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Romania budget surplus grows to 0.7 pct of GDP in Q1 -finance ministry

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

BUCHAREST, April 27 (Reuters) - Romania recorded a consolidated budget surplus of 0.7 percent of gross domestic product in January-March after running a 0.3 percent surplus in the first two months, the finance ministry said on Monday. Romania, which has a 4 billion euros IMF-led aid deal, targets a budget deficit of 1.83 percent of GDP in 2015. (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Robin Pomeroy) ((Radu.Marinas@thomsonreuters.com)) Keywords: ROMANIA ECONOMY/DEFICIT

Greek court gives boost to Eldorado gold mine development plans

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

ATHENS, April 27 (Reuters) - Greece's top administrative court on Monday rejected a 2013 decision by local authorities in northern Greece which had blocked Eldorado Gold's ELD.TO plans to build a processing plant in the area, court officials said. Canadian miner Eldorado has spent about $400 million at a gold mine in Skouries in the forest of Halkidiki since 2012 and wants to invest another $700 million by 2017 to develop the project. But without the plant, its investment, a test case for Greece's willingness to attract foreign funds, is in doubt. The court ruled the 2013 decision by a local environment and town planning authority to reject Eldorado's request for an approval of the plant had no legal grounds. The ruling is expected to boost the company's arguments in its standoff with the new left-wing government of Alexis Tsipras which revoked Eldorado's authorisation to build the plant in March, about two months after taking office. ID:nL1N0W40ZA Thousands of workers at the Canadian-run gold mine protested in Athens last month against the government's decision. The government said that no jobs would be lost. ID:nL5N0XD3GF (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((angeliki.koutantou@thomsonreuters.com; +30 210 3376436; Reuters Messaging: angeliki.koutantou.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Russian central bank opposes restrictions on using foreign currency

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

MOSCOW, April 27 (Reuters) - Russia's central bank said late on Monday that it opposed restrictions on using foreign currency in Russia. Russia's Security Council earlier on Monday proposed measures aimed at reducing the use of foreign currency in Russia and boosting the use of the rouble in international settlements. The Security Council gave few details about the measures it had proposed to limit the use of foreign currency in a brief statement on its website. The central bank responded by saying its position was that such restrictive measures were "inadvisable". (Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya and Alexander Winning; Editing by Larry King) ((alexander.winning@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 1242; Reuters Messaging: alexander.winning.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA CENBANK/FOREX

Norway's c. bank shares financial regulator's worries about household debt

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

Norway's central bank shares the concerns expressed by the country's financial regulator about the sustainability of household debt and housing prices in Norway, the Norges Bank governor said on Monday. ID:nL8N0XO4MF "We also express the same concerns," Governor Oeystein Olsen told reporters after a speech at the London School of Economics. "They have the different tasks, namely the micro-supervision of banks. Their way of expression is different." Norway's Financial Supervisory Authority said last week the continued rise in the country's household debts may eventually lead to an economic setback and financial instability, adding that banks should retain the bulk of their profits to boost their balance sheets. ID:nO9N0SQ01X Olsen added a recent rise in the crown and a rebound in oil prices would be taken into consideration when the Norges Bank decides on interest rates next month. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Anirban Nag) Keywords: NORWAY CENBANK/DEBT

UPDATE 2-Saipem profit tops forecasts as contract margins pick up

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

* Q1 core profit up 25 pct * Confirms 2015 guidance * Cash out of 381 mln euros on forex derivatives (Adds forex impact, Turkish stream, management comments, shares) By Stephen Jewkes MILAN, April 27 (Reuters) - Italian oil services group Saipem SPMI.MI on Monday reported stronger than expected first-quarter operating profit thanks to healthier profit margins from new orders. Saipem, 43 percent owned by oil major Eni ENI.MI , is trying to phase out so-called low-margin legacy contracts that were awarded before 2013 and have weighed on profitability. The company aims to phase out most of these contracts, totalling less than 1.5 billion euros, by the end of this year though management said there could be some slippage into 2016. Saipem said earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came in at 159 million euros ($172 million) compared to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S consensus of 85 million euros. Saipem confirmed its outlook for the current year. "A lot of people were expecting writedowns on legacy contracts and pending revenues and they didn't come. That's boosted the shares," Andrea Scauri, energy analyst at Mediobanca Securities, said. Saipem shares closed up 6.6 percent at 12.23 euros, while the European oil and gas index .SXEP was up 0.9 percent. Its shares have fallen more than 60 percent in the past two years after two profit warnings, a corruption investigation in Algeria and bleak outlook. Debt in the first quarter rose 381 million euros to 5.2 billion as a result of a cash outflow taken on forex derivative contracts hedging the dollar exposure of big projects. "We forecast a 500 million euro impact on debt this year if the forex rate stays at current levels," CFO Alberto Chiarini told analysts, adding it would be fully recouped as the hedged projects are executed and cash flow arrived. NEW FACE State-controlled Eni is drafting in Stefano Cao as Saipem CEO at the end of this month to turn around the company where he used to work and prepare it for a sale. ID:nL5N0X63MQ Eni is looking to sell down its stake to get Saipem's debt off its balance sheet. Besides legacy contracts, Cao will also have to resolve the immediate problem of 1.1 billion euros of unpaid revenues for work done on projects that oil major clients are reluctant to recognise. Falling oil prices have prompted oil companies around the world to suspend or delay projects, pressuring oil contractors to cut their margins. Saipem, which last year saw a lucrative contract to build the South Stream pipeline suspended by Gazprom GAZP.MM , is hopeful it can win work on a new "Turkish Stream" project that the Russian energy giant is mulling in the same area. "Saipem is ready to start work on the Turkish Stream when requested," outgoing CEO Umberto Vergine said. ($1 = 0.9226 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jane Merriman) ((stephen.jewkes@thomsonreuters.com; +39.0266129695; Reuters Messaging: stephen.jewkes.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAIPEM RESULTS/

FOREX-Euro edges higher as Greece revamps debt negotiating team

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds comment, updates prices) * Euro hits three-week high against dollar * Short positions on euro still remain high * Fed's policy decision on Wednesday seen setting tone for dollar By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - The euro scaled a three-weak peak against the dollar on Monday, on optimism about Greece's prospects after the government reshuffled its bailout negotiating team as the cash-strapped country seeks to avoid a default. Greece looks set to run out of funds in the coming weeks. On Monday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, an economist well liked by officials representing creditors, as coordinator of the bailout negotiating team, giving him a more active role in the debt talks. {ID:nL8N0XO21F] The change would sideline Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who had been very active in the Greek negotiating team. The Varoufakis-led team came out empty-handed from Friday's meeting of the Eurogroup finance ministers in Riga. "There was probably a view that Varoufakis was an obstacle to concessions on the Greece end," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. "At the margin, this increases the hope for some positive developments from the Greece-EU debt negotiations." The euro rose as high a $1.0925 EUR= , the highest level since April 7. It was last up 0.1 percent at $1.0883. Still, investors remained negative on the euro, with sizable short positions of 214,465 contracts last week, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday. IMM/FX "Fundamentally, the short position we have on the euro is based upon the economy, but we are more aggressively short the euro because of Greece and the geopolitical issues," said Thomas Clarke, portfolio manager on the William Blair Macro Allocation Fund in London. WMCNX.O The fund, which has about $1.5 billion in assets under management, said it has a 19 percent short position on the euro. The dollar index fell 0.2 percent to 96.744 .DXY , a three-week low. Investors are bracing for the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting this week. The Fed's decision on Wednesday will help set the tone for the dollar in the near to medium term. The dollar's searing rally since last summer had slowed following a run of poor U.S. economic numbers, including the softer-than-expected non-farm payrolls report for March. The data has cemented expectations for a more gradual pace of interest rate increases by the Fed. The dollar was flat against the yen at 119.03 JPY= after trading higher for most of the day, as Fitch cut Japan's credit rating. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Daniel Bases; editing by Bernadette Baum, Ted Botha and Leslie Adler) ((gertrude.chavez@thomsonreuters.com; +1-646-223-6322; Reuters Messaging: gertrude.chavez.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

