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Asia shares edge higher, oil tumbles to four-year low
TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks hit a one-month high on Thursday as investors bet that more central bank stimulus in China and Europe would shore up the global economy, while oil prices tumbled to a four-year low as hopes for output cuts by OPEC faded.
Puerto Rico threatened with transit shutdown in political spat
By Edward Krudy (Reuters) - Puerto Rico's public transit system will shut down on Monday if lawmakers do not increase a tax on oil, the U.S. commonwealth's Government Development Bank said, accusing politicians of taking an "irresponsible" gamble on the island's economy. The possible shutdown of Puerto Rico's buses and commuter train services, affecting 75,000 commuters, would be a major escalation of the island's debt crisis and would threaten its fragile economy. ...
Yellen's 'optimal' model calls for rate hike this year, in theory
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said the tenor of economic data will decide when the U.S. central bank raises interest rates. Surprisingly, a data analysis based on Yellen's own priorities points to a rate increase by the end of this year.
Argentine presidential aspirant Massa says would cut back state controls
TIGRE, Argentina (Reuters) - Sergio Massa, a frontrunner in Argentina's presidential election next year, said on Wednesday he would ensure the independence of the central bank and modify laws that have ramped up the role of the state in the country's stagnating economy. Massa, who heads the Front for Renewal party and would come third in a vote now according to the latest opinion polls, said heavy controls on private firms had stunted investment and forecast the economy would shrink by 2 percent this year. ...
Catalonia moves closer to early election as dialogue hopes fade
MADRID (Reuters) - Catalonia's two main parties on Wednesday moved a step closer to calling a snap regional election they want to use as a proxy for a referendum on independence from Spain. The region, which accounts for one fifth of Spain's economic output, went ahead with a symbolic independence referendum on Nov. 9 despite Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy blocking such a move in the courts and calling it illegal. ...
U.S. consumer, business spending data point to slowing growth
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending rose modestly in October and a measure of business spending plans fell for a second straight month, suggesting some slowing in the pace of economic growth.
U.S. EPA seeks tighter ozone standards to cut pollution
By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Wednesday proposed stricter curbs on ground-level ozone, a pollutant linked to several serious health conditions, in a move industry groups and congressional Republicans said would place a heavy burden on the U.S. economy. The Environmental Protection Agency said it would set National Ambient Air Quality Standard between 65 and 70 parts per billion concentration of ozone and consider public comments on standards within a 60 to 75 ppb range. The EPA must finalize the rule by October. ...
U.S. consumer sentiment climbs in November
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment rose in November to its highest level in more than seven years on improvements in the current economic condition, including lower gas prices and improving job prospects, a survey released on Wednesday showed.
EU proposes $380 billion investment plan
BRUSSELS (AP) ? The European Union's executive has proposed a plan to boost investment in the bloc's flagging economy by 315 billion euros ($380 billion) by attracting reluctant private investors with guarantees and seed money. Experts warn, however, it alone will not be enough to restart growth.
US indexes barely budge ahead of Thanksgiving
NEW YORK (AP) ? Stock indexes are holding near record levels as traders digest some mixed news on the U.S. economy.
Reuters Poll: Expected timing for Bank of Canada rate hike pushed back
By Anu Bararia (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada will likely defer an interest rate hike until late next year despite high household debt and above-target inflation, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday. The central bank will stay put at next week's policy decision, according to the poll of 41 economists, leaving its key interest rate on hold until the fourth quarter of 2015, slightly later than forecast in a Reuters poll in October. Recent comments from BOC Governor Stephen Poloz and his officials on how close to capacity the Canadian economy was operating triggered some of the forecast changes. ...
Juncker investment plan a first step but more needed: France
PARIS (Reuters) - A European Commission plan to secure 300 billion euros of largely new private investment goes in the right direction but more stimulus is needed, French officials said after its unveiling on Wednesday. France's center-left government has long lobbied for the region to embark on a concerted effort to boost growth, a move resisted notably by Germany's ruling conservatives, who argue that budgetary rigor and economic reform are the priorities. ...
U.S. core capital goods orders fall for second straight month in October
U.S. consumer spending rebounds, income rises modestly
WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending rebounded in October, suggesting some resilience in the economy at the start of the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday consumer spending increased 0.2 percent last month after being flat in September.
Somalia's new bourse sees seven firms listing on opening in 2015
By Duncan Miriri DIANI, Kenya (Reuters) - The Somalia Stock Exchange expects seven companies in the telecoms, financial services and transport sectors to list their shares when the bourse is set up in 2015, its founder said. Somalia's economy is slowly recovering from more than two decades of conflict, although the government is still battling an Islamist insurgency. Amid the chaos, some businesses have thrived, including money transfer and mobile phone firms. ...
Business investment unexpectedly drops in third-quarter, GDP unrevised
By David Milliken and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - British business investment unexpectedly fell in the third quarter of 2014 and growth relied heavily on household spending once again, raising fresh questions about the resilience of the economy's recovery. Wednesday's more detailed breakdown of what drove growth in the three months to September confirmed that gross domestic product grew 0.7 percent during the quarter, unchanged from last month's preliminary estimate. That was down from 0.9 percent in the second quarter, the joint highest quarterly rate in four years. ...
Cameroon aims to increase budget by more than 13 pct in 2015
YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon's 2015 budget will increase by more than 13 percent from this year, and the government expects economic growth to accelerate to 6.3 percent, Prime Minister Philemon Yang said on Tuesday. Presenting the draft budget to parliament, Yang said it would have a total value of 3.746 trillion CFA francs ($7 billion). The growth prediction is a step up from this year's expected 5.8 percent, with 2015 inflation forecast at 3 percent. Cameroon is an oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea and the world's fifth largest cocoa producer. ...
Asian stocks mostly up after US data
Profits squeezed at sanctions-hit Russian lender
Russia's biggest lender Sberbank said Wednesday its profits fell 10 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2014 as the sanctions-hit bank stepped up loan-loss provisions due to the slowing economy and falling ruble. "The group's net profit in the first nine months of 2014 was 241.3 billion rubles, down 10.1 percent compared to the same period of 2013," Sberbank said in a statement. State-controlled Sberbank was among five major banks to be hit with punitive sanctions from the European Union this summer over Moscow's actions in the Ukraine crisis.
Carlyle, Old Mutual to acquire South African tyre firm from Ethos
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - U.S. buyout firm Carlyle Group LP and the private equity arm of insurer Old Mutual have agreed to buy South African tyre retailer Tiger Automotive from Ethos Private Equity, Ethos said on Wednesday. The deal, still subject to approval from South African competition regulators, is for an undisclosed sum, Ethos said. This marks the first acquisition for Carlyle's $700 million African fund in the continent's most developed economy.