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S.Africa's rand falls to fresh 8-month low after poor trade data
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand continued a downward spiral against the dollar on Tuesday, tumbling to fresh eight-month lows after the revenue service reported a sharp widening of the trade deficit. The trade account recorded a 16.3 billion rand ($1.44 billion) shortfall in August, its biggest gap in seven months. The poor trade data compounds South Africa's economic problems brought about by expected policy normalisation in the United States. South Africa's wide current account deficit, fed by a gaping trade deficit, puts the rand at the forefront of the emerging market ...
Indonesia inaugurates parliament likely to curb Widodo's reforms
By Kanupriya Kapoor JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia inaugurated a new, opposition-dominated parliament on Wednesday, one that is expected to obstruct incoming president Joko Widodo's ambitious reforms for Southeast Asia's biggest economy. Widodo, the popular former governor of the capital, Jakarta, narrowly won an election in July, becoming the first businessman to become president of the world's third-largest democracy, a post previously held by members of the military or political elite. ...
Japan business confidence up in sluggish recovery
Confidence among major Japanese manufacturers improved in the last quarter after a precipitous drop in the previous three months, a Bank of Japan survey showed Wednesday, but analysts warned the economy was not yet back on track.
China September factory activity steadies but economic outlook still weak
By Koh Gui Qing BEIJING (Reuters) - Growth in China's manufacturing sector held up in September but remained subdued in a sign that the world's second-largest economy is still struggling to recover its growth momentum. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) hovered at 51.1, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, indicating a modest expansion in activity and a touch ahead of forecasts for a 51.0 reading. ...
China manufacturing growth unchanged in September
Import controls drive slide in Argentine industrial output
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine industrial output shrank in August as stricter import restrictions in the first month after the country's debt default hit manufacturers reliant on parts from abroad and recession in Brazil hurt demand for automobiles. Output in Latin America's No. 3 economy shrank 2.9 percent in August on the year in non-seasonally adjusted terms, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday, marking the 13th consecutive monthly decline. The reading came in well below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts for a 1.5 percent drop. ...
Argentina defies U.S. court order by depositing debt payment
By Jorge Otaola BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina deposited a $161 million bond interest payment with a newly appointed local trustee on Tuesday, the Economy Ministry said, defying a U.S. judge who held it in contempt a day earlier for taking illegal steps to meet its debt obligations. The country wants to show it can service its debt and that its failure in July to complete a payment to holders of bonds that were restructured after its 2002 default was the result of adverse U.S. judicial rulings. ...
EU keeps Russia sanctions as clashes resume in Ukraine
Brussels (AFP) - The European Union on Tuesday decided to keep in place biting economic sanctions on Russia over its alleged backing of pro-Kremlin insurgents who have largely ignored a four-week Ukrainian truce.
TSX records biggest monthly drop since May 2012
By John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index posted its biggest monthly decline since May 2012 in September, losing about 4.3 percent, as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on commodity prices and shares of natural resource companies. The market was little changed on Tuesday as softness in the energy and materials sectors was offset by a gain in the financial sector. Investors processed government data showing the Canadian economy did not expand in July, breaking a six-month streak of consecutive gains. Further, geopolitical tensions in Hong Kong and the prospect of the U.S. ...
Wall St. ends down for day, month; indexes gain in quarter
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped on Tuesday, dragged down by energy and materials shares as economic data disappointed. Major indexes also posted losses for the month, but ended the quarter with gains. The S&P energy index was down 1.2 percent on Tuesday following a more than 3 percent drop in U.S. oil prices. The S&P materials index also fell 1.2 percent. Shares of Chevron , down 1 percent at $119.32, were the biggest drag on the S&P 500. The Thomson Reuters Jefferies CRB commodity index ended down 1.6 percent, its largest daily decline since June 2013. ...
Obama turns to economy with Illinois speech
WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama will deliver an economic address this week seeking to promote the recovery as the campaign season heads into its final weeks before midterm congressional elections.
India holds rates to guard against inflation
Ukrainians gear up for winter without Russian gas
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) ? For Alexei Polezhai, who sells water heaters and wood-burning stoves at his two shops in Kiev, sales this fall have been remarkably good considering the dramatic collapse in the rest of the Ukrainian economy this year.
Kenyan shilling, stocks shrug off GDP rise to hold steady
By George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling and main stock market index were flat on Tuesday, shrugging off a jump in the gross domestic product of East Africa's biggest economy after the authorities changed the base calculation year. Foreign exchange and stock market traders said both markets had factored in a rise of Kenya's GDP, now estimated to be 25 percent bigger after the base calculation year was changed to 2009 from 2001. At close of trade at 1300 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 89.30/40 to the dollar, the same as Monday's close. ...
South African central bank should keep policy focus on inflation -Kganyago
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's central bank has little policy room to boost demand in the economy and should keep its focus on taming inflation, Deputy Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Tuesday. Likely interest rate increases in the United States would require corresponding policy shifts in South Africa, said Kganyago, who has emerged as the front runner to head the bank when Governor Gill Marcus ends her five-year term on Nov. 8. The South Africa Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged at 5. ...
U.S. consumer confidence falls in September
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence fell in September to its lowest level since May on concerns over the job market and economic growth, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday. The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 86.0 from a upwardly revised 93.4 the month before. Economists had expected a reading of 92.5, according to a Reuters poll. August's reading was originally reported as 92.4. The dip in September came after four straight months of improvement. ...
Dana Gas signs deal to recover $280 mln owed by Egypt
DUBAI (Reuters) - Dana Gas has signed a revised deal with Egypt that will help it to recover most of the $280 million it is owed by the government for exploration and production assets in the country, the United Arab Emirates energy company said. Political turmoil and violence since the 2011 revolt that ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak has hit the economy hard and Egypt has struggled to pay foreign companies for gas, with some major gas projects grinding to a halt at a time when generous state subsidies are stoking demand. ...
South Africa leaves bumper 2014 maize forecast unchanged
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa left its 2014 maize output forecast unchanged on Tuesday as good weather helped produce a bumper crop that should contain food prices and give a lift to sluggish growth in Africa's most advanced economy. The government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) left its forecast at 14.307 million tonnes, the biggest harvest in over three decades for the continent's top maize producer. This was just slightly lower than market expectations of 14.39 million tonnes, according to a Reuters poll of traders conducted last week. ...
EU keeps Russia sanctions in place, sees 'encouraging' signs
By Adrian Croft and Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union decided on Tuesday to keep in place a package of economic sanctions against Russia over its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine despite what it called "encouraging developments" on the ground after a ceasefire deal. The 28-nation EU has imposed sanctions on Russia's finance, defence and energy sectors and has frozen the assets of some 140 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and companies over Moscow's role in Ukraine. ...
Egypt's Sisi delivers economic reforms but hurdles remain
By Stephen Kalin CAIRO (Reuters) - In his first 100 days in office, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has made a fast start on economic reform: slashing costly fuel subsidies, raising taxes and devising infrastructure projects to secure long-term revenues and ease unemployment. Those are moves that have long been sought by foreign investors. But winning their full confidence will require pushing ahead with further politically-sensitive reforms and sealing an elusive deal with the International Monetary Fund. ...