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ARGENTINA: House Authorizes Kirchner's Prosecution For 'illicit Association'

Argentina’s House of Representatives authorized the prosecution of former president Cristina Fern?ndez de Kirchner as the alleged head of an illicit association. She is accused of money laundering and “gifts” distribution in the “Los Sauces” case, in which contractors allegedly rented property from a company that belongs to the Kirchner family to obtain public contracts.

Cristina, who recently was sworn in as a Senator, denies the allegations while accuses the current Argentinean President, Mauricio Macri, and his allies of sponsoring lawsuits against her as a political weapon.

In its decision, the House of Representatives considered “lack of merit” for an “incompatible negotiations” allegation and reduced an assets embargo from up to 130 million pesos (US$ 7.47 million)to up to 110 million pesos (US$ 6.32 million).

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COLOMBIA: Jobless Rate Drops To 8.6% In October

Colombia’s unemployment rate in October fell to 8.6%, from 9.2% in September, reaching the lowest level since November 2016, said the country’s statistics office.

Before seasonal adjustment, the October jobless rate in Colombia was 9.5%, down from 9.6% in the previous month.

The participation rate in October was 65.6%, an increase compared to the 64.2% recorded in September. Finally, the employment rate was at 60.0% in October, up from 58.2% in September.

Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate for the August-October 2017 quarter was 9.0%, an increase compared to the 8.6% recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.

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Treasuries Come Under Pressure Amid Optimism About Tax Reform

Treasuries moved notably lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday, extending the downward move seen over the two previous sessions.

Bond prices saw modest weakness in morning trading before seeing further downside as the day progressed. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 4.1 basis points to 2.417 percent.

With the increase seen over the past three sessions, the ten-year yield ended the session at its highest closing level in a month.

The continued weakness among treasuries came as optimism about the outlook for tax reform reduced the appeal of treasuries after Senate Republicans cleared a key procedural hurdle.

The Senate voted 52 to 48 along party lines on Wednesday to begin formal debate on the GOP tax reform bill after negotiations convinced Republican holdouts to vote for the legislation.

The approval of the procedural motion sets the stage for a final Senate vote on the tax reform bill late Thursday or early Friday.

The vote came as Senate Republican leaders convinced some GOP holdouts that their concerns with the legislation would be addressed.

Adding to the optimism about the passage of the bill, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., announced he would support the legislation.

Upbeat economic data also weighed on treasuries, with a Labor Department report showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended November 25th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 238,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 240,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 240,000 from the 239,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed personal income increased by slightly more than expected in October, while personal spending rose in line with estimates.

The report said personal income climbed by 0.4 percent in October, matching the increase seen in September. Economists had expected income to rise by 0.3 percent.

The Commerce Department also said personal spending rose by 0.3 percent in October after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.9 percent in September.

Economists had expected spending to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 1.0 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, MNI Indicators released a report showing a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of November.

The outcome of a potential final Senate vote on the GOP tax reform bill may impact trading on Friday along with reports on manufacturing activity and construction spending.

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Dollar Mixed Despite Solid Economic Data

The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon. The buck has pared its early gains against its major European rivals and is now down against the Euro and the British pound. However, but dollar is rising against the Japanese Yen.

There was economic data aplenty on both sides of the pond Thursday. The latest batch of U.S. data was largely better than expected.

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended November 25th. The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 238,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 240,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 240,000 from the 239,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Personal income in the U.S. increased by slightly more than expected in the month of October, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, while the report said personal spending rose in line with estimates.

The report said personal income climbed by 0.4 percent in October, matching the increase seen in September. Economists had expected income to rise by 0.3 percent.

The Commerce Department also said personal spending rose by 0.3 percent in October after increasing by a downwardly revised 0.9 percent in September. Economists had expected spending to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 1.0 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

Reflecting slower growth in new orders and order backlogs, MNI Indicators released a report on Thursday showing a slowdown in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of November.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer slid to 63.9 in November from 66.2 in October, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth. Economists had expected to index to drop to 63.0.

The dollar has fallen to around $1.19 against the Euro Thursday afternoon, from an early high of $1.1808.

Eurozone inflation increased in November largely due to higher energy prices, flash data from Eurostat showed Thursday. Consumer prices advanced 1.5 percent year-on-year in November, following October’s 1.4 percent increase. Inflation was forecast to rise to 1.6 percent.

The euro area jobless rate fell to the lowest since early 2009, data from Eurostat showed Thursday. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent in October from 8.9 percent in September. This was the lowest since January 2009. The rate was forecast to remain unchanged at 8.9 percent.

