Currencies, Stocks, Commodities, And Bonds Trade Lower As Spain Leads Rise In Sovereign Bond Risk On Bailout Speculation … World Treasury Bonds Enter An Elliott Wave 3 of 3 Down

Financial Market Report for January 5, 2011

1) … Introduction

On going currency debasement by the world central banks has finally had a major consequence. Today was a pivotal day in financial history, as all forms of fiat wealth, that is currencies, stocks, commodities, and bonds, turned lower in value, while gold increased in value. Bad central bank credit policies have destabilized all fiat financial instruments, especially global financials, IXG, and world treasury bonds, BWX. Diktat is rising as a form of money, which is driving the world into regionalization for security and stability. A Global Eurasia war will be waged in Syria and Iran.

2) … Today’s Report

Fears of sovereign insolvency and banking insolvency turned currencies, stocks, commodities, and bonds lower today, as Business Week reports Spain Leads Rise In Sovereign Bond Risk On Bailout Speculation, and as Atlantic reports Every Single Economic Indicator in Spain Looks Disastrous: Spain Is In Free Fall and as Bloomberg reports ECB Cash Averts Funding Crisis For Italy And Spain, and as Zero Hedge reports EURUSD Dips Below 1.28 As All Hell Breaks Loose In Italian Financials, and as Zero Hedge reports Unicredit Lost 30% Of Its Market Cap In Two Days and as Financial Times reports Italian Bond Yields Jump Back Above 7%

World Currencies, DBV, and Emerging Market Currencies, CEW, traded lower. Currencies seen in this Finviz Screener turned lower: FXA, FXE, FXM, FXC, FXB, FXS, SZR, FXF, BZF, FXY, which stimulated the US Dollar, $USD, UUP, to rise.  The Euro, FXE, closed lower at 127.45. The chart of the USD/JPY shows trading up at 77.15; and the chart of JYN shows a correspond trade lower at 76.36. Competitive currency deflation is once again underway.

The trade lower in Germany’s Deutsche Bank, DB, and Spain’s Banco Santander, STD, lead European Financials, EUFN, lower, which turned World Financials, IXG, lower.  Spain, EWP, Italy, and EWI, lead Europe, VGK, lower.  In sympathy, Poland, EPOL, and Austria, EWO, fell lower.

Day trading in Biotech Companies, BMRN, VVUS, BIIB, JAZZ, SVNT, ALXN, led Biotechnology, IBB, higher. Day trading took a number of Dollar Trade stocks higher including Apparel Stores, ROST, TJX, ARO, BKE, Building Materials Wholesalers,  USG, BECN, NX, NCS, Heavy Construction Companies, GLDD, GVA, Health Care REIT, LTC, Railroad, NSC, Vehicle Part Manufacturers, AXL, PCAR, DAN, WBC, JCI, TWI, ALV, TRW, Industrial Equipment Wholesaler, DXPE, Industrial Supplies Wholesaler, FAST, Health Care Plan Provider, AGP, Synthetics Producer, MTX, Home Builder, MTH, Industrial Electrical Equipment Manufacturer, AME, Infrastructure Manager, MIC, Wood Production, LPX, Farm And Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers, AGCO, TEX. One of the few stocks rising to a new high was gun manufacturer Smith And Wesson Holding Company, SWHC. It was the day trading that caused the equal weight S&P ETF, RSP, to move higher into what is likely to be a cresting high immediately before it enters an Elliott Wave 3 of 3 Down.

Commodities, DBC, and US Commodities, USCI, traded lower. Gary Dorsch writes of Boom And Bust In Commodities … What’s Next? At the peak of the commodities boom in April 2011,about $412-billion was stashed away in managed commodity funds, buoyed by the Fed’s radical QE-1 and QE-2 money printing schemes. The Fed’s experiment with QE was a huge success, that is to say, the Fed was able to conjure-up the illusion an economic recovery by simply printing vast quantities of paper currency that was covertly channeled into the stock market through its agents on Wall Street. Furthermore, the Fed proved that it could prevent the specter of deflation, by cheapening the value of the US-dollar in relation to other currencies. For eight straight months, the Dow Jones Commodity index zig-zagged its way higher, as the Fed fulfilled its pledge to inject $600-billion of freshly printed US$’s into the coffers of the Wall Street Oligarchs.