PRECIOUS-Gold rallies above $1,200/oz as shorts take cover

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

* Gold prices recover from five-week lows * Fed meeting in focus for rate-hike clues * U.S. dollar turns lower, taps 3-week low (New throughout, updates prices and market activity, adds comment) By Marcy Nicholson and Jan Harvey NEW YORK/LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - Gold jumped more than 2 percent on Monday above $1,200 an ounce, on track for its biggest one-day rise since January as the rally had some dealers scrambling to cover short positions and the May options expiry triggered more buying. The more volatile silver market rallied 5 percent, also on track for its biggest surge since January, supported by the gold market. Spot gold XAU= was up 2.1 percent at $1,203.30 an ounce at 2:56 p.m. EDT (1856 GMT), well above the prior session's five-week low. U.S. gold futures GCv1 for June delivery settled up 2.4 percent, at $1,203.20 an ounce. "It's quite undervalued and we've had a long period of consolidation around the $1,200 mark," said Mark O'Byrne, research director of bullion dealer GoldCore, noting that the breach of the $1,200 level spurred additional technical buying. O'Byrne said that while there were several factors spurring the session's rally, short-covering could be the primary driver Options-related buying also buoyed prices with U.S. May options GC1200E5 set to expire at the end of the day with relatively heavy open interest at the $1,200 strike price, traders said. The spot market jumped around $8 within a five-minute span shortly after 10 a.m. EDT, when technical buyers lifted prices above the 50-day moving average. The dollar .DXY fell to a three-week low against a basket of currencies and may have forced "reluctant bears" out of their bearish positions, Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst for forex.com, said in a note. USD/ "Gold's technical outlook appears more constructive all of a sudden," wrote Razaqzada. Investors will watch the Federal Reserve's policy statement on Wednesday for clues on the timing of a U.S. rate increase. Signs that policy will be tightened sooner rather than later could pressure gold. "Market consensus does not expect the first rate hike to be announced at this week's meeting, but (Fed) comments are likely going to be closely watched especially in light of Q1 GDP, which is also due to be released this Wednesday," UBS said in a note. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GRAPHIC-2014 asset returns: http://link.reuters.com/dub25t GRAPHIC-Gold/USD correlation: http://r.reuters.com/ryx52s GRAPHIC-Gold vs currencies: http://link.reuters.com/cyv95s ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> Physical gold demand in the major Asian markets was positive after last week's price fall, dealers said, with Shanghai premiums moving up toward $4 an ounce. Spot silver XAG= was up 4.4 percent at $16.38 an ounce. Spot platinum XPT= was up 2 percent to $1,144.85 an ounce and palladium XPD= was up 1.1 percent at $778.80 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore, editing by William Hardy, Susan Fenton and David Gregorio) ((Marcy.Nicholson@thomsonreuters.com, +1 646 223 6043; Reuters Messaging Marcy.Nicholson.ThomsonReuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall St dips; Greece negotiating team rejig boosts Europe

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

* Drop in healthcare stocks leads U.S. shares lower * Reshuffled Greek negotiating team helps European shares * Euro gains on Greece optimism * Benchmark Treasury prices mostly flat (Updates prices to close of European stock, bond markets) By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - Wall Street fell modestly on Monday following healthcare stocks, but European shares and the euro advanced on optimism over talks between Greece and its lenders after Greece reshuffled its negotiating team. The S&P Healthcare index .SPXHC was last down 1.28 percent, with a 3-percent drop in Amgen AMGN.O contributing to the S&P 500's retreat from an intraday record peak and dragging on the Nasdaq. MSCI's all-country world stock index pared gains after touching an intraday record high earlier in the session. ID:nL4N0XO5YL European shares closed up about 1 percent after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled his team handling the talks with European and IMF lenders. The move was widely seen as an effort to relegate the brash, anti-austerity Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to a less active role in negotiations, possibly smoothing the way to progress in negotiations with lenders. Concerns over Greece have mounted since the country looks set to run out of cash in coming weeks. ID:nL8N0XO21F "The well was so poisoned there that getting someone fresh in there from a negotiation perspective might lead to more breakthroughs, I think, is what the market's hoping for," said Chris Konstantinos, head of international portfolio management at RiverFront Investment Group in Richmond, Virginia. Market participants awaited the release of Apple's AAPL.O quarterly results after the close of U.S. trading. The most valuable publicly traded U.S. company was last up 1.6 percent at $132.41. Investors were also cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting which ends on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was last down 4.27 points, or 0.02 percent, to 18,075.87. The S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.01 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,113.68. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was off 24.46 points, or 0.48 percent, to 5,067.63. MSCI's all-country world stock index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks shares in 45 countries, was last up 1.15 points or 0.26 percent, to 442.72 after earlier hitting a record high of 443.98. The index was helped by Chinese shares reaching seven-year highs. ID:nZZN2RFU00 The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed up 0.97 percent at 1,642.69. ID:nL8N0XO4G9 The euro hit $1.09270 EUR=EBS , its highest against the dollar since April 7, on optimism over Greece's prospects for progress in talks with lenders after the reshuffle of the country's negotiating team. ID:nL1N0XO17O Benchmark U.S. Treasuries prices were mostly flat, with traders reluctant to make big bets ahead of the two-day Fed meeting. The meeting, which begins Tuesday, will be watched for signs of how soon the central bank will hike rates from rock-bottom levels, though the expectation is for little news out of this Fed gathering. ID:nL1N0XO0VL "I expect the Fed to do nothing. I don't think the data are there for them to be tweaking things," said Brian Rehling, chief fixed-income strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. Oil futures seesawed, with ample global supply keeping market participants cautious after prices reached 2015 peaks last week. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 45 cents at $56.7 per barrel; Brent LCOc1 was down 53 cents at $64.75 a barrel. ID:nL4N0XO1KP Spot gold prices XAU= rose $24.04 to $1,202.91 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson in London and Robert Gibbons, Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Bernadette Baum) ((Sam.Forgione@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6189; Reuters Messaging: sam.forgione.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Cautious monetary stance to continue to keep inflation falling - Turkey's c.bank head

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

ISTANBUL, April 27 (Reuters) - Turkey should continue cautious monetary and fiscal policies and take steps on food supplies to keep inflation falling, the central bank governor told the country's cabinet on Monday. "Inflation in Turkey is on a falling trend," Erdem Basci told ministers, according to the central bank's website. "For the fall in inflation to continue, cautious monetary and fiscal policies should be maintained and measures regarding food supply should be adopted." March figures showed consumer prices rising 1.19 percent month-on-month, above economists' expectations. ID:nL6N0X00B3 Turkey's central bank left key interest rates unchanged last week, holding fire ahead of a June parliamentary election, even as the lira's slide to record lows risks fuelling inflation. The one-week repo rate stands at 7.50 percent. "Inflation expectations have still not yet reached a desirable level," Basci said in his presentation, adding that a "partial correction" in food prices was likely in the second half of the year. The lira has fallen around 15 percent against the dollar this year, underperforming almost every other major emerging market currency apart from the Ukrainian hryvnia, according to Thomson Reuters data. Although the lira's fall risks stoking inflation, the central bank has held off from what economists say are much-needed rate increases, opting instead to employ more obscure policy tools in an attempt to defend the currency. ID:nL5N0XJ1JQ Investors have been particularly worried about perceptions of political influence on monetary policy after President Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly called for lower interest rates and said that those who defended high rates were "traitors". (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; editing by Andrew Roche) ((humeyra.pamuk@thomsonreuters.com; +90 212 3507000; Reuters Messaging: humeyra.pamuk.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: TURKEY ECONOMY/INFLATION

BRIEF-S&P lowers Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority debt rating by two notches to 'CCC+'

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

April 27 (Reuters) - S&P: * S&P - Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority debt rating lowered two notches to 'ccc+'; on watch neg * S&P - PRASA debt rating downgrade reflects similar action S&P's took on Commonwealth's General Obligation and related ratings on April 24, 2015 * S&P - Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority creditwatch action reflects current lack of consensus on key elements of fiscal 2016 budget * Source: (http://bit.ly/1bwjG8A) ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

