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BRIEF-Unit of Antofagasta Plc to buy Duluth Metals for C$0.45 per share

November 22, 2014 - reuters.com

Nov 21 (Reuters) - Duluth Metals Ltd DM.TO : * Unit of Antofagasta Plc to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Duluth Metals at a price of C$0.45 per share in cash * Source text for Eikon ID:nCNWJMrd0a * Further company coverage DM.TO ((Bangalore Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

Nigeria to cut petrol subsidy by half in 2015 as oil price falls

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

By Camillus Eboh ABUJA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Nigeria plans to cut subsidies on petroleum products by half next year after sharp falls in global crude prices LCOc1 , spurred the government to revise its 2015 budget downwards, data from the revised budget seen by Reuters showed on Friday. President Goodluck Jonathan submitted the revised budget figures to lawmakers this week, proposing to spend 458.68 billion naira ($2.59 bln) on petrol subsidy in 2015, down from 971.14 billion naira presented for 2014. It also assumed further cuts to petrol subsidies in 2016 to 408.68 billion naira and 371.18 billion naira for 2017. Nigeria's finance minister has proposed lowering the assumed benchmark oil price for the country's 2015 budget to $73 per barrel from the $78 proposed in September, after global crude prices collapsed. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told Reuters on Thursday that declines in the price of oil, which has lost almost 30 percent since July, would impact Africa's largest economy and top oil producer, requiring the government to cut non-essential spending and raise more revenues. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL6N0TB12E Nigeria tried to end subsidy in 2012 in efforts to cut government spending and encourage badly needed investment in local refining, doubling the price of a litre of petrol overnight to about 150 naira ($0.93) from about 65 naira. The move angered citizens, who see cheap petrol prices as the only benefit they derive from living in an oil-rich country, and lead to 8 days of nationwide strikes. The government later reinstated part of the subsidy to end the strikes. The budget proposals assumed an exchange rate of 162 naira to the U.S. dollar for 2015, weaker than 160 naira assumed for 2014. It expects the naira to weaken further to 163.50 in 2016, reaching 165 in 2017. The naira has come under pressure in the past two months, losing almost 11 percent this year, from falling oil prices, which have weakened appetites for assets in Africa's biggest economy and chief oil exporter. The currency shed 0.76 percent on Friday to close at a record low of 177.45 naira NGN=D1 against the greenback, despite the central bank intervening for a fifth day with dollar sales to prop it up, dealers said. (1 US dollar = 177.00 naira) (Additional reporting and writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Bate Felix and Mark Heinrich) ((chijioke.ohuocha@thomsonreuters.com; +234 703 4180 621; Reuters Messaging: chijioke.ohuocha.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: NIGERIA OIL/SUBSIDIES

Fitch Affirms Greece at 'B'; Outlook Stable

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

GLOBAL MARKETS-China rate cut, European stimulus hints lift markets

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* Wall St set for 5th week of gains * Shares soar on China rate cut, Draghi stimulus hopes * Euro tumbles on Draghi; Brent above $80 a barrel (Adds late Wall Street trading, quotes) By Michael Connor NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - World stock markets and oil prices rallied Friday, fueled by hopes for global growth following a surprise interest rate cut by China and as the European Central Bank indicated it would step up asset purchases to boost the euro zone economy. The jump in oil prices took beaten-down Brent back above $80 a barrel. U.S. interest rates eased as the dollar gained, and the euro declined. Wall Street stock indexes, including the Dow Jones industrial average and benchmark S&P 500 that closed at records Thursday, advanced about one percent before easing back, but remained on track for a fifth week of gains. "This is a one-two punch for global growth," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI in late afternoon was up 76.9 points, or 0.43 percent, to 17,795.9, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.4 percent, to 2,061.04 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.17 percent, to 4,709.90. European shares .FTEU3 , oil LCOc1 and other growth-sensitive commodities all leapt on China's move to cut rates to 5.6 percent, following recent data that showed its giant economy was heading for its worst year in almost a quarter of a century. ID:nL3N0TB3VW China's rate reductions were its first in more than two years. They came as ECB head Mario Draghi spoke of his determination to use more aggressive measures, such as large scale asset purchases, to ensure the euro zone doesn't slump into a new crisis. ID:nL6N0TB1B Both the euro zone and China have lagged the momentum of the United States, stimulus-driven Japan and faster-growing Britain over the last month, but a ramping up of the ECB's rhetoric and Beijing's actions will stoke hopes of a turnaround. Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI rose nearly 3 percent. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 2.1 percent. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks shares in 45 nations, was up 0.67 percent. The dollar index .DXY was up 0.82 percent, as the euro gave up more than 1 percent and was last at $1.2385. The yen was up against the dollar. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday the yen's fall over the past week was "too rapid." It was one of the strongest warnings against a weak yen since the aggressive stimulus efforts began two years ago, and saw the currency leap off a 7-year low to 117.76. ID:nL2N0TB293 Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes US10YT=RR were up 5/32 in price to yield 2.31 percent from 2.34 percent late Thursday. ID:nL2N0TB1CG The rate cut by China added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim production at what looks to be a landmark meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27. Brent traded above $80 a barrel and was last up $1 to $80.35. ID:nL3N0TB207 Copper CMCU3 and gold XAU= also got a lift, with the red metal up 0.50 percent. Spot gold climbed back over $1,200 was last at $1,200.80 an ounce, ahead nearly $7, as traders cheered the prospect of more global stimuli. (Reporting by Michael Connor in New York, additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski) ((michael.connor@thomsonreuters.com; 646 223 6309; Reuters Messaging: michael.connor.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

