*Business growth slows in China, Europe. LONDON/ BEIJING, Aug 21- Business growth in China and across Europe slowed this month, surveys showed on Thursday, providing more evidence that the world economy is stuttering and may need more monetary stimulus to keep it going.» Read More
The Bank of England is widely expected to cut interest rates by 25 basis points Thursday, for the second time in three months, in a delicate balancing act between offsetting the impacts of a slowing economy and fending off inflation.
Oil ended down just above $87 on Wednesday, as crude-oil inventories rose last week for the fourth straight period, according to government data published today.
The Fed must remain vigilant against rising inflation pressure this year even as the U.S. economy slows sharply, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said.
U.S. productivity in the fourth quarter rose at a stronger-than-expected pace as the biggest cutback in working hours in nearly five years helped restrain growth in labor costs, a U.S. Labor Department report showed on Wednesday.
The dollar edged lower against the yen and the euro Wednesday with investors reluctant to place big bets on currencies ahead of a key interest rate decision from the European Central Bank on Thursday.
A softer stance on inflation by the European Central Bank and more rate cuts from the Bank of England would boost European stocks. Investors could cautiously start to buy shares.
The European Central Bank is likely to keep its title as the last inflation hawk standing at its rate-setting meeting Thursday, but as fears of a global economic slowdown grow, calls for easing will only increase.
Asian markets tanked in the afternoon session Wednesday, sending investors on a selling spree after unexpectedly weak service sector data in the United States and Europe fueled fears of a recession. Japan plunged over 4 percent and Hong Kong closed more than 5 percent lower.
The most likely path for the US economy is sluggish growth for at least half a year before a gradual recovery begins, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said.
The euro tumbled broadly Tuesday after dismal euro zone service sector data fedexpectations the European Central Bank also might have to cut interest rates to shore up growth.
Because the services sector accounts for more than three-quarters of the U.S. economy, the downturn is fueling worries that the recession is already here.
Oil fell more than a dollar on Tuesday, pressured by fund selling and equity market weakness in response to fears of an economic slowdown in top energy consumer the United States.
If the health of the economy is so murky, why has the Federal Reserve been so aggressive in cutting interest rates?
Today's ISM non manufacturing number of 41.9 is the second lowest ever reading for the 10 year old index.
Euro zone service sector growth slowed sharply in January from an already weak estimate and retail sales fell in the key Christmas period, according to data on Tuesday that stoked fears of a recession.
The day after the Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut two weeks ago, Jean-Claude Trichet went before the European Parliament to deliver perhaps the most eagerly awaited speech of his four years as president of the European Central Bank.
Asian markets continued their weak run Tuesday with financial stocks sinking after U.S. credit card firms and banks were downgraded, stoking fears their troubles could spread to the global sector.
Australia's central bank on Tuesday raised interest rates to a decade peak of 7 percent, as it struggled to keep inflation under control, and left the door open for even more hikes if the red-hot economy did not cool soon.
Australian consumers went on a shopping spree last quarter, data showed on Tuesday, giving a boost to an already red-hot economy and reinforcing the case for an imminent rise in interest rates.
The dollar slipped against the euro and edged up against the yen Monday as investors waited to see how major central banks at policy meetings this week will respond to a potential global economic slowdown.
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