MARKETS: US: 20:43: 21/03/17: US Stock Market Faces Worst Day of Year as Dow, Nasdaq Fall – #AceNewsDesk reports – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceReport – Mar.21: Rebalance of markets after the Highs as Stocks post their biggest loss in 2017 Is the honeymoon period between Wall Street and President Trump over? The Dow fell by about 238 points Tuesday, a drop of more than 1%. #AceNewsDesk reports

AP reports that Stocks posted their biggest loss in 2017 The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4:00 p.m.

U.S. stocks had their biggest drop this year, led by declines in banks.

Financial companies, which soared in the months since the U.S. presidential election, fell sharply Tuesday.

Bank of America sank 5.8 percent, while JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo each lost about 3 percent.

A drop in bond yields helped push financial stocks lower. Lower yields mean lower interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans.

Industrial companies and transportation stocks also fell. United Continental dropped 3.3 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 29 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,344.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 237 points, or 1.1 percent, to 20,668. The Nasdaq composite dropped 107 points, or 1.8 percent, to 5,793.

Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market.

___

11:45 a.m.

The stock market is on track for its biggest loss so far this year as banks and industrial companies move sharply lower.

Major banks were sinking along with bond yields in midday trading Tuesday. Lower yields mean lower interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans, which makes lending money less profitable.

Bank of America dropped 4.5 percent and KeyCorp fell 4.2 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 18 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,355.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 149 points, or 0.7 percent, to 20,756. The Nasdaq composite dropped 63 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,837.

Small-company stocks and transportation companies fell more than the rest of the market.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.423 percent.

___

9:35 a.m.

Technology companies are leading stocks slightly higher in early trading on Wall Street.

Apple and Microsoft each rose about 1 percent in the first few minutes of trading Tuesday. Apple announced an update to its iPad tablet and a lower price.

The gains were broad. All 11 industry sectors in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose. In addition to tech, health care and energy companies were also doing better than the rest of the market.

The S&P 500 was up 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to end at 2,380.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,962. The Nasdaq composite gained 23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,924.

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WASHINGTON: Donald Trump to ask Congress to ‘ Make America Great ‘ with his WINNERS AND LOSERS and in this one the WINNERS are DEFENCE and JOBS and the LOSERS are ENVIRONMENT AND AID – Making America Great needs SECURITY and that NEEDED the WINNERS – #AceNewsDesk reports – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceReport – Mar.16: As the first federal budget is announce there’s ‘ Winners and Losers ‘ and since Obama’s departure Donald Trumps main objective has been ramping up two major areas requiring funding: Namely Defence and Jobs, so these immediately become his winners … And the losers are Environment and Aid .. Well he can’t keep the ‘ Bubbling Crude ‘ flowing with all that red tape and the aid budget has been abused by so many do-gooders for too long.

So here is how the figures and cuts stack up to mull over followed by a great report with link on more at bottom of this post from Reuters – #AceNewsDesk reports

16:45: Trump’s Budget to Fund Treasury for Enforcing Tax Laws, Boosting Cybersecurity – Mnuchin

16:40: Trump Homeland Security Budget Allocates $1.5-Billion for Cyber Security – White House

16:06: Trump Budget Includes 31% Environmental Protection Agency Funding Cut – White House

15:39: White House Asks US Congress for $1.1-Billion for #Gitmo Support, Operations in Afghanistan

15:26: Trump Asks Congress for $1.4-Billion to Finance Counter-Islamic State Campaign – White House

15:12: Trump Budget Request Includes $11-Million to Establish Real-Time Immigration Data System

15:07: Trump Requests $24.9-Billion to Address Urgent Warfighting Needs – White House

14:55: Trump Budget Seeks Additional $3-Billion for Homeland Security Border Protection and Mexico Wall

13:20: White House Budget Draft Includes $37.6-Billion for State Department – Statement

12:03: US Confirms Plan to Reduce UN Funding, Says to Cover Up to 25% of UN Peacekeeping Costs at Most – 2018 Budget Blueprint

Military wins in first Trump budget; environment, aid lose big By Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump will ask the U.S. Congress for dramatic cuts to many federal programs as he seeks to bulk up defence spending, start building a wall on the border with Mexico and spend more money deporting illegal immigrants.

