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FILE PHOTO: Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in ViennaGold prices rose on Thursday as the dollar drifted down from one-month highs hit in the previous session on upbeat U.S. economic data that boosted the prospects of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month. U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in January and consumer prices recorded their biggest gain in nearly four years. Spot gold had ticked up 0.2 percent, to $1,235.01 per ounce at 0529 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent, to $1,236.2.
Mnuchin speaks at a press briefing at the White House in WashingtonJapanese Finance Minister Taro Aso spoke by phone with newly sworn-in U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday but they did not discuss currencies, a Japanese finance ministry official said. The U.S. Senate on Monday voted to confirm the former Goldman Sachs banker as Treasury secretary, installing the Trump administration's point-man on tax reform, financial deregulation and economic diplomacy efforts. U.S. President Donald Trump refrained from criticizing Japan's currency policy or its trade surplus with the U.S. when he met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week in Washington and Florida.
BOJ Governor Kuroda attends a news conference at the BOJ headquarters in TokyoBank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said low profitability at financial institutions could sow the seeds of a new financial crisis, offering his strongest warning to date of the demerits of aggressive monetary easing pursued by major central banks. Mergers and consolidation may be among options for financial institutions to boost profitability, Kuroda said in an unusually frank call for bolder steps to deal with Japan's over-crowded regional banking sector. Faced with low inflation and tepid economic growth, many central banks like the BOJ, the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, have adopted unconventional monetary easing steps since the global financial crisis in 2008.
A man counts U.S dollars at a money exchange office in central CairoThe dollar index was down 0.4 percent in early European trade, falling to 100.81 from a peak of 101.76 on Wednesday after the better-than-expected U.S. inflation numbers and retail sales data. Yellen hinted on Tuesday that more rate hikes were on the way as the jobs market has improved and inflation has shown signs of nearing the Fed's two percent goal. Meanwhile, New York Fed President William Dudley on Wednesday reinforced the central bank's cautious optimism that President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress would not derail plans for gradual rate hikes in the months and years ahead.
FILE - In a Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 file photo, stock traders follow market activity, at the New York Stock Exchange. Bond yields climbed again on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, and U.S. stocks held close to their record highs after more reports showed the economy continues to strengthen. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Thursday as investors took profit amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more aggressively than expected following upbeat U.S. economic data.
A total of 35 million foreign visitors went to Mexico last year, up nine percent from 2015, bringing in $19.5 billion, 10.4 percent more than the year beforeMexico enjoyed a banner year in 2016 for tourism, hitting "historic highs" in part due to a spike in the number of US travelers drawn in by the weakened peso, the government said. A total of 35 million foreign visitors went to Mexico last year, up nine percent from 2015, the tourism ministry said. The government said the figures showed that the tourism sector was "one of the main driving forces" for the country's economy.
A man walks past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm showing Japan's Nikkei 225 stock market index that fell 36.93 points to 19401.05 in Tokyo, Thursday morning, Feb. 16, 2017. Asian stocks were mixed Thursday as investors took profit amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more aggressively than expected following upbeat U.S. economic data. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Thursday as investors took profit amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more aggressively than expected following upbeat U.S. economic data.
Tokyo ended 0.5 percent lower as stock markets across Asia stutteredThe dollar dipped on Thursday in Asia as investors brushed off another record Wall Street close and upbeat US data while the rally in stock markets stuttered. Another positive assessment of the US economy and reassurance over tax reform from President Donald Trump was not enough to spur further buying in Asia after the past week's rally. New York's three main indexes built on their recent surge, racking up a fifth successive day of record closes, after figures showed US inflation hit a four-year high in January, fuelling bets on an interest rate hike soon.
A man is silhouetted against the logo of the World Bank at the main venue for the IMF and World Bank annual meeting in TokyoNigeria has not decided yet how much it wants to borrow from the World Bank, its budget minister said on Wednesday, to help pay for record spending of $24 billion this year. Diplomats and officials told Reuters last week the oil producer plans to present the required economic reform proposals to the World Bank this month to borrow at least $1 billion. "The figure will depend on the (2017) budget approved by the National Assembly," Udoma Udo Udoma, minister for budget and national planning, told reporters when asked about the application.
