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Asian shares down as Wall St. tumbles on poor data

Tokyo stocks fell 1.23% on May 7, 2015, after a three-day holidayAsian shares fell Thursday after Wall Street dropped on weaker-than-expected US economic data and a warning from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that stock valuations were "quite high".

05/07/2015 04:02 AM

German factory orders pick up in March, but below forecast
BERLIN (AP) — Factory orders in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, picked up in March after two consecutive declines thanks to higher domestic demand — but the improvement was smaller than economists expected.
05/07/2015 03:53 AM

Asian shares sink after Wall Street drop, US economy fears

People look at an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Asian markets drooped Thursday after comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve chief fanned fears about the American economy and sent Wall Street lower. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (AP) — Asian markets drooped Thursday after comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve chief fanned fears about the American economy and sent Wall Street lower.

05/07/2015 02:13 AM

Beijing tries to tap brakes on stock market boom

In this May 6, 2015 photo, a tourist from China's Inner Mongolia Province takes a photo of a statue of a bull in Beijing. After months of cheerleading for rising prices, China’s leaders are trying to tap the brakes on a stock market boom that could run out of control and disrupt economic reform plans. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING (AP) — China's leaders are trying to tap the brakes on a stock market boom that could run out of control and disrupt economic reform plans.

05/07/2015 01:53 AM

Wary of bond 'cliff,' Fed plans cautious cuts to portfolio

The United States Federal Reserve Board building is shown in WashingtonNEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is sketching out plans to prevent an abrupt contraction in its massive balance sheet next year, when some $500 billion in bonds expire and risk disrupting markets and the U.S. economic recovery. Though it ended a stimulative asset-purchase program last October, the Fed is still buying mortgage and Treasury bonds to replenish its $4.5-trillion portfolio as holdings mature.

05/07/2015 01:34 AM

Vietnam devalues dong to boost growth

Vietnam's government is targeting growth of 6.2% in 2015Vietnam's central bank said on Thursday it would devalue the dong currency for the second time this year in a bid to boost exports and drive the economy forward. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) will devalue the reference rate by one percent to 21,673 Vietnamese dong per dollar to "cope with adverse impacts of international markets", it said in a statement. The second devaluation of the dong in five months follows the "evolution of national and international financial markets", the SBV statement said. In December SBV governor Nguyen Van Binh said that the regulator will not weaken the dong by more than two percent in 2015.

05/07/2015 12:42 AM

Australia's jobless rate ticks up to 6.2 percent

Workers prepare fish at the Sydney Fish Market, in December 2014Australia's unemployment rate edged up to 6.2 percent in April, official figures showed on Thursday, in a widely expected increase reflecting the nation's economic wobbles as it moves away from its dependence on mining. Some 2,900 positions were lost last month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics data. "It was largely as expected," RBC Capital Markets economist Michael Turner told AFP. "Unemployment's still gyrating around 6.1 (percent) to 6.3... unemployment growth is still reasonably modest and barely enough to keep up with the population growth." The participation rate, which measures the proportion of adults in work or looking for work, remained at 64.8 percent on unrounded estimates.

05/07/2015 12:22 AM

Gas prices or economy, experts disagree on what drives U.S. demand

A woman pumps gas at a station in Falls ChurchBy Jarrett Renshaw NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans hit the road in record numbers this winter, reigniting a long debate that may determine whether global oil markets hold steady or tumble anew. Yet many energy economists have long argued that it is economic activity and employment, not prices, that hold the greatest sway over how much gas Americans burn each day.

05/07/2015 12:09 AM

United Kingdom votes in most unpredictable election in decades

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives with his wife Samantha to vote in SpelsburyBy Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - British voters get to decide on Thursday who they want to rule the world's fifth-largest economy in a tight election that could yield weak government, propel the United Kingdom towards a vote on EU membership and stoke Scottish desire for secession. Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's opposition Labour Party have been neck and neck in opinion polls for months, indicating neither will win enough seats for an outright majority in the 650-seat parliament. "It is going to go down to the wire." Cameron said only his Conservatives could deliver strong, stable government: "All other options will end in chaos." The Conservatives portray themselves as the party of jobs and economic recovery, promising to reduce income tax for 30 million people while forcing through further spending cuts to eliminate a budget deficit still running at 5 percent of gross domestic product.

05/06/2015 07:44 PM

British rivals still tied in last hours of election campaign

City council workers assemble ballot boxes for distribution ahead of tomorrow's general election, in Glasgow ScotlandBy Andrew Osborn and Mark Trevelyan LONDON (Reuters) - A late burst of opinion polls on Wednesday suggested that Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour challenger Ed Miliband had fought each other to a standstill on the eve of Britain's most unpredictable election in a generation. The stakes are high because Britain's future in the European Union, as well as its national cohesion, could hinge on the result. Both the main party leaders have insisted they are fighting to win outright, despite the overwhelming signals from the opinion polls that they would need to seek one or more allies to form a coalition or survive as a precarious minority government. "We can achieve an overall majority that gives Britain the strong stable government that continues, with a long-term economic plan that is working," Cameron said on Wednesday.

05/06/2015 05:39 PM

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