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Eurozone Retail Sales Rise Marginally In April

Eurozone retail sales logged a marginal growth in April, data from Eurostat showed Tuesday. Retail sales gained 0.1 percent month-on-month in April, slower than the 0.4 percent increase in March. Sales were forecast to grow 0.5 percent. Nonetheless, this was the third consecutive increase in turnover. Sales of food, drinks and tobacco declined 0.7 percent, while non-food product sales advanced 1.7 percent. On a yearly basis, retail sales volume growth accelerated to 1.7 percent in April from 1.5 percent in March. The annual rate came in line with expectations. In ...

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Trump Wants Bilateral Nafta Talks But He Won’t Quit Pact

President Donald Trump is “seriously considering” seeking separate trade talks with Canada and Mexico but he doesn’t plan to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said. “His preference now, he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately,” Kudlow said Tuesday during an interview on Fox News. “I know this is just three countries but still, you know, oftentimes when you have to compromise with a whole bunch of countries you get the worst of the ...

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French State Budget Deficit Narrower at End April

France’s central state budget deficit narrowed in the first four months of the year compared with the same period in 2017, the budget ministry said Tuesday. The central state budget deficit–which doesn’t include local authority and healthcare spending–stood at 54.3 billion euros ($63.5 billion) at the end of April. At the same point in 2017, the deficit stood at EUR57.9 billion. The budget ministry said lower spending contributed to the decline in the deficit. Delays in some fiscal transfers and the ending of the recapitalization of energy companies also contributed, ...

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Italy Services Growth Improves In May

Italy’s service sector growth improved marginally in May, while business confidence softened to its lowest level in nearly two years, survey data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 53.1 in May from 52.6 in April. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. Growth in new orders remained solid in May, bur softer than rates seen in late last year and early this year. The survey revealed that workloads were sufficient to test capacity at their units, with levels of work outstanding rose ...

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UK business warns May post-Brexit frictionless trade more important than tariffs – source

British business leaders warned Prime Minister Theresa May during a meeting on Monday that maintaining frictionless trade with the European Union after Brexit was probably more important than the imposition of any tariffs, a source told Reuters. May and several top ministers met business chiefs including the bosses of pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline, supermarket Tesco, carmaker Aston Martin, telecoms firm BT and construction company Balfour Beatty to discuss Brexit. “A frictionless border is probably even more important than the levy or tariff,” a source familiar with the contents of the meeting ...

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BoE – Banks must show how they can shut down without causing market mayhem

Britain’s top banks like HSBC and Barclays will have to show investors how they can be shut without causing mayhem in markets, the Bank of England said on Tuesday. Since a financial crisis that forced taxpayers to bail out lenders, banks have had to comply with rules that make it easier for regulators to wind them up in an orderly way, such as by keeping critical functions like payments going and transferring accounts to another lender. These so-called resolution or “death” plans are drawn up in conjunction with regulators but ...

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Continental European May LNG regasification highest in over six years

LNG regasification in Continental Europe rose to its highest monthly level in over six years in May, with strong monthly increases seen in several countries, data from S&P Global Platts Analytics showed Monday. LNG regas from Continental Europe (Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain combined) was 4.135 Bcm of natural gas equivalent during May, climbing 23% month on month and 12% year on year, hitting its highest for a calendar month since January 2012 in the process. Continental European LNG regas for the first five months of the ...

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Tomorrow’s world is already here but the spread of benefits remains unclear

A high-level panel at the sixty-fifth session of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board heard that the digital economy is revolutionizing global trade, but it remains unclear exactly how this will transform development outcomes in the world’s poorer countries. In her opening remarks at the 4 June meeting, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said “that the unprecedented expansion of digital technologies is revolutionizing our societies is something that cannot be denied”. “We know that countries are far from being fully prepared for the digital economy and therefore do not all have ...

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German finance minister backs Merkel’s euro zone funding proposals

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Monday he endorsed the modest plans put forward by Chancellor Angela Merkel for a European investment fund that could invest in financially weaker euro zone member states. Merkel outlined her plan for funding that could be up to the low tens of billions of euros in a German newspaper on Sunday, responding to more far-reaching plans proposed by France’s President Emmanuel Macron. Merkel’s plan appeared mostly in line with her conservative base, which opposes making German taxpayers liable for debt incurred by other ...

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Waning Italy Political Risk Can Prop Up the Euro Only So Much

It will be hard for the euro to break free. While the shared currency has recovered after touching a 10-month low last week, the bulk of its slide this quarter happened before investors started fretting about Italy. That means even if the concerns surrounding the rise of populism subside completely, the euro’s gains would still be capped. “Our point is that people have forgotten that EUR/USD moved from 1.24 to 1.19 before Italy was even mentioned in the news,” said Andreas Steno Larsen, a currency strategist at Nordea. “So this ...

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Malaysia’s May palm oil stockpiles seen hitting 8-month low – survey

Palm oil inventories in Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, are expected to slip to an eight-month low in May, weighed down by a decline in production, according to a Reuters poll. Malaysia’s palm oil stockpiles at end-May are forecast to fall 3.8 percent from April to 2.09 million tonnes. This would be its fifth consecutive month of declines, according to the median of 8 estimates from planters, traders and analysts surveyed by Reuters. Easing inventories could support palm oil futures, which have been declining due to lean demand. Buyers typically ...

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SGX coking coal traded volume down 48% on month to 877,600 mt in May

The Singapore Exchange’s coking coal futures traded volume stood at 877,600 mt in May, down 48% from April and down 51% year on year, according to SGX data released Monday. Open interest for coking coal swaps and futures for May were at record high of 1.81 million mt since the inception of SGX’s coking coal paper market in October 2016. This was driven by a large volume transacted mid-May for the Calendar-19 and Calendar-20 contracts. No options contracts were traded in May, and the open interest for options were at ...

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Russian wheat export price rises due to unfavourable weather

Russian wheat export prices rose last week due to unfavourable weather conditions, analysts said. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $205 a tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $1 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note on the new harvest. SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat prices up $3, also at $205 a tonne, for July delivery. Maize (corn) prices were at $195 a tonne, down $2.5. State ...

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Commodities Set for Biggest Drop Since March as Farm Goods Slump

Commodities headed for the biggest loss since March, with agricultural products pacing the declines amid concern that the U.S.-China trade spat could cut demand for farm goods. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks returns for 22 components, fell 1 percent to 89.557 at 1:36 p.m. New York time and is set for the largest retreat since March 7. Raw sugar led the drop, falling as much as 5.3 percent. Wheat and corn were the next biggest losers. China is a major global buyer of U.S. agriculture and increased obstacles to ...

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It’s time to nominate those who save lives at sea

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) is calling for nominations and entries from around the world for its annual IMRF Awards. Last year, nominations came from as far afield as South Africa, New Zealand, Morocco, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway and many more. The submissions put forward search and rescue (SAR) professionals, lifeguards, and ships’ crew all of whom had at some point gone far beyond the call of duty as they made every effort to save the lives of refugees, people involved in accidents, cruise passengers on a burning ship ...

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