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Greece says expects bailout deal by Aug 18

Greek flags are displayed for sale for one Euro at a shop in central in AthensGreece expects to conclude a bailout deal with international lenders by Aug. 18, with the drafting of the accord starting on Wednesday, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said on Tuesday. Greece's finance and economic ministers were due to meet international lenders later on Tuesday to discuss privatizations and bank recapitalization. In an interview with Ethnos newspaper on Monday, European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici described an August deal as possible, but said it would be "ambitious", suggesting that it would take hard work to achieve it.

08/04/2015 06:46 AM

Toyota says not optimistic on China profitability; books record first-quarter earnings

A visitor walks between Toyota Motor Corp's cars displayed at the company's showroom in TokyoToyota Motor Corp said it "can't be optimistic" about profitability in China, the world's biggest auto market, where slowing growth is forcing the Japanese manufacturer to cut prices and offer buying incentives to keep up with rivals. Toyota, which on Tuesday reported record first-quarter net profit for the third consecutive year, enjoyed rising China sales but price wars were sapping profit, company officials said at an earnings briefing. China auto sales fell each month in the quarter as economic growth crawls at its slowest pace in 25 years, draining consumer sentiment.

08/04/2015 06:20 AM

Oil edges back up to $50 a barrel from six-month low

A customer holds a nozzle to fill up his tank in a gasoline station in NiceOil recovered to just above $50 a barrel on Tuesday after touching a six-month low in the previous session, although high global production and concern over the economic outlook in China weighed on the outlook. The bounce came as a weaker dollar took the pressure off commodities which tumbled on Monday, with a global commodities price index sinking to a 12-year low. By 0955 GMT, Brent crude was up 79 cents at $50.31and U.S. crude gained 75 cents to $45.92.

08/04/2015 06:05 AM

China's Dalian Wanda to close karaoke bars, stores as consumers turn frugal
China's Dalian Wanda Group said it was closing down the country's largest karaoke chain Superstar, as slowing economic growth and government efforts to discourage lavish spending hit profits in the entertainment sector. The group also said it was closing an unspecified number of department stores as a boom in e-commerce drove that business into losses. Media reports had said China's largest property developer was shutting down nearly half of its 90 stores.
08/04/2015 05:37 AM

UK construction growth eases on softer housebuilding, engineering -PMI

A worker walks past a picture of the London skyline outside the sales office of a property development in central LondonGrowth in Britain's construction industry slowed unexpectedly in July, hurt by a loss of momentum in housebuilding and civil engineering, according to a survey published on Tuesday that highlighted the economy's reliance on its services sector. The slowdown may have reflected an easing of the surge in confidence among construction firms that followed May's unexpectedly conclusive national election, survey compiler Markit said. Britain's economy picked up speed in the second quarter after a slowdown earlier in the year but was driven largely by its dominant services sector.

08/04/2015 04:37 AM

South Africa's Eskom says paying too much for coal

Eskom's electric pylons are pictured in SowetoJOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's electricity utility Eskom said on Tuesday it would renegotiate contracts with coal suppliers because it was paying too much given a recent drop in commodity prices. The comments come after mining giant Glencore said on Tuesday it was placing its Optimum coal operation in South Africa under "business rescue" due to Eskom's unreasonable supply contracts. Africa's most advanced economy is in the midst of one of its worst ever electricity crisis as its ageing fleet of power plants struggles to meet demand.

08/04/2015 04:36 AM

India's central bank keeps interest rates unchanged

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate -- the level at which it lends to commercial banks -- would remain at 7.25%India's central bank kept interests rate on hold Tuesday, resisting government pressure for a fourth cut of the year and saying the country's economic recovery was "still work in progress". The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate -- the level at which it lends to commercial banks -- would remain at 7.25 percent as analysts had expected. "It is prudent to keep the policy rate unchanged at the current juncture while maintaining the accommodative stance of monetary policy," RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said in a statement following the bank's monetary policy review meeting in Mumbai.

08/04/2015 04:33 AM

Australia's central bank keeps interest rate at 2.0%

The Reserve Bank of Australia says it will continue to monitor data over the next few months, adding that leaving the cash rate unchanged "was appropriate" for this monthAustralia's central bank Tuesday held interest rates at a record low of 2.0 percent as it kept the possibility of further easing on the table and dropped calls for a weaker exchange rate. The Reserve Bank of Australia said it would continue to monitor data over the next few months, adding that leaving the cash rate unchanged "was appropriate" for this month. "Further information on economic and financial conditions to be received over the period ahead will inform the board's ongoing assessment of the outlook and hence whether the current stance of policy will most effectively foster sustainable growth and inflation consistent with the target," RBA governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement.

08/04/2015 04:30 AM

Nigeria's Buhari seeks to cut recurrent expenditure in 2016 budget

Nigeria's President Buhari speaks during a news conference after the Summit of Heads of State and Government of The Lake Chad Basin Commission in AbujaNigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari aims to cut recurrent expenditure in next year's budget in order to prioritise development projects, the presidency said in an emailed statement on Monday. Recurrent expenditure has ballooned over the years and capital spending shrunk to just 12 percent of the 2015 budget, approved in May at an assumed oil price of $53 a barrel. “In carrying out its role in surveillance of the economy, review and appraisal of policies, the (National Planning) Commission should devise a plan for a realignment of the budget so that capital projects can be really prioritized,” Buhari was quoted as saying.

08/04/2015 03:56 AM

Kerry: good progress made on Pacific trade deal despite talks failure

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at Singapore Management University in SingaporeBy David Brunnstrom SINGAPORE Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday "good progress" was made toward a 12-nation Trans-Pacific trade deal last week, even though negotiators failed to reach an accord in marathon talks in Hawaii. "As with any complex negotiation ... there remain details to be hashed out," Kerry said in a speech during a stop in Singapore on his way to meetings of the 10 nation Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Malaysia on Wednesday. "Last week in Hawaii, we made good progress in our negotiations," he said adding that countries negotiating the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were "pressing on to work through tough negotiations on even the most sensitive issues." On Friday, Pacific Rim trade ministers failed to clinch a deal on the TPP - the key economic arm of President Barack Obama's rebalance to Asia in the face of China's growing influence in the region.

08/04/2015 02:51 AM

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