While the Fed wasn’t scheduled to turn-off QE-2 until the end of June 2011, some commodity traders decided to jump off the QE-2 bandwagon a few months early. They figured that the bullish trade had become too crowded, and that the timing was ripe for a nasty shakeout. On April 12th, Goldman Sachs shocked the markets, by urging its clients to dump positions in crude oil, copper, cotton and platinum. On May 3rd, Societe Generale joined Goldman Sachs in warning of tougher times for commodities prices.“The conclusion of the second round of quantitative easing, (QE-2), will deprive commodities of a key ingredient of their winning streak,” the French bank said. “This suggests that the commodities bull-run support by QE-2 may run out of steam in the third quarter if the global economy shows any signs of weakening. The end of QE-2 on June 30th could well herald the end of the commodities bull market. If emerging market economies slow and abundant liquidity dries up after QE-2, deflation fears may be back on the agenda in the second half of 2011,” SocGen warned.

The tug-of war in the commodity markets tipped in favor of the Bears in August, just as SocGen had predicted. While the Fed’s QE-2 scheme was generally credited for fueling the speculative run-up in commodities, led by the Silver market, working against the bullish tide was the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). While the Fed was launching QE-2 in Nov ‘10, the PBoC was draining1-trillion yuan of liquidity from the Shanghai money market, by lifting bank reserve requirement ratios (RRR) 150-basis points to 19-perent. The PBoC was using calibrated hikes in banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRR) as its main tool to tackle the commodity price bubbles inflated by the Fed. The PBoC moved away from using open market operations, a mechanism it has relied on for years, to soak-up excess money. By June 2011, the PBoC had resolutely lifted RRR’s to a record 21.5%, with each half-point increase draining 350-billion yuan out of the Shanghai money markets.

Yet another big impetus for a sharp slide in commodity markets in the second half of 2011, were widespread fears that the Euro currency union might break apart, and the upward spiral in Euro-zone bond yields could plunge Europe into a severe recession, thus denting demand for commodities.

(I comment that the second half 2011 slide was not only due to inflation destruction, but due to fears that a debt union had formed in the Euro zone.)

China is both the world’s largest consumer and producer of raw steel, and along with other key industries such as automotive, textile, and petrochemical industries, its steel output is considered a key barometer of its overall economy. Over the past 30-years, China’s steel production has increased at a rapid pace as the Middle Kingdom has industrialized and urbanized. The expansion of steel production, particularly over the past decade, has been a significant driver of China’s demand for raw materials, especially iron ore and coking coal. This has resulted in a huge increase in China’s imports of these commodities.

China now accounts for 45% of global steel production, which is significantly higher than its share of 15% at the start of the decade. China is itself a major producer of iron ore and possesses extensive reserves. However, these reserves have relatively low average iron content at around 33%, compared with 62% in Australia and around 65% in Brazil and India. This lower iron content makes it more expensive to process.Strong demand for steel has seen the imported share of China’s iron ore supply increase from around 10% in the late 1980’s to more than 50% currently.In recent years, more than 80% of China’s iron ore imports have come from Australia’s top miners, Brazil’s Vale, and India.

The effects of a sharp slowdown in construction in China would adversely impacts prices for cement, steel, copper and other raw materials traded on world markets. It’s estimated that if China’s economic growth rate would slow to around +5%, it could weaken demand for imported commodities by -20-percent. Iron ore accounted for 73% of Australia’s miner Rio Tinto’s, 2010 earnings, compared to a 40% contribution for # 3-miner BHP Billiton, Yet every ton of crude steel production also requires 600-kilograms of coking coal. BHP Billiton is the world’s biggest producer of coking coal. And since iron ore and coking coal are Australia’s biggest export earners, they are closely watched by traders in the Australian dollar.

India’s economic growth rate skidded to +6.9% in the July to September quarter, from +8.5% last year, and is forecast to slow further amid a worsening global outlook. High inflation fueled in part by QE schemes in England, Japan, and the US, forced India’s central bank to hike interest rates 13-times, for a total of 375-basis points since March 2010, to 8.50% in October. Policy inertia and corruption scandals have also slowed the flow of crucial foreign investment and knocked the Indian rupee to record lows. European banks which provide about $150-billion, or over 50% of foreign currency loans to Indian companies, are starting to pull back, making it harder to finance foreign trade, with a shrinking availability of letters of credit.India’s industrial output fell -5.1% in October compared with a year earlier, going negative for the first time in two years, and rattling the commodities markets.

