square feet in the Crystal City area of Northern Virginia, owned by JBG Smith, will initially serve as Amazon's new Virginia headquarters. The e-commerce giant has more ambitious plans for the area, which it is calling National Landing, and is acquiring two development sites that will add up to 4.1 million square feet of space.
Negotiators for the UK and the EU have agreed on the terms of Brexit. UK Prime Minister Theresa May must gain support from Parliament, where many lawmakers are likely to vote against the draft deal.
Italy's populist government has refused to redraft its budget proposal, despite a European Commission ruling that the plan risks breaching the EU Stability and Growth Pact. Matteo Salvini, one of Italy's deputy prime ministers, says the country will stick to a 2.4% deficit target for next year, despite demands from Brussels to address growing debt.
Christina Casalinho, CEO of Portugal's government-debt agency, expects Brexit to make government funding more expensive in Europe, consequently increasing costs for taxpayers. Additionally, banks are unlikely to establish significant operations in post-Brexit Europe because of high costs associated with the process, Casalinho says.
A breakthrough in Brexit talks and potential cooling of the US-Chinese trade dispute boosted European stocks Tuesday. The STOXX Europe 600 index recovered 0.7%, but the export-weighted FTSE 100 index ended the day flat as sterling hit a seven-month high against the euro.
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