Sterling hits 7-wk high after UK poll gives Conservatives 6-point lead

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

By Jemima Kelly LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - Sterling rose above $1.52 for the first time in seven weeks on Monday after a poll put Britain's ruling Conservatives six points ahead of the opposition Labour party 10 days before parliamentary elections. The poll, funded by Michael Ashcroft, a Conservative peer and former deputy party chairman, found support for the Conservatives at 36 percent and for Labour at 30 percent. ID:nU8N0XA00Q Markets have historically tended to favour Conservative governments over centre-left Labour, but this election is complicated by the Conservatives' pledge to hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union by 2017 if they are returned to power. Sterling rose to $1.5244 after the poll was published GBP=D4 from around $1.5183 before, leaving it up around 0.4 percent on the day. Against the euro, the pound was up 0.1 percent at 71.555 pence EURGBP=D4 . "Traditionally the Conservatives are seen as more in favour of the market and supply-side reform, which would be positive for growth in the UK," said Lee Hardman, a currency economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. "But what the market will be more focused on, at least initially, is how long it takes to form that government and in what form the government will ultimately be." The pound has also been boosted by a bringing forward of expectations of when interest rates will rise, with investors now pricing in a rate hike early next year. Last week minutes from the Bank of England's latest policy meeting showed the central bank saw a chance that inflation could rebound faster than expected next year, and that it thought the rate tightening priced in by markets was "exceptionally slow". ID:nL5N0XJ26N The pound gained almost 3.5 percent against the dollar over the two weeks to Friday, in its biggest fortnighly rise since May 2009. "There is generally the notion in the market that as soon as the election is over, the focus will quickly turn back to growth conditions in the UK, which are more constructive and which are making a case (for the BoE) increasing interest rates," said Manuel Oliveri, a currency strategist at Credit Agricole. Investors were also focused on UK gross domestic product (GDP) data due on Tuesday. Growth is forecast to have moderated in the first quarter, slowing to 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent, while for the year growth is expected to have eased to 2.6 percent from 3 percent. ECONGB . With little in the way of major domestic economic data on Monday, gilt prices fell along with German Bunds and U.S. Treasuries, which suffered as world shares hit a new high. At 1531 GMT, the 10-year gilt yield GB10YT=RR was up around 4 basis points on the day at 1.69 percent. (Additional reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Nigel Stephenson and Andrew Roche) ((jemima.kelly@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(20 7542 7508)(Reuters Messaging: jemima.kelly.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/STERLING

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares rise on Europe relief, optimism on Apple

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

* Traders eye Apple earnings after close of U.S. trading * Reshuffled Greek negotiating team helps European shares * Dollar slips ahead of Fed meeting; Treasury prices edge lower (Updates to U.S. market open, changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON) By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - A measure of equity markets worldwide hit record highs on Monday as optimism over Greece supported European stocks while U.S. shares added to last week's gains ahead of Apple results and a Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Nasdaq inched closer to its record intraday high after the index, as well as the S&P 500, notched record closes on Friday. Apple AAPL.O shares were last up 1.8 percent to $132.66. The most valuable publicly-traded U.S. company will release quarterly results after the close of U.S. trading. MSCI's all-country world stock index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks shares in 45 countries, extended a multi-year rally to a fresh record high of 443.98. The index was helped by Chinese shares reaching seven-year highs. ID:nZZN2RFU00 News on Monday that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had reshuffled his team handling the talks with European and IMF lenders, helped stem early selling in European shares. Concerns over Greece have renewed since the country looks set to run out of cash in coming weeks. ID:nL8N0XO21F "The well was so poisoned there that getting someone fresh in there from a negotiation perspective might lead to more breakthroughs, I think, is what the market's hoping for," said Chris Konstantinos, head of international portfolio management at RiverFront Investment Group in Richmond, Virginia. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was last up 27.83 points, or 0.15 percent, to 18,107.97. The S&P 500 .SPX was up 1.22 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,118.91. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 3.24 points, or 0.06 percent, to 5,095.33. The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 of top European shares was last up 0.85 percent, at 1,640.68. ID:nL8N0XO3S2 U.S. Treasuries prices slipped ahead of an auction of $26 billion of two-year notes. Traders were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the two-day Fed meeting that begins Tuesday. The meeting will be closely watched for signs of when the central bank will hike rates from rock-bottom levels, though the expectation is for little news out of this Fed gathering. "I expect the Fed to do nothing. I don't think the data are there for them to be tweaking things," said Brian Rehling, chief fixed-income strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR were last down 5/32 in price to yield 1.93 percent, from a yield of 1.92 percent late Friday. ID:nL1N0XO0VL The dollar pulled back. The dollar index .DXY , which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.22 percent, to 96.704. ID:nL1N0XO0VQ Another decline in rig counts helped U.S. oil prices rise modestly. U.S. crude CLc1 was up 6 cents to $57.21 a barrel; Brent crude had pared losses, and was down 27 cents to $65.02 a barrel. Spot gold prices XAU= rose $22.68 to $1,201.55 an ounce. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson in London and Robert Gibbons, Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski) ((Sam.Forgione@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6189; Reuters Messaging: sam.forgione.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

FOREX-Euro gains as Greece revamps bailout negotiating team

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

(Recasts, updates prices, adds comment) * Greece reshuffles bailout negotiating team * Fed, other central bank meetings key to week ahead * Yen viewed as range-bound as investors await BoJ meeting By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - The euro climbed to three-weak peaks against the dollar on Monday, on optimism about Greece's prospects after the government reshuffled its bailout negotiating team to forge a deal with lenders about more aid for the cash-strapped country and avoid a default. Greece looks set to run out of funds in the coming weeks. On Monday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, an economist well liked by officials representing creditors, as coordinator of the country's bailout negotiating team, giving him a more active role in the negotiations. {ID:nL8N0XO21F] That would sideline Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who had been very active in the Greek negotiating team. The Varoufakis-led team came out empty-handed from Friday's Eurogroup meeting in Riga. "Tsipras reshuffling the bailout negotiating team has given the euro a bit of a boost," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. "There was probably a view that Varoufakis was an obstacle to concessions on the Greece end. At the margin, this increases the hope for some positive developments from the Greece-EU debt negotiations." In midday trading, the euro rose as high a $1.0907 EUR= against the dollar, the highest since April 7. It was last up 0.2 percent at $1.0895. The dollar index, meanwhile, fell 0.3 percent to 96.680 .DXY , a three-week low. Investors are bracing for a Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting this week. The Fed's decision on Wednesday will help set the tone for the dollar in the near to medium term. The dollar's searing rally since the summer of last year had slowed following a run of poor U.S. economic numbers, including a softer-than-expected non-farm payrolls report for March. That has cemented expectations for a more gradual pace of interest rate increases by the Fed. Last week, weak figures for new home sales, weekly jobless claims and business spending undermined the dollar. "Any sense from the Fed that a rate hike appears on a further horizon could mean a weaker U.S. currency above levels like $1.10 versus the euro," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington. Helped at the margins by a cut in Japan's credit rating by Fitch, the dollar gained 0.1 percent to 119.10 yen JPY= , still well below last week's high of 120.10 yen. The Bank of Japan meets on Thursday and is widely expected to hold policy steady. (Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Ted Botha) ((gertrude.chavez@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6322; Reuters Messaging: rm://gertrude.chavez.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

