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Higher oil prices a challenge for major Asia economies: QNB

Higher oil prices a challenge for Asian economies, QNB said and noted that with oil prices breaching the $80/b mark in recent weeks, markets are already taking stock of how different countries are being affected. QNB in an analysis yesterday focused on the effect of higher oil prices on the major Asian economies of China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. As Asia’s only net oil exporter, Malaysia is expected to benefit from oil windfalls. The country presents a surplus of nearly 140,000 barrels per day ...

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China Is Forced to Reconsider Its Route Into Eastern Europe

China’s efforts to make inroads in eastern Europe are being hindered by what nations see as failed promises on money materializing and the strings attached to investments. The so-called 16+1 framework was established by China as a means to deepen its footprint in eastern Europe. Its members — 11 European Union countries, from Poland to Hungary and Estonia, plus five Balkan states — saw the annual forum as a means to attract Chinese investment in infrastructure like roads and rail networks to boost their economies. But many of those states ...

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Mnuchin dismisses risk of contagion from China’s economic slowdown

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dismissed concerns that China’s weakest economic growth since the global financial crisis could spill into other emerging markets and destabilise U.S. financial markets. China is trying to navigate through multiple challenges after its trade war with the United States sparked a blistering sell-off in domestic stock markets and a steep decline in the yuan versus the dollar, heightening worries about its growth outlook. “I am not concerned about that destabilising our markets,” Mnuchin said in an interview with Reuters in Jerusalem at the start of ...

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Exports Keep China’s Economy Warm, but Winter Is Coming

As China’s economic growth weakens faster than expected and uncertainty from the trade fight with the U.S. casts a shadow over business, a surprising driver has been exports. But that may soon peter out. American clients of Ningbo Frank Electric Co., a Chinese manufacturer of kettles and other household appliances, have been placing orders several months in advance, salesman John Zheng said. “It all looks so good at the moment,” he said. “But it won’t continue.” China released a gloomy report card Friday on its economy’s performance, with the rate ...

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Gulf Arab economies to accelerate modestly through 2020: Reuters poll

Gulf Arab economies are likely to accelerate over the next couple of years as governments boost spending, but growth will not return to the boom levels enjoyed before oil prices plunged in 2014, a quarterly Reuters poll of economists found. Since mid-2018, the countries have been increasing oil production as restrictions imposed by a global agreement to restrain output have eased. This is expected to inflate gross domestic product in their oil sectors. Meanwhile, higher oil prices are giving governments more money that they can spend to stimulate demand in ...

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Strong Economy Draws Women into U.S. Labor Force

For most of the last two decades, the share of women participating in the U.S. labor force was in decline, puzzling demographers and economists since female participation was rising in many other developed economies. Thanks to a strong economy, that long-running decline shows signs of reversing. Labor-force participation among prime-age U.S. women aged 25 to 54 has risen to 75.2% from 73.3% three years ago, as their unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level since the 1950s. A plenitude of jobs and a gradual rise in wages is drawing women ...

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EU urges deeper cuts to France’s long-term deficit

The European Commission told France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Slovenia that their 2019 budget proposals did not meet recommended targets for cutting longer-term deficit cycles, but Paris played down the criticism. As part of its role to police euro zone budgets and avoid crises that can threaten the currency area, the Commission sent letters to the five countries, saying they were not cutting their structural deficits as deeply as agreed. In its letter to the French finance ministry, which was made public on Friday, the Commission wrote: “The preliminary evaluation ...

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ECB’s Nowotny concerned about Italy’s debt level – Kurier report

Italy’s level of debt is a cause of concern and the situation will not get easier next year when money will be no longer as easy to obtain from the European Central Bank, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said. “Italy is in a much better position than Greece, but the level of debt is indeed worrying,” Nowotny said in an interview with Austrian daily Kurier published on Saturday. Italy’s public debt stood at more than 130 percent of GDP last year, the highest in the euro zone after Greece. But the ...

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May Tries to Reassure U.K.’s Top CEOs of Progress on Brexit Call

Theresa May sought to reassure U.K. business that a Brexit deal was just around the corner on a conference call with more than 130 chief executives and officials from some of the world’s largest companies. The U.K. prime minister convened the Friday call to update business chiefs on the progress of her Brexit talks but, ultimately, she had nothing new to say, according to people with knowledge of the call, who declined to be identified because the discussion was private. Participants included senior executives from companies such as: Rolls-Royce Holdings ...

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Fed’s Kaplan sees two-three more rate hikes to hit ‘neutral’ level

Another two to three interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve will likely put U.S. borrowing costs in “neutral” territory where it is neither stimulating nor restricting economic growth, Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan said. At an event sponsored by the Manhattan Institute, Kaplan said he has not decided yet whether the Fed would need to raise rates above this neutral level. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Diane Craft)

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‘Trump Effect’ Overpowers Booming Economy Ahead of Midterms

The booming U.S. economy is little help to Republicans trying to hold on to seats in Congress and the main reason is President Donald Trump. Trump’s Twitter feuds and controversies have overpowered the GOP economic message, and his persistently low approval ratings may dash any Republican hopes of bucking history by avoiding the loss of House seats in the midterm elections less than three weeks away. “Theoretically, the economy should take some of the edge off Democratic gains,” said David Wasserman, a House race analyst with the non-partisan Cook Political ...

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U.S. Fed is raising rates for good reasons, BoE’s Carney says

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he thought the U.S. Federal Reserve was raising interest rates for good reasons, based on the strength of the U.S. economy. “They’re on the path they’re on for fundamentally good, positive reasons,” Carney said as he answered questions following a speech at the Economic Club of New York. He cited the possibility of the world’s No.1 economy growing at an annualised pace of 4 percent in the current quarter, as well as the return of wage growth that could prompt a firming of ...

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China’s Problems Keep Piling Up With Trump, Economy, and Markets

Stock-market turbulence and a sharper-than-expected economic slowdown are ratcheting up pressure on China’s leaders, just as Donald Trump does the same. A day after the Shanghai Composite Index plunged to a four-year low and Trump took new steps to escalate his trade war with Beijing, third-quarter growth figures showed China’s economy expanding at the weakest pace since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009. Faced with a growing panic in the stock market, the chiefs of China’s market regulator, central bank and financial watchdog all issued statements calling ...

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INSIGHT: International Tax: Choppy Seas Ahead?

Over the past few years, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Commission and, indeed, the U.S. government have been steering (and continue to steer) the ship of international tax law at unprecedented speed into a Bermuda Triangle of sorts, in which the compass of the typical, seasoned tax crew no longer points north and the charts don’t exist. At best, these legislative (and attitudinal) changes forecast uncertain weather for tax directors, practitioners and even for tax administrators. While the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) began ...

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EU signs Singapore trade deal, urges China to open up

The European Union signed a free-trade deal with Singapore at a summit with Asian leaders on Friday and pressed China to allow greater foreign investment in its economy, but ran into familiar resistance from Beijing over state subsidies. At a biennial Asia-Europe Meeting bringing together leaders representing 65 percent of global economic output, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and the European Commission held private meetings with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, hoping for greater access for EU companies to the world’s No. 2 economy. When asked about Chinese trade practices, Austrian Chancellor ...

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