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US jobless claims point to firmer labor market WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000 for the week ended Dec. 13, the Labor Department said on Thursday.The report came a day after the Federal Reserve offered an upbeat assessment of the labor market and the broader economy, and signaled it could start raising interest rates next year.The U.S. central bank, which has kept its short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008, lowered its unemployment rate forecast on Wednesday. Many economists expect the first rate hike in mid-2015.Yields on U.S. Treasuries held at higher levels after the claims data, while U.S. stock index futures were trading higher. The dollar was slightly stronger against a basket of currencies.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims edging up to 295,000 last week. The ...

China home prices fall in November, threaten economic growth BEIJING: China's new home prices fell again in November and a business survey showed a deep drop in real estate investment plans, adding gloom to a slumping property market that has so far defied government efforts to revive it.Average home prices in 70 major Chinese cities fell by an annual 3.7 percent last month following a 2.6 percent fall in October, the biggest drop since 2011 and a threat to economic growth.Yu Liang, president of ...
Rise in German business morale points to better fourth quarter BERLIN: German business morale rose in December for the second month running, a survey showed on Thursday, adding to signs that Europe's largest economy is on course to pick up in the fourth quarter after narrowly avoiding a recession in the third.Ifo's business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, increased to 105.5 in December from 104.7 the previous month. That was the highest reading since August and compared with the ...
Indonesia to cut budget deficit to 1pc of GDP in 2019 JAKARTA: Indonesia's new government plans to cut its budget deficit to one percent of gross domestic product by 2019, partly by reforming the tax system, the finance minister said on Thursday.A shortfall in tax revenue estimated at $6.15 billion threatened to push the 2014 budget deficit in Southeast Asia's largest economy to breach a legally binding limit of 3 percent of GDP.The new government of President Joko Widodo wants to curb the budget deficit, which ...
Greek unemployment drops to 25.5pc in Q3 ATHENS: Greece's jobless rate dropped to 25.5 percent in the third quarter compared with 26.6 percent in the previous three-month period, data from the country's statistics service showed on Thursday.The rate was the lowest recorded since the third quarter of 2012, when joblessness stood at 24.9 percent.About 75.4 percent of Greece's 1.23 million jobless are long-term unemployed, meaning they have been out of work for at least 12 months, the figures showed.Athens has already published ...
Indonesia says considering removing govt subsidies for gasoline next year JAKARTA: Indonesia's Chief Economics Minister Sofyan Djalil on Thursday said the government is considering removing subsidies for gasoline next year, but would maintain subsidies for diesel."The option is fixing subsidy (per litre) for diesel, then we will uncouple gasoline, make gasoline a non-subsidised fuel," Djalil told reporters.He said the policy wouldn't need parliament's approval.Indonesia allocated 246.5 trillion rupiah ($19.63 billion) for fuel subsidies in its 2014 budget. The 2015 budget presented in September, one month ...
Cautious Japanese firms holding record assets: BoJ TOKYO: Japanese firms are holding a record amount of cash equivalent to almost half the country's gross domestic product, Bank of Japan figures showed Thursday, despite growing calls to open up those corporate coffers.The currency holdings and deposits of non-financial, private-sector companies jumped to 233 trillion yen ($1.96 trillion) at the end of September, up 4.2 percent from a year ago, according to the data. Japan's GDP in the year to April 2013 -- the ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,356.87 1.69
Arrow Nasdaq 4,644.31 2.12
Arrow S&P 2,012.89 2.04
Arrow FTSE 6,336.48 0.07
Arrow DAX 9,544.43 0.20
Arrow CAC-40 4,111.91 0.46
Arrow Nikkei 16,819.73 0.38
Arrow H.Seng 22,585.84 0.37
Arrow Sensex 26,710.13 0.27

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 15, 2014
Reserves $13.922 bln