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What you need to know Tech-heavy Nasdaq on track for best run since July 2009 Gold breaks $1,500 mark after multisession rally Brent crude hits highest level since September’s drone attack spike Overview Wall Street hit fresh intraday highs as several reports this week suggested an interim trade deal between Beijing and Washington was still
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Negative yields (noun) Financial-market terminology to describe the situation in which bonds are so expensive that buyers are guaranteed to make a loss. Markets took a funny turn in 2019. In fairness, they had been acting oddly for some time. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 prompted central banks around the world to slash
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Australian tourism chiefs launched their biggest UK advertising campaign in more than a decade on Christmas Day in a bid to reverse a decline in British visitors, which they have linked to uncertainty over Brexit.  The A$15m campaign headlined by pop icon Kylie Minogue taps into longstanding ties between the two Commonwealth nations and forms part
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Uber co-founder and former chief executive Travis Kalanick is leaving the company’s board and has sold his last shares in the company, effectively severing ties with the ride-hailing group and wrapping up one of the most influential chapters in the business story of the decade. The end of his share sales, which totalled more than
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Boeing has replaced Dennis Muilenburg as its chief executive after he repeatedly failed to gain control of the crisis that followed the fatal crashes of two of its 737 Max jets.  David Calhoun, a board director for the past decade who replaced Mr Muilenburg as chairman two months ago, will become CEO from mid-January, taking on
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Japan hit a record tally of domestic merger and acquisition deals in 2019 after Hitachi agreed to the $4.5bn sale of one of its largest subsidiaries and the country’s conglomerates continue a historic restructuring.  Companies have made over 2,840 deals so far this year, according to research group Recof, topping the previous record of 2,814 transactions
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At a party rally this year, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi talked of creating a naya bharat, or “New India”. Many citizens are deeply worried about the direction this new India is taking. Protests have spread across the country in response to a citizenship law that discriminates against Muslims. The government’s response echoes the path
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Parliament returned this week and Boris Johnson delivered on his election pledge of voting on Brexit legislation before Christmas. We discuss what lies ahead for the government’s programme, the new Bank of England governor and the mini cabinet non-reshuffle. Plus, we examine the latest in the Labour leadership race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola
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Russia and Ukraine signed a protocol late on Friday agreeing terms for the transit of gas to Europe, bringing forward the long-awaited renewal of a deal due to expire at the end of the year. A stand-off between the two countries had threatened to disrupt supplies to Europe when the existing contract expires on December
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Early in 2019, Venezuela’s bondholders felt something they had not in quite some time: optimism. Authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro’s grasp on power was slipping, after more than a year with the majority of the country’s bonds in default. Regime change looked imminent, with the rise of Juan Guaidó, the president of Venezuela’s congress, who had
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US President Donald Trump’s deal to revamp the Nafta trade agreement with Canada and Mexico was approved with a wide bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives on Thursday, clearing the main hurdle on the path to ratification.  The broad support for the agreement, called USMCA, marks a big legislative victory for Mr Trump just
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The Bank of England has acknowledged that high-speed traders have been able to listen in on market-sensitive press conferences before they were officially broadcast after one of its suppliers hacked into its systems. The central bank was confirming an article in The Times, which reported that a third-party supplier to the BoE had been sending
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Sweden’s financial regulator has opened a sanctions probe into SEB, one of the country’s largest banks, over a spiralling money-laundering scandal that has damaged the reputation of the Nordic banking system. The Swedish financial supervisory authority said on Wednesday that it was investigating SEB’s governance and control of measures to combat money laundering in conjunction
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House Democrats are expected to show a largely united front in a historic vote on Wednesday to impeach Donald Trump, despite concerns that doing so could damage their prospects at the ballot box in 2020. The House judiciary committee voted 23-17 last week to advance two articles of impeachment against Mr Trump. They charge the
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Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, sought to assuage Mexico’s concerns about the enforcement of labour standards in the USMCA trade pact, saying officials sent to the country to monitor workers’ rights would not be inspectors and would comply with local laws. In a letter to his counterpart in Mexico, Mr Lighthizer said alleged labour violations
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One of the major economic lessons of the past decade is that austerity doesn’t work. As Greece and myriad other countries have found, you can’t create growth when both the private sector and the public sector are cutting spending. The mathematics simply do not work. But, while politicians and the public have largely come to
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Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan for 30 years until he was ousted in April following a mass uprising, was on Saturday sentenced to two years in a reform centre after being found guilty of corruption. The man whose word ruled over the vast north-east African nation for three decades listened from inside a metal defendant’s
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One striking aspect of 2019 is that it marks the fastest pace of central bank easing since the financial crisis. This support has crushed government bond yields and cushioned the blow of contracting global manufacturing activity, faltering business confidence and falling capital investment. Nascent signs of a bottom in the global economy suggest that the
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The Democratic Unionists suffered a severe setback at the election, losing two seats, including the one of its leader in the House of Commons Nigel Dodds, as nationalist parties overtook unionists as the region’s largest group at Westminster for the first time. Voters in Northern Ireland, which voted to Remain in the EU referendum in
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