Germany’s retail sales logged an unexpected decline in October, figures from Destatis revealed Thursday. Retail turnover dropped 1.4 percent year-on-year in October, which was the first fall in eight months. Economists had forecast a 2.8 percent increase following September’s 4.1 percent rise.

Germany’s unemployment declined more than expected in November, reports said citing the Federal Labor Agency, on Thursday. The number of people out of work decreased 18,000 in November from October. Economists had forecast a monthly fall of 10,000.

France’s consumer price inflation increased as expected in November, flash data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. Inflation rose slightly to 1.2 percent in November from 1.1 percent in October. The rate matched economists’ expectations.

The buck has dropped to a 2-month low of $1.3525 against the pound sterling this afternoon, from a high of $1.3408 this morning.

UK house prices increased at a steady pace in November, figures published by the Nationwide Building Society showed Thursday. House prices increased 2.5 percent year-on-year in November, the same rate of growth as seen in October. Inflation was forecast to rise to 2.7 percent.

Squeezed income, higher inflation and economic uncertainty dampened British consumer sentiment in November, survey data from GfK showed Thursday. The consumer sentiment index fell to -12 in November from -10 in October. The score was forecast to drop marginally to -11. A similar lower reading was last seen in July.

The greenback has climbed to over a 1-week high of Y112.590 against the Japanese Yen, from a low of Y111.730.

Industrial production in Japan advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on month in October, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday. That was shy of expectations for an increase of 1.8 percent following the 1.0 percent decline in September.

Japan’s housing starts declined for the fourth straight month in October, and at a faster-than-expected pace, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Thursday. Housing starts fell 4.8 percent year-on-year in October, bigger than September’s 2.9 percent decrease. That was also above the 2.8 percent drop economists had forecast.

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Crude Oil Lower Despite OPEC Supply Cut Extension

Crude oil prices fell Thursday, even after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia agreed to extend their oil production-cut agreement to the end of 2018.

Markets downplayed the news amid speculation that certain OPEC members will renege on promised supply cuts.

Libya and Nigeria will cap oil output at 2017 levels, Saudi Arabia’s al-Falih oil minister said.

The next OPEC ministerial meeting is set for June 2018, according to Russian Oil Minister Alexander Novak.

Jan. WTI oil settled at $57.40/bbl on Nymex, up 10 cents, or less than 0.2%.

Yesterday, the Energy Information Administration reported a second consecutive weekly decline in U.S. oil inventories.

Also in North America this week, TransCanada re-started its Keystone pipeline following a recent spill in South Dakote.

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“أوبك” وروسيا تتفقان على تمديد اتفاق خفض الإنتاج حتى نهاية العام المقبل

اتفقت “أوبك” وروسيا اليوم على تمديد اتفاق خفض الإنتاج حتى نهاية عام 2018، وذلك بعد ساعات من المناقشات بين الطرفين في فيينا، بحسب ما ذكرت مصادر لـ”رويترز” و”داو جونز”.

 

وعلاوة على ذلك، وافقت نيجيريا وليبيا – العضوان بـ”أوبك” اللتان أعفيتا من اتفاق خفض الإنتاج – على عدم زيادة إنتاجهما أعلى مستويات 2017.

 

واتفقت “أوبك” وروسيا اليوم على تمديد اتفاق خفض الإنتاج حتى نهاية عام 2018، وذلك بعد ساعات من المناقشات مع منتجين مستقلين.

 

يُذكر أن “أوبك” وافقت اليوم على تمديد اتفاق خفض الإنتاج تسعة أشهر حتى نهاية العام، وكان الاتفاق قد تم التوصل إليه في البداية خلال نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني عام 2016، وتم تمديده لاحقا حتى نهاية مارس/آذار 2018، ليتم تمديده مجددا لنهاية العام.

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الأسهم الأوروبية تتخلى عن مكاسبها وتغلق على انخفاض

تخلت مؤشرات الأسهم الأوروبية عن المكاسب التي سجلتها في بداية تداولات الخميس وأغلقت على انخفاض عقب صدور بيانات اقتصادية ضعيفة.

 

وفي نهاية الجلسة، تراجع مؤشر “ستوكس يوروب 600” القياسي بنسبة 0.1% أو نقطة واحدة إلى 386 نقطة.

 

وهبط مؤشر “فوتسي 100” البريطاني (- 67 نقطة) إلى 7326 نقطة، كما انخفض “داكس” الألماني (- 38 نقطة) إلى 13024 نقطة، في حين تراجع “كاك” الفرنسي (- 25 نقطة) إلى 5372 نقطة.

 

وفيما يتعلق بالبيانات الاقتصادية، تراجع مؤشر مبيعات التجزئة في ألمانيا 1.5% خلال أكتوبر/تشرين الأول، وهو انخفاض فاق التوقعات.

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