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Financial advisers have threatened to pull millions of pounds out of Standard Life Investments after the provider took the unusual step of raising fees on some of its funds, bucking the trend for fund managers to cut headline costs for investors.


China purchased Japanese long- maturity bonds for an eighth consecutive month in May, Bloomberg reports. China bought 497.1bn yen ($6.1bn) of the debt during May, according to a statement released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance


US president Barack Obama and John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, are trying to push a more ambitious agreement to save the US government some $4,000bn over the next 10 years and take on some of Washington’s sacred cows


Europe’s banks are growing increasingly angry over the stress tests being run by European regulators, the FT says, complaining that the process has been excessively rigid, with damaging changes to the exercise rushed through at the last minute.


An Indian cabinet minister has resigned following allegations he abused his power during his tenure as telecoms minister, becoming the latest cabinet minister to quit in the wake of the multibillion dollar telecoms scandal,


Central banks have pulled 635 tonnes of gold from the Bank for International Settlements in the past year, the largest withdrawal in more than a decade, the FT writes. The move, disclosed in the BIS’s annual report,


JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $228m to settle allegations brought by state and federal officials that it made municipalities pay more for management of their bond issuance proceeds by rigging the tender process for the business


Better than expected US jobs data and a move by the European Central Bank to treat eurozone sovereign debt contagion is firing up the bulls, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World equity index is up 0.7 per cent to its best level since June 1


Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley analysts are predicting that Brent crude prices will hit $130 a barrel in a year’s time, calling a strong global recovery in the second half of 2011, says Bloomberg. Copper prices will also reach $11,000 a ton on Chinese demand in 2012
Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday after a strong private-sector jobs reading in the U.S. boosted sentiment, while mergers and acquisition activity dominated choppy action on the Korean bourse. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average jumped 0.9%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9%, South Korea's Kospi Composite was up 0.1% and New Zealand's NZX-50 was flat. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 10 points in screen trade.


The European Central Bank raised interest rates for the second time since April to keep inflation in check and signaled that more rises are likely despite an escalating debt crisis in Greece and mounting evidence of slower growth in much of the 17-member euro bloc.


For some investors in the municipal-bond market, June added insult to injury. In an otherwise bleak month for many investments, tobacco bonds were star performers, rising an average of 10%. Some jumped more than 60%. But many municipal-bond funds missed out on the gains. They had been forced to sell the bonds months earlier, often at a big loss, after a credit-rating downgrade made them noninvestment grade.


Concerned by a slow economic recovery and political change in Moscow, Russia's wealthy business leaders are increasingly eyeing assets in Europe, focusing on prime real estate that is viewed as safer even than cash, a recent survey said. The flight of personal and business assets has contributed to Russia's net capital outflow of $31.2 billion this year, a figure that has weighed on the ruble and redoubled President Dmitry Medvedev's and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's so-far unsuccessful efforts to seek foreign investment on the eve of the 2012 presidential elections.


A big drop in exports after the March 11 earthquake pushed Japan's current account surplus sharply lower in May, but the fall in the headline figure wasn't nearly as severe as what economists expected, boding well for the speed of the nation's economic recovery. Ministry of Finance data released Friday showed that the surplus fell 51.7% in May from a year earlier
After getting decked, the labor market probably picked itself off the canvas in June, economists say on the eve of a key report. Analysts polled by MarketWatch expect the Labor Department on Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern to report that nonfarm payrolls increased by 125,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 9.1%. While an increase would be welcome, it is too soon to know whether the labor market can go the distance.
Oil jumped on Thursday by the biggest percentage in two months, hitting a three-week high as U.S. data on jobless claims and retail sales came in stronger than expected, raising hopes that economic recovery was gaining traction. Independent data showing U.S. private hiring surged in June set the stage for a possible upside surprise in Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report, traders said.


Spot gold edged lower in thin trade on Friday, ahead of a key U.S. employment report that is expected to show improvement in the labour market and boost optimism on prospects for the world's largest economy. Stronger-than-expected payrolls data could ease fears that the U.S. economy remains in a prolonged soft patch, potentially undermining safe-haven demand for bullion. Spot gold was little changed at $1,530.96 an ounce by 0401 GMT, headed for a weekly gain of 3 percent, its strongest week since the end of April. U.S. gold GCcv1 barely moved at $1,531.50


The economic growth slowed to just 0.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, a leading thinktank said on Thursday, suggesting the recovery has all but ground to a halt. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research, whose former head Martin Weale sits on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, acknowledged that several one-off events had depressed output over the period.


A former senior aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron faced arrest on Friday over his alleged role in a phone-hacking scandal that prompted Rupert Murdoch to close Britain's biggest selling Sunday newspaper. In a startling response to the scandal engulfing Murdoch's media empire, the British newspaper arm of News Corp announced it would publish the 168-year-old News of the World for the last time this weekend.


