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UK Sep Budget Deficit Lowest Since 2007

The UK budget deficit reached its lowest September level in 11 years, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks was GBP 4.1 billion, which was GBP 0.8 billion less than in September 2017. This was the lowest September deficit since 2007. Further, data showed that borrowing in the current financial year-to-date was GBP 19.9 billion, that was GBP 10.7 billion less than in the same period in 2017. This was the lowest year-to-date for 16 years. At the end of ...

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Goldman and Morgan Stanley Want to Lend the Ultra-Rich More Money

For Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s millionaire clients, it can take the firm 5 minutes to underwrite a loan to start a new business or pay down taxes. At Morgan Stanley, bankers are keen to give you bridge financing so you can bid for your mansion in cash. Beyond the billions in trading gains and deal fees, the Wall Street firms’ profit reports this week showed they’re increasingly rushing into the booming market for lending to high-net-worth individuals. So far, it’s paying off: Morgan Stanley has tripled those loans in the ...

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Singapore PM says post-Brexit trade deal with Britain possible

Singapore and Britain can do a trade deal after Brexit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday, adding that he would be prepared to extend the terms of the Asian country’s recently agreed deal with the European Union to the UK. “We hope we will be able to continue arrangements with Britain whether or not it is inside the EU… And then we have time to work some better long-term arrangements over time,” he told BBC radio, adding that he had discussed such an arrangement with his British counterpart ...

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Trade War Barely Slows Investment Plans, Philly Fed Survey Shows

Manufacturers in the northeast U.S. are largely shrugging off global trade disputes and plan to boost investments next year thanks to tax cuts, according to a Federal Reserve survey. More than 64 percent of business respondents in the Philadelphia Fed district said tariff and trade policies wouldn’t impact their investment plans next year. About 19 percent said the duties would cause them to modestly or significantly decrease capital expenditures in 2019, according to the bank’s October manufacturing business outlook survey published Thursday. Meanwhile, almost 40 percent of respondents said they ...

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US-China trade war saps confidence among Hong Kong businesses

The trade war between the United States and China is beginning to weigh on business sentiment among small to medium-sized employers, with overall confidence for the fourth quarter at its lowest level since the beginning of last year, according to a new survey. Sentiment for the final three months of the year dropped 6.7 points to 43.0 on a quarter-on-quarter basis, in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong SME Leading Business Index, with the largest drop in confidence in the import, export and wholesale area. Confidence had not dipped to that ...

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Europe urges China to open up at Asia summit

European governments pressed China on Friday to allow greater foreign investment in its economy, using a two-day summit with Asian leaders to push back against U.S. protectionism but facing 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. Li told British Prime Minister Theresa May that he “looked ...

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Europe, U.S. Escalate Trade War With New Disputes at the WTO

China and the EU have joined a group of countries asking the World Trade Organization to investigate the Trump administration’s decision to impose metals tariffs on national security grounds. In a separate filing, the U.S. asked the WTO to review those nations that retaliated against its duties. The move sets the stage for a showdown at the Geneva-based trade arbiter that some fear could either lead to a U.S. exit or a flood of new protectionist measures invoking what has until now been a rarely used national security loophole in ...

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German Finance Minister proposes global minimum corporate tax – Handelsblatt

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz wants a global minimum corporate tax to prevent companies from shopping around for tax havens, Handelsblatt daily reported, citing a tax expert at OECD. Scholz has asked the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) to consider the proposal, the newspaper said. Countries can align tax laws according to OECD principles. Such a move would be an extension of BEPS, a set of OECD policies to tackle tax avoidance strategies that allow multinational companies to shift profits artificially to low or no-tax locations. Scholz coordinated ...

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China Growth Slows to 6.5%; Financial Mandarins Scramble to Soothe Investors

China’s economic expansion slowed to its weakest pace since the financial crisis, as top financial regulators launched an extraordinary coordinated effort to calm jittery investors. The rate of growth in the third quarter dropped to 6.5%, falling short of market expectations, official statistics released Friday showed. Growth in industrial output and consumption weakened in the quarter, while exports held up despite the country’s bruising trade fight with the U.S. Shortly before the data was released, People’s Bank of China Gov. Yi Gang, banking and insurance regulatory chief Guo Shuqing and ...

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Europe, Asia show commitment to free trade – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that an Asia-Europe summit in Brussels showed that some two-thirds of the world was committed to multilateralism and recognised the benefits of free trade. “The summit shows that countries have gathered from Europe and Asia who want a rules-based trading and have pledged themselves to multilateralism,” she said, adding it was an important signal given that Europe and Asia represented almost two-thirds of world GDP, trade and population. “Our theme is about creating connections, for example through free trade agreement… We can show ...

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China Is Set to Keep Minting New Millionaires Faster Than U.S.

The U.S. capped its 10th straight year of household wealth growth and is set to remain as the world’s biggest hub for rich individuals even as China starts to close the gap, according to Credit Suisse Group AG. North America led worldwide gains for average growth in household wealth per adult, rising 5.5 percent to $391,690 in the 12 months through mid-year, the Zurich-based bank said Thursday in its Global Wealth Report. The U.S., meanwhile, contributed most to global wealth during that period by adding $6.3 trillion, and topped the ...

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China September industrial output weakens; investment, retail sales beat expectations

China’s industrial output grew 5.8 percent in September from a year earlier, missing expectations, while fixed-asset investment growth rose to 5.4 percent in the first nine months, above forecasts, data showed on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output would grow 6.0 percent, slowing from 6.1 percent in August. Investment growth had been expected to hold at 5.3 percent in the first nine months of the year, matching a record low growth rate in January-August. Private sector fixed-asset investment rose 8.7 percent in January-September, compared with an increase ...

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Japanese inflation ticks up as oil rises but BOJ target remains elusive

Japan’s annual core consumer inflation ticked up in September but remained at half the pace of the central bank’s elusive 2 percent target, underscoring the challenge of meeting the price goal as escalating trade frictions cloud the economic outlook. While the rate of increase was the fastest in seven months, the gain was due mostly to higher oil costs with most other items rising only slightly, government data showed on Friday. “We’re not seeing inflationary pressure build up. Private spending needs to increase more for core consumer inflation to accelerate ...

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EU Says Italy’s Planned Budget Deviation is ‘Unprecedented’

The European Commission said Italy’s spending plans are excessive and asked for an explanation, the first step in what threatens to become a full-blown standoff between Brussels and Rome. Bonds plunged Thursday as the European Union’s executive body dispatched a letter to the Italian government requesting changes to its draft budget plan by Oct. 22. “We are writing to consult you on the reasons why Italy plans an obvious significant deviation of the recommendations adopted by the Council under the Stability and Growth Pact,” EU Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre ...

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Italy putting itself, others in danger by breaking EU budget rules – Austria’s Kurz

Italy is putting itself and others in danger by planning a 2019 budget that breaks the European Union’s limits on borrowing, Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday. “If Italy deviates from Maastricht, Italy puts itself in danger, but also of course will endanger others and we in the European Union are not ready to take on this risk, these debts for Italy,” Kurz told reporters, referring to the criteria on debt and deficit limits agreed by the EU in the treaty of Maastricht. Source: Reuters (Reporting By Alastair Macdonald ...

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