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Stocks gain...EU employment picture improves...Business optimism in Japan

October 2, 2017

TOKYO (AP) — Shares were higher in Europe and Asia on today, supported by strong results from surveys of manufacturers, though the euro slipped on concern over the potential impact of Catalonia’s independence referendum. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $51.50 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that the number of people unemployed across the 19-eurozone economy edged down further in August, but that the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at its lowest level since early 2009. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, said the number of jobless fell by 42,000 to 14.751 million. The unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, its joint-lowest since February 2009. It’s the latest piece of good news for the region that has stoked expectations that the European Central Bank will soon start to reduce its stimulus.

TOKYO (AP) — A quarterly survey by the Bank of Japan shows business sentiment rising to its strongest level in a decade, exceeding analysts’ expectations for the world’s third largest economy. The BOJ’s “tankan” index for large manufacturers rose to 22 from 17 in June and a forecast level of 15. It suggested that growing shortages of factory capacity could encourage manufacturers to invest more, helping to drive growth.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A new report finds legal sports betting could be offered in 32 states within five years if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey’s quest to offer such gambling. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC, which tracks state-by-state gambling legislation, says a new market would be worth more than $6 billion. If all 50 states got on board, legal sports betting could be worth $7.1 to $15.8 billion.

BEDMINSTER, New Jersey (AP) — President Donald Trump’s top advisers say his proposed tax plan would not cut taxes disproportionately for the rich — despite an early non-partisan analysis that says it will. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that it was too early for analysts to gauge that figure because the plan leaves out for now many crucial details, such as which income levels the new tax brackets would apply to.

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