* Brokers suspended in Libor inquiry

* China CPI accelerating limits room for easing

* Greek leaders ready to back austerity deal

* G-20 won’t have Europe aid deal at Feb meeting, Meade says

* Turkey pushes for new action on Syria

* Putin gives clue to veto of Syria sanctions

* S Africa looks at ways to use mineral wealth

* Egypt to deploy soldiers, tanks ahead of strike

* Bulgaria and Romania warned on graft

* Protests rock Maldives after coup

* World Bank warns on Africa trade

* Signs build that Iran sanctions disrupt food imports

* Markets: mixed

Brokers suspended in Libor inquiry
More than a dozen traders and brokers in London and Asia have been fired, suspended or put on leave by their employers as a multinational probe into alleged manipulation of crucial global lending rates accelerates, the FT reports. Regulators have been investigating US and European banks that help set interbank lending rates in London and Tokyo since late 2010, in an intensive profile inquiry that spans three continents and involves at least nine separate enforcement agencies.

China CPI accelerating limits room for easing
China’s inflation unexpectedly accelerated in January on the boost to spending from a weeklong holiday, limiting the room for monetary easing as Europe’s debt crisis damps exports and the property market cools, Bloomberg reports. Consumer prices rose 4.5 per cent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website today. That was more than all 33 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey of economists and a median of 4 per cent.

Greek leaders ready to back austerity deal
A dispute over pension cuts stalled talks last night between leaders of Greece’s fractious national unity government on tough new austerity measures, one of the last hurdles to be cleared before eurozone officials can sign off on a €130bn bail-out and save Athens from a messy default, the FT reports. However, officials said they were still confident of reaching a deal by the morning.

G-20 won’t have Europe aid deal at Feb meeting, Meade says
The Group of 20 nations probably won’t reach a consensus on the amount it could designate for aid to Europe at its ministerial meeting at the end of February, Mexico’s Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said, according to Bloomberg.

Turkey pushes for new action on Syria
As Syrian forces pounded the city of Homs with tank shells and rockets, adding dozens of fatalities to the siege’s five-day toll, Turkey pushed to the lead of countries trying to halt President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on his enemies, the WSJ reports.

Putin gives clue to veto of Syria sanctions
Vladimir Putin on Wednesday provided a window into the logic behind Russia’s vote to block UN sanctions against Syria, warning that the world faced a growing “cult of violence” stoked by western interference and raising the spectre of the Arab Spring reaching Russia, the FT reports.

S Africa looks at ways to use mineral wealth
South Africa could raise R40bn ($5.3bn) a year, at current commodity prices, through new taxes on the mining industry that could be used to establish a sovereign wealth fund, according to a report commissioned by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, the FT reports.

Egypt to deploy soldiers, tanks ahead of strike
Egypt’s ruling generals said Wednesday they would deploy more soldiers and tanks across the country, an announcement seen as a warning to activists planning a national strike on the anniversary of the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, Reuters reports.

Bulgaria and Romania warned on graft
Bulgaria and Romania must take further action to combat corruption and reform their judiciary, a European Commission report released on Wednesday said, making it unlikely that either country will accede to the passport-free Schengen area in the immediate future, the FT reports.

Protests rock Maldives after coup
Police and supporters of deposed Maldives’ President Mohamed Nasheed clashed Wednesday, severely injuring at least two people who were protesting Mr. Nasheed’s removal from power a day earlier in a coup involving military and police, the WSJ reports.

World Bank warns on Africa trade
African nations are sacrificing billions of dollars worth of potential trade each year to inefficient border crossings and discordant regulations that make it difficult to do business on the continent, the World Bank said in a new report, according to the WSJ.

Signs build that Iran sanctions disrupt food imports
More evidence emerged of the crippling impact of new sanctions on Iran, with international traders saying Tehran is having trouble buying rice, cooking oil and other staples to feed its 74m people weeks before an election, Reuters reports.

Emerging Markets
MSCI Emerging Market Index down -0.20% at 1,059

DJIA up +0.04% at 12,884
S&P 500 up +0.22% at 1,350
Bovespa down -0.13% at 65,831

Nikkei 225 down -0.12% at 9,005
Topix up +0.37% at 785.22
Hang Seng down -0.51% at 20,911
Shanghai Composite up +0.02% at 2,348
MSCI Asia ex-Japan down -0.21% at 523.84
S&P CNX Nifty Index down -0.35% at 5,350

€/$ 1.33 (1.33)
$/¥ 77.21 (77.03)

Brent Crude (ICE) up +0.22 at 117.42
Light Crude (Nymex) up +0.14 at 98.85
100 Oz Gold (Comex) up +3.60 at 1,733

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