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Stocks improve...Central bank challenge...China criticism

August 15, 2017

TOKYO (AP) — International stock markets rose today as both Koreas and the U.S. signaled a willingness to defuse the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program. Yesterday’s rally on Wall Street led by gains in technology shares also helped. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street today. Benchmark U.S. crude oil inched down but remains above $47.50 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s top court has declined to hear a series of challenges to the European Central Bank’s bond-buying stimulus program, referring them instead to the European Court of Justice. The dpa news agency reports that those against the program claimed it constituted illegal budget financing and that Germany’s central bank should not be participating. The Federal Constitutional Court ruled that because the challenge was about European Union regulations, it was up to the European court to decide.

BEIJING (AP) — China criticized President Donald Trump’s order for a possible U.S. trade investigation of Beijing’s technology policies as a violation of global rules and says it will “resolutely safeguard” Chinese interests. Trade groups for technology companies welcomed Trump’s order Monday but the Chinese Commerce Ministry said it violated the spirit of international trade and Washington’s World Trade Organization commitments.

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that consumer price inflation in Britain held steady in July at an annual rate of 2.6 percent. The reading from the Office for National Statistics was slightly better than anticipated. The consensus of economists was a modest uptick to 2.7 percent.

BERLIN (AP) — The German economy, Europe’s largest, continued its strong performance in the second quarter with gross domestic product growing 0.6 percent over the previous quarter. The Federal Statistics Office says the GDP growth followed an upwardly revised 0.7 percent growth in the first quarter, according to figures adjusted for seasonal and calendar variations. The figures could bolster Chancellor Angela Merkel’s re-election campaign.

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