In the not so distant future, indeed perhaps only months from now, the US Treasury and Europe may enact a mix of sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) as part of an effort to convince Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Sanctions against the CBI would leave Iran’s oil customers without any way to pay for their crude, effectively triggering a partial boycott on Iranian oil exports. A European embargo of 450,000-bpd of Iranian crude oil would constitute a new phase of economic confrontation between Iran and the West. In response, Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, are expected to increase their oil exports to the European Union and Asian nations once sanctions on Tehran’s energy exports and its central bank begins in the coming months. There’s also discussion with emerging oil exporters, such as Libya, Iraq, Ghana and Angola, to increase their production capacities to guard against any shortages caused by the West’s embargo against Iran. Oil traders are taking note, and have bid-up the price of Brent crude oil to $113 /barrel.

Downside risks to commodities and precious metals include a deeper than expected recession in Europe and so-called “hard landing” for China’s economy.

Falling currencies turned the world’s mining stocks. BHP, CLF, AA, SCCO, RIO,  MCP, BTU, SLT, FBR, VALE, ZINC, seen in this Finviz Screener, and the world’s mining and steel  ETFs, EMMT, MXI, COPX, ALUM, IYM, URA, KOL, XME, REMX, SLX, EMT, seen in this Finviz Screener, lower. Energy stocks, IGE, PSCE, XOP, XLE, OIH, IEZ, seen in this Finviz Screener, also turned lower today. Natural resource investing, IGE, became more unprofitable due to falling currency values. Debt deflation and exhaustion of central bank credit, is causing an unwinding of carry trade investment and stimulating derisking out of natural resource stocks worldwide.

Bloomberg reports Alcoa Says It Will Reduce Global Smelting Capacity by 12%. Alcoa Inc. (AA) said it plans to close or curtail about 12 percent of its global smelting capacity to cut costs after aluminum prices dropped 27 percent from last year’s peak. To cut 7 percent of capacity, the company plans to permanently close its smelter in Alcoa, Tennessee, and two of six idled potlines at its Rockdale, Texas smelter. A further 5 percent capacity reduction will be from curtailments to be announced in the future, (Hat Tip to Gary of Between The Hedges). This to me indicates that Alcoa will not be increasing produced aluminum prices and it indicates to that aluminum commodity prices, JJU, will be falling.  The chart of aluminum commodity prices technically suggests a breakout from a falling wedge, but this simply may not happen based upon demand destruction.

It is the world central banks’ bad credit policies that are making money bad.  Bad money is destabilizing the world economically and politically. The investment, political and economic tectonic plates are shifting, and an authoritarian tsunami is on the way. In 1974, the world’s elite met at the Club of Rome, and their Clarion Call for regional global governance will come to the forefront to provide order out of chaos, as the world deleverages and derisks out of Neoliberalism, that is the Milton Friedman Free To Choose Floating Currency Regime. The new regime of Neoauthoritarianism, the Beast Regime, which is rising out off the profligate Mediterranean Sea countries of Greece and Italy, is very much spiritual as its seven heads will come to occupy in all of mankind’s seven institutions and its ten horns will rule in the world’s ten regions is a fulfillment of bible prophecy of Revelation 13:1-4. This regime is also known as the ten toed kingdom of regional global governance seen in Daniel 2:31-33. Eventually, the ten toes, being comprised of the clay of democracy, and the iron of diktat will crumble, as these are non compatible building materials. The very worst of all governments will rise to rule mankind. This one world government, Revelation 7:7, will provide a one world currency whose seigniorage will be global mandated as a charagma, meaning mark in or tattoo upon a person, which will be required in order to buy or sell, Revelation 13:17-18.

Seigniorage, that is moneyness, will no longer come from banking and national governments, but rather come from the diktat of regional sovereigns. Currencies are now sinking, and global financial derisking and deleveraging is underway, with the result that the new dynamo of diktat is driving economic and political action. Political capital is replacing investment capital. The seigniorage of fiat money, is being replaced by the seigniorage of diktat.

