Chinese official think tank researcher says disruption from U.S. rate hike likely limited

The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise benchmark interest rates is unlikely to cause major disruption to the world economy because it was widely expected, a senior researcher an official Chinese think tank said Thursday. The comments by Zeng Gang, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences banking research division, were cited in an article on the website of the ... Read More »

Major U.S. banks raise prime rates after Fed rate hike

Major U.S. banks raised their prime rates, a benchmark for a wide range of consumer and commercial loans, for the first time since 2006 on Wednesday, following a rate hike from the Federal Reserve. Banks including Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) raised their prime rates to 3.5 percent from ... Read More »

Fed aggressively ramps up new tool to pry rates higher

The Federal Reserve aggressively expanded a new policy tool to help it raise U.S. interest rates from near zero, saying on Wednesday it anticipated about $2 trillion in bids for a facility to help mop up excess cash in financial markets after years of stimulus. The U.S. central bank, which raised rates modestly on Wednesday as expected, said there would ... Read More »

Fed’s accommodative stance good for emerging markets – Finance Ministry official

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s “accommodative” monetary stance is good for emerging market economies, and India does not expect to see large foreign selling from the country, India’s economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Thursday. The Fed hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade on Wednesday, while saying its monetary policy would remain “accommodative” as the ... Read More »

As Fed fog lifts, central bankers keep puzzling over China

The world’s central banks are scrambling to assess the risk a slowing China poses to their economies and appear to be no closer than most other observers to working out what is going on in the world’s second largest economy. While the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Japan have offices in Beijing, the U.S. Federal Reserve and ... Read More »

U.S. House backs permanent tax breaks in massive bill

A massive bill that extends billions of dollars in tax assistance to businesses and expands the budget deficit won U.S. House of Representatives approval on Thursday in the closest thing to a grand bipartisan tax bargain in years. Lawmakers voted 318-109 for the $622 billion measure, which is a step toward avoiding a government shutdown. The bill now goes to ... Read More »

Chinese firms’ profits hit record lows, face harmful deflation – survey

China’s economy was plagued by pervasive weakness in the fourth quarter, results from a private survey of Chinese firms showed, raising questions about the veracity of stronger than expected official activity data released this month. “The government may not be in the mood to acknowledge officially that the slowdown has worsened, but self-reporting from the nation’s powerhouses will be hard ... Read More »

As China’s demand wanes, the golden age of coal comes to an end – IEA

A worker speaks as he loads coal on a truck at a depot near a coal mine from the state-owned Longmay Group on the outskirts of Jixi, in Heilongjiang province, China, October 24, 2015. REUTERS/JASON LEE China faces peak coal demand for the first time as a cooling economy and shifts in industry hit consumption, paving the way for a ... Read More »

World Bank lends Iraq $1.2 billion to face oil, security shocks

Flames emerge from a pipeline at Basra refinery in Basra province, March 1, 2014. The World Bank said on Thursday it would lend Iraq $1.2 billion in emergency support to help it deal with the economic effects of its fight against Islamic State militants and low oil prices. The budget support loan will be disbursed in a single tranche and ... Read More »

Yellen’s “tightening” promises a slow crawl higher

The policy tightening kicked off by the Fed this week promises to be among the longest and slowest of modern times, a crawl forward that may last as long as former fed chair Paul Volcker’s legendary battle against inflation in the 1980s. Janet Yellen faces a different challenge – inflation is low, yet the Federal Reserve aims to bring borrowing ... Read More »