Business

EU extends economic sanctions against Russia for another six months
EU extends economic sanctions against Russia for another six months
The European Union has prolonged anti-Russia economic sanctions, keeping restrictions on business with Russian energy, defense, and financial sectors until January 31, 2018.

Business snaps

  • Eurozone bailout fund agrees Portugal’s early repayment to IMF

    The eurozone bailout fund on Wednesday authorized Portugal to repay the IMF ahead of schedule around €9.4 billion euros owed under a joint EU/IMF bailout, allowing the country to save on interest payments. By approving at its board meeting Portugal’s request received last month, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) waived its right to be repaid early alongside the IMF. “These early repayments will lower Portugal’s debt service costs, improve its debt sustainability and send a positive signal to the markets of Portugal’s improved financing conditions,” EFSF CEO Klaus Regling said. Portugal, which exited the bailout in 2014, still has one of the eurozone’s highest public debt levels at around 130 percent of GDP. (Reuters)

  • UK blue chips led lower by Hargreaves as strong pound takes toll

    Britain’s top share index dipped on Wednesday, depressed by a slide in Hargreaves Lansdown and oil stocks, though a jump in Bunzl’s shares offered some relief. The FTSE 100 index fell 0.6 percent. A brief recovery was brought to an end in afternoon trading when Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the bank would debate an interest rate increase in the coming months. His remarks boosted sterling and sent the blue chip index back to the day’s lows with big international companies such as drugmaker Shire and drinks firm Diageo among the heaviest fallers. The mid-cap index, which is more domestically focused, did slightly better, ending down 0.3 percent. Fund platform Hargreaves Lansdown fell 2.3 percent following an industry report by Britain’s markets watchdog

  • Dollar extends fall as bets on hawkish European policy heat up

    The US dollar touched its lowest level against the euro in a year on Wednesday after hawkish comments from the head of the Bank of England fueled bets on tighter monetary policy in Europe, while Tuesday’s delay to a US healthcare vote also hurt the greenback. The euro rose as much as 0.5 percent against the dollar to a one-year high of $1.1390 after jumping 1.4 percent Tuesday. The dollar index fell as much as 0.4 percent to hit a more than seven-month low of 95.967. The dollar was last down 0.2 percent against the yen at 112.12 yen after hitting a more than one-month high of 112.46 on Tuesday. (Reuters)

  • Wall St higher as banks, consumer stocks rise

    Wall Street was higher in late morning trading on Wednesday as financial and consumer stocks led a broad rally among the major sectors. The financial index’s 1.16 percent rise led the gainers, with Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citigroup all up more than 1 percent. The consumer discretionary index rose 0.9 percent, helped by a gain in Walt Disney, Comcast and Amazon. At 10:57am ET (1457 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 126.57 points, or 0.59 percent, at 21,437.23, the S&P 500 was up 18.26 points, or 0.75 percent, at 2,437.64. The Nasdaq Composite was up 54.76 points, or 0.89 percent, at 6,201.38. (Reuters)

  • German govt approves plan to boost spending next year

    Germany’s Cabinet has approved a budget plan that foresees a 2.6 percent increase in spending next year and a balanced budget over the next four years. The plan presented by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Wednesday foresees €337.5 billion in spending next year. Germany holds an election on September 24 and the next government will make the final decisions on the budget. Schaeuble said that, “today’s decisions are a proof for four years of successful government work.” Also on Wednesday, German news agency dpa said the parliamentary budget committee approved the recently agreed €8.5 billion eurozone bailout payment to Greece. (AP)

  • Tech stocks sour, sending European shares to 2-month low

    Slumping technology stocks after a global cyber attack and depressed crude oil prices cast a cloud over European shares on Wednesday, sending them to their lowest in two months. The pan-European STOXX 600 hit its lowest since April 24 in early deals, down 1 percent, in step with euro zone stocks and blue-chips. Technology stocks fell 1.6 percent to a two-week low, the worst performer with every stock on the index in the red. The losses came after a ransomware attack swept the globe, disrupting computers at banks and large companies. (Reuters)

  • Sterling hits 7-month low against resurgent euro

    Sterling hit a seven-month low to the euro on Wednesday, losing ground to renewed strength in the single currency after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted the days of the bank'’ stimulus program are numbered. Compared to a recovery against the dollar after its 2 percent drop following the British elections, the pound has been unable to appreciate significantly against the euro. By 0757 GMT, sterling was 0.3 percent lower at 88.80 pence per euro, its lowest level since November 9. It was less than 0.1 percent higher at $1.2819. (Reuters)

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RT asks

What will the global political impact be following the recent fallout in the Gulf region?