New York prosecutors have no current plans to drop charges against former International Monetary Fund Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and they sought no plea deal at a meeting on Wednesday with his defense lawyers, a person close to the case said. The Manhattan district attorney's office indicated that prosecutors wanted at least two or three more weeks to investigate Strauss-Kahn and his accuser,
Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, is “bullish” on China and seeking deals even after selling some of its stakes in two of the nation’s banks this week for $3.6 billion. “China is our largest investment destination,” Nagi Hamiyeh, Temasek’s managing director of investment, said in Singapore yesterday. “We are still looking for opportunities in China and we are very comfortable with our position there at this time.”


The White House’s top political adviser, downplaying the significance of the unemployment rate in the 2012 election, said the Republican candidates are offering the same policies that caused the economic crisis and targeted one potential opponent -- Mitt Romney.  “So all of them are basically just bringing out the same old war horses,” senior adviser David Plouffe said yesterday at a Bloomberg Breakfast in Washington. “Let Wall Street kind of run amok, cut taxes for the wealthy, starve investment in things like education, research and development.”
Jim Rogers, the noted commodity bull, is shorting the 30-year U.S. government bonds and may consider shorting the 5 and 10-year bonds as well, he told CNBC on Monday. Rogers says the Treasurys market is one of the few bubbles that he sees in the world today. "I cannot imagine or conceive lending money to the United States government for 30-years at 3, 4, 5 or 6 percent —you pick a number — in U.S. dollars," he said.


The Federal Reserve's $600 billion Treasury buying spree is over and the bond market is growing nervous now that its biggest bidder has stepped aside. Barring possible hiccups in August as Congress wrestles with the task of raising the legal borrowing limit, the U.S. government will go on issuing around $166 billion in Treasury bonds and notes a month, and primary dealers aren't quite sure where demand will come from, and at what price.


Four months ago Japan’s huge earthquake and tsunami wreaked havoc with Japanese equities, causing such frenzied selling that the Tokyo Stock Exchange came under pressure to shut the bourse temporarily.
Two years ago during the global recession, gold bugs took note when Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev — taking a swipe at the American dollar — proposed that central banks hold reserves in what would be a new, gold-backed international currency.  But more recently, as gold prices have soared — in part on market expectations that central banks will begin adding to gold reserves as a buffer against global uncertainties — Russia is not following its own advice. Far from hoarding gold, Russia is selling it. The country’s domestic gold mining industry has continued to sell onto international markets. Russia has also eased gold trading rules to let more gold be mined and exported more quickly.
A rebound in retail sales and stronger jobs reports are pushing stocks near their highest levels of the year. Retailers reported their best June sales in more than a decade. Warm weather and discounts helped bring shoppers back to stores. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell to a seven-week low last week. Private companies added more than double the number of employees that economists expected last month. The Dow is closing with a gain of 93 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,719. The S&P 500 is up 14, or 1 percent, at 1,353. The Nasdaq composite is up 39, or 1.4 percent, at 2,873.

China moved up the release of key inflation data for June by six days to Saturday, with the action aimed at avoid any early leaks of the information, according to reports Thursday. The consumer price index and producer price index were originally slated for release July 15, but after recent cases of media outlets obtaining and publicizing the figures days in advance, the National Bureau of Statistics decided to put the data out within 24 hours of their compilation.


The Federal Reserve should have raised its short-term interest rate target 18 months ago, said Thomas Hoenig, the retiring president of the Kansas City Fed on Thursday according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires. After a speech in Ada, Okla., Hoenig was asked when the Fed could raise rates. Hoenig replied that he didn't know the answer to that.
Production at factories rose 1.8pc in May on the previous month, offsetting the 1.6pc fall seen in April caused by businesses facing back-to-back holidays around the Royal Wedding and disruption stemming from the Japanese tsunami. However, the wider measure of industrial production - which includes the more volatile mining and quarrying figures - did not bounce back in the same way, with the Office for National Statistics reporting a 0.9pc rise which failed to offset April's 1.7pc drop.


With much of the eurozone (inflation rate 2.7pc) flirting with insolvency, the economy visibly slowing and money growth barely positive at all, Jean-Claude Trichet and the rest of the European Central Bank governing council think the time is right for another hike in interest rates. Meanwhile, in Britain (inflation rate 4.5pc and rising), the Bank of England is sticking rigidly to the idea that the spike in prices is temporary and that the current zero interest rate policy should therefore be maintained.
Retailers are closing an average of 20 shops per day as squeezed consumer spending takes its toll on the high street. Retail insolvencies shot up by 9 per cent to 375 in the second quarter of the year, with clothing stores, jewellers and bookshops the hardest hit, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Local Data Company, published yesterday.
A fall in industrial output and cuts in public services put the brakes on the UK's recovery in the three months to the end of June, according to a thinktank. On the day that the Bank of England kept the cost of borrowing at its historic low, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said growth slipped from 0.5% in the three months to May to 0.1% in the three months to June. The figures suggest almost 10 months of zero growth in the UK as each surge is largely cancelled out by contraction or near-contraction in the following months.


