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Old 09-11-2011, 06:21 PM   Nav to Top  #11
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Post Empire Global FX: Euro seen under pressure on lack of G7 support

(Reuters) - The euro and growth-linked currencies may fall on Monday, hit by a lack of concrete measures from Group of Seven finance chiefs to address either faltering growth, the escalating euro zone debt crisis, or exchange rate volatility.

The dollar, yen and, to a lesser extent, Swiss franc are set to advance with more investors seeking safe-haven currencies on the back of rising financial market stress.

That will raise the risk of more solo intervention from Japanese and Swiss authorities.

The flight to safety should drive core government bonds like German Bunds and British gilts higher, leading to wider spreads over euro zone peripheral debt, while European banking shares may ease on mounting worries about contagion engulfing bigger economies like Italy and Spain.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations pledged to respond in a concerted matter to a global slowdown. However, they offered no specific steps and differed in emphasis on Europe's debt crisis.

That will likely offer little solace to investors who had expected some sort of coordinated policy response from G7 policymakers at a time when stock markets have been falling and global growth in showing increasing signs of stalling.

"As this falls short of any commitment to undertake co-ordinated action in currency markets, investors are likely to react with disappointment when trading resumes on Monday," said Mansoor Mohi-uddin, head of foreign exchange strategy at UBS.

He expected Japan to stay on intervention watch.

Japan's finance minister, Jun Azumi, said he met with little resistance to further intervention at the G7 meeting. Japan last intervened in the currency market on August 4 to topple the yen from a record high against the dollar.

"We expect Japan's authorities will act again unilaterally if dollar/yen tests its post-war lows of 75.95 yen. As a result we think investors should instead keep favouring the dollar now when they seek safe-haven currencies," UBS's Mohi-uddin said.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures its performance against a basket of six currencies which includes the euro, yen and sterling, rose to its highest in six months at 77.276 on Friday.

In a bullish signal, it closed above its 55-week moving average at 77.01. Resistance was seen at the base of the weekly Ichimoku cloud around 78.05, while strong resistance was at the 38.2 percent retracement of the index's fall from a high of 88.71 on June 7, 2010 to a low of 72.696 on May 4, 2011 which comes in at 78.80.

The dollar is set to make strong gains against the euro, which last week fell to its lowest in six months, at around $1.3627. The euro posted its biggest weekly fall since mid-August last year, with many looking for it to test $1.35 in the near term.

EURO ON THE WAY DOWN

The euro also fell sharply against the safe-haven Japanese yen on Friday, dropping to its lowest in nearly a decade. It ended the week at 105.85 yen, and a break below the psychologically key 105.00 level could see it drop towards 100 yen in coming weeks, analysts said.

Howard Wheeldon, a strategist at BCG Capital Partners, said the weekend's developments provided little confidence to investors in the euro zone, and the coming week will see increased volatility in stock markets.

That could hurt the euro more in coming days.

The euro was sold off last week after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet shifted the monetary stance from a hawkish bias to a more neutral one.

The shock resignation of ECB board member Juergen Stark, which highlighted sharp divisions within the central bank over purchases of government bonds in the secondary market and concerns that Greece may not secure its latest aid tranche from the IMF/European Union, also added to the euro's woes.

Investors will also likely be unsettled by a weekend report from Der Speigel magazine that the German finance ministry was looking at scenarios that included Greece abandoning the euro.

Indeed, latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed speculators added to their bearish bets against the euro in the week to September 6.

"With $1.40 going last week, I think the euro could fall to $1.35 in the next few days," said Michael Derks, chief strategist at FXPRO. "The dollar be will the currency that will gain from safe-haven inflows given the risk of intervention in the yen and the line in the sand that has been drawn on the Swiss franc by the Swiss National Bank."

