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 user 2006-06-08 at 11:10:00 am Views: 61
  • #15688

    Euro interest rates rise to 2.75%
    The European Central Bank (ECB) has voted to raise eurozone interest rates by one quarter of a percent to 2.75%, a move that has been widely expected.
    There had been some speculation that the ECB would go for a 0.5% rise, but analysts agreed that recent market volatility made it settle for 0.25%.The ECB has raised interest rates to tackle inflation which currently stands at 2.5%, above the 2% target level.Inflation has risen on the back of high energy prices and economic recovery.
    ‘Sensible action’
    “The conditions are in place for growth in the euro area, remaining close to its potential rate, despite the impact of the rise of oil prices,” said ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet at the news conference which followed the latest rate decision.Analysts currently expect eurozone interest rates to rise to 3.25% by the end of the year.”The 25 basis point interest rate hike by the ECB means that it is maintaining a steady pace in the normalization of interest rates,” said Howard Archer of Global Insight.”This seems the most sensible course of action given that a 50 basis point hike would have represented a more aggressive stance by the ECB and risked sending the euro up to new highs against the dollar, with damaging implications for eurozone growth prospects.”
    ‘Spanish meeting’
    The latest ECB decision was made in Madrid at the headquarters of the Bank of Spain, one of the two times each year that the ECB holds its rate-setting meeting outside of its Frankfurt hometown.In both May and April the ECB voted to keep rates on hold.Until December 2005, the European Central Bank had left its rate unchanged at 2% for more than two years.Some commentators worry that too fast a rise in European interest rates could choke off the slow-starting recovery in the eurozone, the twelve nations of the EU which use the single currency.However, even with the current increase, interest rates in the eurozone will still be well below those in the US and the UK.

    EU warns China on piracy problem

    Peter Mandelson’s comments have come during a visit to China
    European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has made a fresh call for China to do more to improve market access and cut down on piracy.He warned China would face a backlash in Europe unless it did more to “apply rather than circumvent the rules”.Mr Mandelson’s comments came during a visit to Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart Bo Xilai.European and US firms have long complained about the volume of pirated goods on sale in China.Brussels and Washington have also clashed with Beijing over a number of trade issues in recent years, most recently accusing China of unfairly dumping clothing and shoe products on their markets.This has led to both the US and European Union tightening import quotas, although China insisted it was merely able to produce goods more cheaply and was being unfairly victimised by Western protectionism.
    “The more the Chinese door swings open and the world sees a responsible China playing by the rules, the more our citizens will be able to understand our shared interest in deepening our relationship,” Mr Mandelson told students at Beijing’s Renmin University.He added that both the EU and China had to “commit to openness and resist protectionist pressures”.Despite a number of crackdowns by the Chinese government, counterfeit goods are still widely available in China, ranging from pirated movies to fake branded clothes and copied medicines.The US government is also continuing to call on China to tackle piracy, with Washington warning earlier this week that it could take China to the World Trade Organisation over abuse of intellectual property rights.