While others resist, Poland invites a flood of ECB cash, risks exports

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

* Hungary, Romania, Serbia cut rates to dampen currencies * Zloty 7 pct stronger against euro this year * Poland expected to act when zloty rise hits exports By Marcin Goettig WARSAW, April 27 (Reuters) - Cushioned by growth and facing elections, Poland is becoming an outlier in central Europe, where other countries are trying to curb the growing strength of their currencies in the face of the euro zone's massive money-printing plan. Hungary, Romania and Serbia have all cut rates this year to prevent their currencies from gaining too much, as the European Central Bank's programme feeds 60 billion euros a month into the continent's economy through September 2016. The Czech Republic has put a cap on the value of the crown and pledged to intervene to keep it from rising EURCZK= Poland, on the other hand, says it will not cut interest rates from the current 1.5 percent, even though the zloty has risen nearly 7 percent against the euro since the start of 2015 -- more than any other regional currency EURPLN= . And with Polish bonds providing a significant yield premium over negative or rock-bottom euro yields, more cash is likely to flood in, barring a major flare-up in neighbouring Ukraine or a Greek exit from the euro zone. "Poland is clearly more confident than its neighbours of sustaining relatively strong growth without a weaker currency," said Manik Narain, a strategist at UBS in London. Indeed, all recent data show a recovering economy, which the government expects will grow at 3.4 percent this year. While inflation is currently at minus 1.5 percent, the government expects it to reach 1.7 percent by next year. The housing market, at least in Warsaw, is robust. ID:nL5N0VJ3BH What's more, presidential and parliamentary elections are due this year, and a strong currency plays well with voters enjoying cheaper vacations and imported goods, analysts note. There are also 550,000 Poles holding mortgages denominated in Swiss francs. They saw monthly payments jump after January, when the Swiss central bank abandoned its cap on the franc. A weaker zloty would exacerbate their plight, probably to the detriment of the ruling Civic Platform. "Poland has some of the strongest cyclical numbers in terms of industrial output and retail sales, plus there is the fact that Europe's economy continues to improve. This is causing them to hold back," said Koon Chow, investment strategist at Swiss private bank UBP. A side effect of Poland's reluctance to curtail zloty appreciation is likely to be more investment flows from funds fleeing the euro zone's negative yields -- Polish 5-year bonds yield a respectable 2.0 percent-plus PL5YT=RR . In fact, Poland's inflation-adjusted rate of 3 percent is the highest among 23 big economies, bar Brazil and Nigeria, Reuters data shows. NEGATIVE YIELDS The zloty jumped 1 percent on Monday, approaching recent 3 1/2-year highs. Chow reckons if the zloty appreciates further, Poland will have no choice but to follow its neighbours' lead and stem appreciation. A 25 bps rate cut by mid-year is likely, he says. So far, of all the countries struggling to contain their currencies, the Czech Republic has gone furthest. It cut interest rates to near zero in 2012, and in late 2013 declared it would keep the crown weaker than 27 per euro to ward off deflation. However, the Czech economy was in recession in 2012 until early 2013. In contrast, Poland has grown robustly for the last 20 years. That makes deflation a far greater threat for Prague. Hungary, meanwhile, resumed policy easing in March, cutting rates to a record-low 1.8 percent and signaling more ahead. Government plans to cut Hungary's high banking tax show its intention to ask banks to increase lending, analysts say. That makes low interest rates a necessity. Romania and Serbia have also cut rates and both have intervened in currency markets to tamp down the leu and dinar EURRON= EURRSD= . All that has taken some steam out of those currencies. The forint, for instance, is down about 1 percent since the April 21 rate cut. A key motivation, of course, is trade. Exports, mostly to the euro zone, accounted for 88 percent of Hungary's annual economic output, World Bank data for 2013 showed. Czech exports were 77 percent of gross domestic product. Poland, by in contrast, with 40 million people, has a healthier domestic market, with exports comprising just 46 percent of GDP. Still, for some, central bankers' lack of concern is worrying, especially as the zloty's impact is already being felt among exporters. The exchange rate, currently 4 per euro, is just 3 percent off 3.91. Beyond that level, companies say, exports become unprofitable ID:nL5N0XH1P2 . ID:nL5N0XJ1UV . And business sentiment has worsened this year, with the zloty's appreciation and falling prices having "negatively affected sales margins, both export and domestic ones", according to a central bank poll, which also predicted "relatively low exports dynamics" ahead. ID:nL5N0XH1P2 At less than 4 zloty to the euro, "exporters will be in a difficult situation," Chow said. "Also, you can't assume European growth will remain firm. It's not an environment where monetary conditions should be tight." Many will agree. Analysts polled by Reuters see one chance in four that policymakers would intervene to weaken the zloty this year ID:nL5N0XB3JB . But that is probably some way off. "We probably need to see zloty closer to 3.90 before they take a more activist approach," Narain of UBS said. (Additional reporting by Jason Hovet in PRAGUE and Sandor Peto in BUDAPEST and Sujata Rao in LONDON; Editing by Matt Robinson) ((matt.robinson@thomsonreuters.com; +381 11 304 4903; Reuters Messaging: matt.robinson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CEE CURRENCY/

Mexico cenbank sells $52 mln at 15.3126 pesos at daily auction

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

MEXICO CITY, April 27 (Reuters) - The central bank of Mexico sold $52 million on Monday at an average price of 15.3126 pesos per dollar, the bank said, part of an auction program to boost foreign exchange liquidity following a recent slide in the peso currency. (Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom) Keywords: MEXICO ECONOMY/PESO

Sterling hits 7-wk high after poll gives UK Conservatives 6 point lead

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - Sterling rose above $1.52 for the first time in seven weeks on Monday after a poll put the ruling Conservatives six points ahead of the opposition Labour party, just 10 days before UK parliamentary elections. The poll, funded by Lord Michael Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman of the Conservatives, found support for the Conservatives at 36 percent and 30 percent for Labour ahead of the May 7 ballot. ID:nU8N0XA00Q Markets have historically tended to favour centre-right-leaning Conservative governments over the more left-wing Labour, though the upcoming election is complicated by a Conservative pledge to hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union by 2017 if they are returned to power. Sterling rose to $1.5243 after the poll was published GBP=D4 from around $1.5183 beforehand, leaving it up around 0.4 percent on the day. (Reporting By Jemima Kelly, editing by Nigel Stephenson) ((jemima.kelly@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(20 7542 7508; Reuters Messaging: jemima.kelly.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/STERLING

POLONIA Rate falls 0.03 pp.

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Apr 27 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 1.27 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 3,830 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

Polish rate-setter Hausner expects rates to stay flat - WSJ

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

* Hausner not concerned by zloty strength * Says MPC has done its part with March rate cut * Says zloty gains may be reversed in the future WARSAW, April 27 (Reuters) - Polish interest rates may remain unchanged for a prolonged period of time because of Poland's good economic prospects, central bank policymaker Jerzy Hausner was quoted as saying on Monday. "Looking at the current economic situation and taking into account that we approach the end of the Council's term, the scenario of keeping rates at the current level for a prolonged period of time seems probable to me," he told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Hausner was also quoted as saying he sees "no problem with the zloty at the moment" and that the MPC "treats the foreign exchange rate as a variable it isn't affecting." Poland's rate-setting Monetary Policy Council (MPC) cut interest rates by a larger that expected 50 basis points in March and announced an end of its easing cycle. The benchmark rate in Poland stands at 1.50 percent. The terms of eight out of ten members of the Council end early next year. Hausner told the WSJ that with the latest rate cut, the "Council has done its part" to stave off excessive capital inflows. Other instruments and other institutions, such as fiscal policy and the finance ministry, could also act to prevent zloty's excessive gains, he said. Hausner was also quoted as saying that the rising trend of the zloty might reverse in the future. (Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Tom Heneghan) ((marcin.goettig@thomsonreuters.com; +48226539720; Reuters Messaging: marcin.goettig.reuters.com@thomsonreuters.net)) Keywords: POLAND CENBANK/HAUSNER

UPDATE 1-Bank of Israel keeps interest rates steady as it sees inflation outlook improving

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds central bank, analyst comments, shekel reaction) By Steven Scheer JERUSALEM, April 27 (Reuters) - The Bank of Israel kept its benchmark interest rate ILINR=ECI at 0.1 percent for a second straight month on Monday, saying it expected prices to pick up after a recent bout of deflation. Deflation coupled with a strong shekel has raised expectations that the central bank could cut interest rates further although most economists did not expect any change at Monday's meeting. Deflation has persisted for seven months. Consumer prices fell 1 percent in March from a year earlier, the biggest drop in nearly eight years. The government targets inflation of 1-3 percent. "Short-term inflation expectations from various sources are near the lower bound of the inflation target range, or slightly below it," the Bank of Israel said in a statement, adding that longer-term inflation expectations were stable around 2 percent. Data published by the central bank last week showed that inflation in a year's time, based on bond yields, would be 0.5 percent. ID:nL5N0XG0AY "This decision points to the stabilisation of inflation within the target range," said Roni Solomon, head of the advisory department at Batucha Mortgages. The government revised fourth-quarter economic growth higher earlier this month to an annualised 7.0 percent, from 6.8 percent. The economy bounced back from virtually no growth in the third quarter of 2014 due to the Gaza war. The Bank of Israel said on Monday that recent indicators point to moderate economic growth in the first quarter of 2015. The central bank cut interest rates in February but economists say it will want to see more data - particularly first quarter gross domestic product figures on May 17 - before taking a decision on whether to cut rates to zero or into negative territory to curb the shekel or to support the economy or to help spur inflation. Policymakers are also probably waiting for a new government to be formed to see what economic policies will be introduced and whether they might lead to inflation pressures. In lowering its key rate in February, the Bank of Israel pointed to the need to weaken the shekel ILS= , since exports account for about 40 percent of economic activity. The shekel had weakened by 5 percent versus the dollar since the February 23 reduction but it has reversed some of those losses in the past few sessions, leading to speculation of a possible rate cut. The Bank of Israel did not comment on how it views the current level, only noting that the shekel appreciated 3 percent against the dollar in the last month and more importantly for the bank, 1.7 percent on a trade-weighted basis amid accommodative monetary policies in several major economies. "A decline in the projected rate of world trade growth and continued appreciation are liable to weigh on growth of exports and of the tradable sector," the Bank of Israel said. The shekel strengthened to 3.90 per dollar - a two-month high - after the central bank's rate announcement on Monday, from 3.93 beforehand. (Additional reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Toby Chopra and Susan Fenton) ((steven.scheer@thomsonreuters.com; +972 2 632 2210; Reuters Messaging: steven.scheer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CENBANK ISRAEL/RATES

