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Gunvor fined for failing to prevent corruption in West African oil deals

Global commodity trading house Gunvor has been ordered to pay almost CHF94 million ($95 million) by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland for failing to take steps to prevent corruption in gaining access to the petroleum markets of the Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast. The Geneva-based trader failed to take all the “organizational measures that were reasonable and necessary to prevent its employees and agents from bribing public officials” to operate in the two West African countries, the OAG said in a statement. Last year, former Gunvor ...

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Who is buying negative-yielding German bonds? Foreign central banks, perhaps

German government bonds with their sub-zero yields have lured foreign inflows for four straight months. Talk is that it’s reserve managers from Switzerland and China who are among those paying to lend money to Berlin. Germany’s 10-year sovereign bond has traded with yields below 0% for the most part since March. It currently yields around -0.4% — almost a whole percentage point below year-ago levels. For most of the time since early August, all German government bonds have carried negative yield. It’s an unattractive proposition for most bond investors, even ...

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Brazil’s Petrobras boosts oil, gas output 16.5% on year in Q3

Brazilian oil company Petrobras said Friday its third-quarter crude oil and natural gas output was 16.5% higher year on year, amid record-setting production from subsalt fields. State-led Petrobras, which has been was completing the installation of seven new floating production units, produced 2.794 million b/d of oil equivalent in the third quarter from domestic fields. Oil and gas output was up 9.5% from the second quarter. The surge “reflected the entrance of new production wells in the Buzios and Lula fields, in line with our strategy to concentrate efforts on ...

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Fed Injects $56.65 Billion In Liquidity Over Weekend

The New York Fed added $56.65 billion in liquidity to financial markets on Friday. In a repurchase agreement operation that will expire on Monday, the Fed took in $47.95 billion in Treasurys, $500 million in agency securities, and $8.2 billion in mortgage backed securities. The Fed’s operation is part of an effort to help tame volatility in short-term rate markets with temporary and permanent injections of liquidity. Fed repo interventions take in Treasury and mortgage securities from eligible banks in what is effectively a loan of central bank cash, collateralized ...

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China Sept industrial output up 5.8%, beat forecast; retail sales up 7.8%

China’s industrial output grew 5.8% year-on-year in September, recovering after slowing sharply the previous month, data from the National Bureau of Statistic showed Friday, though the economy remained under broad pressure from cooling demand at home and abroad. Analysts had expected industrial output, which has been hit by a bruising Sino-U.S. trade war, to grow by 5.0% in September, according to a Reuters poll. Retail sales rose by 7.8% year-on-year last month, in line with analysts’ expectations of 7.8% growth. Sales in August grew 7.5%. Fixed asset investment grew 5.4% ...

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U.S. Leading Economic Index Ticks Down in September

An economic index that measures U.S. business trends declined 0.1% in September from August following a 0.2% decline in August and a 0.4% rise in July. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index was 111.9 in September. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the index reading to remain unchanged for the month. Rising stock prices and the leading credit index partially offset weaknesses in the manufacturing sector and interest rate spread, Friday’s report said. “The LEI reflects uncertainty in the outlook and falling business expectations, brought on by the ...

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Italy’s economy probably remained stagnant in third quarter – Bank of Italy

Italy probably posted little or no economic growth in the third quarter, continuing the flat trend of the last 18 months, the Bank of Italy said on Friday. “Economic activity in Italy seems to have remained almost stationary in the summer quarter, held back by the persistent weakness of the industrial cycle in the euro area as a whole,” the central bank said in its quarterly economic bulletin. The bank said that the economy was probably supported between July and September by some moderate growth in the services and construction ...

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Italy’s draft 2020 budget may require some work, but no crisis seen – EU

The European Commission is checking if the increase in the structural deficit in Italy’s draft 2020 budget can be justified under EU budget rules, but Brussels does not want to “create a crisis” over it, Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. Under EU rules, the executive European Commission has the job of checking every year if the main assumptions of draft budgets of euro zone countries do not break EU rules on deficit and debt that set limits on borrowing to underpin the euro. Rome sent its draft budget to Brussels ...

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China says its economy grew 6% in the third quarter, slower than expected

China said Friday its economy grew by 6% in the third quarter from a year earlier. It’s believed to be China’s slowest GDP gain in at least 27½ years. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected China’s gross national product to grow 6.1% from the third quarter of 2018. In the second quarter of 2019, China’s statistics bureau said the economy grew 6.2% from a year earlier, as the country’s trade war with the U.S. took its toll. China’s GDP has fallen sharply since the first quarter of 2018, when it ...

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EU leaders discuss 1.1 trillion euros post-Brexit budget

European Union leaders will discuss a new budget plan on Friday that could allow the bloc to spend up to 1.1 trillion euros (£952 billion) in the 2021-2027 period, but deep divisions among governments could block a deal for months. Under a proposal prepared by Finland, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, the next long-term budget should have a financial capacity between 1.03% and 1.08% of the bloc’s gross national income (GNI), a measure of output. That would allow the EU to spend between 1 and 1.1 trillion euros for ...

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Christine Lagarde appointed President of the European Central Bank

Yesterday, the European Council appointed Christine Lagarde to be the President of the European Central Bank for a non-renewable term of 8 years. Christine Lagarde will replace the outgoing President, Mario Draghi, as of 1 November 2019. On 2 July 2019, the European Council considered Christine Lagarde to be the appropriate candidate for President of the European Central Bank. The Council (Economic and Financial Affairs) then issued a formal recommendation on 9 July 2019. The European Parliament and the European Central Bank delivered their opinions to the European Council, respectively ...

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ECB’s efforts to counter weak inflation will fail – economists

The European Central Bank’s latest stimulus package will not significantly help to bring inflation back to target, according to economists in a Reuters poll who said the risk of a euro zone recession in the next two years has increased. At its September meeting, the ECB cut its deposit rate deeper into negative territory and said it would revive its bond-buying programme indefinitely to cut borrowing costs and stimulate investment and growth in the euro zone. But the decision to restart its asset purchase programme, which was shuttered late last ...

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World Bank chief lauds China’s progress on poverty alleviation, expects further efforts

Allowing market to play a bigger role in China’s economy in the past few decades has led to a ‘dramatic development’ that pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, said World Bank President David Malpass on Oct 17, which marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Malpass made the remarks in response to a question from Xinhua at the opening press conference of the 2019 annual meetings for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). ‘If I take a step back, all the way ...

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Fed Eyes Another Rate Cut, Weighs When to Stop

Federal Reserve officials are heading into their meeting in two weeks likely to cut interest rates while debating whether they have done enough for now to vaccinate the economy against growing risks of a sharper slowdown. Officials began these discussions last month, when they cut their benchmark rate to a range between 1.75% and 2%. Now they are discussing whether to call timeout on the current sequence of rate cuts, how much time they need to assess the effect of those moves and how to communicate their plans. In recent ...

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Japan estimates U.S. trade deal will boost GDP by 0.8% over 10-20 years

The trade deal reached between Japan and the United States is expected to boost Japan’s economy by about 0.8% over 10-20 years when the benefits fully kick in, the Japanese government said on Friday. The deal is estimated to contribute about 4 trillion yen ($36.81 billion) to Japan’s gross domestic product based on its fiscal 2018 GDP, and the pact will create about 280,000 jobs in Japan, it said. The United States and Japan signed a limited trade deal that cuts tariffs on U.S. farm goods, Japanese machine tools and ...

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