In a federal budget proposal with many losers, the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department stand out as targets for the biggest spending reductions. Funding would disappear altogether for 19 independent bodies that count on federal money for public broadcasting, the arts and regional issues from Alaska to Appalachia.

Trump’s budget outline is a bare-bones plan covering just “discretionary” spending for the 2018 fiscal year starting on Oct. 1. It is the first volley in what is expected to be an intense battle over spending in coming months in Congress, which holds the federal purse strings and seldom approves presidents’ budget plans.

Congress, controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, may reject some or many of his proposed cuts. Some of the proposed changes, which Democrats will broadly oppose, have been targeted for decades by conservative Republicans.

Moderate Republicans have already expressed unease with potential cuts to popular domestic programs such as home-heating subsidies, clean-water projects and job training.

Trump is willing to discuss priorities, said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman who made a name for himself as a spending hawk before Trump plucked him for his Cabinet.

“The president wants to spend more money on defence, more money securing the border, more money enforcing the laws, and more money on school choice, without adding to the deficit,” Mulvaney told a small group of reporters during a preview on Wednesday.

“If they have a different way to accomplish that, we are more than interested in talking to them,” Mulvaney said.

Trump wants to spend $54 billion more on defence, put a down payment on his border wall, and breathe life into a few other campaign promises. His initial budget outline does not incorporate his promise to pour $1 trillion into roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure projects. The White House has said the infrastructure plan is still to come.

The defence increases are matched by cuts to other programs so as to not increase the $488 billion federal deficit. Mulvaney acknowledged the proposal would likely result in significant cuts to the federal workforce.

“You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it,” Mulvaney said.

‘AMERICA FIRST’

White House officials looked at Trump’s campaign speeches and “America First” pledges as they crunched the numbers, Mulvaney said.

“We turned those policies into numbers,” he said, explaining how the document mirrored pledges to spend more on the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, veterans’ health care, the FBI, and Justice Department efforts to fight drug dealers and violent crime.

The Department of Homeland Security would get a 6.8 percent increase, with more money for extra staff needed to catch, detain and deport illegal immigrants.

Trump wants Congress to shell out $1.5 billion for the border wall with Mexico in the current fiscal year – enough for pilot projects to determine the best way to build it – and a further $2.6 billion in fiscal 2018, Mulvaney said.

The estimate of the full cost of the wall will be included in the full budget, expected in mid-May, which will project spending and revenues over 10 years.

Trump has vowed Mexico will pay for the border wall, which the Mexican government has flatly said it will not do. The White House has said recently that funding would be kick-started in the United States.

The voluminous budget document will include economic forecasts and Trump’s views on “mandatory entitlements” – big-ticket programs like Social Security and Medicare, which Trump vowed to protect on the campaign trail.

BIGGEST LOSERS

Trump asked Congress to slash the EPA by $2.6 billion or more than 31 percent, and the State Department by more than 28 percent or $10.9 billion.

Mulvaney said the “core functions” of those agencies would be preserved. Hit hard would be foreign aid, grants to multilateral development agencies like the World Bank and climate change programs at the United Nations.

Trump wants to get rid of more than 50 EPA programs, end funding for former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and cut renewable energy research programs at the Energy Department.

Regional programs to clean up the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay would be sent to the chopping block.

Community development grants at the Housing Department – around since 1974 – were cut in Trump’s budget, along with more than 20 Education Department programs, including some funding programme for before- and after- school programs.

Anti-poverty grants and a programme that helps poor people pay their energy bills would be slashed, as well as a Labour Department programme that helps low-income seniors find work.

Trump’s rural base did not escape cuts. The White House proposed a 21 percent reduction to the Agriculture Department, cutting loans and grants for wastewater, reducing staff in county offices and ending a popular programme that helps U.S. farmers donate crops for overseas food aid.

For graphic on winners and losers in Trump’s budget click here

(Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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MARKETS: React to ‘ US Interest Rate Rise ‘ the second in three months as ‘ Global Stocks ‘ strengthen and ‘ Dollar Weakens ‘ spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the central bank’s target – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceReport – Mar.15: 20:21: Interest Rate Increase Presents No Reassessment of US Economic Outlook – Yellen as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the second time in three months, a move spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the central bank’s target.
?m=02&d=20170315&t=2&i=1176688083&w=&fh=545px&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYNXMPED2E1T9Fed raises rates as job gains, firming inflation stoke confidence The decision to lift the target overnight interest rate by 25 basis points to a range of 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent marked one of the Fed’s most convincing steps yet in the effort to return monetary policy to a more normal footing.

