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Global debt ticks up, just shy of record high – IIF

Global debt grew 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to a year earlier and was up 0.7 percent compared to the previous quarter, the Institute of International Finance said in a report. Debt reached $244.2 trillion (£191.8 trillion), compared to $235.1 trillion a year earlier and $242.5 trillion in the second quarter, the data showed. The nominal record high stands at $247.7 trillion in the first quarter of 2018. Among non-financial corporations, debt rose to $72.9 trillion in the third quarter of 2018 from $68.6 trillion a ...

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Statement by President Juncker on the outcome of the Meaningful Vote in the United Kingdom House of Commons

I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the House of Commons this evening. On the EU side, the process of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement continues. The Withdrawal Agreement is a fair compromise and the best possible deal. It reduces the damage caused by Brexit for citizens and businesses across Europe. It is the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The European Commission, and notably our Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, has invested enormous time and effort ...

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Goldman Sachs predicts no recession in 2019 but sees a ‘pretty sharp slowdown’

Goldman Sachs does not foresee any recessions in major economies in 2019 but low profit growth is on the cards in the U.S. and Europe, its chief global equity strategist told CNBC Tuesday. “It’s still our view that we’re not headed for recession in any of the major economies,” Goldman’s Peter Oppenheimer told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach at the Goldman Sachs Global Strategy Conference in Frankfurt. “At the end of last year, there was a particularly sharp downgrade in expectations for the U.S. and while there has been a big tightening ...

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Brexit: Theresa May’s deal is voted down in historic Commons defeat

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been rejected by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal, which sets out the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU on 29 March. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has now tabled a vote of no confidence in the government, which could trigger a general election. The confidence vote is expected to be held at about 1900 GMT on Wednesday. The defeat is a huge blow for Mrs ...

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China signals more stimulus as economic slowdown deepens

China on Tuesday signaled more stimulus measures in the near term as a tariff war with the United States took a heavy toll on its trade sector and raised the risk of a sharper economic slowdown. The world’s second-largest economy will aim to achieve “a good start” in the first quarter, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement, indicating the government is ready to counter rising pressure. Central bank and finance ministry officials gave similar assurances. Surprising contractions in China’s December trade and factory activity have ...

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Euro zone economy weaker than expected – ECB’s Draghi

The euro zone’s economy is weakening more than expected and still needs “significant” support from the European Central Bank, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Tuesday. Investors have pushed back expectations for the ECB’s first interest rate hike since 2011 due to slowing growth in the euro zone and the rest of the world, which is driven by weaker activity in China and trade tensions between Beijing and Washington. Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Draghi acknowledged the economy had been disappointing. “A significant amount of monetary policy stimulus is ...

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Big Tax Break for Business Owners at Risk as Shutdown Drags on

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history could cause tens of thousands of businesses to make a tough choice about whether to claim one of the biggest perks in the Republican tax overhaul. Owners of so-called pass-through entities such as partnerships and limited liability companies have to file their businesses’ returns by March 15 — and still don’t have the final word from the Internal Revenue Service about who, exactly, qualifies for the 20 percent deduction on business income. Those returns form the basis of their personal returns, which are ...

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How Japan may offer China road map towards a trade deal with the US

China could use large purchases of US goods, promises of long-term dialogue on structural changes to its economy and active cooperation on infrastructure projects to fashion a short-term compromise that would satisfy the United States and avoid a further escalation of the trade war, an American specialist on Japan said on Monday. “I’m moderately optimistic about the prospects for a China-US [trade agreement] by March 1, because the quantitative issues, the large-scale purchases and so on, are certainly possible to reach an accommodation,” said Kent Calder, a professor at Johns ...

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Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena : ECB’s new provision rules may cover all bad debt, not just newly soured loans – source

All banks supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB) will be given a target date to fully provision for their bad debt in line with how they must treat newly soured loans, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday. The medium term date may differ from bank to bank and will be an expectation rather than a binding requirement, the source added. The ECB’s move, which has surprised some investors, has spooked Italian lenders who held a gross 159 billion euros worth of non-performing loans at the end ...

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China Is Losing The Trade War In Nearly Every Way

China is still the world’s No. 2 economy and is still the monster of emerging markets, but regardless of those bonafides, Xi Jinping’s country is losing the trade war in nearly every way imaginable. The arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada last month for breaking U.S. sanctions law, followed by the firing of Huawei sales executive Wang Weijing in Poland last week shows China can be a bad actor, exactly as Washington believes. The Poland story centers around spying allegations, where Wang allegedly sought trade secrets from the ...

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The Philippines Could Be Asia’s Surprise Turnaround Story This Year

The Philippine economy is staging a comeback this year. After last year’s inflation shock, a 5 percent slump in the currency and a widening current-account deficit, pressure is starting to ease. Consumer-price growth slowed last month, the peso and stocks are rebounding, and the current account is set to remain manageable. Economic growth is expected to exceed 6 percent and reserve buffers are among the strongest in global emerging markets, according to Moody’s Investors Service. “We’ve seen the worst in 2018,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank ...

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When It Comes to Rates, What Are Central Banks Going to Do Next?

Central banks enter the new year under pressure from investors to rethink just how aggressive they can be hiking interest rates. A slowdown in the world economy, the trade war and skittish financial markets are forcing policy makers including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to express fresh caution about their scope for tightening monetary policy. The People’s Bank of China is also pledging support for its economy. That outlook marks a change from last year where a majority of central banks raised rates and the European Central Bank ceased buying ...

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Steps will spur imports as trade growth slows down

China’s foreign trade may grow at a slower pace in 2019 due to global complexities and uncertainty, while its imports are expected to gain momentum from more favorable measures, customs authorities said on Jan 14. Last year, China’s foreign trade volume reached a record high of 30.51 trillion yuan ($4.51 trillion), up 9.7 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs. The country’s exports jumped 7.1 percent to 16.42 trillion yuan while imports surged 12.9 percent to 14.09 trillion yuan. The trade surplus continued to narrow, shrinking 18.3 percent. ...

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Italy’s Salvini accuses ECB of damaging local banks

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Tuesday accused the European Central Bank of attacking Italy’s banking system, saying its request for local lenders to put aside more money to cover impaired loans could cost the country 15 billion euros (13.34 billion pounds). Salvini, who heads the far-right League, said in a statement that the ECB move showed that the EU’s banking union was creating instability and said more transparency was needed to dispel any suspicion the central bank was politically motivated. Earlier on Tuesday, a source told Reuters the ECB ...

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China will maintain ‘appropriate’ growth in total social financing – central bank

China will maintain ‘appropriate’ growth in total social financing, a central bank official said Tuesday. New liquidity released by China’s central bank has basically been transmitted to the real economy, while current liquidity level in China’s banking system is reasonably ample, Ruan Jianhong told reporters at a news briefing. Financial costs for China’s small and micro firms fell in 2018 and the outstanding real estate loans in yuan term increased 20 percent from a year earlier to 38.7 trillion yuan ($5.73 trillion), she said. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring ...

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