Euro Hits Three-Month High Against US Dollar
2019-06-24 04:00:44 UTC
TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro rose to a three-month high against the dollar on Monday, as bearish bets on the U.S. currency remained solid on prospects of a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
The euro stretched its rally last week, up 1.4%, and advanced about 0.15% to $1.1386 in early Asian trade, its highest since March 22.
The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 96.135, having struck 96.093 on Friday, its lowest since March 21, after the Fed last week opened the door for a potential rate cut as early as next month.
That weighed on the dollar and in turn reinvigorated its counte...
US Weekly Jobless Claims Rise; Imported Inflation Weak
2019-06-13 18:19:18 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, which could add to concerns that the labor market was losing steam after job growth slowed sharply in May.
Other data on Thursday showed import prices fell by the most in five months in May amid a broad decline in the cost of goods, the latest indication of muted inflation pressures. The import deflation supports expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.
U.S. central bank policymakers are scheduled to meet on June 18-19 against the backdrop of rising trade tensions. Financial markets...
UK’s Johnson Threatens to Withhold $50 Billion Brexit Payment
2019-06-09 01:46:56 UTC
(Reuters) - Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister, said he would withhold a previously agreed 39 billion pound ($50 billion) Brexit payment until the European Union gives Britain better exit terms.
The EU has repeatedly said it will not reopen discussion of the Brexit transition deal it reached with May last year, which British lawmakers have rejected three times, prompting May to announce her resignation earlier this month.
May stepped down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday.
Johnson, a former foreign secretary in May’s cabinet, is popular with ordinary Conser...
EU to Create a System to Get Around US Block on WTO
2019-06-06 20:49:33 UTC
BERLIN/GENEVA (Reuters) - The European Union is set to propose creating a shadow system to get around a U.S. block on appeals in disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a draft proposal circulated to national lawmakers.
U.S. President Donald Trump is blocking appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body, saying its judges have overstepped their mandate and ignored their instructions. Trump’s critics say he resents their power over U.S. law.
Unless the block is lifted, the world’s top trade court will have only one of its seven members left by December, leaving it unable to hear appeals in international trade disputes...
Still Unclear How, When or If UK Will Ever Indeed Quit EU
2019-04-02 20:57:13 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she would seek another Brexit delay to agree an EU divorce deal with the opposition Labour leader, a last-ditch gambit to break an impasse over Britain’s departure that enraged many in her party.
Nearly three years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a shock referendum result, it is still unclear how, when or if it will ever indeed quit the European club it first joined in 1973.
In a hastily arranged statement from her Downing Street office after spending seven hours chairing cabinet meetings on how to plot a way out of the Brexit maze, May said s...
Brexit: EU Prepares For a 'No-Deal' Scenario
2019-03-29 20:39:59 UTC
Theresa May's exit deal failed by 58 votes, and April 12 beckons as a new exit date for the UK out of the EU. More indicative votes are on the table, as the EU prepares for a 'no-deal' scenario.
LONDON (Reuters) - Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, sounding its probable death knell and leaving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil on the very day it was supposed to quit the bloc.
The decision to reject a stripped-down version of May’s divorce deal has left it totally unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU, and plunges the three-year Brexit cri...
U.S. Judge Approves Bankruptcy Loan for PG&E
2019-03-27 18:31:51 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Bankrupt California power provider PG&E Corp won court approval on Wednesday for a $5.5 billion loan to help maintain electricity and natural gas delivery and for investments to reduce the risk of wildfires as it reorganizes.
San Francisco-based PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January in the aftermath of devastating wildfires that struck California in recent years, some linked or suspected to be linked to the company’s equipment.
Judge Dennis Montali of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco approved the debtor-in-possession loan over objections of a committee representing victims of w...
EU: Italy Poses A Threat to Other Euro Zone Countries
2019-02-27 20:27:14 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italy is facing excessive economic imbalances and the policies of its government are making matters worse, posing a threat to other euro zone countries, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
However, the EU executive arm, whose job is to analyze the economic performance of each of the EU’s 28 countries and warn of trouble ahead, said it would wait until it receives Italy’s reform program in April before taking action.
“Italy is experiencing excessive imbalances. High government debt and protracted weak productivity dynamics imply risks with cross-border relevance, in a context of still high level of non-perf...
UK Government Considers Another Brexit Vote
2019-03-27 17:58:22 UTC
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s government will file a motion to allow parliament to sit on Friday as the government considers bringing another vote in parliament on its Brexit divorce deal, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Wednesday.
