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South Africa's rand weakens on U.S. rate hike bets, stocks extend rally

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 13:21

A street trader counts out change for a customer in DurbanSouth Africa's rand weakened on Friday against the dollar which gained as investors bet on higher U.S. interest rates this year after strong economic data. "We have seen emerging markets across the board sold off today. It's mainly a function of quite strong data out of the U.S. this afternoon, the dollar has strengthened as a result," ETM Analytics market analyst Jana van Deventer said.

Mozambique attorney-general probes undeclared sovereign borrowing

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 12:34

Fishing boats sit beneath the skyline of Mozambique's capital MaputoMozambique's attorney-general will seek international help to investigate as much as $1.35 billion of undeclared sovereign borrowing that may have tipped the country into unsustainable debt, the state news agency AIM said on Friday. The International Monetary Fund cancelled a planned trip to Mozambique in April, saying that it believed Maputo had hidden borrowing for its defence sector from Credit Suisse and Russia VTB Bank. The IMF, which last year agreed to loan Mozambique $286 million to help cushion its economy following deep declines in commodity prices, said the undeclared loans had changed its assessment of Mozambique's macroeconomic outlook.

U.S. retail sales, industrial output data suggest strong Q2 GDP growth

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 12:20

Shoppers leave and enter a store in New YorkBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in June as Americans bought motor vehicles and a variety of other goods, bolstering views that economic growth picked up in the second quarter. The bullish data and a rally on Wall Street could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year, but much will depend on policymakers' assessment of the impact on the U.S. economy of Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union. "In normal times, this would be enough for the Fed to continue raising interest rates," said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Research in New York.

EU and U.S. seek trade deal this year, knowing large hurdles remain

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 12:13

U.S. chief negotiator Mullaney addresses a joint news conference with EU chief negotiator Garcia Bercero after the 14th Round of the TTIP in BrusselsBy Philip Blenkinsop BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU and U.S. negotiators said on Friday that they still needed to overcome large differences for a transatlantic free trade deal to be sealed this year, and factor in the impending exit from the European Union of Britain, one of the United States' biggest export markets. The two sides are trying to agree on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which supporters say could boost each economy by some $100 billion at a time when growth in China and emerging markets is slowing. Chief EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero and U.S. counterpart Dan Mullaney told a news conference after a 14th round of talks that both sides were committed to sealing a deal before U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office at the turn of the year.

Brazil's foreign minister warns against overappreciation of real

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 12:00

Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra poses for a photo during an interview with Reuters at the Itamaraty Palace in BrasiliaBrazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra warned against the excessive appreciation of the country's currency as it could hurt exporters, revealing concerns in the interim government that a stronger real could further sink an economy mired in recession. In an interview late on Thursday, which also included written answers to questions from Reuters, Serra said the strengthening of the real, which has appreciated about 30 percent since its year low in mid-January, has reflected a fall in political uncertainty under the administration of interim President Michel Temer. "I believe (the real) will stay around where it is," Serra said in a written response.

U.S. Q3 GDP seen growing at 2.6 percent: N.Y. Fed

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 10:33

The corner stone of The New York Federal Reserve Bank is seen in New York's financial districtThe New York Federal Reserve said on Friday it upgraded its view on U.S. economic growth in the third quarter to 2.61 percent from the 2.31 percent it calculated a week ago due to stronger-than-expected data on factory output in June. The regional central bank said it "nowcast" model also raised its forecast on U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter to 2.18 percent from last week's estimate of 2.09 percent.

Nice airport sale process delayed due to attack: Economy Ministry

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 10:04
The sale procedure for Nice airport, France's biggest regional airport, has been delayed for eight days following an attack on the French Riviera resort that killed 84 people, a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry said. "Given the circumstances, the Nice airport sale procedure has been delayed for eight days," the spokeswoman said. Five offers had been submitted by July 4, including those by Italy's Atlantia in cooperation with EDF invest, and by a consortium of Vinci, state bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations and Credit Agricole's insurance arm Predica, sources have said.

South Africa's mines minister calls for quick platinum wage deal

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 08:57

South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane addresses members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at the Northam Platinum's Zondereinde mine in Limpopo provincePlatinum mining firms and South African trade unions should conclude wage talks quickly to avoid the protracted disputes that led to a five-month strike two years ago, mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Friday. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the biggest union in the sector, is demanding pay hikes of more than 50 percent, while a smaller union, the National Union of Mineworkers, is seeking a 20 percent increase. Africa's most developed economy is struggling due to lower commodity prices and drought.

European shares drift lower after another attack on France

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 06:55

A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, July 15, 2016. Asian shares were higher Friday after China reported steady economic growth in the second quarter of the year. Stocks also tracked a bullish session overnight on Wall Street, as strong earnings reports pushed the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P to fresh record highs. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)LONDON (AP) — European stock markets drifted lower Friday after another deadly attack in France that killed at least 84 people in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

Nigeria says arms deals irregularities had serious consequences

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 06:48

Minister of Information Lai Mohammed briefs the media on the town of Bama liberated from Boko Haram, during a news conference in AbujaIrregularities in Nigerian military procurement deals as armed forces were fighting Islamist militant group Boko Haram had serious consequences, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said on Friday. President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, took office last year after pledging in his election campaign to crack down on corruption and defeat Boko Haram, which has killed more than 15,000 people and displaced about two million in the last seven years. Military procurement over the last few years is being investigated by the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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