However, the Fed’s policy-setting committee did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening.

Although inflation is “close” to the Fed’s 2 percent target, it noted that goal was “symmetric,” indicating a possible willingness to allow prices to rise at a slightly faster pace.

Further rate increases would only be “gradual,” the Fed said in its policy statement, with officials sticking to their outlook for two more rate hikes this year and three more in 2018. The Fed lifted rates once in 2016.

Business investment “appears to have firmed somewhat,” the Fed said in language that reflected a stronger sense of the economy’s momentum.

Fresh economic forecasts released with the statement showed little change from those of the December policy meeting and gave little indication the Fed has a clear view of how the policies of Donald Trump’s administration may impact the economy in 2017 and beyond.

With gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace,” the Fed said, maintaining language it has used in previous statements.

Stock markets extended their gains .SPX and bond yields fell on the benign economic outlook and the continued steady path of interest rate rises signalled by the central bank.

It relieves some of the fears we’ve had that perhaps the Fed was going to raise rates faster in the future. They’ve chosen not to signal that,” said Brad McMillan, Chief Investment Officer at Commonwealth Financial.

The Fed’s projections showed the economy growing by 2.1 percent in 2017, unchanged from the December forecast. The median estimate of the long-run interest rate, where monetary policy would be judged as having a neutral effect on the economy, held steady at 3.0 percent.

The unemployment rate Fed officials expect by the end of the year was unchanged at 4.5 percent, while core inflation was seen as slightly higher at 1.9 percent versus the previous 1.8 percent forecast.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) to discuss the policy statement.

The rate increase comes amid a broad improvement in the world economic outlook and a sense among Fed policymakers that the U.S. economy is close to the central bank’s employment and inflation goals.

According to the policy statement, risks to the outlook remained “roughly balanced,” the Fed said.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari was the only official to dissent in Wednesday’s decision, saying he preferred to leave rates unchanged.

?m=02&d=20170315&t=2&i=1176633067&w=&fh=545px&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYNXMPED2E0UMGlobal stocks strengthen, dollar fades as Fed sees gradual tightening as stocks pushed higher on Wednesday, while Treasury yields fell and the dollar weakened, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in three months but did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening.

The central bank’s rate increase was spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the central bank’s target. Investors had widely expected the rate increase.

But the Fed’s policy-setting committee did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening. Although inflation is “close” to the Fed’s 2-percent target, it noted that goal was “symmetric,” indicating a possible willingness to allow prices to rise at a slightly faster pace.

“Lower rates, higher equities and a lower dollar all point to this being interpreted as more dovish than what was expected,” said Randy Frederick, vice president Of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 104.46 points, or 0.5 percent, to 20,941.83, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 18.29 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,383.74 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 40.50 points, or 0.69 percent, to 5,897.32.

Energy shares .SPNY and defensive sectors such as utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR led gains.

MSCI’s all-country world stock index .MIWD00000PUS climbed 0.9 percent.

“Markets are recognising that while the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three times this year there is not the risk that some were afraid of that they would move more aggressively based on what we have now,” said Frances Donald, senior economist with Manulife Asset Management in Toronto.

The dollar fell 1 percent against a basket of key currencies .DXY and hit a five-week low against the euro.

U.S. two- and three-year yields, which are most vulnerable to Fed policy, fell from multi-year highs touched during morning U.S. trading.

Prices on benchmark 10-year Treasuries US10YT=RR rose 24/32 to yield 2.508 percent, from 2.595 percent late on Tuesday.

Oil prices rose after six sessions of declines. U.S. crude CLc1 settled up 2.4 percent at $48.86 a barrel, after touching a three-month low a day earlier. Benchmark Brent LCOc1 settled up 1.8 percent to $51.81 a barrel.

Before the decision, crude had been lifted by a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and data from the International Energy Agency suggesting OPEC cuts should create a crude deficit in the first half of 2017.

Earlier, the pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.4 percent, helped by energy .SXEP and basic resource stocks .SXPP.