On the charts, near term support was seen at $1.3426, a low hit on February 14 and from where the euro started its move to a 17-month high at $1.4939 struck on May 4.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:01 PM   Nav to Top  #12
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Post Asian stock fall, dollar firm on Europe woes

(Reuters) - Asian stocks fell and the euro remained under pressure on Monday after the resignation of a top German European Central Bank board member cast further doubt on Europe's ability to tackle its worsening sovereign debt crisis.

Oil prices slipped and the dollar gained broadly as the worries about euro zone's woes combined with fears about flagging world growth to ensure no let up in the gloom that has gripped global markets for much of the past six weeks.

"People are quite nervous about Greece and other countries in the European area, so that is why investors are escaping to the dollar," said Tetsu Emori, a fund manager at Tokyo-based Astmax Co Ltd. "It's risk aversion."

Juergen Stark's plan to resign from the ECB's board underscored the internal divisions over its bond-buying program -- one of the central bank's main weapons in fighting the debt crisis by forcing down yields of country's under pressure from the bond markets.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 fell 2.2 percent, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan fell around 1 percent.

Data from Lipper showed a brief flirtation with stocks at the end of August has waned, with less than a net $600 million flowing into U.S. equity funds in the ended September 7, compared with a net inflow of $6.3 billion in the previous week.

MSCI's All-Country World index is now 19 percent below its 2011 high set in May, not far from the 20 percent decline that is the rule-of-thumb definition of a bear market.

The euro was struggling at around $1.36, after a sharp slide at the end of last week, while the dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, firmed around 0.3 percent.

U.S. crude slid by 87 cents on Monday to $86.37 a barrel and Brent crude eased as much as 97 cents to $111.80.

Gold, a traditional safe haven at times of market volatility, was steady around $1,856 an ounce.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:31 AM   Nav to Top  #13
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Post Global stocks hit hard by Greek worries

(Reuters) - World shares tumbled nearly 2 percent on Monday with European equities at 26-month lows, down more than 20 percent this year, as investors worried Greece would default amid signs of rifts among euro zone policymakers.

Japan's Nikkei closed at a 2-1/2 year low.

Yields on long-term core euro zone debt, home to safety plays during times of strife, fell sharply and the euro slumped against the dollar and yen.

The cost of insuring peripheral euro zone debt against default rose, to record levels for Greece and Portugal.

Markets were partly reacting to the failure over the weekend of the Group of Seven industrialized nations' finance ministers to come up with more than a stated commitment to help turn the world economy around.

But they were mainly focused on the euro zone debt crisis.

"Europe is not just lurching from one crisis to another. It is lurching into a new one before the previous one is solved," said Makoto Noji, senior strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst was down 2.6 percent.

German policymaker Juergen Stark's resignation from the European Central Bank's board on Friday underscored internal divisions over its bond-buying program -- one of the bank's main weapons in fighting the debt crisis, by forcing down yields on debt of countries under pressure from the bond markets.

At the same time, worries bubbled up again over Greece's ability to meet commitments to qualify for more bailout money.

Fears about a Greek default rose last week after senior politicians in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition started talking openly about it. Greece, meanwhile, confirmed on Monday that the country has cash for only a few more weeks.

International lenders threatened last week to withhold the sixth bailout payment of about 8 billion euros ($11 billion) because of the country's repeated fiscal slippage.

The Greek government announced on Sunday a new property tax to make sure it would meet its budget targets and qualify for the tranche.

"The Greek situation is dominant, chances of some sort of default have increased -- the Germans seem to be hinting at that," one bond trader in Europe said.

EURO SINKS

The euro dived to a seven-month low against the U.S. dollar and a 10-year trough versus the yen.

"The outlook for Greece is almost completely unknown. Support for the country appears to be shaking. The market is starting to think the worst could happen," said Katsunori Kitakura, chief dealer at Chuo Mitsui Trust and Banking.

"It's as if policymakers are starting to prepare for that," Kitakura said.

The euro fell as low as $1.34949, its lowest since February.

