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BHP Is `Very Anxious’ U.S. Protectionism Could Blunt Growth

The head of the world’s biggest mining company intensified his warnings that U.S. trade protectionism under President Donald Trump would threaten global growth and the fight against poverty. While applauding efforts by the administration to boost U.S. growth and infrastructure spending, BHP Billiton Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie said the consequences of restricting free trade would be “pretty bloody awful.” BHP, which is also the largest overseas investor in U.S. shale, “is very anxious about the possibility that instead of that good leadership, we could have bad leadership from ...

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In Europe, Four Main Concerns About Trump

When Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress this week, his words will be studied with closer attention than usual in Europe. Across the Atlantic, Mr. Trump’s arrival on the world stage has been met with widespread anxiety. Many fear that his America First rhetoric, skepticism toward multilateral institutions and enthusiasm for Brexit signals a disengagement from the rules-based order that most Europeans consider the bedrock of their prosperity and security. Yet ironically, the immediate economic impact of Mr. Trump’s arrival has been positive for Europe. Last week’s eurozone ...

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As Brexit talks loom, EU to dodge early clearing clash

The European Union will not pick an immediate fight with the City of London over its right to clear euro-denominated securities, EU officials said, as Britain prepares to trigger the process of quitting the bloc. On a day when the EU executive made public tough language on Brussels’ policing of financial services providers from non-EU states – Britain’s likely status in 2019 – the officials said new EU rules on derivatives trading would not reopen an old battle over clearing between Britain and the euro zone. “Territorial restrictions are definitely ...

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China’s factories seen posting seventh month of modest growth in February

Activity in China’s manufacturing sector likely grew modestly for the seventh month in a row in February as resources prices extended a rapid rally and on signs of improving global demand for Chinese exports, a Reuters poll showed. Signs of sustained solid growth could give authorities more confidence to act as they cautiously move to contain risks from a mountain of debt which has built up after years of debt-fuelled stimulus. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)probably edged down to 51.1 in February from January’s 51.3, but remained well ...

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Fitch: Proportion of Higher Ratings Well Below Pre-Crisis Level

The proportion of ‘A-‘ and higher ratings in Fitch’s global portfolio of sovereigns, corporates and banks remains well below the pre financial-crisis level and could fall further over the next couple of years as the balance of ratings outlooks has deteriorated, Fitch Ratings says. Our sovereign portfolio has recorded some of the biggest moves, with the proportion of ‘AAA’ sovereigns dropping to 10% at the end of 2016, its lowest-ever level. Around 36% of the portfolio is rated in the ‘A’ to ‘AAA’ categories, down from 48% at the end ...

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Brexit means Germany will have to pay more into EU budget – Oettinger

Germany and other net contributors to the joint European Union budget will have to pay out more once Britain leaves the bloc, European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in comments. Britain’s net contribution of some 9 billion euros (7.66 billion pounds) could not be offset totally through future budget cuts, he told Handelsblatt business daily in an interview for its Tuesday edition. German Oettinger’s brief covers the EU’s budget and human resources. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, makes the largest net contribution to the EU budget each year at more than 15 ...

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China: ‘Toughest year’ ahead for work to cut capacity

Target to eliminate excess production from steel, coal sectors will pose a major challenge in 2017 China will further reduce excessive steel and coal capacity this year, building on the progress it made in 2016, when it cut 45 million metric tons of steel and 250 million tons of coal. The government will unveil its 2017 capacity reduction target soon, according to Xin Renzhou, deputy director of industrial policy for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The Government Work Report, to be presented by Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday, ...

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Bailout inspectors back in Athens on Tuesday to resume review talks

Bailout inspectors will resume talks with the government on Tuesday to try to complete a review of the country’s compliance with agreed reforms that has dragged on for months, the finance ministry said on Monday. Talks had stalled over delays in implementing reforms and disagreements among lenders themselves on whether the International Monetary Fund would fund a third bailout, agreed in mid-2015 and worth up to 86 billion euros ($90 billion). Inspectors from the EU Commission, the euro zone’s ESM rescue fund, the IMF and the ECB will meet with ...

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China: Bankers see growth slowing, innovation rising

Chinese bankers forecast the nation’s economic growth will be slower in the next three years. Technological innovation will be their new focus, according to a report co-released by the China Banking Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers on Friday. The report was based on a survey of 1,794 Chinese bankers in 2016. The report showed that only 41.2 percent bankers forecast China’s economic growth rate will be between 6.5 percent and 7 percent in the next three years, and 54.8 percent of them think the GDP growth rate will be lower than 6.5 ...

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Earliest China Data Indicate Economy Remaining Stable This Month

China’s economy remained generally steady during the Lunar New Year while sentiment readings show uncertainties over the outlook, according to the earliest private data for February. Sales managers perked up and satellite data showed activity hanging in near a five-year high. Meanwhile, the financial world’s outlook for next 12 months remained in negative territory and a gloomier mood settled in over the steel sector. The world’s No. 2 economy has picked up in recent months as trade improves, producer prices continue to rebound and manufacturers remain upbeat. That gives policy ...

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China can manage financial risks if property tax introduced – state media

China could manage the resulting financial risks if a property tax is introduced and causes the housing market to correct, a state newspaper said on Monday in a front-page commentary that sought to dispel fears that such a tax would burst a price bubble and spark a calamitous rise in bad loans for banks. “The risks are overall manageable, despite the possibility of bringing short-term shocks to the market,” the Economic Information Daily said, estimating China would be able to weather a 20 percent decline in house prices. China has ...

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Eurozone M3 Growth Eases In January; Loans To Households Improve

Eurozone monetary aggregate growth slowed slightly in January, while loans to households increased at a faster pace, the European Central Bank reported Monday. The monetary aggregate M3 grew 4.9 percent year-on-year in January, slightly slower than the 5 percent increase seen in December. In three months to January, M3 growth averaged 4.9 percent. The M1, the narrow aggregate, including currency in circulation and overnight deposits, climbed 8.4 percent but slower than the 8.8 percent rise in December. Data showed that loans to the private sector logged an annual growth of ...

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China to open further to foreign investment this year, commerce minister says

China will further open up its economy to foreign investors, new commerce minister Zhong Shan said on Monday, and he hopes foreign companies will play a bigger role in boosting China’s slowing economy, according to Xinhua, the official news agency. The Chinese government has been looking to increase foreign investment after outbound investment surpassed inbound funding last year for the first time. Foreign direct investment into China fell 9.2 percent in January, though a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said the data should not be seen as representing a trend for ...

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Local legislative meetings raise expectations for China’s growth

China’s resort island province of Hainan aimed to achieve growth of over 7 percent this year, after a 7.5-percent expansion in 2016, as its legislative session closed. Like Hainan, 20 other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities lowered or maintained their growth targets this year, indicating the basic tone of “seeking progress while maintaining stability” as set by the central economic work conference in December. To date, all provincial-level regions have concluded their annual meetings for local lawmakers and political advisors. The new measures in reform, opening up and structural adjustment ...

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Hong Kong Trade Deficit Narrows In January

Hong Kong’s foreign trade gap decreased in January from a year ago, as imports fell faster than exports, figures from the Census and Statistics Department showed Monday. The trade deficit narrowed to HK$12.34 billion in January from HK$17.48 billion in the corresponding month last year. In December, the shortfall was HK$45.5 billion. Exports dropped 1.2 percent year-over-year in January and imports slid by 2.7 percent. “Looking ahead, the recent improvement in global economic conditions, if continued, could render support to Asia’s and Hong Kong’s exports. Yet, the trading environment is ...

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