While the U.S. gave Huawei a 90-day reprieve, allowing American businesses to keep selling specific products to the Chinese firm, it also added more affiliates of the...Technologyread more
The attacks come after state and local ransomware attacks in New York, Louisiana, Maryland and Florida resulted in the loss of significant sums.Technologyread more
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the EU that a Brexit deal can still be approved by U.K. lawmakers if Brussels agrees to scrapping the contentious Irish "backstop."read more
Baidu posted better-than-expected earnings for the June quarter, swinging back to profit and managing to stabilize its core ad business.Technologyread more
Several big Pimco funds controlled by Ivascyn have reportedly been trimming their bond market positions in the U.K. and Europe.World Marketsread more
United States Steel Corp will temporarily lay off hundreds of workers at its Great Lakes facility in Michigan in coming weeks, according to a filing the steelmaker made with...US Marketsread more
While Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam painted a bleak picture of the city's economy, she expressed hope that dialogue with protesters could provide "a way out."China Politicsread more
China's pursuit of the Middle East may spur growth in the Islamic finance sector.World Economyread more
Twitter and Facebook have suspended accounts believed to be tied to a state-backed disinformation campaign originating from inside China.Technologyread more
U.S. President Donald Trump and his former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci have had a public falling out recently.Politicsread more
The report comes as Trump in recent days has lashed out over media reports about growing recession fears.Politicsread more
Euro zone inflation fell to a 52-month low in March, increasing the pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to act and ward off the risk of deflation at this Thursday's monetary policy meeting.
Consumer prices rose by 0.5 percent year-on-year in March, according to official statistics released by Eurostat Monday, as core inflation fell to 0.8 percent from 1 percent. The consumer price figure marked the lowest level since November 2009, and was below the 0.6 percent expected by analysts.
The euro fell against the dollar immediately after the data were published, but reversed gains soon after and by 11:00 a.m. London time was 0.25 percent higher. The FTSEurofirst, meanwhile, extended gains.
Howard Archer, chief euro zone economist at IHS Global Insight, described the news as "uncomfortable and unwelcome" for the ECB.
"We had been increasingly leaning towards the view that the ECB is done on stimulative action, but the further dip in euro zone consumer price inflation to just 0.5 percent in March ramps up the pressure on the ECB to act," he said in a note, highlighting too that the euro had recently strengthened to a 30-month high and that lending to businesses had continued to fall in February.
One result of deflation is to push down demand, as people hold off purchases in the hope of more price declines. It can also cause increased unemployment and even lead to economic depression.
Ben May, European economist at Capital Economics, stressed that the slide in inflation may reflect temporary factors relating to the timing of Easter, but added: "the weakness of inflation suggests that the ECB may need to take further policy action."
Fears that the euro zone was sliding towards deflation were ignited in October when data showed inflation had fallen to a 47-month low of 0.7 percent - significantly lower than the ECB's target of just below 2 percent. The central bank cut interest rates at its November meeting to a record low of 0.25 percent in response.
Price growth, however, has continued to disappoint and remained well below the ECB's target level of just under 2 percent. This has led to increasing calls for the ECB to boost the region's economy - and the latest inflation data is likely to heighten expectations of some action from the central bank on Thursday.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday that the ECB still had room to cut interest rates.
"We are not so much worried about deflation by itself, but we are very worried about what we call 'low-flation'," Reza Moghadam, director of the IMF's European Department, said at London's City Week conference, according to Reuters.
"There is more room for further (ECB) easing, not least because inflation is under control."
The data follow a slew of comments by ECB Governing Council members over the past few days, with a number warning of deflationary risks and saying the ECB would take decisive action if necessary.
Meanwhile, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann joined ECB President Mario Draghi in insisting the euro zone was not in a deflationary cycle, and there were no signs consumers were putting off purchases in anticipation of prices falling further.
Weidmann also stoked interest by telling newswire MNI that an asset-purchase, or quantitative-easing (QE), program had not been ruled out - in what would be something of a drastic change in policy.
He said the central bank should consider different monetary policy tools, and could look at buying up euro zone government bonds or top-rated private sector assets.