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US dollar climbs on upbeat data

NEW YORK -- The US dollar rose against most major currencies on Friday as economic data from the country came out positive. The US Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand rose 0.3 percent in September, seasonally adjusted, beating market consensus, the Labor Department reported Friday. Meanwhile, the US Commerce Department announced Friday that advance estimates of US retail and food services sales for September increased 0.6 percent from the previous month to USD459.8 billion, on par with market estimates. Analysts said the overall upbeat economic data bolstered market speculation for an interest-rate hike by year-end. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.38 percent at 97.883 in late trading. In late New York trading, the euro fell to USD1.0998 from USD1.1049, and the British pound dropped to USD1.2191 …

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Verizon closing call centers 5 states, including New York

ALBANY, N.Y. — Verizon plans to close call centers in five states, including its home state of New York, where the impending loss of hundreds of jobs prompted the governor's office to label the company's move as "corporate abuse." The company said Thursday a consolidation of its call centers will impact about 3,200 workers near Rochester and New York City; Bangor, Maine; Lincoln, Nebraska; Wallingford and Meriden, Connecticut, and Rancho Cordova, California. Some 850 jobs will be lost at the two New York locations, including 600 in Henrietta, outside Rochester. In California, 1,000 jobs are being relocated, 700 in customer care, and 300 in telesales. The other jobs include 320 in Nebraska, 200 in Maine and 550 in Connecticut. Another 175 jobs at a customer service facility in Huntsville, Alabama, are being relocated to …

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BSP: Increase in domestic interest rates will be modest

MANILA -- A ranking central bank official said modest increase in domestic interest rates is expected as the central bank mops up more excess liqudity from the system. Results of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) Term Deposit Facility (TDF) auction on Wednesday showed that tenders for the seven-day facility remain high at PHP35.03 billion against the PHP10 billion offering. Bid coverage ratio stood at 3.5033, lower than the 3.52 during the auction last week. For the 28-day facility, the PHP100 billion offering recieved PHP196.91 billion bids resulting to a bid coverage ratio of 1.9691, which, on the other hand, is higher than last week's 1.87 ratio. The auction committee made full award for both tenors. BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Gunigundo said the decrease in the bid coverage ratio for the shorter term facility is …

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Chinese shares advance on debt-reduction plan

BEIJING -- Chinese stocks closed higher on Tuesday boosted by the government's debt-reduction plan that will accelerate the consolidation of state-owned companies. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finished up 0.56 percent at 3,065.25 points. The smaller Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.38 percent higher at 10,782.31 points. China's State Council on Monday released guidelines on the long-discussed debt-for-equity swaps, pledging that the scheme will be conducted in an "orderly" fashion as the country steps up efforts to tackle high corporate debt. Companies with "temporary difficulties" but "long-term potential" will be able to exchange their debt for stocks, according to the guidelines. Poorly performing "zombie enterprises" and those with bad credit records will be forbidden from participating. The guidelines will boost investor bets in mergers and restructuring among listed state-owned companies, according to China Merchants Securities. China's …

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Fiat Chrysler Avoids Canada Strike With C$400 Million Deal

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reached a tentative agreement with workers in Canada whose union president said will include more than C$400 million ($300 million) in total investment. The automaker agreed to spend C$325 million on rebuilding the paint shop at the Brampton assembly plant building the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger and Challenger models, Unifor National President Jerry Dias told reporters in Toronto, minutes before a midnight Monday strike deadline. The deal is subject to an Oct. 16 ratification vote by about 9,750 members. The union, backed by its members’ authorization to strike after a vote in August, was seeking an agreement similar to one reached with General Motors Co. that included commitments to invest in Canadian facilities. Workers’ negotiating power has weakened from past decades as Detroit-based automakers have restructured to …

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Takata shares dented by bankruptcy reports

Takata shares plunged almost 11 percent Tuesday following reports that the Japanese airbag maker, dented by the auto industry's biggest-ever safety recall, was considering filing for bankruptcy in the United States. With Tokyo investors coming back from a three-day weekend, the stock tanked in early trading before finishing the morning session at 348 yen ($3.35), down 7.2 percent. The drop came after the Wall Street Journal said the troubled company was "weighing a US bankruptcy filing as one option", as it faces huge compensation costs over a defect linked to 16 deaths and scores of injuries globally. The firm may seek court protection only for its US division, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Some 100 million Takata airbags have been recalled due to the defect, which can send …

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Nikkei stock index retakes 17,000 line at outset on strong oil prices

TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks opened higher Tuesday, with the Nikkei index briefly retaking the 17,000 line in roughly one month, after U.S. shares rose overnight on climbing oil price. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 146.83 points, or 0.87 percent, from Friday to 17,006.92. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 7.89 points, or 0.58 percent, to 1,358.50. Tokyo markets were closed on Monday for a national holiday. Gainers were led by mining, fishery, agriculture and forestry, and oil and coal product issues.

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Banks ponder the meaning of life as Deutsche agonizes

It wasn't just Deutsche Bank that was grappling with big questions about the future at the International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington last week. The German bank is scrambling to overhaul its operations as it faces a multi-billion dollar fine for selling toxic mortgage-backed securities in the United States. But many others in the banking industry are also still figuring out what they should be doing, nearly a decade after the financial crisis, as they grapple with anemic economic growth, wafer-thin returns on lending and the possibility that regulators will further hike their cost of doing business. “This new world of low interest rates and even negative interest rates is something that is very difficult,” said Frederic Oudea, the chief executive of French bank Societe Generale. “It is a game changer, not just for …

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Markets cheer Clinton in US presidential debate

Financial markets Tuesday cheered Hillary Clinton's performance in the first US presidential debate, with stocks and high-risk currencies staging a "relief rally" as investors saw her as victor over Republican rival Donald Trump. Key Asian bourses got a bounce as a confident Clinton bested her rival in the 90-minute showdown, some reversing earlier declines. Tokyo ended 0.8 percent up, a dramatic volte-face from its 0.9 percent drop at the open, while Sydney also trimmed early losses. Hong Kong opened 0.5 percent higher but jumped in the afternoon to close more than one percent higher. Shanghai was up 0.6 percent by the close after being flat most of the day. Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore also gained. “US futures have moved ahead as the debate unravelled, and I think that is one of the factors” for Asian …

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DOF budget gets House committee approval

The House committee on appropriations has endorsed for approval the P21.3-billion budget of the Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies for next year. House appropriations subcommittee chairperson and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said the total DOF budget and its attached agencies will increase by 16 percent in 2017 from P18.413 billion this year. “Funding the budget of the DOF, which is the government’s main agency in charge of revenue generation, is also important in keeping on track the Duterte administration’s long-term goal,” Villafuerto said. The period of interpellation on the 2017 DOF budget plan was finished on Monday night. The budget of the DOF proper notably dropped from P2.6 billion in 2016 to P1.6 billion in 2017, following the cancellation of the plan to build a new building for the …

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