Flurry of bond exemptions may drive down euro-BNP Paribas

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

By Jemima Kelly LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - A spate of euro zone bond redemptions in the coming week is likely to send return-hungry investors in search of higher yields outside the euro area, and that could drive down the single currency towards $1.04, BNP Paribas strategists said. Around 60 billion euros ($65 billion) in coupon and redemption payments must be repaid to investors by euro zone governments this week -- four times more than new bond supply -- meaning much of that sum would be looking for a home. Data from JPMorgan showed that since August, euro zone investors have bought on average 30 billion euros a month of foreign debt, which the investment bank thinks is largely dollar-denominated. That would require investors to sell the euro in order to buy the dollar, in turn driving down the single currency's value against the greenback. On the other hand, money reinvested in euro zone bonds would further depress yields, which would also weigh on the euro, according to BNP Paribas strategists. "To the extent that this will drive relative rate differentials further against euro/dollar, it can be seen as a headwind to the euro in the week ahead," strategists wrote in a research note to clients. "We remain short euro/dollar targeting a move to $1.04." The euro now trades just above $1.08 EUR= , having gained almost 4 percent since falling to a 12-year low of $1.0457 in March. (Reporting By Jemima Kelly; Editing by Larry King) ((jemima.kelly@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(20 7542 7508; Reuters Messaging: jemima.kelly.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: FOREX EURO/REDEMPTIONS

FOREX-Dollar edges higher as markets await Fed meeting

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

(Recasts, updates trading, adds comment, byline, dateline; previous LONDON) * Fed, other central bank meetings key to week ahead * Yen viewed as range-bound as investors await BoJ meeting By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - The dollar firmed on Monday, recovering from recent losses in the wake of some weak U.S. economic data, but gains are expected to be contained ahead of the Federal Reserve's key monetary policy meeting this week. The Fed will announce a decision on monetary policy on Wednesday which will help set the tone for the dollar in the near to medium term. The dollar's searing rally since the summer of last year had slowed following a run of poor U.S. economic numbers, including a softer-than-expected non-farm payrolls report for March. That has cemented expectations for a more gradual pace of interest rate increases by the Fed. Last week, weak figures for new home sales, weekly jobless claims and business spending undermined the dollar. "Any sense from the Fed that a rate hike appears on a further horizon could mean a weaker U.S. currency above levels like $1.10 versus the euro," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington. "But if the Fed should downplay recent U.S. weakness and keep a rate hike on the table, the dollar would have a better base on which to strengthen." In mid-morning trading, the dollar was up 0.1 percent against a basket of currencies at 97.033 .DXY , rising after two days of losses. The euro, meanwhile, slipped 0.2 percent to $1.0850 EUR= , still pressured by weak sentiment after last Friday's Eurogroup meeting failed to provide concrete solutions to help Greece avert default. Greece looks set to run out of cash in the coming weeks. Richard Benson, co-head of portfolio investments at institutional currency investment manager Millennium Global, said fair value for the euro was probably around $1.15 but it might fall another 5-10 percent before stabilising. Helped at the margins by a cut in Japan's credit rating by Fitch, the dollar also gained 0.3 percent to 119.34 yen JPY= , still well below last week's high of 120.10 yen. The Bank of Japan meets on Thursday, following the Fed's Wednesday statement, and is widely expected to hold policy steady. The policy decision, however, might be influenced by the median inflation forecast produced at the meeting. While the possibility is slim, BoJ policymakers may opt to ease if the cut to this fiscal year's inflation forecast is unexpectedly big, or if they feel the slowdown in inflation is damaging enough to warrant pre-emptive action. ID:nL4N0XJ271 (Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum) ((gertrude.chavez@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6322; Reuters Messaging: rm://gertrude.chavez.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

SNB sight deposits hit highest on record last week

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

By Joshua Franklin ZURICH, April 27 (Reuters) - The amount of cash commercial banks hold with the Swiss National Bank hit the highest on record last week - when the franc marked its biggest fall in two months - suggesting the central bank may have intervened to weaken the currency. Switzerland's currency soared against the euro following the SNB's shock decision in January to scrap a 1.20-per-euro cap on the franc. The safe-haven currency has since pared some gains, and sight deposits data is closely followed for signs of possible SNB intervention in the market to weaken the franc, which would support Switzerland's export-driven economy. Sight deposits stood at 385.899 billion francs ($403.4 billion) in the week ending April 24, SNB data showed on Monday, up from 383.984 billion francs the previous week and the highest since public records began in 2004. "The fact the sight deposits rose implies that the SNB has probably been active buying foreign assets, particularly euro-denominated assets," said IG Bank market analyst Andreas Ruhlmann. Sight deposits - which can be freely transferred or converted into cash - measure the amount of money commercial banks hold with the SNB. The SNB can expand such deposits through foreign exchange swaps and repurchases of its own debt. A spokesman for the SNB declined to comment when asked about possible market intervention by the central bank. Switzerland's currency weakened 0.8 percent against the euro EURCHF=EBS last week, the biggest weekly slide since the middle of February. The SNB's move last week to reduce the number of institutions exempt from negative rates on their cash deposits held at the central bank also put downward pressure on the franc. ID:nL5N0XJ38X SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan stressed again last week that the central bank remains willing to intervene in foreign exchange markets to weaken what it sees as too strong a currency. ID:nL5N0XL1HO However, Zuercher Kantonalbank economist David Marmet said any intervention by the SNB at the moment would probably be on a small scale. "They can intervene but ... not with a bazooka," Marmet said. "If they intervene it's a small intervention." ($1 = 0.9566 Swiss francs) (Editing by Susan Fenton) ((joshua.franklin@thomsonreuters.com; +41-5-8306-7007; Reuters Messaging: joshua.franklin.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SWISS SNB/

BRIEF-Israel shekel gains after cenbank holds interest rate

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

April 27 (Reuters) - Israeli shekel ILS= * Gains to 3.895 versus dollar from 3.93 after cenbank holds key interest rate Further company coverage: ILS= (Reporting By Tova Cohen) ((tova.cohen@thomsonreuters.com;)) Keywords: ISRAEL RATES/SHEKEL

Bank of Israel leaves benchmark interest rate at 0.1 pct

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

JERUSALEM, April 27 (Reuters) - The Bank of Israel kept its benchmark interest rate ILINR=ECI at 0.1 percent for a second straight month on Monday amid data showing improved economic growth. Most economists expected no move in the wake of an upward revision to fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth and other recent data showing moderate economic expansion. But further easing is possible in coming months since deflation has persisted for seven months, with Israel's annual inflation rate at -1.0 percent, and as the shekel ILS= has reversed some of its losses made since the middle of 2014. The central bank has made the shekel a key policy issue since a strong currency harms Israel's export-dependent economy. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((steven.scheer@thomsonreuters.com; +972 2 632 2210; Reuters Messaging: steven.scheer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CENBANK ISRAEL/RATES

BRIEF-Montan Mining signs binding agreement to acquire 150 tpd capacity gold ore processing facility in Peru

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

April 27 (Reuters) - Montan Mining Corp MNY.V : * Announces binding agreement to acquire 150 tpd capacity gold ore processing facility in Peru * Binding letter agreement with goldsmith resources sac, for the acquisition of the producing mollehuaca ore processing plant in Peru * Says plans to make application for commercial permits to incrementally increase capacity up to 350 tpd from 180 tpd * Says total consideration for the assets and operations being purchased is $3.3 million * Consideration consists of $750,000 in cash and 8 million Montan common shares at a deemed price of $0.125 per share upon closing * Source text for Eikon ID:CNWsPr1Ba * Further company coverage MNY.V ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

