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Shanghai Exchange gets approval for trading platform in free-trade zone
The Shanghai Stock Exchange has secured approvals from regulators to set up an international trading center in the free-trade zone, the chairman of the bourse said on Saturday. The move could pave the way for more foreign investors to tap the world's fourth-largest stock market by capitalization and also for foreign companies to issue shares in the world's second-largest economy. Gui Minjie, chairman of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said significant progress has been made in recent years allowing Chinese firms to list on overseas markets. However, no foreign companies are allowed to issue shares on Chinese bourses.
China February exports tumble unexpectedly
By Kevin Yao and Adam Rose BEIJING (Reuters) - China's exports unexpectedly tumbled in February, swinging the trade balance into deficit and adding to fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy despite the Lunar New Year holidays being blamed for the slide. A resilient Chinese economy is good news for the world, particularly for major commodity exporters such as Australia.
Over 95 percent of Chinese cities failed to meet environmental standards: minister
By David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - Almost all Chinese cities monitored for pollution last year failed to meet state standards, the vice-minister of environmental protection said on Saturday as he outlined the country's plans to redress the environmental consequences of rapid industrialization. Out of the 74 cities that Beijing monitored, 71 had various degrees of problems, Wu Xiaoqing said at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual parliament session in Beijing. The environment has emerged as one of Beijing's key priorities amid growing public disquiet about urban smog, dwindling and polluted water supplies and the widespread industrial contamination of farmland. China's environmental policy goals also serve a wider agenda, aimed at diversifying and "upgrading" the country's resource-intensive economy.
Zimbabwe diamond miners say quality declining
Anjin said on Friday a fall in the quality of the diamonds at its mine in eastern Zimbabwe was causing financial problems for the company. The ore we are mining we are recovering low-grade diamonds, which are not fetching much on the market," Anjin board member Munyaradzi Machacha told a parliamentary committee. We are really in serious financial problems. Our primary objective at the moment is to make sure the company survives." Half owned by China's Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, Anjin is the biggest diamond miner in Marange.
China's February exports down 18 percent
BEIJING (AP) ? China's exports plunged by an unexpectedly large 18 percent in February, possibly denting hopes trade will help drive the slowing economy while communist leaders push ambitious promised reforms.
Mexico regulator says Slim's America Movil dominant in telco
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim's telecoms giant America Movil said on Friday it had been declared dominant in the telecoms sector by a new watchdog as widely expected, amid a government push to boost competition. Earlier in the day the regulator also declared as dominant in telecoms Slim's bank Inbursa and conglomerate Grupo Carso, which both have direct or indirect stakes in America Movil. It cited their "economic interests". Mexico is trying to spur competition in its tight-knit phone and TV industries through a wide-ranging telecoms overhaul passed last year. ...
US stocks muddled as Ukraine tensions fester
In twist, Mexico says non-telecom Slim firms dominate telecoms
By Alexandra Alper and Tomas Sarmiento MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's telecoms regulator on Friday declared two of billionaire Carlos Slim's major financial and industrial companies "dominant" in telecommunications, but has yet to slap the tag on Slim's flagship telecom company. It is widely expected that Slim's telecom company America Movil will be declared dominant, or having an outsized share in its market, although a spokesman said the company has not yet been notified. Mexico is trying to spur competition in its tight-knit phone and TV industries through a wide-ranging telecoms overhaul passed last year. The newly empowered Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) deemed Slim's bank Inbursa and conglomerate Grupo Carso, which both have direct or indirect stakes in America Movil, dominant in telecoms given their "economic interests," the companies said on Friday.
U.S. job growth offers upbeat sign for weather-beaten economy
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth accelerated sharply in February despite the icy weather that gripped much of the nation, easing fears of an abrupt economic slowdown and keeping the Federal Reserve on track to continue reducing its monetary stimulus. Employers added 175,000 jobs to their payrolls last month after creating 129,000 new positions in January, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent as Americans flooded into the labor market to search for work. "It reinforces the case for the economy being stronger than it's looked for the last couple of months," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.
