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 user 2006-06-08 at 11:11:00 am Views: 50
  • #15720

    Euro interest rates rise to 2.75%
    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
    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’
    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
    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.