Fate is operating to pass the baton of sovereign authority from nation states to sovereign leaders and bankers. Bible prophecy reveals, that God, and not any human action, will open the curtains, and the most credible leader, Europe’s New Charlemagne, Revelation 13:5-10, together with his banking partner, Revelation 13:11-18, will step onto Europe’s stage.  They will not be elected; rather destiny will bring them forth in a Eurozone coup d etat, Revelation 6:1-2, to provide order out of chaos. These sovereigns will develop the Eurzone into a type of revived Roman Empire. The word, will and way of these two will provide a new seigniorage, and the people will be amazed and follow after it, placing their confidence and trust in it, giving it their full allegiance, Revelation 13:3-4.

Morpheus in Zero Hedge asks Has Italy Gone Fascist?. The banker led coup d etat is well underway.

Bonds, BND, turned lower as the Global Government Finance Bubble burst, as World Government Bonds, BWX, entered an Elliott Wave 3 of 3 down. We are witnessing the beginning of the end of the AAA era. The most toxic of Municipal Debt, Michigan Municipal Bonds, MIW, has turned down. Investors have begun exiting US Government Treasuries, ZROZ, EDV, TLT. The chart of the 10 30 US Sovereign Debt Yield Curve, $TNX:$TYX, is steepening as reflected in the Steepner, ETF, STPP, rising, and the Flattner ETF, FLAT, falling. Long Maturity Bonds are now loosing money. Derisking turned Emerging Market Bonds, EMB,  Leveraged Buyouts, PSP, Junk Bonds, JNK, HYG, lower. Global debt deflation has enabled the bond vigilantes to successfully sell all Treasury debt short. The world central banks are no longer in control of interest rates: the only result can be price inflation, that is inflation in the cost of thins purchaed, (this comes from one’s currency buying less of commodities which are priced in dollars), and this at a time when global growth is starting to fail. The world has passed through peak credit. The bill for ponzi credit created by the US Federal Reserve, the ECB, and Wall street, has come due. Richard Russell, publisher of Dow Theory Letters said in King World News interview, We are watching the greatest debt bubble in history about to deflate, and it won’t be a pretty sight. A steepening yield curve means a recession is coming to the US and a depression to the world. Regional trade will replace global trade. The new direction in globalization is regionalization.

The trade lower in stocks, ACWI, VSS, EWX, EEM, EPP, MXI, FFC, IXG, Commodities, DBC, USCI, and Bonds, BND, means that the seigniorage, that is the moneyness, of fiat money has failed.  The chart of the Gold ETF, GLD, rose for the fifth consecutive day, as base metals, DBB, fell strongly lower. The only safe haven investment in the age of deleveraging, derisking and despotism, is personal possession of gold bullion.

Given that the seigniorage of fiat money has failed, the seigniorage of diktat must increase. Regional global governance is rising to replace sovereign nation states, as nations loose their debt sovereignty. Fate is passing the sovereignty to regional sovereign authorities, such as the EU ECB and IMF Troika, those of the CELAC Group, and China as it rules in Asia trade arrangements with Japan and the Shanghai Cooperative. Stakeholders will be appointed from industry, government and banking to manage commerce, credit and resources, critical to the region’s security and stability. Public private partnerships such as Macquarie Infrastructure, MIC, will take the lead in managing the factors of production. Canadian Energy Income Companies, ENY, and Canadian Oil and Pipeline Companies such as Enbridge, ENB, will for all practical purposes be regionalized, that is something akin to being nationalized. In Europe a fiscal union will rise to provide fiscal rule over countries that use the Euro, and the Bundesbank or the ECB will be established as Europe’s Bank. The Renminbi, that is the Yuan, CYB, will serve as Asia’s defacto regional currency.  Banks in this Finviz Screener, around the world will all be nationalized, or better said, regionalized. Structural reforms, austerity measures, pension overhauls, reworked national wage contracts, dismissal of government employees, and debt servitude will be de rigueur. Life in the Euro zone will be characterised by collectivism, as statism rises to govern all. Libertarianism’s dream of Freedom and Free Enterprise are simply mirages on the Neoauthoritarian Desert of the Real. Martin Armstrong writes in Financial Sense Capital Controls Coming In The US.

