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Global Business & Economy

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Euro zone business growing at weakest rate since start of 2015: PMI LONDON: Euro zone business growth was at its slowest since the start of 2015 this month as a stronger performance in the two big economies of Germany and France was offset by weakness in smaller countries, a survey showed on Friday. While the survey result was not as weak as predicted in a Reuters poll, the slight loss of momentum may be of concern to policymakers at the European Central Bank who have been trying to stimulate faster growth.Markit's flash composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), seen as a good growth indicator, dipped to 52.9 from June's 53.1, the lowest reading since January 2015. However, a Reuters poll had predicted a steeper fall to 52.5.A reading above 50 indicates growth."Headline PMIs picked up for Germany and France but the overall one fell and the rest of the region combined saw the weakest rise in activity since December 2012," said Chris Williamson, ...

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North Korea economy shrinks for first time in 5 years: BOK SEOUL: North Korea's economy contracted for the first time in five years in 2015, the South's central bank said Friday, undermining leader Kim Jong-Un's stated policy of simultaneous military and economic development.The isolated North's gross domestic product appeared to have shrunk 1.1 percent last year -- the first downturn since 2010 and the sharpest fall since 2007, the Bank of Korea said.The figure was based on information compiled from state and private organisations, as Pyongyang ...

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US jobless claims hold steady at low level WASHINGTON: US jobless claims fell marginally in the second week of July, extending a record streak not seen since the 1970s, according to the Department of Labor.Initial claims, seen as an indicator of the prevalence of layoffs, stood at 253,000 in the week ending July 16, 1000 fewer than the week before.The level has now held below 300,000 for 72 straight weeks, the longest such stretch in 42 years, according to the Labor Department.The four-week ...

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ECB ready to come to eurozone economy's aid if needed: Draghi FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank is ready, willing and able to help put the eurozone economy back on its feet, if needed, but financial markets have held up so far to the shock of the Brexit referendum, president Mario Draghi said on Thursday."If warranted to achieve its objective, the governing council will act by using all instruments within its mandate. I would stress our readiness, willingness, ability to do so," Draghi said.He was speaking at ...

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China June cotton imports drop 55pc y/y to 72,750 tonnes BEIJING: China imported 72,750 tonnes of cotton in June, down 55.02 percent from a year ago, as mills cut back overseas buying because the reduced availability of quotas for low-tariff imports made the purchases unattractive. Imports in the first six months of 2016 were 431,254 tonnes, less than half of imports during the same period last year, customs data showed on Thursday. A plunge in domestic prices earlier in the year also made importing overseas ...

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Spain's budget watchdog says public finances have worsened MADRID: Spain's budget watchdog said on Wednesday public finances had taken a turn for the worse, putting the country on course to miss its deficit target. On the same day, the caretaker government raided a reserve fund for the second time this month to pay pensioners. Madrid is already facing European Union sanctions for breaching fiscal rules in 2015, when it did not sufficiently trim its excessive deficit. The European Commission is due to propose ...

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Algeria trade deficit widens 27.2pc yr/yr in first half of 2016: customs ALGIERS: OPEC member Algeria's trade deficit widened to $10.83 billion in the first six months of 2016, 27.2 percent more than in the same period last year due to a fall in energy earnings as oil prices tumbled, data showed on Wednesday.Oil and gas exports, which accounted for 93.55 percent of Algeria's sales abroad, dropped 33.6 percent to $11.86 billion in the first half, the customs figures showed.The overall value of exports during the period ...