U.S. investigates two French banks for sanctions violations: source
By Emily Flitter NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are investigating whether two French banks violated anti-money laundering rules and economic embargoes on countries like Iran, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Regulators in New York and Washington are looking at potential violations by Credit Agricole and Societe Generale of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the countries, the source said. In addition to the Iran sanctions violations, the investigation is looking at whether the banks broke embargoes against Cuba and Sudan, according to the source. The agencies involved include the U.S. Treasury Department, the Justice Department, the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Manhattan District Attorney's office, the source said.
U.S. consumer credit growth held back by credit card decline
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit grew in January but was held back by a contraction in credit card usage that could be a negative sign for the economy. Total consumer credit rose by $13.7 billion to $3.1 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise by $14 billion in January. Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, fell by $226 million during the month. Revolving credit figures can be volatile. ...
Job gain in Feb. despite harsh weather lifts hopes
US employers add 175K jobs despite harsh weather
Fed's Dudley flags easy money now, rate rise around mid-2015
By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is not about to back off its highly accommodative policy, though investor predictions of a rate rise by midway through next year are reasonable, an influential U.S. central banker said on Friday. New York Fed President William Dudley outlined some bright spots in the long U.S. recovery from recession, calling U.S. economic prospects "reasonably favorable." But Dudley, a key Fed decision-maker alongside Chair Janet Yellen, stressed that the labor market is still hobbled, saying in a speech he would like to see faster economic growth and more rapid progress in lowering unemployment and raising inflation. Dudley did not comment specifically on the Fed's bond-buying policy.
Mexican tycoon Slim's Grupo Carso designated 'dominant' in telecoms
Mexican Tycoon Carlos Slim's conglomerate Grupo Carso said on Friday it had been declared dominant in the telecoms sector by a new watchdog, which cited the firm's "economic interests". Slim's telecom giant America Movil, which has about 80 percent of Mexico's fixed-line business and some 70 percent of the mobile sector, is expected to be told it is dominant in its market by the new Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) as well.
Mexican tycoon Slim's bank Inbursa designated 'dominant' in telecoms
Mexican Tycoon Carlos Slim's financial arm Inbursa said on Friday it had been declared dominant in the telecoms sector by a new watchdog, which cited the financial group's "economic interests". Slim's telecom giant America Movil, which has about 80 percent of Mexico's fixed-line business and some 70 percent of the mobile sector, is expected to be told it is dominant in its market by the new Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) as well.
Rate rise around mid-2015 a reasonable assumption: Fed's Dudley
It is reasonable for investors to predict that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sometime around mid-2015, New York Fed President William Dudley said on Friday. Market expectations are for the Fed to raise interest rates "sometime toward the middle of 2015," he said at Brooklyn College. "I think those are a very reasonable set of expectations based on what we know today, and our economic forecasts." Most market participants who closely follow the Fed, he noted, are expecting a rate rise when the unemployment rate falls to around 6 percent.
World markets mixed after US jobs report
LONDON (AP) ? World stock markets were mixed Friday after official figures showed hiring in the U.S., the world's largest economy, rose last month despite the severe winter weather.
Stock funds worldwide attract $7.5 billion inflows: Bofa
Investors worldwide poured $7.5 billion into stock funds in the week ended March 5 on reassuring signs the U.S. economy was on firm footing and reduced geopolitical tensions, data from a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report showed Friday. "People are growing sanguine about global growth," said Chris Konstantinos, head of international portfolio management at RiverFront Investment Group in Richmond, Virginia. The net inflows into stock funds showed investors' conviction that stocks, which hit record highs over the weekly period, could continue to rally on a stronger U.S. economy. Meanwhile, investors pulled $3.8 billion from emerging market stock funds, extending those funds' record outflow streak to 19 weeks.
Canada suffers jobs setback in Feb; Jan trade gap narrows
By Louise Egan OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian economy unexpectedly lost 7,000 jobs in February, giving little reason for the Bank of Canada to change its neutral stance on interest rates after strong hiring in January had raised hopes of renewed vigor in the labor market. Statistics Canada's employment report, released on Friday, was mixed, showing a sizeable increase in full-time jobs which was offset by the disappearance of even more part-time positions. The services sector was hardest hit. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.0 percent.