3) … Thoughts on price inflation

I do not see price inflation coming into the US economy in the first quarter 2012. The US Federal Reserve Fred Report published  January 5, 2012  shows  M2 Unadjusted Money  at 9641.7  12 Months from Nov. 2010 TO Nov. 2011  up 9.8%. This is a significant rate of increase. Money has been coming into the US from around the world as a safe haven investment and as part of dollar FX liquidity swaps. But I believe this has not been “too price inflationary” as of yet, core price increases have resulted in a Social Security increase of  3.4%.

Joseph Fetz in response to a comment in EconomicPolicy Journal said, “You’re entirely confusing MB versus the money supply. Yes, the Fed has increased MB by astronomical figures, but prices can care less about the monetary base, prices only care about the money that is being traded and deposited. Right around June/July the money that was created all of the past few years began to be lent out, thus increasing deposits (ref. FRB).  The Fed can literally create as much liquidity as they want, there are no limits. However, prices of both production goods and consumer goods do not display the inflationary changes until that money parked at the Fed begins to get into the economy and be bid against goods. While M2 has leveled off a little, the deposit growth over the past 6 months is more than enough to bid the prices of goods up. Further, it is my belief (and, I think the belief of R. Wenzel) that M2 will continue to grow in the coming months. Now, Daniel (#2) brings up a great point. Our current banking system transgresses national boundaries– the western central banks of the world often work together. In either case, it is quite clear that there are many dollars outside of our economy and that holding dollars has no return. What the government and the Fed is attempting to do right now is to devalue the dollar in order to increase exports (in accordance with the Law of Supply on nominal prices). However, one must remain cognizant of the fact that if exports increase, then that means that dollars must come back to the US. ” ( I comment that I do not see exports increasing, as other countries will not be able to afford imports.)  It is pretty clear to anybody that understands the ABCT, as well as foreign trade, that there are going to be quite a bit more dollars floating around our economy than there was in the past. This means price inflation. (I comment that eventually, there will be price inflation as the value of the US Treasuries decrease in value; but this is going to be technically Weimar inflation and not price inflation)

Five nations have inflation above 7%, it is because they have lost their debt sovereignty, that is they pay a high Treasury rate, and as a result their Currency is deflating rapidly in value.  The countries are presented with their Treasury rate, and their Currency rate of value lost: Turkey 10%T, 25%C … India 9%T, 17%C … Brazil 11%T, 10C% … Argetina 5%T, 8%C … Egypt 6%T, 4%C.  These countries have high ingterest not because of price inflation, which is a hord of currency inflow; rather these countries have Weimar inflation, which is hyper inflation because they are insolvent nations. Insolvent nations have insolvent banks, that is their banks have lost market value. Turkey, TUR, India, INDY, Brazil, EWZ, Argentina, ARGT, and Egypt, EGPT, are experiencing debt deflation, that is currency deflation. These countries experience hot money inflows and now they are experiencing a unwinding of currency carry trade investing. I belive they will be amongst the first nations to experience depotism where a leader rules via diktat, replacing democracy.   Here is a Yahoo Finance Currency Chart showing currency loss of value for TRY, INR, BRL, ARS, EGP.  And here is a Yahoo Finance ETF Chart showing loss of stock value TUR, INDY, EWZ, ARGT, EGPT. Of note, currency loss of value, precipitated stock loss of value, that is currency loss commenced stock loss. It was investors fears in July 2011 that a debt union had formed in the Euro zone, that precipitated global competitive currency deflation.  Beginning in September 2011, the US Dollar, $USD, began to rise, and there was a flight to safety in Dollar Stocks particularly Energy Partnerships, AMJ, Pharmaceuticals, IHE, Health Care, XLV, Staples, XLP, Utilities, XLU, Dividend Payers, DVY, DTN, as seen in this Yahoo Finance Chart AMJ, IHE, XLV, XLP, XLU, DVY, DTN.  I do not expect these to continue to be safe haven investments in 2012.  It may be that the commodity gasoline, UGA, may have bottomed out in price, and may be headed somewhat higher in 2012, because there is a global Eurasia War coming which will be centered in Syria and also in Iran.

