Australia’s central bank has cut interest rates by 25 basis points, achieving a historic low of 1.75 percent, according to AFP. The country was happy to report lower rates of inflation than initially projected. "The board judged that prospects for sustainable growth in the economy, with inflation returning to target over time, would be improved by easing monetary policy at this meeting," the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Glenn Stevens said.
Two rockets reportedly fired from an Islamic State-controlled region of Syria have hit the Turkish border town of Kilis, with injuries being reported, according to Hurriyet Daily. The rockets came less than a day after an incident Monday killed one and wounded two people in the same town. The Turkish returned fire. According to Reuters, one person was injured in Tuesday’s attack.
The eurozone economy is finally back to the size it was before the global financial crisis, AP said on Friday, citing official figures. The 19-country currency union enjoyed an unexpected acceleration in the first three months of the year, when it expanded by a quarterly rate of 0.6 percent. That’s twice the previous quarter’s rate. It also means the economy is now bigger than it was at the start of 2008, before the financial crisis triggered the deepest global recession since World War II. However, the region still has far to go to overcome the crisis consequences fully.
Gazprom Gazenergoset, a subsidiary of Gazprom, will start trading liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX) and the Moscow Energy Exchange (MOSENEX), TASS reported. Commercial propane lots will be offered for trading, according to the company. Monthly LPG volume to be offered on exchange floors will be about 2,600 tons. Gazprom Gazenergoset is a specialist operator for sale of Gazprom's oil products, liquefied petroleum gas and helium.
The European Commission says it will monitor EU steel imports in an effort to support the region's struggling steelmakers. The monitoring will start in three weeks and will run for four years. “This decision also gives a clear signal to companies, including in exporting countries, that the Commission actively monitors market developments and is willing to take the necessary steps if justified,” said the commission, adding that it intends to protect its steelmakers from unfair trade. The steel industry accounts for 1.3 percent of EU GDP and directly provides 328,000 jobs. Steel prices have dropped roughly 40 percent over the past two years across the EU, with around 7,000 jobs shed since last autumn.
The capital outflow from Russia will be $40 billion in 2016, followed by the decline to $30 billion in 2017, $25 billion in 2018, and $20 billion in 2019, the Ministry of Economic Development said on Friday. The capital outflow under the conservative scenario with the oil price of $25 per barrel will be $40 billion in 2016, $35 billion in 2017, $30 billion in 2018, and $25 billion in 2019, according to the ministry’s macroeconomic outlook approved by the Russian government. Russia will achieve zero outflow of the capital in 2019, according to the target scenario of the ministry, TASS reports.
Rusal will refinance a portion of its debt amounting to $524 million ahead of schedule, the Russian aluminum producer said. Of the sum, $415 million will be repaid at the expense of new loans and $109 million using company’s funds, it said on Friday. Pre-export loan commitments (about $5.2 billion) will be met in full scope for 2016 after completion of the said prepayment. The company has also negotiated a loan facility with Gazprombank amounting to $177.6 million and a $100-million loan with Sberbank. Rusal has to settle and refinance debts amounting to about $1.3 billion in total in 2016, TASS said.