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Marinov: Fed Rate Hikes to Help Rally U.S. Dollar

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The dollar weakens, Valeant sells assets to pay debt, and the Mayer era ends at Yahoo. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Dollar drops

Investors worried that the market has got too long dollars are paring back positions ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's news conference tomorrow. The yen strengthened to trade as high as 115.20 to the dollar overnight, before giving up some of those gains. It is a different story for the Turkish lira, which fell to another new record low against the greenback this morning, and was trading at 3.7816 to the dollar at 5:15 a.m. ET.

FTSE record record

Another currency that has a bad start to the new year is the British pound, which was trading at $1.2148 at 5:19 a.m. ET. But as the pound falls, the sterling-denominated FTSE 100 rises. So much so that the index has closed at a new record high every day since markets reopened after Christmas. Should it close higher at the end of today's session, that would be nine successive record highs -- which would itself be a record, the longest previous streak being eight back in 1997. 

End of an era at Yahoo

Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer will leave the board of the investment company that will remain after the proposed sale of Yahoo's internet properties to Verizon Communications Inc. closes. The company will also drop the Yahoo name, and become Altaba Inc. The chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., who met Donald Trump yesterday, is steering his company to take big steps offline as it leads a bid to take department store chain Intime Retail Group Co. private for as much as $2.6 billion.

Markets quiet

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2 percent, with Japan's Topix index dropping 0.7 percent as the yen rallied, putting pressure on exporters. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent lower at 5:24 a.m. ET with a decline in lenders offset by rises in carmakers and miners following data from China showing producer prices rose at the fastest pace in five years. S&P 500 futures were broadly unchanged

Trump appoints his son-in-law

Jared Kushner, son-in-law to the president-elect, will serve in an unpaid role as senior White House adviser, the transition team announced yesterday. He will complete the trinity of key advisers to the PEOTUS, which also includes Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon. While questions have been raised on whether the appointment would fall foul of a 1967 anti-nepotism law, legal experts do not think it applies to the White House. Meanwhile, the right-wing website Breitbart News has hired the Wall Street Journal's John Carney to lead up a new finance and economics section.

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