4) Conclusion

Destructionism has replaced inflationism as the dynamo of world economic and political events. Insolvent sovereigns and insolvent banks are destroying fiat money. The death of fiat money began in July 2011 when fears arose that a debt union had formed in the Eurozone. In the Age of Deleveraging, the only forms of sovereign wealth are diktat and gold. Diktat is rising as a form of money. Regional global governance will provide security and stability as a Global Eurasia war emerges in Syria and Iran.

For those interested in commodity prices, one can use this Finviz Screener ( of SLV, GLD, USO, UNG, DBB, JJN, JJC, JJT, CUT, DBC, LD, JJU, BAL, JJA, FUE, JO, UGA, GRU, COW, FUD, USCI, CORN, and convert it into a Finviz Portfolio to track price changes of commodities over time.  But remember it is prices of commodities in one’s currencies that matters.  Those living in third world nations such as Egypt, India and Nigeria have had tremendous core price inflation despite the government subsidizing prices.

5) … In today’s news
Bloomberg reports Alcoa Earnings Estimates Plunge

Mike Mish Shedlock reports US, EU Wage Economic War On Iran

Bloomberg reports Hungary Fails to Raise Target Amount at Auction, Yields Soar. Timothy Ash, a London based economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, said  “Market trust in this administration is now at rock bottom levels.” Hungary, the EU’s most indebted eastern member, received its second sovereign credit downgrade to junk last month when Standard & Poor’s followed Moody’s Investors Service in taking the country out of the investment-grade category on Dec. 21. The cost of insuring Hungarian bonds using credit-default swaps climbed to a record 751.6 basis points from 650 basis points on Jan. 3, data provider CMA said. The benchmark BUX stock index fell 2.9 percent today as OTP Bank Nyrt., the country’s largest lender, sank 3.5 percent and Mol Nyrt, the biggest refiner, declined 3.3 percent. Hungary, which became the first EU country to receive an IMF-led bailout in 2008, shunned fresh aid in 2010 when Viktor Orban took over as prime minister. Orban reversed his policy last year when the state started struggling to raise funds at debt auctions and the forint plummeted.

Open Europe reports Expansión reports that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is considering asking for EU-IMF funds to help Spain cope with the restructuring of its financial sector, but the Spanish government promptly denied the reports. Meanwhile, in an interview with the FT, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos estimated that, as part of a new round of reforms of Spain’s financial sector, Spanish banks will need to set aside an extra €50bn in capital provisions on the bad real estate assets they hold, adding that “in the great majority of cases, they can provide it themselves from their profits … and it could be done not in one year but over several years.” De Guindos also said that the government is planning to introduce “additional instruments of control and budgetary adjustment for the finances of the autonomous regions.” This follows reports by El País that the central government had to step in to help the Valencia region pay back a €123m loan to Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, the Spanish government is to unveil a new set of measures to reduce public deficit today, focusing on the abolition of superfluous public bodies and agencies.  El Economista El País El País El Mundo ABC FT FT 2 FT: de Guindos WSJ El País

Mike Mish Shedlock relates As I watch political events in Hungary, I cannot help but think Hungary is on a path towards hyperinflation. Hungary, via political actions is now on path that can lead to government takeovers of the printing presses and a loss of faith in the Forint (Hungary’s currency). If voters retake control before it’s too late or the government does not take over the printing presses (and constitutional freedoms are restored), a meltdown may be avoided. Unfortunately the political signs are not encouraging.

Reuters reports Turkey Warns Against Shi’ite-Sunni Cold War

Boeing’s Free Market Move In Closing Kansas City Plaint Is Going To Cost 2,000 Jobs And Devastate City Los Angeles Times
Boeing Betrays Wichita After City Helped Win Tanker, Mayor Says San Francisco Chronicle
Boeing To Close Historic Kansas Plant Once Owned By United Aircraft Hartford Courant
Kansas’ Boeing job loss is Texas’ Gain Houston Chronicle
Closure Of Wichita, Facility Will Bring 1,000 Jobs To Oklahoma City

Chris Mardsen os WSWS reports Washington Pressures Arab League To Move Against Syria
The Obama administration is pressing for the Arab league observers’ mission to Syria to return a negative verdict, paving the way for further action against Syria.


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