A man walks past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average, the Dow Jones average and the stock averages of other countries' outside a brokerage in TokyoBy Saikat Chatterjee HONG KONG (Reuters) - Asian stocks inched to new 19-month highs on Thursday with thanks to an ongoing rally on Wall Street and bolstered by gains in Chinese stocks while the dollar came in for a bout of profit-taking after a recent bounce. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent to its highest since July 2015. European stock markets are set to open steady to slightly higher according to index futures Wall Street pushed relentlessly into record-high territory on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 notching a seven-session winning streak.
'Day Without Immigrants' protests being held across USImmigrants across the country are expected to stay home from school and work on Thursday to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and way of life. "A Day Without Immigrants" actions ...
Nigeria's Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun speaks at a news conference in LagosNigeria has not decided yet how much it wants to borrow from the World Bank, its budget minister said on Wednesday, to help pay for record spending of $24 billion this year. Diplomats and officials told Reuters last week the oil producer plans to present the required economic reform proposals to the World Bank this month to borrow at least $1 billion. "The figure will depend on the (2017) budget approved by the National Assembly," Udoma Udo Udoma, minister for budget and national planning, told reporters when asked about the application.
Iranian workers stand in front of Bushehr nuclear power plant, 1,200 km south of TehranBy Alexander Cornwell DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran is implementing the deal on its nuclear program agreed with world powers, the head of the U.N. atomic energy watchdog said on Tuesday, amid concerns the United States will try to alter the terms. The United States has taken a tougher stance on Iran since President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, including saying it had put the Islamic Republic "on notice" last month over carrying out a ballistic missile test. Under the 2015 accord between Tehran and six world powers, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some U.S., European and U.N. economic sanctions.
South African Rand coins are seen in this photo illustrationSouth Africa's rand raced to its firmest in more than 15 months against the dollar on Tuesday, helped by improved risk appetite and jobs data suggesting the economy is improving. Stocks were weaker, with the main bourse dragged lower by miner Kumba Iron Ore after the company said it was still not in a position to pay shareholders a dividend despite seeing a doubling in earnings. By 1140 GMT the rand had gained 1.63 percent to 13.1225 per dollar, its strongest since Oct. 23, 2015 according to Thomson Reuters data, after closing at 13.3400 overnight in New York.
“I'm in a hurry – please can you be quick,” said her client, one of a sizeable queue forming as Mbiza swiped the card and packed the fruit into a plastic bag. Mbiza hummed jovially while taking debit cards from her waiting customers and doling out mangoes. With Zimbabwe's economy struggling and a shortage of cash as people hoard U.S. dollars, the main currency, some 230 companies shut up shop in the first half of 2016, according to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, pushing more people into an already bulging informal economy.
Germany's ZEW investor confidence index has fallen 6.2 points to 10.4 points this monthGerman investor confidence suffered a sharper than expected tumble in February, data showed Tuesday, as growing concerns over political uncertainty cast a shadow over Europe's top economy. The closely-watched index for investors' future expectations fell by 6.2 points to 10.4 points this month, the Mannheim-based ZEW institute said in a statement. "The downturn in expectations is likely to be the result of the recently published unfavourable figures for industrial production, retail sales and exports," ZEW president Achim Wambach said in a statement.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a news conference at the Alliance headquarters in BrusselsBy Robin Emmott and Kylie MacLellan BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - NATO's European allies and Canada increased defence spending by 3.8 percent last year, or $10 billion (8 billion pounds) more than 2015, the alliance said on Tuesday, and said Britain was keeping up with its target after a report said London missed its goal. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, a security think tank, said only Greece and Estonia met a target to spend 2 percent of economic output on defence. A NATO official told Reuters that five allies, including Britain, met or exceeded NATO's benchmark in 2016.