FOREX-Euro drops as Draghi raises stimulus hopes

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

(Updates prices) By Karen Brettell NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The euro fell sharply on Friday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said inflation expectations were declining to levels that were very low, keeping the door open for further monetary easing soon. The euro fell 1.19 percent to $1.2389 EUR= and dropped 1.58 percent against the Japanese yen to 145.89 yen EURJPY= . "His comments have hit the euro hard," said Niels Christensen, FX strategist at Nordea, adding that euro zone inflation data next week would be a crucial influence on the ECB's thinking. "Particularly his comments that he is worried about inflation expectations means that the ECB could ease policy soon. If it doesn't buy government bonds, then at least it could announce a decision to buy corporate bonds." The Australian dollar and other high yielding currencies jumped after China cut benchmark interest rates for the first time in over two years to bolster a sagging economy. The Aussie, which is often used as a more liquid proxy for Chinese investments, was last up 0.59 percent at $0.8669 AUD=D4 , with the rate cut likely to assuage fears of a Chinese slowdown that have hurt commodity currencies. AUD/ "They have added significant liquidity to a global system that already has ample liquidity," said Lane Newman, director of foreign exchange at ING Capital Markets in New York. The U.S. dollar is seen as continuing recent gains as the Federal Reserve is viewed as likely to increase interest rates next year as Europe, Japan and other economies continue very loose monetary policies meant to stimulate growth. "The Fed will be a much more hawkish central bank relative to other central banks," Newman said. Earlier, the yen rose after Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said the currency's fall over the past week was too rapid, one of the strongest warnings against a weak yen since Japan started its aggressive monetary stimulus in 2012. The dollar fell to 117.72 from around 118 yen JPY= before his comments. The dollar has climbed almost 10 yen since the Bank of Japan surprisingly eased policy in late October. (Additional reporting by Anirban Nag in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang) ((karen.brettell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-646-223-6274)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

GLOBAL MARKETS-China rate cut, ECB stimulus hopes boost world markets

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* Wall St set for 5th week of gains * Shares soar on China rate cut, Draghi stimulus hopes * Euro tumbles on Draghi; Brent briefly above $80 a barrel (Adds midday New York prices, Treasury prices) By Michael Connor NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - World stock markets and oil prices rallied Friday, fueled by hopes for global growth following a surprise rate cut by China and as the European Central Bank indicated it would step up its asset purchases to boost the euro zone economy. The jump in oil prices briefly took beaten-down Brent back above $80 a barrel. U.S. interest rates were little changed as the dollar gained and the euro declined. Wall Street stock indices, including the Dow Jones industrial average and benchmark S&P 500 that closed at record peaks Thursday, advanced about one percent before easing back, but remained on track for a fifth week of gains. "To the extent that you (have) duelling positive monetary policy statements in two places that we were concerned about a slowdown in economic growth, that's very good," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI at midday was up 108.92 points, or 0.61 percent, to 17,827.92, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.56 percent, to 2,064.31 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.44 percent, to 4,722.65. European shares .FTEU3 , oil LCOc1 and other growth-sensitive commodities all leapt on China's move to cut rates to 5.6 percent, following a string of recent data that showed its giant economy was heading for its worst year in almost a quarter of a century. ID:nL3N0TB3VW China's rate reductions were its first in more than two years. They came as ECB head Mario Draghi spoke of his determination to use more aggressive measures, such as large scale asset purchases, to ensure the euro zone doesn't slump into a new crisis. ID:nL6N0TB1B Both the euro zone and China have lagged the momentum of the United States, stimulus-driven Japan and faster-growing Britain over the last month, but a ramping up of the ECB's rhetoric and Beijing's actions will stoke hopes of a turnaround. Germany's DAX .GDAXI , France's CAC .FCHI and the FTSE Eurofirst 300 .FTEU3 were all up between 2 and 3 percent. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks shares in 45 nations, was up 0.70 percent. The dollar index was up 0.75 percent, as the euro gave up more than 1 percent and was last at $1.2393. The yen was up against the dollar. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday the yen's fall over the past week was "too rapid." It was one of the strongest warnings against a weak yen since the aggressive stimulus efforts began two years ago and saw the currency leap off a 7-year low to 117.74 FRX/ Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes US10YT=RR were up 3/32 in price to yield 2.32 percent from 2.34 percent late Thursday. US/ The rate cut by China added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim production at what looks to be a landmark meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27. Oil jumped and Brent traded above $80 a barrel before easing, and was last up 7 cents to $79.41. O/R Copper CMCU3 and gold XAU= also got a lift, with the red metal up 0.66 percent. Spot gold climbed back over $1,200 before moderating gains to $1,195.30 an unce, retaining a $2 gain, as traders cheered the prospect of more global stimulus. (Reporting by Michael Connor in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski) ((michael.connor@thomsonreuters.com; 646 223 6309; Reuters Messaging: michael.connor.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Ghana 91-day bill yield falls to 25.5636 pct

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

ACCRA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Bank of Ghana said the yield on its 91-day bill fell to 25.5636 percent at Friday's auction, from 25.8035 percent at the last sale. The bank said it accepted 854.98 million cedis ($268.86 million) worth of bids of the 855.09 million cedis tendered for the 91-day paper. For full details please click here: http://www.bog.gov.gh/privatecontent/Treasury/Auctresults%201408.pdf ($1 USD = 3.1800 Ghana cedis) (Writing by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg) ((kwasi.kpodo@thomsonreuters.com;)(+233 24 469 6990)(Reuters Messaging: kwasi.kpodo.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GHANA BONDS/