On bond markets, Italian and Spanish government bond yields rose, feeling the pressure of upcoming debt supply and the rising concern over Greece.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:07 AM   Nav to Top  #14
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Post Global stocks, euro recover after slide; outlook wary

(Reuters) - Asian stocks rose and the euro edged off a seven-month low on Tuesday after a report that Italy may get financial support from China sparked a bout of short-covering but did nothing to ease fears that Europe is sliding into another banking crisis.

Growing expectations of a Greek debt default, sharp drops in European shares -- especially French banks due to their sovereign exposure -- and a surge in Italian bond yields meant sentiment remained fragile and any rally was likely to be short lived.

"There are still enormous challenges facing the European system at this point and fears around a default in Greece are very high and it's hard to see that changing any time soon," said Greg Gibbs, a strategist at RBS in Sydney.

The dollar eased broadly, helping lift dollar-denominated commodities such as gold, copper and crude oil.

Japan's Nikkei share average .N225 rose 1 percent and Australia's benchmark index .AXJO gained 0.9 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS edged up 0.2 percent. .T .AX

The MSCI index is nearly 20 percent below its 2011 high reached in April. A fall of 20 percent or more is the generally accepted definition of a bear market.

U.S. stocks bounced back late in Monday's session after a report that Italy could get financial support from China tempered investors' worst fears over the euro zone debt crisis. .N

S&P 500 index futures rose 0.3 percent in Asia on Tuesday.

Market sell-offs like those of the last six weeks -- driven by the euro zone crisis and fears of renewed recession in the United States -- are often punctuated by "short-covering" rallies, when traders buy to realize profits on bets that an asset would fall in price.

EURO CRISIS

The Financial Times reported that Italy had asked China to make "significant" purchases of Italian debt. Italy has seen its borrowing costs spike in recent weeks on doubts about the political will in Rome to tackle its swollen debt.

Greece warned on Monday it would run out of cash next month without the next tranche, around 8 billion euros, of a bailout loan. Euro zone policymakers have threatened to withhold the money as patience with Athens' repeated fiscal slippages wears thin.

A growing number of policymakers, as well as market economists, are convinced it is only a matter of time before Greece, which keeps falling behind on its fiscal targets after two EU/IMF bailouts, will have to default.

"The contagion impact of a default will be severe, because next in the firing line will be Italy, Spain and it will take in the whole of the European banking sector too," Suki Mann, a strategist at Societe Generale, wrote in a note.

In currency markets, the euro climbed to around $1.3685 against the dollar after falling to a seven-month low of $1.3495 in the previous session, though weak demand at an Italian bond auction later in the day may see the single currency fall back again.

"All eyes are squarely on that seven-month low around $1.35 hit overnight," said Koji Fukaya, director of global foreign exchange research at Credit Suisse Securities in Tokyo.

"The downtrend in the euro will surely continue, but my sense is that unless the Italian bond auction goes extremely badly, this level may hold today."

The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of major peers, fell 0.7 percent.

The weaker greenback made dollar-denominated assets cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Copper rose 1 percent to $8,840 a tonne and oil also gained, with U.S. crude up 0.9 percent at $89 a barrel and Brent crude rising 0.6 percent to $112.90, although traders remained wary.

"This is a shallow bounce because of Wall Street ending higher, so there is some confidence returning, but I don't think anybody would be putting any big positions given the global situation," said Victor Say, an analyst at Informa Global Markets in Singapore.

Gold bounced about 1 percent to around $1,831 an ounce, after dropping by more than 2.5 percent in the previous session, also supported by the safe-haven appeal that drove it to a record high of $1,920.30 last week.

"There is a slow-motion train wreck going on in Europe at the moment, which is going to be relatively supportive of gold," said Nick Trevethan, senior commodities strategist at ANZ.