Europe markets also focused on Dutch elections, where anti-EU firebrand candidate Geert Wilders is providing the latest test of anti-establishment and anti-EU sentiment.

(Additional reporting by Ann Saphir, Saqib Ahmed and Sinead Carew, Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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MOSCOW: 10/03/17: 15:30: Putin and Erdogan Talks: Before and After meeting a number of important contracts to supply to Turkey were discussed in relation to greater economic ties Russia’s IRKUT Corp over new MS-21 passenger plane, implementation of Mir payment system and the agreement to allow import of certain named goods – Decree Signed by Putin – #AceFinanceDesk reports – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Mar.10: After meeting in Moscow on Friday between Putin and Erdogan over numerous aspects of cooperation between the two countries – #AceFinanceDesk reports two changes over import of goods and contract for a new passenger plane from a Turkey..

17:15: Russia’s Irkut Corporation says in talks with a number of Turkish Air Carriers on deliveries of MS-21 Passenger Plane

15:30: Putin Says Discussed With Erdogan Infrastructure for Russia’s Mir Payment System in Turkey That May Boost Moscow-Ankara Economic Ties

Earlier: Russian Government allows Import of Turkish Broccoli, Onions, Chewing Gum, Cauliflower, Carnations – Decree signed by Putin

#AceNewsDesk reported earlier on meeting of Putin and Erdogan MOSCOW: 10/03/17: PUTIN AND ERDOGAN TALKS: ON ECONOMY, SECURITY, SYRIA AND VISA-FREE TRAVEL BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES FOLLOWED BY HIGH LEVEL MEETING – REPORT LATER WHEN ENDS – #AceNewsDesk reports – @AceNewsServices
// Ace News Services

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MARKETS: U.S. employers added a robust 235,000 jobs in February and raised pay at a healthy pace as Trumps jobs for America roars ahead adding 100 points to markets at opening – @AceNewsServices

#AceFinanceReport – Mar.10: As the figures on Friday provide a rise in jobs of 235,000 in February markets react with indices up and rumours abound over an rate rise after the government made clear that the economy remains on solid footing nearly eight years after the Great Recession ended.

CNBC reported at opening bell stocks mostly higher after jobs report; Street looks ahead to Fed meeting…

U.S. equities got off to a strong start Friday following a jobs report that topped expectations. http://cnb.cx/2mblxFT

US adds robust 235K jobs, making Fed rate hike as unemployment rate dipped to a low 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent, the Labor Department said. U.S. IT Sector Adds 7,300 Jobs in February, CompTIA Analysis Reveals

http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/320820/comptia_logo.jpg?p=captionDOWNERS GROVE, Ill., March 10, 2017 Paced by another strong month of hiring in software and technology services, the U.S. information technology (IT) sector added an estimated 7,300 jobs in February, according to the CompTIA IT Employment Tracker released today by CompTIA 

More people began looking for jobs in February, a sign of confidence that raised the proportion of Americans working or seeking work to the highest level in nearly a year.

The gains in hiring and pay, along with higher consumer and business confidence since the November election, could lift spending and investment in coming months and accelerate economic growth. Americans are buying homes at a solid pace, and manufacturing is rebounding, in part because of improving economies overseas.

The February jobs data likely provides the final piece of evidence the Fed needs to feel confident enough to resume raising rates. A rate increase at the Fed’s meeting next week would mark its third hike in 15 months, a reflection of how far the economy has come since the recession ended.

Average hourly pay rose 2.8 percent year over year in February, a decent gain though slightly below historical averages. In a healthy economy, wages typically rise at a roughly 3.5 percent annual pace.

Last month’s hiring was boosted by 58,000 additional construction jobs, the most in nearly a decade. That figure was likely enhanced by unseasonably warm weather in much of the nation.

Friday’s report was the first to cover a full month under President Donald Trump. During the presidential campaign, Trump had cast doubt on the validity of the government’s jobs data, calling the unemployment rate a “hoax.” But just minutes after Friday’s report was released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, Trump retweeted a news report touting the job growth.

An array of evidence suggests that the U.S. job market is fundamentally healthy or nearly so. Hiring over the past two months has averaged 237,000, up from last year’s monthly average of 187,000.

