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Kazakh agriculture minister Mamytbekov tenders resignation
ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's agriculture minister, Asylzhan Mamytbekov, tendered his resignation on Friday, a spokesman for the ministry said, after being reprimanded by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev on Thursday criticized his government for failing to explain to the public a planned land reform which triggered a wave of protests. Economy minister Yerbolat Dosayev has already resigned over the issue. (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Jack Stubbs)
05/06/2016 07:01 AM

Head of Kazakh state holding company named economy minister
Kuandyk Bishimbayev, chief executive of a state financial holding company, was named Kazakhstan's economy minister on Friday following the resignation of his predecessor over public protests against a planned land reform, the ministry said. Yerbolat Dosayev, whose ministry had helped develop a plan to privatize large swathes of farmland, resigned on Thursday, when President Nursultan Nazarbayev criticized his cabinet for failing to adequately explain the policy to the public. Hundreds of Kazakhs have taken to the streets over the last two weeks to protest against the land reform, saying they fear it would allow foreigners to take over farmland.
05/06/2016 06:32 AM

World stocks fall before US jobs data

Around 0900 GMT London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.5 percent compared with Thursday's closeHong Kong (AFP) - European and Asian stock markets mostly retreated on Friday, as investors awaited key US jobs data for clues on the outlook for interest rates in the world's biggest economy.

05/06/2016 05:46 AM

Exclusive: Apple's Tim Cook to visit China for government meetings - source

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CaliforniaApple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook plans to visit Beijing later this month to meet high-level government officials, at a time when it is facing some setbacks in its most important overseas market, a source familiar with the matter said. Cook has frequently traveled to China since taking the helm of Apple five years ago, but his latest visit comes during a critical period. Last week, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said in an interview with cable television network CNBC that he had sold his entire stake in Apple, citing China's economic slowdown and worries about whether the government could make it very difficult for Apple to conduct business.

05/06/2016 05:22 AM

Stocks head for worst week since mid-February

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in LondonBy Patrick Graham LONDON (Reuters) - Stock markets in Europe and Asia struggled on Friday and only monthly U.S. nonfarm payrolls numbers stood in the way of shares globally racking up their biggest falls since mid-February. Concerns over growth, the failure of extraordinary central bank stimulus and banking profitability in an era of negative interest rates, allied to a still tepid recovery in oil prices , has kept a lid on any optimism over the past month. Money markets show investors have all but abandoned betting that U.S. and global growth will be strong enough to swallow further rises in official U.S. interest rates this year.

05/06/2016 05:03 AM

UK new car registrations highest in 13 years during April - SMMT

DRIVERS QUEUE IN LONDON ON THE DAY NEW TRANSPORT PLANS ANNOUNCED.LONDON (Reuters) - British new car registrations rose to their highest level in 13 years last month, rising 2 percent compared with a year ago to 189,505 units, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Friday. Petrol car registrations rose 3.4 percent from last year and 26.8 percent for alternative-fuel vehicles. Diesel car registrations slipped slightly. "Consumer confidence remains high as buyers continue to capitalise on attractive finance deals, although this could be affected by political and economic uncertainty in the coming months," SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said. ...

05/06/2016 04:22 AM

South Africa's rand weakens, focus on U.S. jobs report

A South African child holds a 50 rand note July 2. The rand sank to a fresh low against the dollar i..South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar in thin trade early on Friday as investors positioned for a U.S. jobs report that is likely to provide clues about the Federal Reserve's monetary policy intentions. "Trade remains jittery and liquidity thin, so it is not going to take much to send the market running again," Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns said in a note. "...The monthly (payrolls) release no longer has the importance that it had a year back but still remains the single most important global economic indicator for the markets." A strong number could encourage the Fed to raise rates sooner, lending some support to the dollar.

05/06/2016 03:21 AM

Zambia's 2016 fiscal deficit seen slightly below 8.1 percent of GDP

Mine workers are pictured at the Freda Rebecca gold mine in BinduraZambia's budget deficit and economic growth are expected to remain largely unchanged this year as low commodity prices and electricity shortages continue hitting production, the treasury secretary said on Thursday. The fiscal deficit in Africa's second-biggest copper producer is seen reducing slightly in 2016 to below last year's level of 8.1 percent and then decline further in 2017 to around 4 percent of GDP, Fredson Yamba said in a statement. GDP growth was expected to increase from 2017 when it is projected at around 6 percent as mining companies completed cost-reduction measures and power supply improved, he said.

05/06/2016 03:17 AM

Time to raise inflation target? No, Fed officials say

The Federal Reserve building in WashingtonGlobal central bankers are having a hard time boosting economic growth and inflation to healthier levels, but raising inflation targets, as some analysts have suggested, is not the answer, Federal Reserve officials said on Thursday. The Fed, like many central banks, targets 2.0 percent inflation, but has struggled to get the economy growing fast enough to lift inflation to that level.

05/05/2016 09:30 PM

Fitch downgrades Brazil, Meirelles calls for credible targets

The Fitch Ratings logo is seen at their offices at Canary Wharf financial district in LondonBy Alonso Soto and Aluisio Alves SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings downgraded Brazil's sovereign debt further into junk territory on Thursday, citing a deeper-than-expected economic contraction and changing fiscal targets that have undermined credibility. Fitch downgraded Brazil to BB from BB+ with a negative outlook a week before a Senate vote that is expected to lead to the ouster of unpopular leftist President Dilma Rousseff. Henrique Meirelles, a likely finance minister if Vice President Michel Temer becomes president, said the first step Brazil must take is to establish realistic targets.

05/05/2016 09:24 PM

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