Constructions workers are seen at a new building site in Silver Spring, MarylandThe latest results showed a wide gap between economists, who were criticized for being too optimistic late in the last economic cycle, and market expectations that have sent bond yields and the U.S. dollar soaring and pushed Wall Street to record highs. Trump has promised sweeping tax cuts for individuals and businesses, infrastructure spending, and deregulation to boost growth, which in the long recovery from the financial crisis has been weaker than in past expansions. Investors have taken those proposals as a green light to buy stocks since the U.S. election, lighting a fire under financial shares in particular.
The following is the full text of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's prepared remarks to the U.S Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday as she delivers the central bank's semiannual monetary policy report to Congress. Chairman Crapo, Ranking Member Brown, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve's semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress. In my remarks today I will briefly discuss the current economic situation and outlook before turning to monetary policy.
The following are highlights of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's semiannual testimony on the U.S. economy and monetary policy as prepared for delivery on Tuesday to the Senate Banking Committee. My colleagues on the FOMC and I expect the economy to continue to expand at a moderate pace, with the job market strengthening somewhat further and inflation gradually rising to 2 percent. At our upcoming meetings, the Committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with these expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate.
FILE PHOTO - An Airbus A380 takes part in a flight display during the 48th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airportBy Tim Hepher PARIS (Reuters) - France honored the A380 superjumbo with a place in its national aerospace museum on Tuesday, granting it equal status with the Boeing 747 even as questions pile up over the future of the industry's biggest jets. The A380 test plane, the fourth to be built and the second to actually fly in 2005, flew to Le Bourget near Paris from Toulouse with 50 technicians who will spend months adapting it for public view. It is the first time Airbus has transferred one of its test planes to a museum and a victory for curators who for years have coveted the world's largest jetliner, designed to carry up to 853 people in all-economy seating or 544 in standard layout.
German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said it was totally unacceptable that talks took place on French carmaker PSA Group buying General Motors' European Opel unit without consulting German works councils or local government. Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of lawmakers, Zypries also said on Tuesday that the German government had no information on the talks. GM had a responsibility to ensure that Opel's innovation center remained in Germany, the minister said.
A combination picture shows the logos of Opel and Peugeot car manufacturers at dealerships of the brands in StrasbourgLONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - In a move that could shake up the global auto industry, General Motors Co and French automaker PSA Group said on Tuesday they are in talks that could result in PSA buying GM's European auto operations. For PSA, owner of the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, acquiring GM's Opel and Vauxhall brands would give it a 16.3 percent share of the European passenger car market, vaulting it into second place in the region, ahead of French rival Renault SA and behind Germany's Volkswagen AG. Germany's industrial union IG Metall on Tuesday fired a warning shot, saying that if the companies were discussing the sale of Opel without the union's involvement, that would be an "an unprecedented breach of all German and European co-determination rights." German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said it was totally unacceptable that talks took place on French carmaker PSA Group buying GM's European Opel unit without consulting German works councils or local government.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen prepares to speak before a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing Capitol Hill in WashingtonThe Federal Reserve will likely need to raise interest rates at an upcoming meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday, although she flagged considerable uncertainty over economic policy under the Trump administration. Yellen said delaying rate increases could leave the Fed's policymaking committee behind the curve and eventually lead it to hike rates quickly, which she said could cause a recession. "Waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise," Yellen told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, citing the central bank's expectations the job market will tighten further and that inflation would rise to 2 percent.
Pope Francis presides at a meeting of a permanent advisory group composed of nine high-ranking cardinals at the VaticanBy Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Senior Roman Catholic cardinals from the around the world defended Pope Francis on Monday against a spate of recent attacks from conservatives challenging his authority. In an unusual move, nine cardinals in a group advising Francis on Vatican economic and structural reforms issued a statement expressing "full support for the pope's work" and guaranteeing "full backing for him and his teachings". The statement said the cardinals expressed their solidarity with the pope "in light of recent events," which Vatican sources said was a clear reference to the attacks.