UPDATE 2-IMF says significant progress in Ghana aid talks

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds quote from finance minister, context) By Kwasi Kpodo ACCRA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday it made significant progress in a third round of talks with Ghana on a financial aid programme aimed at helping the West African country out of a fiscal crisis. Escalating inflation, a currency that has fallen sharply this year and a high budget deficit have severely undermined Ghana's reputation as a star African economy. Ghana grew strongly for years on gold, cocoa and oil exports, but this week's 2015 budget forecasts GDP growth to slow to 3.9 percent from a projected 6.9 percent this year, evidence of the impact of fiscal problems as well as a fall in commodity prices. "The IMF team will continue to support the authorities as they work in the coming weeks ... to take concrete steps in cleaning up the payroll, finalise the remaining details of their medium-term reforms and to seek external financing assurances from bilateral donors," it said in a statement. "Once this work is completed, a financial arrangement to support Ghana's economic program would be agreed," it said. President John Mahama's government is hoping for a three-year deal with balance of payments help of up to $1 billion. The IMF welcomed Wednesday's budget and said it contained important steps towards increasing revenue, containing the public sector wage bill and cutting subsidies and maintaining public investment above 5 percent of GDP. It also welcomed government measures to consolidate the budget deficit to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2017. The deficit spiralled in 2012 due to an expanding public sector wage bill and since then all three ratings agencies have downgraded the country's sovereign rating. Finance Minister Seth Terkper said the IMF is satisfied with major fiscal reforms the government has put in place and has already outlined proposals for outstanding areas that should enable an assistance deal to be agreed quickly. "We are sustaining the energy we've put in the negotiations and we have already outlined proposals for the remaining details," he told Reuters by telephone. (Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Louise Ireland) ((matt.bigg@thomsonreuters.com; +233)(209 607-203; Reuters Messaging: matt.bigg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GHANA IMF/

S.Africa's rand rallies as euro zone, China ramp up stimulus

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 21 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed against the dollar for the second straight day on Friday as renewed stimulus measures in the euro zone and China boosted the attractiveness of high-yielding yet riskier emerging market assets. By 1447 GMT the rand climbed 0.33 percent to 10.9200 per dollar ZAR=D3 , adding to gains achieved in the previous session after the central bank's decision to leave rates unchanged pushed the currency past the 11.000 mark to near a three-week high. Yields on government bonds also firmed, with the benchmark issue due in 2026 ZAR186= dropping 4 basis points to 7.725 percent. Earlier, ECB chief Mario Draghi threw the door wide open for full-scale money printing on the same day China, the world's second's biggest economy, unexpectedly cut interest rates in a bid to boost slowing economic activity. ID:nL6N0TB1BY ID:nL3N0TB3VW The moves, which signal a worsening growth outlook in two of the largest economic regions globally, saw the rand rally, more so following Thursday's MPC where newly-appointed governor Lesetja Kganyago signalled a downward trend in local consumer prices. "The change in the tone of the speech came in the reference to the downside risks on inflation," said Sean McCalgan, an economist at ETM Analytics. "We think rates could remain flat for a while to come." Inflation dipped below the bank's upper target of 6 percent earlier in the month, and the bank predicts it will average 5.3 percent in 2015. ID:nL6N0TA2R0 (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Angus MacSwan) ((mfuneko.toyana@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753153; Reuters Messaging: mfuneko.toyana.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

POLONIA Rate rises 0.03 pp.

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Nov 21 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 2.00 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 1,373 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

GLOBAL MARKETS-China rate cut, ECB stimulus hopes boost world markets

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* Wall St jumps 1 percent, set for 5th week of gains * Shares soar on China rate cut, Draghi stimulus hopes * Euro tumbles on Draghi; Brent back above $80 a barrel (Adds Wall Street open, latest prices and changes byline and dateline; previous LONDON) By Michael Connor NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - World stock markets and oil prices rallied Friday, fueled by hopes for global growth following a surprise rate cut by China and as the European Central Bank indicated it would step up its asset purchases to boost the euro zone economy. The jump in oil prices took beaten-down Brent back above $80 a barrel. U.S. interest rates were little changed as the dollar gained, and the euro declined. Top Wall Street stock indices, including the Dow Jones industrial average and benchmark S&P 500 that closed at record peaks Thursday, advanced nearly one percent in morning trading and were on track for a fifth week of gains. "To the extent that you (have) duelling positive monetary policy statements in two places that we were concerned about a slowdown in economic growth, that's very good," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 171.81 points, or 0.97 percent, to 17,890.81, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.91 percent to 2,071.39, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.87 percent, to 4,742.84. European shares .FTEU3 , oil LCOc1 and other growth-sensitive commodities all leapt on China's move to cut rates to 5.6 percent, following a string of recent data that showed its giant economy was heading for its worst year in almost quarter of a century. ID:nL3N0TB3VW China's rate reductions were its first in more than two years and came as ECB head Mario Draghi spoke of his determination to use more aggressive measures, such as large scale asset purchases, to ensure the euro zone doesn't slump into a new crisis. ID:nL6N0TB1B Both the euro zone and China have lagged the momentum of the United States, stimulus-driven Japan and faster-growing Britain over the last month, but a ramping up of the ECB's rhetoric and Beijing's actions will stoke hopes of a turnaround. Germany's DAX .GDAXI , France's CAC .FCHI and the FTSE Eurofirst 300 .FTEU3 were all up between 2 and 3 percent by 1430 GMT. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks shares in 45 nations, was up 0.85 percent. The dollar index was up 0.60 percent, as the euro gave up nearly 1 percent and was last at $1.1224. The yen was up against the dollar. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday the yen's fall over the past week was "too rapid." It was one of the strongest warnings against a weak yen since the aggressive stimulus efforts began two years ago and saw the currency leap off a 7-year low to 117.76 FRX/ The rate cut by China, the world's No. 2 economy, added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim production at what looks to be a landmark meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27. Oil jumped and Brent was last up $1.03 to $80.38 a barrel as it surged towards its first weekly rise since mid-September. Copper CMCU3 and gold XAU= also got a lift, with the red metal up 1 percent and spot gold climbing back over $1,200 to $1,204.20 an ounce, as traders cheered the prospect of more global stimulus. (Reporting by Michael Connor in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum) ((michael.connor@thomsonreuters.com; 646 223 6309; Reuters Messaging: michael.connor.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Sterling hits one-week high vs euro on ECB easing bets