The number of people seeking first-time unemployment benefits — a rough proxy for the pace of layoffs — reached a 44-year low two weeks ago.

Business confidence has risen since the presidential election, with many business executives saying they expect faster economic growth to result from Trump’s promised tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

The U.S. economy is also benefiting from steadier economies overseas. Growth is picking up or stabilizing in most European countries as well as in China and Japan.

The 19-nation alliance that uses the euro currency expanded 1.7 percent in 2016, an improvement from years of recession and anemic growth. Germany’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.9 percent, although in crisis-stricken Greece, unemployment remains a painful 23 percent.

In the United States, employers have been hiring solidly for so long that in some industries, they’re being compelled to raise pay. Hourly wages for the typical worker rose 3.1 percent in 2016, according to a report this week by the Economic Policy Institute. That’s much higher than the 0.3 percent average annual pay gain, adjusted for inflation, since 2007, the EPI said.

Minimum wage increases last year in 17 states and Washington, D.C., helped raise pay among the lowest-paid workers, the EPI found. Pay increases for the poorest 10 percent of workers were more than twice as high in states where the minimum wage rose as in states where it did not.

At the start of 2017, minimum wages rose again in 19 states, a trend that might have helped raise pay last month.

U.S. builders are breaking ground on more homes, and factory production has recovered from an 18-month slump, fueling growth and hiring. In February, manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years, according to a trade group. Businesses have stepped up their purchases of industrial equipment, steel and other metals, and computers.

And in January, Americans bought homes at the fastest pace in a decade despite higher mortgage rates. That demand has spurred a 10.5 percent increase in home construction in the past 12 months.

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WASHINGTON: 14:12: 07/03/17: US Trade Deficit Increases by $4.2-Billion Largest Jump in 5 Years – Commerce Department – #AceNewsDesk reports – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceReport – Mar.07: The U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China set a record for the month of January, hitting $31,304,400,000, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

$31,304,400,000: U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit With China Sets January Record
// CNS News – Top Headlines

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#AceBrexitNews – Britain’s factories are growing at their fastest pace in more than three years, helped by the fall in the value of the pound after the #Brexit vote and a recovery in core markets in Europe, a survey showed on Monday – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceReport – Mar.06: The survey, by manufacturing lobby group EEF and consultancy BDO, added to signs that British factories are enjoying a growth spurt, something that #Brexit supporters said would be one of the early benefits of leaving the European Union ..

?m=02&d=20170306&t=2&i=1175050724&w=&fh=545px&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYNXMPED25000UK manufacturers enjoy post-Brexit surge in orders – survey However, many economists say the revival is unlikely to offset fully the impact on the economy of slower consumer spending as sterling’s fall pushes up inflation. Manufacturing accounts for about 10 percent of Britain’s economy.

The post-referendum wobble that defined UK manufacturing’s performance in the second half of 2016 has been left firmly behind with manufacturers now rallying far more strongly than even they had predicted,” EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said.

Last month, GKN (GKN.L) and Meggitt (MGGT.L), two British engineering firms, reported better than expected results and growing business orders.

The survey by EEF and BDO showed output for manufacturers sped up sharply with the balance of firms reporting growth rising to 31 percent in the first quarter, its highest since the third quarter of 2013, when Britain was starting to cast off the after-effects of the global financial crisis.

The balance of firms expecting growth in the second quarter rose to 33 percent.

Only a fifth of companies said they had not yet seen any pick-up in overseas markets while business confidence, investment and employment intentions all rallied.

But prices are likely to rise further as manufacturers seek to eased pressure on their margins caused by the pound’s fall which makes their exports cheaper but the imports they use more expensive, the survey showed.

The EEF raised its forecast for growth in the sector to 1.0 percent this year, from a previous estimate of a 0.2 percent contraction, and it also increased its estimate for British economic growth as a whole to 1.8 percent from 1.3 percent.

The recovery in manufacturing has also been shown in official economic data. In the October-to-December period of last year, factory output was up 1.2 percent from the previous three months, the strongest performance since the #Brexit vote.

Data for January, which is due to be published on Friday, is expected to show another increase in annual terms.

(Writing by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)

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BEIJING, China Preparing to launch its own bitcoin alternative after ‘ People’s Bank ‘ research team completes its trial runs – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Mar.06: After assembling a research team in 2014, the People’s Bank of China has done trial runs of its prototypes cryptocurrency.

