OPEC raises its oil demand forecast for 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC raised its forecast on Monday for demand for its oil in 2018 and said its deal with other producers to cut output was reducing excess oil in storage, potentially pushing the global market into a larger deficit next year. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said in a monthly report it had cut its estimate of 2018 supply from non-OPEC producers and said oil use would grow faster than previously thought due to a stronger-than-expected world economy…

China lifts foreign ownership limits on financial firms

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will raise foreign ownership limits in financial firms in a step granting access to a tantalizing multi-trillion dollar financial services market, as the world’s second-biggest economy seeks to position itself as a major global finance hub. The move, announced on Friday by vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao, comes a day after U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated calls for better access to Chinese markets in meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping…

U.S. tax-cut doubts overshadows strong data in Asia; dollar edges lower

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Increasing concern that U.S. Republicans’ plans to cut corporate taxes may not win congressional approval as early as expected weighed on American stock indexes on Wednesday, overshadowing strong economic data in Asia that sent the MSCI All World Index to a record high. The dollar edged lower against a basket of currencies .DXY, while European shares dipped, led by a broad decline in bank stocks…

UK interest rate rise would not hit house prices, says Moody’s

The UK’s property market will take this week’s expected rise in interest rates in its stride, according to ratings agency Moody’s, but it warned that the outlook for the buy-to-let market has worsened significantly. The agency, which along with Standard & Poor’s was widely condemned for awarding triple-A ratings to sub-prime mortgage books before the 2008 financial crisis, said the British property market is more resilient than is widely believed…

U.S. jobless claims edge up less than expected

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week, suggesting the labor market continued to tighten after recent hurricane-related disruptions. Other reports on Thursday, however, offered a less favorable look at the economy. The goods trade deficit widened in September and retail inventories fell, prompting the Atlanta Federal Reserve to trim its third-quarter GDP growth estimate. In addition, signed contracts to buy previously-owned homes were unchanged last month…

U.S. new home sales surge 18.9% in September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly rose in September, hitting their highest level in nearly 10 years, offering hope that the housing market was regaining speed after appearing to stall recent months. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales surged 18.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000 units last month amid an increase in all four regions…

China third-quarter GDP growth slows as expected, property measures bite

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s central bank chief on Thursday issued a stark warning about asset bubbles in the world’s second-largest economy, which looks set to clock its first acceleration in annual growth since 2010, driven by public spending and record bank lending. Speaking on the sidelines of the closely-watched, twice-a-decade Communist Party Congress, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan spoke of the risks of a “Minsky moment” in the economy, referring to a sudden collapse in asset prices after long periods of growth, sparked by debt or currency pressures…

Rising inflation…can’t blame the workers this time

Don’t blame the workers for the highest inflation in more than five years. That’s the message from the latest monthly snapshot of the labour market showing that earnings growth is stubbornly low despite the lowest jobless rate since the mid-1970s. Back then, any pick up in the cost of living would lead to a demand for higher pay, prompting an upward wage-price spiral. But this model is dead…

Fed will pay close attention to inflation, but soft readings will not persist: Yellen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S economy remains strong and the strength of the labor market calls for continued gradual increases in interest rates despite subdued inflation, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Sunday. “We will be paying close attention to the inflation data in the months ahead,” Yellen said in prepared remarks at an international banking seminar in Washington. “My best guess is that these soft readings will not persist.”…

Spain-Catalonia relief nudges world stocks to fresh high

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury prices rose and world stocks were up slightly on Wednesday ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting, while the euro rose after Catalonia held off on moving towards independence. Spanish stocks rallied and the euro reached a two-week high after Catalonia’s leader, Carles Puigdemont, declined to make a formal independence declaration on Tuesday to allow for talks with Madrid…

Wall Street rally on pause, but more gains seen in 2018: Reuters poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A more than eight-year bull market on Wall Street will simmer for the rest of 2017 before picking up again next year, said strategists in a Reuters poll who were optimistic about corporate profits but concerned about slow tax reform progress. The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is likely to finish this year at 2,525, about 13 percent above 2016’s end, but 0.4 percent down from Tuesday’s close of 2,534.58, based on the median forecast of 47 strategists polled by Reuters…

U.S. jobless claims fall; trade deficit narrows on strong exports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but the continued impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the data made it difficult to get a clear picture of the labor market. Other data on Thursday pointed to underlying economic strength despite the weather-related disruptions…

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