Hard-pressed consumers face higher grocery bills after new figures showed that food prices jumped by 1.3% in June to within a whisker of their record high. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) food price index increased by 3 points to 234 points last month – a 39% increase on the year – as concerns about weak Brazilian sugar production sent sugar prices soaring by 14%, outweighing a decline in cereal costs.
Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega has attacked China and the United States for manipulating their currencies, at the expense of trading partners. "Of course, China manipulates it's currency and it (would be) better that the currency could fluctuate," Mantega told reporters after a meeting in Paris, picking up on a charge made by many of Beijing's trade partners.
House prices have likely peaked after a strong six months, Royal LePage Real Estate Services said Thursday in a market update. While prices saw big year-over-year price increases in the second quarter, “high house prices are concealing early signs of a moderating market.” “The market has seen its near-term peak in house price appreciation, and a slower second half of the year is expected,” the real estate brokerage said in a statement.
TEMASEK Holdings said on Thursday that the value of its portfolio reached a record high $193 billion at the end of its last financial year, while its net profit more than doubled from a year ago. Its portfolio grew from a previous record of $186 in the preceding year, and it grew its net profit from $4.6 billion to $12.7 billion for the year ended March 31. However, its one-year total returns to shareholders rose a modest 4.6 per cent, the firm said on the release of its annual report.
The latest interest rate hike that China's central bank announced on Wednesday should come as no surprise as the country's consumer inflation is widely expected to have accelerated significantly in June. Though tentative signs of a slowdown have recently given rise to fears that more monetary tightening could hurt growth too much, Chinese policymakers still cannot afford a pause in their struggle to curb inflation, which is proving more stubborn than predicted.


China's outstanding external debt came to 585.97 billion U.S. dollars by the end of March this year, the country's foreign exchange regulator said Thursday. The amount does not include the outstanding external debts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), the Macao SAR and Taiwan, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement on its website. Of the total outstanding external debt, registered external debt accounted for 366.87 billion U.S. dollars and the balance of trade credit accounted for 219.1 billion U.S. dollars. Outstanding long- and medium-term external debt accounted for 29.75 percent of the total, while outstanding short-term external debt comprised 70.25 percent, according to the statement.


Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Thursday the country's inflation rate was under control but appreciation of the country's currency remained a concern. Earlier in the day, the government's statistics agency IBGE announced a 0.15-percent drop in inflation in June, which was the fifth consecutive monthly decline. However, the accumulated rate is already close to this year's inflation target of 4.5 percent. Although the target has a tolerance of 2 percentage points, the accumulated figure over the past 12 months has already reached 6.71 percent.
South Korea's producer price growth slowed in June due to eased oil price rises, the central bank said Friday. The producer price index (PPI), a barometer of future consumer inflation, increased 6.2 percent from a year earlier, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a statement. The nation's producer prices posted an on-year growth for the 19th straight month in June, but it remained the same as the 6.2 percent on-year rise tallied for May.
Even as food inflation eased to its seven-week low at 7.61 per cent for the week ended June 25 owing to cheaper pulses and vegetables, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday conceded that inflationary pressure would persist as a fall-out of the recent hike in prices of petroleum products. The WPI (Wholesale Price Index) data on food and primary articles released here revealed that food inflation at this level was pegged marginally lower than the 7.78 per cent in the previous week and way below the near 20 per cent during the like period of June last year and thereby clearly indicating that the base effect has come to play in the food segment.
The country's direct tax collection has increased almost 24 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year and stood at Rs.104,136 crore as compared to Rs.84,041 crore in the like period of last fiscal, official data showed on Thursday.  According to the figures released by the finance ministry, the corporate tax collection also grew at a brisk 23.49 percent and stood at Rs.68,223 crore as against Rs.55,244 crore in the same period last year.

The Indian government on Thursday renewed long-term agreements to supply iron ore to international steel majors like Japanese Steel Mills (JSMs) and South Korean firm POSCO.  The decision was taken by the union cabinet at its meeting Thursday morning.

Driven by a hefty increase in tax refunds which more than doubled in the first quarter of the current fiscal, net direct tax collections dropped by almost 17 per cent during the same period to Rs 57,268 crore. The net direct direct tax collections stood at Rs 68,675 crore in the same period last fiscal.

Chinese banks' loan growth is expected to lose steam this year as the Chinese authorities are pressing them to cut back on lending in a bid to tame inflation, a report said Friday. New bank loans in China will likely reach between 7 trillion yuan (US$1.06 trillion) and 7.5 trillion yuan for all of this year, compared to 7.95 trillion yuan last year, according to the report by the Bank of Communications, one of leading commercial banks in China.

Johannesburg - Unions on Thursday threatened strike action in the coal mining sector and against the world’s top platinum producer, moves that may threaten the country’s exports to resource-hungry Asia. South Africa is also almost exclusively coal-powered, and energy supplies are tight, but utility Eskom has said it has enough coal in stock to last 41 days, so a strike would have to be lengthy to affect its operations.