China preparing its own bitcoin alternative That’s taking it a step closer to becoming one of the first major central banks to issue digital money that can be used for anything from buying noodles to purchasing a car.

At the same time as it builds up its own capabilities, the PBOC is increasing scrutiny of bitcoin and other private digital tenders. It doesn’t want a bitcoin bubble to blow up.

And since currencies have historically been issued by the state, not private players, it doesn’t want to cede the cryptocurrency space to companies it has no control over.

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PARIS/LONDON: General Motors Agrees to Sell Subsidiary Opel, European Financial Operations for 2.3-Billion – #AceNewsDesk report – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceNews – Mar.06: It’s was announced the intention for France’s PSA Group (PEUP.PA) being set to announce a deal to buy Opel from General Motors (GM.N) on Monday after striking an agreement with the U.S. carmaker and winning the blessing of its board for the acquisition…
?m=02&d=20170304&t=2&i=1174885736&w=&fh=545px&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYNXMPED2306OPeugeot poised to buy GM’s Opel, creating European car giant The maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars said on Saturday it would hold an early Monday press conference with GM, at which the transaction is expected to be presented after Reuters reported that a deal had been struck between the two automakers.

By acquiring Opel, the French group will leapfrog rival Renault (RENA.PA) to become Europe’s second-ranked carmaker after Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) by market share. Between them, PSA and GM Europe recorded 71.6 billion euros (61.80 billion pounds) in revenue and 4.3 million vehicle deliveries last year.

The tie-up was approved on Friday by the PSA supervisory board, on which the French government, Peugeot family and China’s Dongfeng (0489.HK) are represented as shareholders, one source with knowledge of the matter said.

Spokespeople for PSA and Opel declined further comment. The two carmakers, which already share some production in an existing European alliance, confirmed last month they were negotiating an outright acquisition of Opel and its British Vauxhall brand by Paris-based PSA, sparking widespread concern over possible job cuts.

In their jointly issued invitation to a Paris press conference at 0815 GMT on Monday, PSA and GM gave no indication of its subject. Separate briefings for the German press and Opel unions are expected to be held the same day.

Sources close to the talks had reported progress on Thursday after the carmakers narrowed differences on a near-$10 billion Opel pension deficit and other issues. GM’s European arm recently posted a 16th consecutive year of losses.

The negotiations had encountered problems over GM demands that a PSA-owned Opel be barred from competing against its own Chevrolet lineup in markets including China, they said. But the “non-compete” issues were finally resolved as GM agreed to inject “substantially more” into the pensions than the $1 billion to $2 billion it had initially offered, another person said.

The sources declined to give further details. Detroit-based GM, which came close to selling Opel to Magna (MG.TO) in 2009, has faced investor pressure to offload its struggling European arm and focus on raising profitability rather than chase the global sales crown currently held by VW.

After fending off 2015 merger overtures by Fiat Chrysler with support from her board, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra agreed to target a 20 percent minimum return on invested capital and pay out more cash to shareholders. For PSA, the Opel deal caps a stellar two-year recovery under cost-cutting CEO Carlos Tavares, who said on Feb. 23 he would apply the same methods to Opel if the deal went through. PSA averted bankruptcy by selling 14 percent stakes to France and Dongfeng in 2014, to match a diluted Peugeot family holding.

The acquisition offered an “opportunity to create a European car champion” and quickly exceed 5 million annual vehicle sales, Tavares told analysts as he presented full-year earnings. PSA also expects savings of up to 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) from the tie-up, sources have said. Tavares also told his board that PSA would redevelop the Opel lineup with its own technologies to achieve rapid savings, according to people with knowledge of the matter.($1 = 0.9416 euros)

(Additional reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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BOSTON, Mass. Tax collections have fallen $117 million below expectations for February which is 9% below the benchmark for the month – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceReport – Mar.04: Department of Revenue Commissioner Michael Heffernan said Friday that preliminary revenue collections for February totalled $1.18 billion — which is about 9 percent below the benchmark for the month.

Tax collections fall $117M below expectations for February For the fiscal year to date — which began July 1 — the state has collected $15.85 billion thats $134 million, or 0.8 percent, below estimates for the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

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