Eurozone annual inflation in December dipped into negative territory for the fifth month running at -0.3%, a flash reading of official data shows. Other indicators also point to a slowdown in economic activity in the fourth quarter, the European Central Bank said.
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Germany's DAX index rose 0.8% Friday, reaching a record high, and other European stock markets were strongly headed upward as the week comes to an end. The upturn comes amid unexpectedly strong European economic data and brightening hopes for additional stimulus in the US.
As many as 4,000 financial-services firms in the UK risk failure due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a UK Financial Conduct Authority survey. The findings are based on a survey of 23,000 firms and the FCA's own data, and do not cover 1,500 large investment firms that fall under a separate regulatory regime.
Brexit could add momentum to EU aims for a capital markets union, says AFME Managing Director Pablo Portugal. "With Europe's largest financial centre now outside the EU, there's an even stronger case for the EU to grow its capital markets capacity," he said.
International cooperation is essential to address severe outbreaks of financial market turmoil, says Bank of England markets chief Andrew Hauser. "There isn't much point in a plucky, single country ... going it alone without speaking and closely aligning what we do with other countries," he said.
Italian officials are working on plans to take some €14 billion of impaired loans off UniCredit to facilitate a takeover of state-owned bank Monte dei Paschi, sources say. UniCredit shares rose 6% on the news.
The Federal Reserve could start to wind down asset purchases as early as the end of this year, says Patrick Harker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The action would depend on the health of the economy and progress on tackling the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
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The MSCI and FTSE Russell indexes have followed the New York Stock Exchange's lead in delisting telecommunications firms China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom Hong Kong from relevant listings. The MSCI ban takes effect at the close of business today, and FTSE Russell will delist the firms Monday.
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