"All the factors that have been supporting gold for the past few months are still there. Nothing has changed."
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:27 PM   Nav to Top  #15
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Post Empire Global FX: Gold edges up on euro zone crisis; technicals cap gains

(Reuters) - Spot gold edged higher on Wednesday, supported by worries about a worsening debt crisis in euro zone, while short-term bearish technicals are likely to cap gains.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,837.44 an ounce by 0026 GMT. U.S. gold rose 0.6 percent to $1,841.80.

* Technical analysis suggested that U.S. gold could move sideways in the next few weeks, while commodities as a whole may correct moderately by the end of the year, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

* Fears over the euro zone's debt crisis hit new heights on Tuesday, with U.S. President Barack Obama pressing the bloc's big countries to show leadership as talk of a Greek default escalated and markets heaped pressure on Italy.

* Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, edged lower to 1,241.311 tones by September 13 from a 2-1/2-week high of 1,241.917 tones on September 9.

* Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold producer, plans to invest $550 million in Peru by 2013, the head of Barrick Misquichilca, the company's Peruvian subsidiary, said on Tuesday.

MARKET NEWS

* U.S. stocks gained on Tuesday as investors bought shares beaten down in recent weeks and bet European leaders would take action soon to ease the Greek debt crisis. .N

* The euro held onto modest gains against the greenback in Asia on Wednesday, as bears trimmed short positions just in case EU leaders surprised by making progress on Greece in a conference call later in the day.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:00 AM   Nav to Top  #16
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Post Empire Global FX: Asian stocks, euro edge up on Europe debt hopes


(Reuters) - Asian stocks bounced on Thursday yet investors remained wary that obstacles which policymakers face in Europe could weigh on the euro and Asian currencies in the medium term.


The early gains in Asia, tracking the rise in global markets, came one day after the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index .MIAPJ0000PUS hit a 14-month low.

On Thursday, that index was up 1.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei markets/index?symbol=jp%21n225">.N225 was up 1.7 percent with chipmaker Elpida (6665.T) up 6.1 percent.

The euro rebounded to $1.3750, easing back from a high above $1.3800 reached after Germany and France voiced their commitment to keeping Greece in the euro zone, giving traders a chance to find better levels to short the common currency.

Optimism over tentative steps to resolve Europe's debt crisis trumped weaker-than-expected retail sales data in the U.S., helping the S&P 500 finance/markets/index?symbol=us%21spx">.SPX close up over a percent.

Some traders attributed the gains on Wall Street to short-covering ahead of inflation numbers in the U.S. with Europe still the clear focus.

European finance ministers have been warned confidentially of the danger of a renewed credit crunch as a "systemic" crisis in euro zone sovereign debt spills over to banks, according to documents obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

The gains in Asian stocks put safe-haven bets like U.S. Treasuries and gold on the backfoot.

Spot gold steadied around the $1,820 an ounce level after having fallen nearly one percent in the previous session. It hit a lifetime high of around $1,920 an ounce last week.

Yields on ten-year U.S. notes held at 1.99 percent, not far away from its lowest levels in at least 60 years of around 1.91 percent tested last Friday.

Brent crude for October delivery settled at $112.40 a barrel on Wednesday, gaining 51 cents, snapping four days of losses while U.S. October crude held below the $89 per barrel line.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:52 AM   Nav to Top  #17
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New! Empire Global FX : now accepting local deposits in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria,Malaysia

Great news for our friends and customers from Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Malaysia! Apart from the new correspondent banks in different countries and new currencies ( EUR; GBP, USD (england), and CHF (switzerland), Japanese Yen, Hong Kong Dollar, Australian Dollar (with local deposit), New Zealand Dollar, Swiss Krone (with local deposit) and Thai Baht). , our Broker is now working with local Banks in these 4 new countries!

This means that if living in any of these 4 locations, you can now invest in the world markets through local deposits with our new correspondent banks.

We expect to have our corporate website translated soon into your local languages for your comfort and convenience.