SNAPSHOT-India stocks, bonds, rupee, swap, call at close

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

STOCKS .BSESN .NSEI ----------------------- India's benchmark share index ends down 0.95 percent, while the broader NSE index closes 1.1 percent lower, at their lowest in more than three-and-a-half months with the NSE index falling below its 200-day moving average for the first time in nearly 15 months. .BO RUPEE INR=D2 -------------- The rupee ends stronger at 63.48/49 per dollar compared to Friday's close of 63.56/57, tracking gains in most other Asian currencies but losses in the domestic sharemarket prevents further upside. INR/ GOVERNMENT BONDS IN084024G=CC ------------------------------- The benchmark 10-year bond yield ends down 1 basis point at 7.78 percent, in the absence of fresh domestic triggers. IN/ INTEREST RATE SWAPS INROIS MIOIS= ------------------------------------- The benchmark five-year swap rate ends steady at its previous close of 7.10 percent while the one-year rate also closes flat at 7.58 percent. CALL MONEY INROND= -------------------- India's one-day cash rate ends at 6.85/6.90 percent, versus Friday's three-day cash rate of 6.90/6.95 percent. (Compiled by Swati Bhat) ((swati.bhat@thomsonreuters.com)(twitter.com/swatibhat22)(+91-2 2-61807353)(Reuters Messaging: swati.bhat.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA SNAPSHOT/

New Issue- Berlin Hyp prices 500 mln euro 2022 bond

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

April 27(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a bond priced on Monday. Borrower Berlin Hyp AG BHHGB.UL Issue Amount 500 million euro Maturity Date May 5, 2022 Coupon 0.125 pct Reoffer price 99.708 Yield 0.167 pct Spread Minus 16 basis points Underlying govt bond Mid-swap, equivalent to 21.0bp Over the 2022 DBR Payment Date May 5, 2015 Lead Manager(s) Credit Agricole CIB, DZ, JPMorgan, LBBW & UniCredit Ratings Aaa (Moody's) & AA+ (Fitch) Listing Berlin Denoms (K) 1 Governing Law Berlin ISIN DE000BHY0GP5 For ratings information, double click on RRS0001 For all bonds data, double click on BONDS For Top international bonds news TOP/DBT For news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC, where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals) ((EMEA Fixed Income Desk Bangalore; jenifer.prabhaker@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging jenifer.prabhaker.reuters.com@reuters.net; +91 80 6677 2510, fax +44 20 7542 5285))

BRIEF-Lingbao Gold Co says Q1 group total operating revenue RMB 1.20 bln vs RMB 1.45 bln

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

April 27 (Reuters) - Lingbao Gold Co Ltd 3330.HK : * 2015 first quarterly report * Says Q1 group total operating revenue RMB 1.20 billion versus RMB 1.45 billion * Q1 net loss of group RMB 52.2 million versus net profit of RMB 16.5 million * Source text (http://bit.ly/1EIAC9a) ((For more news, please click here 3330.HK )) ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +91 80 6749 1130))

GLOBAL MARKETS-World shares hit new high, Europe shrugs off Greece worry

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

* Chinese rally leads Asian shares, Wall St set to rise * Investors eye Fed, Bank of Japan meetings this week * Dollar rises, oil hold above $65 a barrel By Nigel Stephenson LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - World shares hit a new high on Monday, with European stocks joining the rally after early falls, as investors looked ahead to central bank meetings this week and put aside worries over Greece. The dollar edged up but held close to Friday's 2 1/2-week lows, after weak U.S. data on Friday reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve would not raise interest rates any time soon. The stock rally looked set to continue on Wall Street, with index futures indicating the market would open higher. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was up 0.4 percent after falling in early deals on concern about a lack of progress in talks between indebted Greece and its creditors. Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE , down 3.8 percent, took its toll on the index as investors gave a big strategic overhaul under co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen a thumbs down, though it rose off its lows. ID:nL8N0XO0DB "There are 2020 targets and savings/investment plans which we and the market will take with a grain of salt, given their chequered history," said Omar Fall, an analyst with Jefferies International. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks shares in 45 countries, hit a new record high of 442.13 points before pulling back. It was last up 0.1 percent. Chinese shares hit fresh seven-year highs on prospects of more stimulus, infrastructure projects, and state firm mergers. The CSI300 index .CSI300 , which has almost doubled since late October, closed 2.2 percent higher. Caution before a Bank of Japan policy decision on Thursday and over company earnings weighed on Japanese shares and the Nikkei 225 index .N225 ended down 0.2 percent. Nonetheless, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.6 percent to its highest since December 2007. The dollar was up 0.3 percent against a basket of major currencies .DXY but still close to Friday's 2 1/2-week low. The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday with a slew of recent sub-par indicators prompting analysts to downgrade their view of the U.S. economic outlook and to push back expectation of when the Fed will hike rates for the first time since June 2006 until later this year. The dollar was up 0.4 percent at 119.33 yen JPY= , though Fitch cutting Japan's credit rating by one notch to A had little impact, and by a similar amount against the euro at $1.0824. "It may be that the market is looking to get back into dollar longs and I think the extent to which the Fed is prepared to look through this weaker patch of data will be the important element this week," said Ian Stannard, European head of FX strategy at Morgan Stanley in London. LOW-RISK Worries over Greece, which faces running out of cash within weeks unless it can reach agreements in talks that appear to be going nowhere, pushed yields on Greek government bonds higher 0#GRTSY= and those on low-risk German debt lower. "It is difficult to see how an agreement can be made at this stage," said Gianluca Ziglio, executive director of fixed income research at Sunrise Brokers. "The market has been unprepared for this," he said. German 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB last stood at 0.15 percent, steady on the day. Brent crude oil prices held near a 4 1/2-month high above $65 a barrel, supported by worry that fighting in Yemen might disrupt supplies, and a fall in the number of active U.S. drilling rigs to its lowest since 2010 ID:nL1N0XL1I9 . Brent last traded 26 cents lower at $65.02 a barrel. Gold XAU= recovered from a five-week low, with investors focused on the Fed meeting. It last stood at $1,181.93 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo, Patrick Graham, John Geddie and Alexis Akwagyiram in London; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Toby Chopra) ((nigel.stephenson@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 8682; Reuters Messaging: nigel.stephenson.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