“The government will later today table a motion for the house to sit this Friday,” Barclay told parliament. “Whist I appreciate it may cause some inconvenience, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
<hr><I><strong>(Reporting By Elizabeth Piper and Andrew MacAskill)</I></srtrong><hr>
Brexit: EU To Prepare For Worst Variant
2019-01-16 04:37:26 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders expressed dismay and regret on Tuesday after the British parliament rejected a Brexit divorce deal, saying they were stepping up emergency planning and warned London was running out of time.
The EU’s chief executive, the European Parliament Brexit negotiator and a host of prime ministers took to Twitter to call on London for ideas on what to do now to stop Britain crashing out of the bloc with no deal on March 29.
European Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs EU summits, suggested the only real solution was for Britain to stay in the EU after British lawmakers defeated Prime Minister T...
France's Yellow Vest Protests Enter 8th Week
2019-01-06 03:25:12 UTC
PARIS (Reuters) - Rioters in Paris torched motorbikes and set barricades ablaze on the upmarket Boulevard Saint Germain on Saturday, as protests against high living costs and the perceived indifference of President Emmanuel Macron turned violent on the fringes.
The latest “yellow vest” marches began peacefully but degenerated in the afternoon as protesters threw missiles at riot police blocking bridges over the Seine.
Officers fired tear gas to prevent protesters crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly. One riverboat restaurant was set ablaze and a policeman was wounded when he was hit by a bicycle hurled from a street ...
Britain Will Be Worse Off In Any Scenario Outside The EU: Brexit
2018-11-28 20:47:57 UTC
LONDON (AFP) — Britain will be economically worse off in any scenario outside the EU, the government said Wednesday, as the Bank of England warned that a no-deal Brexit would trigger a financial crisis.
The government's plans for post-Brexit ties with the European Union would still cost the economy around 3.9 percent of gross domestic product over 15 years, a government report found.
Finance minister Philip Hammond said the departure deal agreed Sunday between Britain and the EU was the optimum way to minimise the cost of leaving the bloc.
The report comes as Prime Minister Theresa May took the divorce deal to a sceptical Scotland...
Brexit: EU to break a deadlock over the Irish border
2018-10-22 17:03:04 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union negotiators are looking at ways to promise Britain a customs deal that could stretch Brussels’ Brexit red lines but might break a deadlock over the Irish border, EU sources close to the talks have told Reuters.
Accounts of how British and EU negotiators came close to a deal on Oct. 13 focus on how Prime Minister Theresa May balked at an EU demand for a “backstop” clause. This could put Northern Ireland in a special relationship with the EU that might distance it from the British mainland to avoid putting up customs posts on Britain’s only EU land border, with Ireland.
But as the two sides try to re...
Brexit: The Irish border has become a sticking point
2018-10-15 16:25:14 UTC
LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Britain and the European were still both refusing to blink Monday over the question of the Irish border in Brexit talks — only two days ahead of a summit once seen as the moment when they would have to reach deal on Britain’s divorce from the bloc.
A flurry of diplomatic meetings over the weekend had raised hopes for a Brexit agreement, but they were derailed by the issue that has dogged the talks for months — how to ensure that no hard border is created between the EU’s Ireland and Britain’s Northern Ireland once Brexit happens on March 29.
The EU has proposed a “backstop” solution that would keep Northern Ireland ...
UK Brexit-negotiator is struggling to make headway
2018-08-29 15:36:40 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Financial centers outside the European Union would be the benefactors if the European Union sought to punish the City of London as Britain leaves the bloc, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Wednesday.
Raab told a parliamentary committee he did not believe the EU would try to punish the London’s financial sector, but that if they did, “I think the only winners would be the other financial centers in the top 10 like Tokyo and New York.”
<blockquote><h3>UK could hold back EU payments without Brexit deal</h3>
Britain could choose to withhold some payments to the European Union if a deal to ease its exit from the bl...
Germany: When U.S. 'Crosses the Line' Europe Must Act
2018-08-22 19:01:39 UTC
BERLIN — In a long column on how Europe should respond to U.S. policy under President Donald Trump, German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, a member of Merkel’s junior Social Democrat coalition partners, called for the creation of a “balanced partnership” with the US in which the Europeans filled the gaps left where the US withdrew from the world. Europe must, he said, “form a counterweight when the US crosses red lines”.
He also suggested that Europe needed its own system for cross-border payments to conduct trade with Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions.
European powers are scrambling to ensure Iran continues to get the economic benefi...
Iran: We made a "mistake" negotiating with US over nuke
2018-08-15 18:16:14 UTC
(Reuters) - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has admitted he made a mistake in allowing the country’s foreign minister to speak to his U.S. counterpart during negotiations that led to a 2015 international nuclear agreement.
