Europe Top News and Analysis Germany

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    The European Central Bank kept its main rate on hold at 4 percent as expected on Thursday, despite mounting pressure for an easing in monetary policy to help avert a global recession.

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    Here in Deutschland, we're smack in the middle of what's fondly called The Fifth Season, the silly season or simply KARNEVAL – you know, similar to what you have left with Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

  • German retail sales fell 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, indicating household spending was a drag on overall economic growth, data showed on Thursday.

  • German corporate sentiment unexpectedly rose in January, a leading survey showed on Thursday, bolstering policymakers' assertions that the euro zone economy can withstand turmoil in financial markets.

  • Euro zone growth could come in below 2 percent this year, European Central Bank Governing Council member Klaus Liebscher was quoted as saying on Thursday, but the region is better off than the United States.

  • Euro zone services growth slumped significantly below forecasts to a rate not seen in over four years this month, but manufacturing growth remained unchanged from December, a key survey showed on Wednesday.

  • The shrinking value of subprime mortgage investments will eat further into Commerzbank's 2007 profits, its designated chief executive said while admitting that management had blundered.

  • Commerzbank will have to make further writedowns on the value of its subprime-linked investments, its designated chief executive told Reuters in an interview.

  • IKB, the German bank that shot to fame over its near-collapse under the weight of subprime investments, is up for sale, its biggest shareholder said on Friday.

  • Finance ministers from Europe's top four economies called on Thursday for greater market transparency, full disclosure of losses and better coordination among supervisory bodies in response to the global credit crunch.

  • Five months on, finance ministers from Europe's four largest economies headed to Paris on Thursday to discuss an international response to the credit crunch that struck last August and continues to plague the global economy.

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    The Austrian capital is the city where the old EU meets the new EU. Teeming with international organizations, it's also the city that was the first to foray into Eastern European banking and the destination for tasty pastry.

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    There are downside risks to euro zone growth and the European Central Bank will remain flexible on interest rates, Governing Council member Yves Mersch was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

  • German lender Hypo Real Estate proposed slashing its 2007 dividend by two-thirds after it took a 390 million-euro ($580 million) hit on U.S. debt investments and posted a net trading loss.

  • German software giant SAP posted solid preliminary fourth-quarter results in line with market expectations on Monday, sending its shares up as much as 6 percent.

  • UBS has appealed to its shareholders to back a capital injection by the Singapore government and a Middle East investor but warned it still cannot predict how the subprime crisis will play out.

  • It's that time of the year again, when Germany's trade unions traditionally put their wage demands on the table for the opening rounds of the annual ritual that is called "collective wage bargaining". And, with the economy growing at a robust pace still and with corporate profits on the rise, the voice of the unions is getting louder again. We've already had some taste of strike this season. Is there more to come?

  • The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday amid continuing uncertainty regarding the outlook for the economy.

  • Retailer Metro said Thursday fourth-quarter sales rose 8.3 percent from a year ago, pushed higher by consumers making more purchases in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

  • The European Central Bank seems to have little choice but to keep rates on hold this time as well, despite rising inflation. Money markets are still not back to normal and there are signs of a weakening economy.