Business

Russia cutting dependence on US dollar – economy minister
Russia cutting dependence on US dollar – economy minister
The Russian government is taking steps to reduce the value of transactions using the American currency in the country, according to Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin.

Business snaps

  • Wall Street rises with dollar as euro weakens

    US shares rose Wednesday as investors bet that weak housing data could slow US rate hikes, while the dollar gained on the euro as hopes ebbed for a monetary policy change in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72.42 points, or 0.33 percent, to 22,071.41, the S&P 500 gained 8.18 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,472.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 30.83 points, or 0.49 percent, to 6,363.85. The US dollar index rose 0.21 percent, with the euro down 0.3 percent to $1.1698. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7 percent, after hitting its highest level in a week earlier in the day. US crude fell 0.76 percent to $47.19 per barrel and Brent was last at $50.62, down 0.35 percent on the day. Spot gold added 0.1 percent to $1,272.91 an ounce. (Reuters)

  • US housing starts, permits down sharply in July

    US homebuilding unexpectedly fell in July amid broad declines in single- and multi-family home construction, suggesting the housing market was struggling to rebound after slumping in the second quarter. Housing starts declined 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. June’s sales pace was revised down to 1.21 million units from the previously reported 1.22 million units. The report also showed a decline in building permits, which could temper expectations of an acceleration in residential construction after it contracted in the second quarter at its steepest pace since the third quarter of 2010. Housing subtracted 0.27 percentage point from second-quarter GDP. (Reuters)

  • Emerging Europe muscles higher as GDP readings smash forecasts

    The Czech crown and Polish zloty jumped on Wednesday after strong economic growth data smashed forecasts, while emerging market stocks rose to a one-week high. Czech growth rose to 4.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. The Czech crown leapt 0.4 percent against the euro to near two-week highs. Poland delivered 3.9 percent growth, lifting the zloty 0.4 percent and shares in Warsaw 0.7 percent. Romania’s economy expanded 5.9 percent. MSCI’s benchmark emerging stocks index was up 0.5 percent. The yuan weakened a touch against the dollar as the central bank guided its official fixing to the lowest level in a week. South Africa’s rand firmed 0.3 percent. Moody’s said political tensions were still constraining South Africa’s growth. (Reuters)

  • Miners support Britain’s FTSE

    Britain’s top share index rose for the third day on the trot on Wednesday, boosted by gains among mining firms, though car insurer Admiral Group plummeted after reporting half-year results. The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.6 percent at 7,428.27 points by 0903 GMT, giving up some gains after sterling was boosted by stronger than expected UK earnings growth. Mid caps also advanced 0.6 percent. Admiral Group slumped 6.7 percent, on course for its worst day since November 2011, after posting a weaker loss ratio for the first half. (Reuters)

  • Hong Kong shares rise as strong earnings offset China slowdown worries

    Hong Kong shares rose on Wednesday as investors took heart from strong quarterly earnings despite signs of slowing growth in China. The Hang Seng index ended up 0.9 percent at 27,409.07 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.7 percent to 10,817.88. Hong Kong investors were unperturbed by data showing that China’s new loans in July fell to their lowest in 8 months. Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese banks continued to build on recent robust gains even as their A-shares performed poorly. (Reuters)

  • Strong basic resources boost European shares ahead of eurozone GDP

    Miners and oil stocks helped Europe’s major share index make strong gains on Wednesday, as higher metals prices lent a hand and investors awaited euro zone GDP figures expected to confirm the bloc’s economic growth was on track. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.5 percent, its third day of gains after a sharp sell-off last week. Euro zone stocks and blue chips jumped 0.6 percent. Basic resources stocks were the top boost, up 1.1 percent after London zinc hit a decade high, lifted by Chinese construction spending. (Reuters)

  • Weak lending data hits Chinese stocks, but tech rallies

    China stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investor sentiment was undermined by concerns over weakening economic growth, but losses were kept in check by solid gains for tech shares. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent, to 3,701.42, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent, to 3,246.62 points. China CSI300 stock index futures for August rose 0.1 percent, to 3,690.8, 10.77 points below the current value of the underlying index. The tech-heavy ChiNext board gained 1.5 percent for the day. (Reuters)

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The key to defusing tensions over North Korea is: