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European shares are lower as finance ministers prepare to discuss Cyprus bailout. CNBC's Simon Hobbs reports.
A Cyprus bailout is likely to be close to 10 billion euros ($13 billion), or much lower than forecast thanks to tax measures that are likely to boost revenues.
Chinks are showing in the Italian bond market's resilience to the political stalemate that followed last month's election.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi gave EU leaders a crash course in macroeconomics late on Thursday, emphasizing his concerns about low productivity and high labor costs hurting the euro zone's prospects.
Inflation pressures in the euro zone are easing, giving governments and central bankers a touch more leeway for stimulus as the region's leaders seek to shift their focus to reviving economic growth.
Hungary's increasingly aggressive moves against media, judiciary and central bank independence will be discussed by European Union heads of states on Friday.
CNBC's Kelly Evans reports European shares were relatively unchanged in morning trading.
EU officials worked on a rescue package for Cyprus on Friday, hoping to get approval from the IMF and euro zone finance ministers later in the day.
Robin Doumar, managing partner at Park Square Capital says that private equity firms and institutional investors can fill the void left by a pullback in bank lending.
EU and IMF officials planned to work on a rescue package for Cyprus through the night in Brussels to get an outline of a bailout program to euro zone finance experts.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban dismissed criticism that changes his government has made to the constitution are anti-democratic.
European leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday hinted that some countries could be given more time to meet their deficit goals as they address high unemployment and seek to ease the pain of tough austerity measures.
European shares opened slightly higher on Friday, with some focus on a European Union (EU) summit and finance ministers meeting in Brussels where Cyprus is expected to be high on the agenda.
British citizens using Guernsey to keep their money from the prying eyes of the taxman will have to declare their assets to the Treasury under an agreement designed to combat tax evasion. The Financial Times reports.
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, tells CNBC that the EU needs a combination of budgetary discipline and strategic investment in growth to relaunch the economy, and should work hard in regaining citizens' trust.
Steen Jakobsen, chief economist at Saxo Bank, tells CNBC that lager is one of the worst industries to be in, citing Carlsberg's '10 years of under-performance' to back that up.
Michael Gallagher, director of research at IDEAglobal, tells CNBC that investors should be shorting bonds as the euro zone heads towards another crisis, centered this time on France and Spain.
Italy's parliament convenes on Friday almost three weeks after last month's inconclusive election, with the parties still deadlocked over how to form a government.
Thanos Papasavvas, strategist, fixed income and currencies at Investec Asset Management, tells CNBC that the period before the September elections in Germany is crucial for European leaders to push Germany into taking a more dovish stance on EU reforms as she tries to win over supporters of her main challenger in the elections. The opposition SPD places a greater emphasis on growth than Merkel who has stressed the need for austerity.
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Thursday that the central bank was not seeking any further fall in the level of sterling which now appeared to be fairly valued.
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