International sanctions on Iran were lifted when the pact with world powers came into force in 2016, but the expected level of foreign investment to help revive the economy has never materialized. Then this May President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement and is now reimposing U.S. sanctions in stages.
Khamenei, who rarely admits in public to making errors, said he had done just that over the nu...
EU raises concerns over new US move on Iran
2018-08-06 17:59:19 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration expects economic sanctions that it is re-imposing on Iran this week to further cripple the Iranian economy and will aggressively enforce the measures, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday.
But the U.S. sanctions strategy has several weak spots, especially a reluctance by Europe and China to curtail business with Iran.
The European Union voiced regret and expressed concern at the new U.S. move.
“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.,” the bloc said in a joint statement with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain.
One EU measure to...
Americans fleecing their savings and piling up debt
2018-07-23 17:42:08 UTC
REUTERS — Despite roaring job growth and consumer spending, the U.S. economy is bolstered in large part by the poorer half of Americans fleecing their savings and piling up debt.
A Reuters analysis of U.S. household data shows that the bottom 60 percent of income-earners have accounted for most of the rise in spending over the past two years even as the their finances worsened - a break with a decades-old trend where the top 40 percent had primarily fueled consumption growth.
With borrowing costs on the rise, inflation picking up and the effects of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts set to wear off, a negative shock - a further rise i...
EU to protect oil exports & firms from US sanctions on Iran
2018-07-17 21:13:17 UTC
The Iran nuclear agreement marked its third anniversary in a gloomy state. Despite repeated attempts to keep him on board, US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal – signed on July 14, 2015 under the formal title the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and thereby pulled the rug from under Europe’s feet. European policymakers are now focused on salvaging the agreement. For a growing number of European corporate decision-makers, the deal is already dead. In reality, the JCPOA is on life support and the next few months could open either its next or final chapter. Despite the significant challenges they face...
Ireland to Boycott Israeli 'Occupied Territories' Goods
2018-07-15 20:23:57 UTC
DUBLIN — On July 12, the Irish Senate, known as the Seanad Éireann, passed a bill to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services, and natural resources, originating from “illegal settlements in occupied [Palestinian] territories.” The ban would only apply to products sold and made in territories beyond the 1967 Green Line borders and does not ban Israeli goods produced inside Israel itself. The bill passed 25-20, with 14 abstentions.
Titled the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, the legislation was submitted by Senator Frances Black in January. The bill acknowledges the illegality of Israel’s West Bank se...
Trump brought his chaotic style of governing to the NATO summit
2018-07-12 18:00:08 UTC
U.S. President Donald Trump brought his chaotic style of governing to the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, irritating and befuddling allies with charges and jibes before declaring success for convincing his counterparts to pay more for their mutual defense.
It was a classic performance for the one-time reality television star, whose “America first” mantra has translated into a sometimes-bullying style on the world stage, particularly with countries traditionally considered to be U.S. friends.
Even before the NATO summit was underway, he kicked off the summit with a broadside against Germany over plans for a natural ...
Germany and China standing together against US protectionism
2018-07-09 21:02:43 UTC
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and China signed a raft of commercial accords worth some 20 billion euros ($23.5 billion) on Monday, with their leaders reiterating commitments to a multilateral global trade order despite a looming trade war with the United States.
The deals, involving German industrial giants including Siemens, Volkswagen and BASF, come with the two leading exporting powerhouses being forced into an unlikely alliance in defense of the open global trade on which both their economies depend.
Speaking at a news conference alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We both want to sustain the system...
Trade war: China accuses US of “opening fire”
2018-07-05 16:53:07 UTC
BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China accused the United States on Thursday of “opening fire” on the world with tariffs set to take effect on Friday, warning that it will respond the moment that duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods kick in.
U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to further escalate the trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies with tariffs on as much as $450 billion worth of Chinese goods if China retaliates, as the initial round of tariffs take effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Friday.
There was no evidence of any last-minute negotiations between U.S. and Chinese officials, business sources ...
Brexit: Pro European Union Protesters March in London
2018-06-23 22:01:31 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Around 100,000 supporters of the European Union marched through central London on Saturday to demand that the British government hold a final public vote on the terms of Brexit, organizers said.
Protesters packed the main arteries of the capital, waving British, Irish and European flags and colorful banners to call for a “People’s Vote” on the eventual deal in which Britain leaves the world’s biggest trading bloc.
On the second anniversary of the 52 to 48 percent Brexit vote, polls show political divisions are entrenched. Despite some confusion over what Brexit will actually mean there has been no clear change of h...