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

By Jemima Kelly and Patrick Graham LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Sterling hit a one-week high against the euro on Friday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said "excessively low" inflation had to be raised fast by whatever means necessary, prompting bets on further stimulus in the euro zone. Draghi said there was now no sign of economic improvement in the months ahead and that the ECB would expand and step up its programme to pump more money into the economy if its current measures fell short of lifting inflation. ID:nL6N0TB1BY Earlier in the week, Draghi said further measures could involve large-scale purchases of government bonds, also known as quantitative easing (QE) - a measure that is particularly opposed in the bloc's largest economy, Germany. The euro fell to as low as 79.15 pence EURGBP=D4 and was last down 0.8 percent at 79.305 pence. "It all comes down to the fact that Draghi, for the second time in a week, has hinted that QE is on the cards," said Kathleen Brooks, research director at Forex.com. The fact that Draghi was speaking in Germany suggested a new boldness in the ECB chief, she added. "The pound is still at risk from a slowing economy, a stronger dollar and the Bank of England being a bit more dovish further down the line," Brooks said. Against the dollar, sterling slipped after the anti-EU party UKIP took a second parliamentary seat from Britain's ruling Conservatives, a harbinger of growing political risk ahead of next May's national election. ID:nL6N0TB06O The pound was down 0.1 percent against the dollar at $1.5677, having struck a 14-month low of $1.5590 earlier this week, and was on track for a fifth straight week of losses. Data showing Britain's public finances improved slightly in October did little to lift the mood for sterling, with finance minister George Osborne still unlikely to meet his budget goals before the election. ID:nL6N0TB20 "The political situation is a pretty big headwind for sterling and it will only become a bigger issue as we head into the election next year," said Graham Davidson, a spot currency dealer with National Australia Bank in London. (Editing by Gareth Jones) ((jemima.kelly@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(20 7542 7508; Reuters Messaging: jemima.kelly.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS STERLING/CLOSE

UPDATE 1-Nigeria's overnight lending rate halves to 9.75 percent

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details) LAGOS, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Nigeria's overnight lending rate fell to 9.75 percent on Friday, from 18 percent at the previous close, after government monthly budget disbursals flowed into the banking system, dealers said. Liquidity had dried up after pension funds snapped up bonds before an expected central bank ruling on naira cash reserve ratios on Tuesday that it hopes will tighten liquidity to support the currency. The naira has lost 10.5 percent this year. It NGN=D1 has been under particular pressure in the past two months as falling oil prices LCOc1 sapped appetites for assets in Africa's No. 1 economy and chief oil exporter. Dealers said the government disbursed about 200 billion naira ($1 billion) in allocations on Friday, which increased liquidity and lowered what it costs banks to borrow. The central bank did not disclose lenders' cash balances on Friday, dealers said, citing a highly liquid banking system. The Open Buy Back rate eased to 9.5 percent, from 10.75 percent last week, 2.5 percentage point below the central bank's 12 percent benchmark rate. Overnight placements traded lower at 10 percent, down 100 basis points compared with 11 percent last week. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Louise Ireland) ((chijioke.ohuocha@thomsonreuters.com; +234 703 4180 621; Reuters Messaging: chijioke.ohuocha.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: NIGERIA RATES/

UPDATE 3-Draghi throws ECB door open to money printing as global prospects dim

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* Draghi says recovery unlikely in coming months * ECB ready to act fast to tackle low inflation * China cuts borrowing costs (Recasts, adds China, minister's comment) By John O'Donnell and Eva Taylor FRANKFURT, Nov 21 (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi threw the door wide open on Friday for more drastic measures to prevent the euro zone from sliding into deflation, promising to use whatever means necessary as China also acted to boost its sagging economic growth. With many fearing the euro zone could be heading for a Japanese-style lost decade of deflation and recession, Draghi's remarks were reminiscent of when he pulled the bloc back from possible disintegration in 2012 by promising to do "whatever it takes" to back the common currency. Painting a bleak picture of the state of the 18 countries in the euro bloc, Draghi stressed that "excessively low" inflation had to be raised quickly. In a blunt message, he said there was now no sign of improvement in the months ahead and the ECB would pump more money into the euro bloc if its current measures fell short. "We will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible," he told an audience of bankers in Frankfurt. "If ... our policy is not effective enough to achieve this, or further risks to the inflation outlook materialise, we would step up the pressure and broaden even more the channels through which we intervene, by altering accordingly the size, pace and composition of our purchases," he said. Annual euro zone inflation was 0.4 percent in October, far short of the ECB's medium-term target of just below two percent. Draghi's comments, which many read as inching very close to possible buying of government bonds, received a warm reception from Italian finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who said ECB action was welcome to revive economic growth in the euro zone. The ECB said on Friday it had started buying asset-backed securities. Along with purchases of covered bonds, a secure form of debt often backed by property, it is trying to encourage banks to lend and revive the economy. Draghi said earlier this week that if the current measures were not enough, or if inflation expectations deteriorated further, the ECB could widen its purchases to include debt of euro zone governments, a strategy which German policymakers strongly oppose. Economists expect bold ECB action. "Draghi all but announced that the central bank will step up monetary easing soon. Mr Maybe has become Mr Definitely," said Nick Kounis of ABN Amro. But it is unclear how much such a move can help Europe as the prospects for the global economy and one of its chief engines of growth, China, grow ever more uncertain. China cut its benchmark interest rates for the first time in more than two years on Friday to stimulate economic growth, which is on track for its lowest annual rate in 24 years. ID:nL3N0TB3VW Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called snap elections, seeking a mandate for his struggling "Abenomics" revival strategy after the economy unexpectedly slipped into recession. The euro zone grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, giving an annual rate of 0.8 percent, according to a flash estimate from the European statistical agency Eurostat. Of the major national economies, Italy has already fallen back into recession. GERMAN SILENCE Draghi had said further measures could involve large-scale purchases of government bonds - the kind of quantitative easing that the United States, Japan and Britain have already used. Such a step in the euro zone would, however, encounter stiff resistance from the bloc's largest economy, Germany. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, speaking shortly after Draghi at the same event, avoided talking about the issue entirely. The two have clashed before on their views on the future policy path. "We can't be constantly commenting on one another," Weidmann told reporters as he left the event. Draghi's comments nonetheless pushed 10-year government bond yields in Italy IT10YT=TWEB , Ireland IE10YT=TWEB and Austria AT10YT=TWEB to new all-time lows and sent the value of the euro down below $1.25. His tone was contrasted to when he spoke to European lawmakers earlier in the week and pointed to early signs of improvements. "Over shorter horizons, however, indicators have been declining to levels that I would deem excessively low," he said. As the euro zone economy has nearly stuttered to a halt, the ECB is trying to unblock lending by flooding the market with billion of euros, buying reparcelled debt and giving cheap loans directly to banks. But should these steps not be enough to bring inflation back to the medium-term target, Draghi said the ECB would act. "This is why the Governing Council has tasked ECB staff and the relevant Eurosystem committees with ensuring the timely preparation of further measures to be implemented, if needed." Draghi's promise two years ago to save the euro brought down the borrowing costs of euro zone governments such as Spain and Italy, which were reaching unaffordable levels at the time. Some people doubt quantitative easing would achieve much, as the borrowing costs of euro zone governments have already fallen to record lows. "It has never been cheaper for countries such as France to borrow," said Michael Heise, the chief economist of Allianz. "Buying state bonds could influence the price of state bonds, but wouldn't have much impact on the economy." (Reporting By Eva Taylor and John O'Donnell; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and David Stamp) ((john.odonnell@thomsonreuters.com)(+49 69 7565 1366)(Reuters Messaging: john.odonnell.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: ECB DRAGHI/INFLATION

