Some 110,000 people were added to the unemployment rolls of the 17-nation euro zone in April, the statistical office of the European Union reported Friday, once again setting a record high, as every country in the common currency agreement save for Austria, Germany and Ireland reported a deteriorating labor condition.
Spending by U.S. residents edged up slightly in April while incomes crept up even more modestly, the Commerce Department said Friday
BP is considering selling its 50 percent stake in the Russia n joint venture TNK-BP, after being approached by a number of "unsolicited approaches", including one big that was made by a Russia n state-owned oil and gas entity, according to an un-named source cited by Reuters. Shares in Europe's second-biggest oil company is up over 2 percent, after gaining more than 4 percent in early London trading.
If Greece were to leave the Euro , the indirect contagion risks could potentially generate a "Lehman moment" in the eurozone, says Société Générale (SG). In a special report led by 13 senior analysts, SG also says that these risks could have a domino effect on Italy and Spain's deposit outflows , have a crippling effect on European stock markets while the European Central Bank (ECB) would not be able to cope with a third round of long term refinancing operation (LTRO) and a second round of Securities market programme (SMP) funding. "Indirect contagion risks (which involve Spain or Italy) have the potential to be far more damaging and could force European equity markets to fall 50 percent," says the SG report.
0750 BST: Good Morning! It's going to be hugely important trading session today as European investors continue to grapple with the ongoing sovereign debt crisis but also contend with the spillover from disappointing economic data from China and prepare for critical employment figures from the United States. Asia shares kicked-off the month of June in the same fashion that defined most of the month on May: taking risk off the table and marking down share prices all over the region
To address global financial concerns over the European situation as well as weakening consumer confidence in Australia , Westpac chief economist Bill Evans forecast four more overnight cash rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in 2012. Mr Evans predicted the benchmark lending rate would go down as low as 2.75 per cent by the end of December from its current 3.75 per cent, while standard variable rates on mortgages would dip to about 6 per cent
Fears that Greek businesses may be unable to pay their euro-denominated debts intensified Thursday, when two big companies that sell policies to cover exporters against losses from businesses that don't pay their bills said they will stop insuring Greek transactions. The announcement signals increasing difficulties for Greek businesses to get trade credit, which is necessary to import goods and thus keep the nation's economy running, and is one of the latest -- and most dangerous -- developments in the country's chronic financial crisis. The situation is growing so dire, analysts have begun to wonder how exactly Greece will be able to keep the lights on if the current crisis and, more specifically, speculation about the country exiting the common euro currency union, keeps going on for much longer. People offering trade credit to Greece have been skittish in recent weeks as talks have intensified regarding a potential exit from the euro zone.