RPT-For hard-hit silver miners, gold is the silver lining

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

(Repeats earlier story with no changes to text.) By Nicole Mordant VANCOUVER, April 27 (Reuters) - Pure-play silver miners, a niche investment market popular with retail investors, are moving up the endangered list. Buffeted by a 68 percent plunge in the price of silver since 2011, miners who traditionally made most of their money from silver are increasingly diversifying into gold, buying mines that have been put up for sale and looking to acquire more. In addition to spurring deals in the precious metals space, the trend is reducing investment avenues for those wanting to take a bet on a commodity that often outperforms gold when bullion is rising. "The real silver nuts such as myself like pure silver companies. The more leveraged to silver the better... but you have to be able to tolerate the risk," said David Morgan, founder of the Silver-Investor.com website. According to BMO Capital Markets, large primary silver miners have increased their gold output on average by 19.4 percent a year since 2009 to 2 million ounces. That makes them faster-growing gold producers than gold miners themselves. In that same period, large gold producers increased their gold output by 2.8 percent on average annually. Helping drive this trend is big gold miners' sales of smaller, non-core operations as they try to cut costs and debt. Although gold has outperformed silver, it is still down nearly 40 percent since 2011. Mother nature is also a factor in the silver-to-gold shift. Large, high-grade silver deposits have always been scarce and are becoming more so. Already some 70 percent of silver is mined as a by-product from copper, gold, lead and zinc mines. "I don't see enough discoveries for all the silver companies that exist right now to be able to maintain silver production and replace it. They are becoming precious metal producers because they kind of have to," said BMO analyst Andrew Kaip. "The days of the pure silver producers are behind us." THE RIGHT MOVE Recent gold mine acquisitions by silver producers include U.S.-based Coeur Mining Inc's CDE.N purchase of South Dakota's Wharf mine from Goldcorp Inc G.TO and Silver Standard Resources Inc's SSO.TO purchase of Nevada's Marigold mine from Goldcorp and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO . Mexico-headquartered Fresnillo Plc FRES.L , the world's biggest primary silver producer, last year increased its gold exposure when it bought out Newmont Mining Corp's NEM.N stake in their gold joint venture in Mexico. "If we look for M&A in the future, we will consider both (silver and gold)," said John DeCooman, Silver Standard's vice-president of business development and strategy. Largely due to the Marigold purchase, Silver Standard's proportion of revenue from silver dropped to 39 percent in 2014 from 91 percent in 2013, company data shows. Revenue from gold rose to 53 percent from zero. BMO estimates that silver sales will make up only 51 percent of silver miners' revenue this year, down from 67 percent in 2011. Silver demand has been steady in recent years as coin and bar buying by collectors and demand for electrical equipment waned while that for jewelry grew. Over the past ten years, the emergence of digital photography has eroded long-term demand in that area. Thomson Reuters GFMS expects physical consumption to reach 1.02 billion ounces this year, up from 1 billion last year. Large fund managers have generally been sympathetic toward silver miners' move to spread their bets. "It doesn't really matter to me whether they are mining silver, gold or both. It comes down to the quality of the mines and the quality of the company, not the commodity," said Joseph Foster, portfolio manager at Van Eck Global, one of the precious metals sector's biggest institutional investors. Although silver prices generally move in tandem with gold, moves are more volatile because the silver market is much smaller. As a result, silver often outperforms bullion when gold is rallying and underperforms when gold is weak. (for Graphic, please click on http://link.reuters.com/jec64w ) But not everyone agrees that miners' diversification makes sense. Buying gold mines at a time when silver is near historic lows relative to gold is "ridiculous", said Keith Neumeyer, chief executive of Vancouver-based First Majestic Silver Corp FR.TO , which owns five silver mines in Mexico. "They should be buying silver companies. Or gold companies should be buying silver," Neumeyer said. "Wait until silver starts to move again. They will be regretting their decisions." (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Andrew Hay) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com; +1-604-664-7315; Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MINING SILVER/GOLD

Russia's Polyus Gold says Q1 production up 6 pct

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

MOSCOW, April 27 (Reuters) - Russia's biggest gold producer Polyus Gold PGIL.L said on Monday its overall production increased by 6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of this year. Polyus said it sold 390,000 troy ounces of gold, up 14 percent year-on-year but down 18 percent from the previous quarter. The company said it aimed to produce 1.63-1.71 million ounces of gold in 2015. (Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Lidia Kelly) ((jack.stubbs@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 12 42; Reuters Messaging: jack.stubbs.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA POLYUS/PRODUCTION

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - April 27

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

Global shifts leave India's exporters exposed to lofty rupee

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

GRAPHIC: Rupee vs Indian exports: http://link.reuters.com/nad64w By Patturaja Murugaboopathy BENGALURU, April 27 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee INR= has climbed to heights seen only once before in the past decade, as measured against the currencies of the country's trading partners. Unlike past periods of strength, it has exporters reeling. The rupee's real effective exchange rate (REER) - calculated on a trade-weighted basis against a basket of 36 currencies and adjusted for inflation - rose to 113.2 in March, according to the Reserve Bank of India. This year is only the second time the rupee's REER has exceeded 112, in data going back to 2004. The other time was during a one-year stretch from September 2010 to August 2011. During the previous period of currency strength, many other emerging currencies were also strong and export growth was stoked by robust global demand, helping to cushion the impact on exporters. This time, however, those relationships are reversed. Ministry of Commerce and Industry data shows India's exports fell 21.1 percent year-on-year in March, the biggest drop in more than five years. This double-whammy of dull foreign demand and a strong currency is posing a dilemma for India's policy-makers, while exporting industries from jewellery and pharmaceuticals to commodities and IT outsourcing are feeling the pain of lower profits and weaker competitiveness. "For the first time in a decade - which includes the boom period and the bust period also - REER is moving up and exports are moving down," said Nikhil Gupta, analyst at brokerage Nirmal Bang. ID:nL4N0XJ2DE A stronger rupee erodes exporters' profits that are earned abroad and converted back into the Indian currency. The export-oriented IT, energy, and metals and mining sectors are forecast to be three of India's four worst-performing sectors in earnings growth over the next 12 months, Thomson Reuters StarMine data shows. And while exporters have got some relief from a 3 percent pullback in the rupee since early March to 63.59 per dollar, they still face increased competition from Europe, Japan and others with weaker currencies, in markets where they have traditionally performed well. (Editing by Edmund Klamann) ((edmund.klamann@thomsonreuters.com; +813 6441 1841; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: edmund.klamann.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA EXPORTS/CURRENCY

For hard-hit silver miners, gold is the silver lining

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

By Nicole Mordant VANCOUVER, April 27 (Reuters) - Pure-play silver miners, a niche investment market popular with retail investors, are moving up the endangered list. Buffeted by a 68 percent plunge in the price of silver since 2011, miners who traditionally made most of their money from silver are increasingly diversifying into gold, buying mines that have been put up for sale and looking to acquire more. In addition to spurring deals in the precious metals space, the trend is reducing investment avenues for those wanting to take a bet on a commodity that often outperforms gold when bullion is rising. "The real silver nuts such as myself like pure silver companies. The more leveraged to silver the better... but you have to be able to tolerate the risk," said David Morgan, founder of the Silver-Investor.com website. According to BMO Capital Markets, large primary silver miners have increased their gold output on average by 19.4 percent a year since 2009 to 2 million ounces. That makes them faster-growing gold producers than gold miners themselves. In that same period, large gold producers increased their gold output by 2.8 percent on average annually. Helping drive this trend is big gold miners' sales of smaller, non-core operations as they try to cut costs and debt. Although gold has outperformed silver, it is still down nearly 40 percent since 2011. Mother nature is also a factor in the silver-to-gold shift. Large, high-grade silver deposits have always been scarce and are becoming more so. Already some 70 percent of silver is mined as a by-product from copper, gold, lead and zinc mines. "I don't see enough discoveries for all the silver companies that exist right now to be able to maintain silver production and replace it. They are becoming precious metal producers because they kind of have to," said BMO analyst Andrew Kaip. "The days of the pure silver producers are behind us." THE RIGHT MOVE Recent gold mine acquisitions by silver producers include U.S.-based Coeur Mining Inc's CDE.N purchase of South Dakota's Wharf mine from Goldcorp Inc G.TO and Silver Standard Resources Inc's SSO.TO purchase of Nevada's Marigold mine from Goldcorp and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO . Mexico-headquartered Fresnillo Plc FRES.L , the world's biggest primary silver producer, last year increased its gold exposure when it bought out Newmont Mining Corp's NEM.N stake in their gold joint venture in Mexico. "If we look for M&A in the future, we will consider both (silver and gold)," said John DeCooman, Silver Standard's vice-president of business development and strategy. Largely due to the Marigold purchase, Silver Standard's proportion of revenue from silver dropped to 39 percent in 2014 from 91 percent in 2013, company data shows. Revenue from gold rose to 53 percent from zero. BMO estimates that silver sales will make up only 51 percent of silver miners' revenue this year, down from 67 percent in 2011. Silver demand has been steady in recent years as coin and bar buying by collectors and demand for electrical equipment waned while that for jewelry grew. Over the past ten years, the emergence of digital photography has eroded long-term demand in that area. Thomson Reuters GFMS expects physical consumption to reach 1.02 billion ounces this year, up from 1 billion last year. Large fund managers have generally been sympathetic toward silver miners' move to spread their bets. "It doesn't really matter to me whether they are mining silver, gold or both. It comes down to the quality of the mines and the quality of the company, not the commodity," said Joseph Foster, portfolio manager at Van Eck Global, one of the precious metals sector's biggest institutional investors. Although silver prices generally move in tandem with gold, moves are more volatile because the silver market is much smaller. As a result, silver often outperforms bullion when gold is rallying and underperforms when gold is weak. (for Graphic, please click on http://link.reuters.com/jec64w ) But not everyone agrees that miners' diversification makes sense. Buying gold mines at a time when silver is near historic lows relative to gold is "ridiculous", said Keith Neumeyer, chief executive of Vancouver-based First Majestic Silver Corp FR.TO , which owns five silver mines in Mexico. "They should be buying silver companies. Or gold companies should be buying silver," Neumeyer said. "Wait until silver starts to move again. They will be regretting their decisions." (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Andrew Hay) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com; +1-604-664-7315; Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MINING SILVER/GOLD