PRECIOUS-Gold rallies to 3-week high after surprise China rate cut

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* China cuts interest rates for first time in over 2 years * Euro slides against the dollar after Draghi comments * Ukraine sells some of gold reserves, Russia buys -IMF (Updates prices) By Jan Harvey LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Gold climbed above $1,200 an ounce on Friday to hit its highest in three weeks after a surprise rate cut by China fuelled expectations demand could rise in the world's biggest consumer of the metal. China cut its benchmark interest rates for the first time in more than two years to lower borrowing costs and lift a cooling economy. ID:nB9N0T000D "Any measures that accelerate the spending power of the Chinese public are bound to be positive for gold," Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said. "(This could mean) additional spending power for Chinese consumers to buy jewellery and investment products." Spot gold XAU= was up 0.9 percent at $1,203.84 an ounce at 1501 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 for December delivery were up $12.80 an ounce at $1,203.70. Earlier spot gold touched its highest in three weeks at $1,207.70. Buying accelerated as the metal broke through key chart resistance at $1,200 an ounce, traders said. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GRAPHIC-2014 asset returns: http://link.reuters.com/dub25t GRAPHIC-Gold/USD correlation: http://r.reuters.com/ryx52s ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> A sharp drop in the euro versus the dollar earlier pressured gold to a session low of $1,186.84 an ounce, after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said inflation expectations were declining to very low levels, keeping the door open for further monetary easing soon. Gold is priced in dollars and tends to fall when the U.S. currency strengthens. A rally in the dollar index .DXY earlier this month knocked gold to a 4-1/2 year low at $1,131.85. "Overall the dollar continues to be leading the way. Therefore I have to say that, despite the demand for physical, because of the weakness in the euro, we have a chance of testing the lows again," MKS head of trading Afshin Nabavi said. Traders were also digesting news of central bank sales and purchases. Ukraine cut its gold reserves by more than a third in October, data from the International Monetary Fund showed, while Russia raised its gold holdings for a seventh straight month. ID:nL2N0TB07A Among other precious metals, silver XAG= was up 1.5 percent at $16.45 an ounce, while spot platinum XPT= was up 1.5 percent at $1,227.50 an ounce and spot palladium XPD= was up 2.3 percent at $785.98 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Baird) ((jan.harvey@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(207 542 7744)(Reuters Messaging: jan.harvey.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

London gold 1500 fix - Nov 21 - 1203.75 dlrs

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

Ghana says IMF satisfied with its fiscal reforms

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

ACCRA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is satisfied with fiscal reforms Ghana has put in place, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said on Friday, at the end of a third round of talks he said he hoped would soon lead to an agreement on a financial aid programme. "We are sustaining the energy we've put in the negotiations and we have already outlined proposals for the remaining details," Terkper told Reuters by telephone. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Joe Bavier) ((matt.bigg@thomsonreuters.com; +233)(0)(209 607-203; Reuters Messaging: matt.bigg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GHANA IMF/FINMIN

India's central bank cautious on response to gold import surge

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

By Suvashree Choudhury and Neha Dasgupta MUMBAI, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India, grabbling with a surge in gold imports last month, could support some restrictions for trading houses but two senior policymakers involved in the bank's decision-making said officials were also wary of overreacting. India, the world's second-largest gold consumer over the past year, is wrestling with its response to a fourfold jump in gold imports in October. That spike raised fresh concerns over the strain to the country's balance of payments. A senior finance ministry source told Reuters on Tuesday the country would soon announce measures set to center on import restrictions for private trading house that were eased earlier this year. Private jewellery exporters account for the bulk of demand for gold. ID:nL3N0T82J2 But the country has yet to announce any steps, and the two policymakers said on Friday there was no agreement yet. "No decision has yet been taken on curbing gold imports," said one of the policy makers, who declined to be named. India sharply restricted gold imports in early 2013 as the country battled a balance of payments crisis triggered by the U.S. Federal Reserve's announcement that it would start to ease its programme of quantitative easing. But it eased some of the measures after India's current account deficit fell sharply from the record high of 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in the fiscal year ended in March 2013 to 1.7 percent in the quarter ending in June. That improvement is providing comfort for the central bank, even as gold imports jumped in October to $4.18 billion. "Right now, even if gold imports continue at the current level every month, the current account deficit will not cross 2 percent. We are comfortable up to 2 percent," said one policymaker. Restrictions on trading houses, though possible, would have to be limited, he said. "These could be only some cosmetic restrictions like eligibility criteria," the policymaker said. (Editing Rafael Nam and Clara Ferreira Marques) ((suvashree.dchoudhury@thomsonreuters.com; +91-22-61807223; Reuters Messaging: suvashree.dchoudhury.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA CENBANK/GOLD

