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Greece Sticks to Anti-Austerity Demands Following ECB Loan Cut
(Bloomberg) -- Greece held fast to demands to roll back austerity as the European Central Bank turned up the heat before Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis meets one of his main antagonists, German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble.
The encounter at 12:30 p.m. in Berlin comes hours after Greece lost a critical funding artery when the ECB restricted loans to its financial system. That raised pressure on the 10-day-old government to yield to German-led austerity demands to stay in the euro zone.
The government "remains unwavering in the goals of its social salvation program, approved by the vote of the Greek people," according to a Finance-Ministry statement issued overnight. It's aim is "coming up with a European policy that will definitively put an end to the now self-perpetuating crisis of the Greek social economy."
China stocks fall as central bank easing fails to impress; more stimulus expected
(Reuters) - Chinese stocks erased earlier gains and closed 1 percent lower on Thursday, after an injection of more money into the system by the central bank failed to impress investors who are worried about an ongoing crackdown on high-leverage trading.
The yuan and money rates dipped after the People's Bank of China (PBOC) cut banks' reserve requirement ratios by 50 basis points, a widely expected stimulus move to support the world's second-biggest economy.
"The cut was largely priced in to the stock market (already), but it has reconfirmed an important message to investors that China's monetary cycle has firmly shifted to the loosening camp," Jing Ning, Portfolio Manager at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, wrote in a note to clients.
Oil drops more than $1 after crashing on inventory concerns
(Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than $1 on Thursday, extending big losses in the previous session as record high inventories in the United States coupled with concerns over global demand had cut short a four-day rally.
Oil markets remain highly volatile, with U.S. crude losing 9 percent on Wednesday in one of its biggest routs. In the previous four sessions, prices had rallied almost 19 percent from their lowest in nearly six years.
Brent crude for March delivery had dropped $1.02 to $53.14 a barrel by 0633 GMT (1.33 a.m. EST), after touching $55 a barrel earlier in the day. The contract had settled $3.21 or 5.5 percent lower the previous day.
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