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Trump demands that OPEC do more to stabilize oil markets and ‘reduce pricing now’


By Javier E. David


President Donald Trump issued a new demand for the world’s leading oil producing countries to stabilize oil markets with more supply, only days after the United States and Saudi Arabia discussed the possibility of the kingdom releasing more of its own crude to dampen surging prices.


On Tuesday, crude closed near $78 per barrel, driven higher by a sharp drop in U.S. inventories and the expectation of more drivers hitting the road for the July 4 holiday.


Barely a week after OPEC’s decision to ramp up oil supplies, Trump surprised the world on Saturday by announcing a new side agreement with the Saudis to compensate for supply shortages from two crisis-hit producers, Iran and Venezuela. Both countries resisted the oil cartel’s decision last month, even though OPEC demurred on how much it would boost supply.


With gasoline prices climbing above $3 per gallon in many parts of the United States, Trump has come under increasing pressure.



Major currencies jittery before U.S. tariff deadline


By Hideyuki Sano


Major currencies were on tenterhooks on Thursday on the eve of Washington’s deadline to impose tariffs on Chinese imports while the yuan held steady after the central bank this week sought to stem its recent tumble.


The euro stood little changed at $1.1662 (EUR=), having found firm support near $1.15 over the past few weeks despite worries about an economic slowdown and political instability in Europe.


The dollar traded at 110.38 yen , off a six-week high of 111.14 set on Tuesday.


The British pound held firm at $1.3224 after a survey on Wednesday showing Britain’s dominant services industry gained momentum last month fueled expectations of a Bank of England interest rate rise this summer.


The Canadian dollar also held near three-week high, helped by rise in oil prices.


While the dollar has been supported by the perception of the relative strength of the U.S. economic growth and the attraction of its higher bond yields, some market players say recent falls in U.S. bond yields may be undermining the dollar.



May’s New Brexit Plan Rejected by Key Minister


By Tim Ross and Alex Morales


U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is fighting to win Cabinet backing for her Brexit plan as a compromise proposal that aimed to unite warring ministers was rejected by her chief negotiator.


His move comes just two days before May gathers her ministers together to try to force an agreement on what kind of trading relationship the U.K. will seek from the European Union after the divorce.


At stake is whether the U.K. government can devise a coherent and unified position that negotiators can then present to their EU counterparts.


Businesses meanwhile are stepping up their demands on May to make a deal with the bloc that protects their interests. Jaguar Land Rover added its voice to the chorus on Wednesday, saying a bad Brexit deal would jeopardize investment and jobs.



Italy to Start Sweeping Economic Program With Upcoming Budget


By Lorenzo Totaro and Simon Kennedy


Italy’s new government will have both tax cuts and a universal basic income in its very first budget to show financial markets the coalition isn’t backing down from its agenda, Finance Minister Giovanni Tria said.


The sweeping economic program is aimed at proving to investors that the populist administration is serious about its mission, even after its creation initially rocked Italian bond markets.


The two measures “need to go hand in hand as they are necessary in order to change the system and to support economic growth,” Tria, 69, said in Rome in a Bloomberg interview, his first with an international news organization since being sworn in on June 1.


Italian bond yields rose in late May as weeks of political uncertainty over the formation of a government and the risk of early elections that would have been seen as a referendum on euro membership rattled financial markets.


Markets also worried about the cost of the government’s program, which was published before the cabinet was sworn in.



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