IMF makes "significant progress" in Ghana talks on aid deal

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

ACCRA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday it made significant progress in a third round of talks with Ghana on a financial assistance programme aimed at restoring the country's fiscal balance. The Fund will work with Ghana on a series of concrete steps in the coming weeks, including cleaning up the public sector payroll and finalising details of medium-term reforms, and will then agree an assistance programme, the Fund said in a statement. (Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Mark Trevelyan) ((matt.bigg@thomsonreuters.com; +233)(0)(209 607-203; Reuters Messaging: matt.bigg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GHANA IMF

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares soar as China cut rates, Draghi drives for QE

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* Shares soars as China cuts rates, Draghi talks bond buying * MSCI All-World index heads for second week of gains * Euro tumbles on Draghi, Aussie rises on China * Yen rebounds after Japan finmin frets about pace of fall * U.S. crude oil surges for second day after China moves By Marc Jones LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - World shares surged on Friday as China surprised markets with its first interest rate cut in more than two years and the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi threw the door wide open to full scale money printing. European shares .FTEU3 , oil LCOc1 and other growth sensitive commodities all leapt as China's move to cut rates to 5.6 percent gave markets a welcome lift after a week where data has shown its giant economy heading for its worst year in almost quarter of a century. ID:nL3N0TB3VW It came as ECB head Draghi spoke in Frankfurt of his determination to use more aggressive measures such as large scale asset purchases -longhand for money printing- to ensure the euro zone did not slump into a new crisis. "We will continue to meet our responsibility - we will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible," Draghi said in a heavyweight speech. "If on its current trajectory our policy is not effective enough to achieve this ... we would step up the pressure and broaden even more the channels through which we intervene." Both the euro zone and China have been lagging the momentum of the United States, stimulus-driven Japan and faster-growing Britain over the last month, but a ramping up of the ECB's rhetoric and Beijing's actions will stoke hopes of a turnaround. Germany's DAX .GDAXI , France's CAC .FCHI and pan-regional Euro STOXX 50 .STOXX50E were all up between 0.8 and 1 percent by 1230 GMT, leaving them on course for weekly gains of 4.5 percent, 2 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. "The two together, (China cut, Draghi speech) suggest to me there is still a lot of hard policy work to be done next year," said Neil Williams, chief economist at fund manager Hermes in London. Beijing's move also carried a hint of an escalating currency tussle in Asia. A sharp fall in the yen JPY= this year as Tokyo has introduced wave after wave of stimulus, has been putting the squeeze on China's exporters due to a loss of cost advantage. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday that the yen's fall over the past week had been "too rapid". It was one of the strongest warnings against a weak yen since the aggressive stimulus efforts began two years ago and saw the currency leap off a 7-year low to 117.98 FRX/ OIL SURGE Currency markets everywhere were shaken into life by China's move and the signals coming out of Frankfurt. The euro fell sharply, slicing its way back down through $1.25 to $1.2430, while 10-year Italian government bond yields IT10YT=TWEB , which have been one of the biggest beneficiaries since Draghi took charge of the ECB in 2011, hit a new all-time low. Hopes that China's growth will now quicken provided a shot in the arm for the Australian dollar AUD=D4, often used as a more liquid proxy for Chinese investments, and likewise lifted other key commodity currencies. FRX/ The rate cut also added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim production, at what looks to be a landmark meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27. Oil jumped 2 percent, or $1.75 to $81.07 a barrel LCOc1 as it surged towards its first weekly rise since mid-September in its biggest daily rise in a month. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Asset returns in 2014 http://link.reuters.com/gap87v Euro zone debt crisis http://r.reuters.com/hyb65p Currencies vs dollar http://link.reuters.com/tak27s Rouble and the oil price http://link.reuters.com/jad65s ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> ALL RISE Global investor sentiment was also underpinned by record finishes by the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI and S&P 500 .SPX on Thursday after a spate of upbeat U.S. data that offset the recent signs of spreading weakness in China and Europe. Wall Street was expected to add a further 0.6 percent when trading resumes with the day's upbeat sentiment expected to more than make up for a lack major data. ID:nL2N0TA0YB In emerging markets, Russia's rouble <RUB=, which is closely tied to the fortunes of oil, was heading for its first weekly rise since early September as the pressure it has been under eased. ID:nL6N0TB0TD Copper CMCU3 and gold XAU= also got a lift, with the red metal up 1 percent and spot gold climbing to $1,197 an ounce as traders cheered the prospect of more global stimulus. "Commodity prices have risen across the board," said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil and commodities analyst at Commerzbank. There is hope that this step (lower Chinese interest rates) will lift commodities demand." (Additional reporting by Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((lisa.twaronite@thomsonreuters.com)(+81 3 6441 1870)(Reuters Messaging: lisa.twaronite.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