Good trades!!!
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:59 AM   Nav to Top  #18
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Post Empire Global FX: Investors peer through the gloom


(Reuters) - Even after a rare four-day rally in world stocks, investors are unlikely to let their guard down in a week filled with heavy U.S. and euro zone policy risks that could potentially disappoint again and trigger a sell-off.


There is no doubt gloom is widespread. However, investors are also beginning to realize that betting too strongly on a collapse of financial markets with policymakers poised for action to combat global crisis may be unwise.

Thursday's coordinated action by five major central banks to add liquidity to a European banking system struggling with its dollar funding needs has lifted world stocks, measured by MSCI .MIWD00000PUS, from a one-year low.

Focus in the coming week will be on a policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Fed is posed to increase downward pressure on long-term interest rates to spur the recovery, reviving "Operation Twist," first undertaken in the 1960s.

Despite the rally in the past week, the MSCI index is still down more than 9 percent since January and the third quarter performance looks set to be the worst since the June-September period in 2010.

Furthermore, against conventional wisdom, total returns on a 10-year rolling basis on government bonds are higher than on equities. This is providing much food for thought for long-term investors.

"In a very short term, positive news may come out and policymakers will announce something. Economic data is not as bad as falls in the market would've suggested. So over the next 4-6 weeks we could get slightly higher," said Jeremy Beckwith, chief investment officer at wealth manager Kleinwort Benson.

"Everyone is hoping policymakers are coming up with good ideas, although it's hard to see what good ideas are... The euro zone is such a huge issue and one day you could wake up and find out Greece has defaulted and get caught out. So our position is to underweight risk."

The euro rose more than 1 percent against the dollar last week, its biggest weekly gain since July. But analysts expect the single currency to come under pressure again in the coming week as EU finance ministers again failed to eliminate fears of Greek sovereign default at their weekend meeting.

EU finance ministers broke no new ground in dealing with the euro zone debt crisis and made no decision on whether to give more firepower to the 440-billion euro bailout fund, suggested by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

"The euro zone's medium term structural issues of excessive sovereign debt and banks' exposure remains unresolved," UBS said in a note to clients.

"Thus investors will continue to worry about the risk of Greece defaulting on its bonds over the next couple of quarters as well as the efforts of Spain, Portugal and Italy to tackle their own public finances. This will also keep investors fearful over the solvency - not just liquidity - of euro zone banks."

The coming week promises a heavy dose of policy actions.

Finance ministers of the BRIC emerging countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- meet in Washington on Thursday, on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund meeting, to discuss steps to offer support to the euro area.

If they buy euro-denominated bonds -- as suggested in preliminary talks -- this may help turn around sentiment, after the European Central Bank's 70 billion euro operation failed to stop the crisis from spreading to Spain and Italy.

Investors will also keep a close eye on U.S. President Barack Obama who is presenting a deficit-reduction plan on Monday that will cover the cost of his recent jobs bill.

POLICY EASING

There are signs monetary policy is shifting from withdrawing stimulus toward further easing at a global level -- which would also be supportive for asset markets in the long term.

The Fed has already pledged to keep its policy rate at record lows until at least mid-2013 and, in Operation Twist, may introduce a program involving buying long-dated Treasuries to lower mortgage rates and other long-term borrowing costs.

The Bank of Japan eased policy in August by boosting asset purchases and the ECB has signaled that it had halted a cycle of interest rate rises begun just five months ago.

Even in emerging markets, the tightening cycle seems to be nearly over. Brazil and Turkey have cut interest rates, Mexico and Chile's central banks have left the door open for easing, Israel and South Africa are expected to cut rates.

"Risk markets will rebound when everyone is short risk, the worst is priced in, data stop surprising on the downside and policymakers take decisive counter action," JPMorgan said in a note to clients.

