London headlines

* Uruguay’s José Mujica lauds booming Brazil ties

* Mexico banks on stronger economic growth later this year

* Iran’s nuclear negotiator will ‘resist’ west if elected president

* SocGen reaffirms commitment to Russia

* Peru: a new kind of corporate tax

* US-China audit fight: Armageddon averted?

* Luxury goods sales slow as China clamps down on gift giving

Markets: mostly down

Uruguay’s José Mujica lauds booming Brazil ties
After a spot of morning work on his tractor, the maverick Uruguayan president dismisses Argentina as “very, very, very closed in on itself, very 1960s-ish”. The former leftist guerrilla then lauds his northern neighbour, Brazil, for “knowing what it wants and going for it”.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7f1c0e2c-be1e-11e2-bb35-00144feab7de.html

Mexico banks on stronger economic growth later this year
Over the past few years, officials at Mexico’s national statistics agency have become used to publishing the glowing quarterly economic growth figures that have plotted the country’s recovery since the financial crisis.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3885b024-be07-11e2-bb35-00144feab7de.html

Iran’s nuclear negotiator will ‘resist’ west if elected president
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, who is a leading candidate in the forthcoming presidential contest, has pledged to use his experience in talks with major powers to pursue the same policy of resistance to western demands if he is elected.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c8cd8c90-be45-11e2-bb35-00144feab7de.html

SocGen reaffirms commitment to Russia
French bank Société Générale has announced it remains committed to Russia after a bribery scandal erupted that enveloped its Russian subsidiary Rosbank.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/08f4cfea-be46-11e2-bb35-00144feab7de.html

Peru: a new kind of corporate tax
As Google, Starbucks and Amazon have learned to their detriment, companies that take advantage of legal tax-avoidance schemes such as the “Dutch sandwich” and the “double Irish” are right up there with bankers in the public’s estimation.
http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/05/17/peru-a-new-kind-of-corporate-tax/

US-China audit fight: Armageddon averted?
Remember the tiff between US and Chinese regulators over accounting regulatory standards? You know, the one that resulted in the SEC charging the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four audit firms (plus BDO) with violating US securities law after the five firms allegedly refused to turn over audit work related to nine Chinese companies that are being investigated for potential accounting fraud?
http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/05/17/us-china-audit-fight-armageddon-averted/

Luxury goods sales slow as China clamps down on gift giving
Sales of global luxury goods are slowing due to a sharp retrenchment of demand in Asia after a clampdown on gift giving in China and as crisis-hit Europeans pull back from spending.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d530e34e-be02-11e2-bb35-00144feab7de.html

Emerging Markets
MSCI Emerging Market Index down -0.15% at 1,045

Americas
DJIA down -0.28% at 15,233
S&P 500 down -0.50% at 1,650
Bovespa down -0.30% at 54,773

Asia
Nikkei 225 up +0.33% at 15,087
Topix up +0.70% at 1,254
Hang Seng up +0.17% at 23,083
Shanghai Composite up +0.13% at 2,255
MSCI Asia ex-Japan down -0.09% at 558.99
CNX Nifty up +0.14% at 6,179

Currencies
€/$ 1.29 (1.29)
$/¥ 102.29 (102.21)

Commodities
Brent Crude (ICE) down -0.15 at 103.63
Light Crude (Nymex) down -0.14 at 95.02 100
Oz Gold (Comex) down -6.40 at 1,381