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Mixed markets...Economic outlook...China currency struggled

October 9, 2018

SINGAPORE (AP) — European and Asian markets are mixed after the International Monetary Fund lowered its outlook for the world economy, citing the impact of rising interest rates and trade tensions. Markets in Asia were mostly lower. Futures point to a pessimistic opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $74.50 a barrel. The dollar slipped against the yen and gained against the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its outlook for the world economy, citing rising interest rates and growing tensions over trade. The IMF said Monday that the global economy will grow 3.7 percent this year, down from the 3.9 percent it was forecasting in July. It slashed its outlook for the 19 countries that use the euro currency and for Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. The IMF expects the U.S. economy to grow 2.9 percent this year, the fastest pace since 2005 and unchanged from the July forecast.

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government has promised not to weaken its currency to boost exports and rejected U.S. concern about the sagging yuan as groundless and irresponsible. A foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said Tuesday that Beijing has no intention of using “competitive devaluation” to make exports less expensive during a tariff fight with Washington.The tightly controlled Chinese currency fell to a 22-month low of 6.93 to the dollar on Monday before recovering slightly on Tuesday.

NEW YORK (AP) — Google is expected to introduce two new smartphones Tuesday, part of its continuing push to embed its digital services and Android software more deeply into peoples’ lives. The new Pixel-branded phones will anchor a product event Tuesday in New York. Google launched its line of high-end phones two years ago to better compete against Apple, Samsung and other device makers. Google is also likely to roll out several other gadgets, including new version of its “smart” Home speaker, a rumored tablet with a detachable keyboard and an update to its Chromecast streaming device.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan says it will seek a bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund to address a mounting balance of payments crisis, Finance Minister Asad Umar said Monday. Umar said he will hold talks with IMF officials later this month. Analysts say Pakistan hopes to secure $8 billion in loans to avoid an economic meltdown. It also wants fresh loans from China, which has already invested heavily in roads and the energy sector.

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