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  • 2015-07-29 04:55

    -- Sustainable Convergence Mainly National Responsibility

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The European Central Bank on Wednesday called for "substantial and swift progress" in efforts to build a capital markets union in order to improve the Eurozone's ability to absorb shocks.

    In an article on economic convergence published on its website, the ECB warned that exogenous shocks can cause economic convergence to unravel quickly if a sound institutional framework and sufficient economic flexibility are lacking.

    To ensure euro area member states can better absorb shocks, the single market must be strengthened further, the central bank said.

  • 2015-07-29 04:30

    -BOE Jun mortgage approvals 66,582 vs 64,826 May -BOE Jun Mortgage lending change stg2.615bn vs stg2.413bn May

    LONDON (MNI) - Mortgage lending in cash terms accelerated rapidly in June, with the stg2.615 billion increase the largest since July 2008, Bank Of England data show.

    The rise in mortgage approvals was less striking, with the 66,582 approvals in June below the 68,051 recorded in April. While the housing market is reaccelerating, it is still way below its pre-financial crisis highs. The long run monthly average in the BOE's mortgage approvals series is 83,122.

    Unsecured borrowing also rose in June but the stg1.220 billion change was less than the stg1.319 billion rise seen in March.

  • 2015-07-29 02:45

    Seasonally adjusted data: July preliminary: 93 (down 1 point)

    MNI Survey Median: 94

    Previous results: June 94, May 93, Apr 94 Mar 93, Feb 92, Jan 90

    PARIS (MNI) - France's consumer confidence fell for just the second time in nine months in July as the Greek crisis rattled sentiment across the Eurozone.

    The national statistics institute Insee said its barometer of household confidence fell to 93 in July from 94 in June, below the median estimate of 94 among analysts surveyed by MNI.

    French consumer confidence marked a steady rise of eight points between October 2014 and June as low inflation combined with faster economic growth to encourage households to increase their spending.

  • 2015-07-29 02:00

    By Steven Arons

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - Germany's consumer morale is predicted to remain unchanged at its high level in August, suggesting that the country's unprecedented consumption boom remains intact.

    GfK's key consumer confidence index is forecast to stay at 10.1 next month, the research institute revealed Wednesday, as income expectations climbed to yet another historic high while the willingness to buy continued to decline.

    The indicator has hovered between 10.0 and 10.2 points since April this year, pointing to a stabile consumption climate at an historically high level.

    The final reading for July was confirmed at 10.1 points, in line with the median forecast from economists polled by MNI.

    "Consumer sentiment in Germany stabilized in July," GfK wrote in the

  • 2015-07-29 01:20

    TOKYO (MNI) - The average price of regular gasoline in Japan this week fell to Y142.5 ($1.15) a liter from Y143.5 last week - the third consecutive weekly decline, according to Agency for Natural Resources and Energy data Wednesday.

    The price was 16.0% below the year-ago Y169.6 for the 33rd consecutive year-over-year drop.

    A sales-tax rise to 8% from 5% in April 2014 saw average gasoline prices rise to Y164.1 in the first week of that month from Y159.0 the previous week.

    The recent peak of Y169.9 in the week of July 14, 2014 was the highest since Sept. 29, 2008 when the average price was Y170.2. The record of Y185.1 was Aug.

  • 2015-07-28 20:26

    --Japan June Retail Sales +0.9% Y/Y; MNI Median +0.9%
    --Japan June Retail Sales Post 3rd Straight Y/Y Rise
    --Japan June Retail Automobile Sales +8.0% Y/Y; May +4.3%
    --Japan June Retail Fuel Sales -10.7% Y/Y; May -12.0%
    --Japan June Retail Machinery Sales -3.9% Y/Y; May +8.8%
    --Japan June Retail Food, Beverages Sales +3.1% Y/Y; May +4.9%
    --Japan June Retail Apparel Sales +0.6% Y/Y; +4.3%

    TOKYO (MNI) - Preliminary retail-sales data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry released Wednesday.

    FACTORS: Retail sales rose 0.9% year over year in June for a third consecutive increase. They had risen 3.0% in May. The base effect of the April 2014 sales tax rise has dissipated. Sales were led by gains in motor vehicles and medical/cosmetic goods.

  • 2015-07-28 17:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Treasury Department released the following letter Tuesday from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Committee on Finance:

    "Thank you for your recent letter on the challenges facing Puerto Rico. I welcome the opportunity to have a constructive dialogue with you and your colleagues on this important matter. As the Administration has made clear, no one is contemplating a federal bailout for Puerto Rico. I also fully agree with your assessment that Puerto Rico needs an orderly process to restructure its unsustainable liabilities.

  • 2015-07-28 15:11

    --Senate Majority, Minority Leader Accept House Approach
    --Sen. McConnell: Expect House-Senate Highway Talks in Fall

  • 2015-07-28 14:16

    By Vicki Schmelzer

    NEW YORK (MNI) - Heading into Wednesday's Federal Reserve decision, FX market players remained bearish towards the euro, with most looking for a break of this month's lows near $1.0810 at some point in coming weeks.

    If the Fed statement has an element of hawkishness, then this move may come sooner rather than later, traders said.

    However, if the Fed continues to merely keep the door open for a 2015 hike, but not necessarily a September hike, then it may be better to wait for more attractive levels to sell into, they said.

    The euro was trading at $1.1057 Tuesday, in the middle of the day's range of $1.1022 to $1.1100 as well as this month's range of $1.0809, seen July 20 to $1.1216, seen July 10.

  • 2015-07-28 14:00

    By David Robinson

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, Jon Cunliffe, has acknowledged that regulation may have gone too far in some areas and said that adjustments and refinements to it should come as no surprise.

    Market participants have complained about regulation reducing liquidity, which could fuel volatility. To this, Cunliffe said that the regulators were "learning by doing".