RPT-Quebec's ambitious Plan Nord mineral project goes south

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

(Repeats without change) By Allison Lampert and Nicole Mordant MONTREAL/VANCOUVER, Nov 20 (Reuters) - A plan by the Canadian province of Quebec to spend billions to develop the mineral riches of its northern region has been dealt a crippling blow by the pending closure of a major mine as iron ore prices sink and China's interest wanes. The Plan Nord project hopes to attract C$80 billion ($71 billion) of investment to the vast northern region, of which the iron ore-rich Labrador Trough is a major component. The French-speaking province is trying to sell the plan globally and is hoping miners will flock to northern Quebec after the government invests in the infrastructure necessary to open it up. But Plan Nord took a big hit on Wednesday, when Cliffs Natural Resources CLF.N said it is closing its Bloom Lake iron ore mine after struggling to secure funds to expand the mine and make it viable. Chinese steelmaker Wuhan Iron & Steel 600005.SS owns a minority stake in Bloom Lake. ID:nL3N0T93XA Bloom Lake, one of three producing iron ore mines in Quebec, would have become a major customer for a railway line being considered under Plan Nord. "Without Bloom Lake there's no Plan Nord," Cliffs Chief Executive Lourenco Goncalves told Reuters. "Without the mine, there's pretty much nothing for Plan Nord to transport from point A to point B." But even before Cliffs' move, Plan Nord was an idea struggling to get off the ground. Launched by the Liberal provincial government in 2011, Plan Nord was shelved by the Liberals' defeat in the 2012 election, but revived when they returned to power in April. The effort to reactivate it though came as iron prices were going into a downward spiral, and drumming up investment has been a tough ask as private funding for the mining sector has retreated with commodity prices. Last year, Canadian National Railway CNR.TO and its partner, pension fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, halted their study of an 800-kilometer (500-mile) rail line because miners were delaying projects. The line, estimated to cost C$5 billion, was set to run from north of the mining town of Shefferville to Sept-Îles on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. "Plan Nord's a good idea but I think it is something that can't be done in one cycle," said Sandy Chim CEO of Century Iron Mines, an exploration company with projects in the region. Quebec says Plan Nord, which covers an area twice the size of France, would create jobs and revenue via billions worth of public and private investments over 25 years. In its latest budget, the province set aside C$63 million in the current fiscal year and up to C$2 billion by 2035 for the project. "We do not agree with comments suggesting that the Plan Nord is dead," Quebec Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand said in an email on Thursday. "The price of metals are cyclical and we are now putting the right conditions in place for when they rise back up." BIG PLANS The province has set aside C$20 million to study the viability of another rail line to connect the Labrador Trough to Sept-Îles. Two mining companies are part of the study. There are already two privately run rail lines in the region but the government hopes a multi-user line will reduce transport costs for companies that must compete against low-cost iron ore-producing behemoths in Australia and Brazil. Quebec has also outlined a C$1 billion natural resource fund to buy equity stakes in mining, oil and gas assets. Half of that fund is earmarked for Plan Nord projects. A further C$50 million has been set aside for an investment in Gaz Métro LNG to expand output of liquefied natural gas as a cheaper fuel for mining and other projects. "The government would need to put up billions of dollars to generate something there," said Andrew Bowering, chairman of Cap-Ex Iron Ore CEV.V , an exploration company with a Labrador Trough project. "Just putting a bigger rail line in, and maybe a road, isn't really going to change all that much." Meanwhile, companies in the region continue to struggle as iron ore prices hover at five-year lows. In July, low prices forced Labrador Iron Mines LIM.TO to halt operations for the rest of the year. Earlier in the year, mining giant Rio Tinto RIO.L took its Iron Ore Co of Canada, the biggest producer in the region, off the market after failing to find a buyer. Abroad the slump has forced the closure of many high-cost ore mines in China, the world's top iron ore importer. ($1=$1.13 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Susan Taylor and Euan Rocha in Toronto and Silvia Antonioli in London; Editing by Peter Galloway) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com; +1-604-664-7315; Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CANADA QUEBEC/PLANNORD

London gold 1030 fix - Nov 21 - 1193.25 dlrs

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

UPDATE 1-Mongolia gets new prime minister as economy slumps

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds detail) ULAN BATOR, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Mongolia's parliament has appointed Chimed Saikhanbileg as prime minister, it said on Friday, more than two weeks after it ousted his predecessor for failing to get to grips with a slumping economy and foreign investment. Saikhanbileg replaces Norov Altankhuyag, who was removed from his post following a no-confidence vote on Nov. 5 amid concerns about a serious economic downturn in the landlocked Asian country, which depends heavily on foreign mining investment and commodity prices. ID:nL4N0SV86G Saikhanbileg was a member of Altankhuyag's cabinet. Dale Choi, an independent Mongolian mining analyst, said the appointment of Saikhanbileg represented "business as usual" for the government, and could further drive away foreign investment. "If Mongolia cannot get its house in order now then everyone will have to wait until 2016 (elections)... and only a few large foreign investors have the funding cushion to afford that," Choi said in emailed comments. Only two out of the 44 members of parliament present during this morning's session voted against Saikhanbileg, but the opposition Mongolian People's Party (MPP) refused to attend. The MPP rejected Saikhanbileg on Thursday evening, saying in a statement that as a member of Altankhuyag's cabinet, he was "instrumental" in the deterioration of the country's economy. Mongolia sits on some of the world's most promising mineral deposits, but it has so far struggled to convert its vast underground wealth into tangible economic gains, amid disputes with foreign investors and delays to big mining and infrastructure projects. Turquoise Hill Resources TRQ.TO , co-owner of Mongolia's huge Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, expressed concern last week that the ousting of Altankhuyag could prolong a long-running dispute over the property. ID:nL3N0T07GP The new prime minister must sign a memorandum of understanding before banks will lend $4 billion to the Oyu Tolgoi project. Those funds will be used for the construction of a mine expansion that Rio Tinto RIO.L RIO.AX , the majority owner of Turquoise Hill and operator of the mine, says will unlock 80 percent of the wealth. "I'm sure he'll try (to fix Oyu Tolgoi) but he was in the cabinet for the past three years and we're still at a deadlock," said Bontoi Munkhdul, head of market intelligence firm Cover Mongolia. "But he's well liked in the business community," he added. Foreign investment into Mongolia has slumped 59 percent in the first three quarters of this year, and falling commodity prices have also hit the country's earnings and put the government's ambitious spending plans under heavy pressure. (Reporting by Terrence Edwards; Writing by David Stanway; Editing by Nick Macfie) ((david.stanway@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1289; Reuters Messaging: david.stanway.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MONGOLIA POLITICS/