"Our perception is that most investors are sitting on the fence and that there is no surplus of risk underweight positions... Policymakers across the world will likely try their best to prevent another contraction, and it is here that upside surprises could come from."
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:28 PM   Nav to Top  #19
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Post Empire Global FX: Greek cabinet meets to decide more austerity steps

(Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou chairs a cabinet meeting on Sunday to decide on more austerity measures to secure continued funding under an international bailout.

EU and IMF inspectors are holding a conference call with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday to hear what measures Greece will take to plug this year's shortfall in the budget before they release an 8 billion euro ($11 billion) loan tranche it needs by October before it runs out of money.

Papandreou canceled a planned visit to the United States on Saturday to deal with the deepening crisis at home as euro zone partners made clear further funding for the debt-ridden country would hinge on adhering to agreed fiscal targets.

"The meeting is set to examine measures from public sector layoffs to more pension cuts," said a government official on condition of anonymity.

Last week, the government blamed the shortfall on a deeper-than-expected recession and decided to put a new tax on real estate in the hope of collecting about 2 billion euros annually.

But international inspectors, known as the troika, expressed doubts this one-off tax measure would work and demanded more details on how the government hoped to catch up this year and the next.

"The troika thinks the recently announced property levy will not suffice to plug the budget hole and is pressing for measures on the spending side -- cuts in public sector wages and employment," said a second government official who asked not to be named.

The conservative New Democracy opposition has criticized the government for overtaxing the economy and driving it into a tail spin.

Its leader, Antonis Samaras, called for snap elections on Saturday saying the policy mix was wrong and was not yielding any results despite peoples' sacrifices.

"A renegotiation with our lenders to restart the economy is a condition to get out of this crisis," Samaras told a news conference on Sunday.

International lenders are also concerned with the lack of political consensus in Greece on the measures needed to emerge from the crisis.

The conservatives have been buoyed by growing public discontent after two years of austerity measures and are proposing tax cuts and growth boosting measures instead.

Papandreou's socialists have a majority in parliament but political analysts say internal dissent and public unrest, such as strikes and violent protests, may force snap elections.

Lenders have long warned against one-off measures and more taxes as a way out of the crisis shaking the euro.

They have asked for urgent reforms and privatizations to make the economy more competitive and a reduction in the bloated public sector.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:52 AM   Nav to Top  #20
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Post Empire Global FX: Obama urges higher taxes to curb deficit by $3 trillion

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama, in a rallying call to his Democratic base, will vow on Monday to veto any cuts in Medicare if Congress fails to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans to curb the deficit.

Obama's recommendations to a congressional "super committee" would deliver deficit savings of more than $3 trillion over the next decade, his aides said, with roughly half of those savings coming from higher tax revenues.

Under fire from Democrats to defend Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs as he seeks to galvanize supporters ahead of the election next year, Obama will demand that all Americans share the burden of controlling the budget.

"He will veto any bill that takes one dime from the Medicare benefits seniors rely on without asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share," a senior administration official told reporters.

Medicare, for elderly and disabled Americans, and Medicaid for the poor, are viewed by analysts as the biggest contributors to the long-term deficit.

The so-called super committee of six Democrat and six Republican lawmakers is seeking at least $1.2 trillion in new budget savings by November 23. That is on top of $917 billion in 10-year savings agreed in an August deal to raise the debt limit.

Obama will lay out his recommendations in the White House Rose Garden at 10.30 a.m. EDT on Monday.

"In his remarks tomorrow, the president will make clear he is not going to support any plan that asks everything of some Americans, nothing of others," the official said.

The plan will include a "Buffett Rule," named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, that would set a minimum tax rate for anyone making more than $1 million a year.

A clearly populist step, the tax would only apply to a tiny minority of the millions of Americans who file tax returns every year. But White House aides said it would set a standard of fairness that would yield more revenue if it became law.

Congress can ignore his suggestions. With the House of Representatives controlled by Republicans who oppose any tax hikes, they are likely to be declared dead on arrival.

Obama's opening bid to find deficit savings by December 23 to head off painful automatic cuts will be under close scrutiny.
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