Philippine mining regulator cautious on nickel prices

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

MANILA, April 27 (Reuters) - The Philippines' mining industry regulator said on Monday two new nickel mines would help boost production of the country's top metal export this year, but prices may remain weak amid tepid demand from top consumer China. The Southeast Asian country was last year's biggest nickel ore supplier to China's producers of nickel pig iron, used in stainless steel production, after previous top supplier Indonesia banned exports of unprocessed metallic minerals. Leo Jasareno, director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), said nickel output this year should rise with the entry of the Libjo and Agata mines in the south. "These new nickel mining projects are expected to boost the 2015 nickel production of the country, with the expected mine output of Libjo and Agata about 714,000 dry metric tons and 1,360,000 dry metric tons respectively," he said in a statement. Average nickel prices rose 11.6 percent last year to $7.56 per pound, boosting the value of the country's overall metallic output to a record high 137.53 billion pesos ($3.1 billion), MGB data released on Monday showed. Nickel accounted for 58 percent, or nearly 80 billion pesos, of overall output last year. In terms of volume, nickel direct shipping ore rose 20 percent to 30.2 million dry metric tons while mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide jumped 91 percent to 87,280 dry metric tons. "Looking ahead, 2015 nickel prices are not anticipated to revert back to the double-digit levels set in 2011, given the sufficient inventory, new supplies coming on stream and weaker demand in the market, particularly involving China," Jasareno said. The Libjo project of Libjo Mining Corp and the Agata project of TVI Resources Development Inc, which is partly owned by Canada's TVI Pacific Inc TVI.TO , are located in Surigao province, a major nickel-producing region supplying ore to processing plants in Australia, China, South Korea and Japan. Gold output last year rose 7 percent to 18,423 kg, while copper fell 7 percent to 349,269 dry metric tonnes, the MGB said. The Philippines sits on mineral reserves worth $1.4 trillion, among the world's biggest, but mining accounts for less than 1 percent of GDP as development is hampered by policy bottlenecks and a strong anti-mining lobby led by the Roman Catholic Church. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Alan Raybould) ((enrico.delacruz@thomsonreuters.com; +632 841-8934; Reuters Messaging: enrico.delacruz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PHILIPPINES NICKEL/

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - April 27

April 27, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, April 27 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Monday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares inch up; focus on central banks, Greece MKTS/GLOB * MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil buoys Gulf markets; Dubai, Saudi hit 2015 highs ID:nL8N0XN0DA * Brent crude holds near 4-1/2 month high on Yemen, U.S. rig count O/R * PRECIOUS-Gold struggles below $1,200 on strong equities; Fed meet eyed ID:nL4N0XO098 * US Secretary of State Kerry to meet with Iran foreign minister Monday ID:nL1N0XN0LA * Islamic reinsurance moves to displace use of conventional finance ID:nL5N0XJ11Z * Eyeing Arab ties, Israel to observe nuclear pact meeting ID:nL8N0XN0RP * Fighting escalates across Yemen, air strikes on capital Sanaa ID:nL8N0XN03Q * Leftist Akinci wins north Cyprus election, seeking peace deal ID:nL8N0XN045 * Syrian TV says insurgents killed civilians after capturing town ID:nL8N0XN05P EGYPT * Egypt's Mobinil says declined its losses by 80.2 percent in Q1 2015 ID:nL8N0XN05R * Ending Egypt's currency black market brings new challenges ID:nL5N0XJ1LI * Egypt's trial of Mursi "badly flawed" -Human Rights Watch ID:nL8N0XN03N * Egyptian pound steady at official market, stronger on black market ID:nL8N0XN0BF * Egypt's Eastern Co 9-month net profit up 19 pct ID:nL8N0XN04V SAUDI ARABIA * Saudi's Itqan Capital to add brokerage, PE fund to services ID:nL8N0XO00U * Saudi Ma'aden's gold and metals unit gets 1.2 bln riyal loan ID:nL8N0XN0JJ * Saudi Sipchem says plant shutdown cost $4.8 million ID:nL8N0XN0IV * Saudi PetroRabigh starts maintenance work on VDU unit ID:nL8N0XN02T * Saudi's Tasnee picks Asian contractors for titanium sponge plant ID:nL8N0XN03J UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * Inpex in talks to obtain new Abu Dhabi concession-NHK ID:nL4N0XO04T * Dubai Financial Market Q1 net profit falls 69 pct ID:nL8N0XN0A4 * Serbia seals deal with Abu Dhabi developer for controversial Belgrade makeover ID:nL5N0XL43A KUWAIT * TABLE-Kuwait March inflation rises to 3.3 pct y/y -KUNA ID:nL8N0XN0IP BAHRAIN * Bahrain's Investcorp appoints Kirdar as new chairman ID:nL8N0XN03I (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS/

Saudi Ma'aden's gold and metals unit gets 1.2 bln riyal loan

April 26, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, April 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian Mining Co 1211.SE (Ma'aden) said its gold and base metals unit had obtained a 1.2 billion riyal ($320 million) loan from the state-affiliated Saudi Industrial Development Fund to help develop the Ad Duwayhi mine. The loan will be repaid in 14 installments spread across seven years and was financially guaranteed by Ma'aden, the company said in a statement on Sunday. Ma'aden Gold & Base Metals Co operates five gold mines in Saudi Arabia, according to the company website. ($1 = 3.7500 riyals) (Reporting By Tom Arnold; editing by Jane Baird) ((Tom.Arnold@thomsonreuters.com; +971564179506; Reuters Messaging: tom.arnold.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MAADEN LOANS/

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - April 26

April 26, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, April 26 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Sunday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Equities hit record highs, dollar weakens on gloomy data MKTS/GLOB * MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed; Emaar, FGB weigh on UAE markets ID:nL5N0XK3V5 * Brent at 4-1/2 month high; U.S. crude up for sixth week O/R * TABLE-Forecasts for world oil demand, supply, stocks ID:nL5N0XK2WJ * Cheap oil slows Saudi, UAE projects but Qatar, Kuwait rise -ADCB ID:nL5N0XK21T * PRECIOUS-Gold rises from three-week low on soft U.S. dollar ID:nL4N0XK3HB * Diplomats press on in Vienna for final Iran nuclear deal ID:nL5N0XK57C * Libya shuts down El Feel oilfield - field engineer ID:nL8N0XM0QQ * U.S., allies conduct 15 air strikes in Syria, Iraq -military ID:nL1N0XM0FX * UN invites Syrian parties to Geneva peace talks in May ID:nL5N0XL29K * Islamist fighters seize Syria's Jisr al-Shughour, army says redeploys ID:nL8N0XM04J * Three Islamic State car bombs hit Iraq-Jordan border crossing, four dead ID:nL8N0XM0D6 * Former Yemeni president calls for political dialogue to end war ID:nL5N0XL4KE * Iran moves ships, reducing tensions near Yemen -Pentagon's Carter ID:nL1N0XL2HB * Ten militants, three soldiers killed in Tunisia clashes ID:nL5N0XL48R EGYPT * Egypt's central bank keeps benchmark rates unchanged ID:nL5N0XK59R * Egypt extends state of emergency in northern Sinai by three months ID:nL8N0XM0HC SAUDI ARABIA * Islamic State behind Riyadh police deaths, say Saudi authorities ID:nL5N0XL36U * As Yemen bombing subsides, Saudi may struggle with peacemaker role ID:nL5N0XK39S * MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Oil, competition, Mobily hit Saudi earnings before bourse opens to foreigners ID:nL5N0XK1W9 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * DP World eyes dollar bond, may announce plans next week - sources ID:nL5N0XK4G0 QATAR * Kenya says has Qatari help for financial centre plan ID:nL5N0XL18J * Qatar adds Claridges to hotel stable in deal with Barclay brothers -FT ID:nL4N0XK6FE KUWAIT * Kuwait Finance House's Turkish unit plans 1 bln lira sukuk issuance ID:nL5N0XL1WX * Kuwait deports political activist to Saudi Arabia -local media ID:nL5N0XK1MJ BAHRAIN * Moody's: Bahrain's government finances under pressure from oil price shock ID:nMDY5nTxK8 (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS/

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