London platinum/palladium 0945 fix - Nov 21

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

SNB says it will keep cap on Swiss franc as long as necessary

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

RUESCHLIKON, Switzerland, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank's cap on the franc remains a key part of monetary policy and it will be maintained as long as required, a central bank board member said on Friday. "It's clear that the minimum exchange rate of 1.20 is absolutely central to prevent an unwanted tightening of monetary policy conditions," Fritz Zurbruegg said in a speech in Rueschlikon, near Zurich. The cap will remain in place for as long as necessary, Zurbruegg said. The safe-haven Swiss franc is hovering close to the 1.20 per euro limit imposed by the Swiss central bank in 2011, when the currency's strength squeezed exporters and threatened deflation. ID:nL6N0TA5QV (Reporting by Katharina Bart, writing by Alice Baghdjian) ((alice.baghdjian@thomsonreuters.com; +41 58 306 7461; Reuters Messaging: alice.baghdjian.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SNB CAP/

Vietnam domestic market commodity prices-Nov 21

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

Nov 21 (Reuters) - Following are domestic prices of Vietnam's key commodities. Unit: million dong VND= per tonne. Item Nov 17-21 Nov 10-14 Location Robusta beans 40.4-41.4 39.1-41.2 Central Highlands Black pepper 192.0-196.0 188.0-196.0 Southern region Refined sugar 13.0-15.5 13.0-15.5 Southern region Summer-autumn paddy 5.50-6.40 5.50-6.40 Mekong Delta ___________________ SJC gold 3.535-3.545 3.506-3.526 Hanoi, HCM City NOTES: Gold prices are low/high selling prices quoted in million dong during the week by top manufacturer SJC per 3.75-gram ingot. Coffee export prices COFFEE/ASIA1 Rice export prices RICE/ASIA1 Historical data VNCOMM01 Central bank's gold auction SBVGOLD2013 ($1=21,345 dong) (Compiled by Hanoi Newsroom) ((ho.minh@thomsonreuters.com; +844 3825 9623)) Keywords: VIETNAM COMMODITIES/PRICES

Saikhanbileg appointed as new Mongolian prime minister

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

ULAN BATOR, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Mongolia's parliament has appointed Chimed Saikhanbileg as prime minister, the foreign ministry said on Friday. Saikhanbileg replaces Norov Altankhuyag, who was removed from his post on Nov. 5 amid concerns about a serious economic downturn in the landlocked Asian country, which depends heavily on foreign mining investment and commodity prices. ID:nL4N0SV86G (Reporting by Terrence Edwards, Writing by David Stanway) ((david.stanway@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1289; Reuters Messaging: david.stanway.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MONGOLIA POLITICS/

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - Nov 21

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

India Morning Call-Global Markets

November 21, 2014 - reuters.com

EQUITIES NEW YORK - The Dow and S&P 500 finished at record highs on Thursday as data showed further strength in the U.S. economy and Intel INTC.O gave an upbeat forecast. Tech shares gave the market its biggest lift, along with energy. Boosting all three major indexes, Intel shares jumped 4.7 percent to $35.95, hitting their highest level since January 2002, after its 2015 revenue outlook was above Wall Street's expectations and the company raised its dividend. For a full report, click on .N - - - - LONDON - Britain's top share index fell for a second day on Thursday, hit by weak economic data from the euro zone and China and a profit warning from energy supplier Centrica CNA.L . The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE closed 0.3 percent lower at 6,678.90 points, extending its retreat from an eight-week high reached on the previous day. For a full report, click on .L - - - - TOKYO - Japanese stocks skidded on Friday as selling ahead of a long weekend and signs of short-term overheating offset a boost from a solid Wall Street performance rooted in U.S economic strength. The Nikkei average .N225 shed 0.7 percent to 17,172.82 by 0120 GMT, leaving the benchmark on course to snap a run of four weeks of gains. For a full report, click on .T - - - - HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index .HSI is down 0.02 percent. For a full report, click on .HK - - - - FOREIGN EXCHANGE SYDNEY - The U.S. dollar paused for breath on Friday as its recent rapid ascent on the yen attracted profit taking, though the market mood remains bullish on the currency given the outperformance of the U.S. economy. The dollar had set up camp at 118.21 yen JPY= to be within easy walking distance of the seven-year peak of 118.96, while the euro levelled off at 148.17 from a top around 149.12 EURJPY= . For a full report, click on USD/ - - - - TREASURIES NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt prices inched higher on Thursday as investors sought the safety of government bonds amid concerns about global growth following weak manufacturing data from China and Europe. Data showed underlying U.S. inflation pressures increased last month, initial weekly jobless claims dipped and existing home sales strengthened, initially helping yields edge higher. But data out of Europe and China outweighed the impact of the sturdy U.S. data. For a full report, click on US/ - - - - COMMODITIES GOLD SINGAPORE - Gold was headed for a third weekly gain in a row on Friday buoyed by a pause in the dollar rally and short-covering after sharp losses, with support also from physical demand that is picking up on firmer prices. Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,193.06 an ounce by 0042 GMT, after gaining nearly 1 percent in the previous session. The metal is so far up 0.4 percent for the week. For a full report, click on GOL/ - - - - BASE METALS SYDNEY - London copper was barely changed on Friday but was on target for its biggest weekly loss since early October, as consumer demand faded and investor activity dwindled ahead of U.S. Thanksgiving next week. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 traded little changed at $6,662 a tonne by 0219 GMT, and was set to end the week down by 0.6 percent. Turnover was extremely low with less than 500 lots traded in across the benchmark contracts. For a full report, click on MET/L - - - - OIL NEW YORK - Oil closed higher on Thursday, snapping a three-day loss, as strong U.S. economic data bolstered crude markets but focus remained on whether OPEC will cut output to end a five-month long selloff when it meets next week. Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region grew at its fastest pace in two decades, U.S. home resales jumped to their highest in more than a year in October, and a gauge of future U.S. economic activity gained more than expected last month For a full report, click on O/R (Compiled by Abhishek Vishnoi) ((abhishek.vishnoi@thomsonreuters.com; +91 22 61807225; Reuters Messaging: abhishek.vishnoi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MORNINGCALL INDIA/

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