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25 June 2010 5:18 PM | Tagged: baltic dry index business
The cost of shipping dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal and grains on Thursday extended its losses to a near nine-month low as the freight market felt the effects of lower buying by Chinese steelmakers.The Baltic Dry index of freight costs dropped to 2,502 points on Thursday, its lowest since early October.The index has now fallen 40 per cent since its peak a month ago.

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25 June 2010 5:18 PM | Tagged: state unemployment benefits business
US stocks moved sharply lower on Thursday on growing concerns about the pace at which the global recovery is proceeding but a bigger than-expected fall in jobless claims gave some support.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000, slightly better than the average analyst estimate of 460,000.

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25 June 2010 5:18 PM | Tagged: coffee futures business
Speculators betting on lower coffee prices suffered large losses for the second time this month on Thursday as futures prices in New York swung violently to a 12-year peak, prompting fears that roasters will need to increase retail prices soon.High-quality Arabica coffee futures have surged more than 30 per cent in two weeks as low crops in Colombia and Central American countries earlier this yea

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25 June 2010 5:18 PM | Tagged: forthcoming presidential election business
The likely victor of Poland’s forthcoming presidential election said the nation should pull its troops out of Afghanistan by 2012, adding to the list of nations readying early withdrawals from the Nato mission.In a move that increases growing international unease over the future of the war, Bronislaw Komorowski, acting president, said Poland should inform its allies this autumn of the new deadlin

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25 June 2010 5:18 PM | Tagged: benchmark ftse business
European markets slumped for a third consecutive day on Thursday after bearish comments from the US Federal Reserve overnight and disappointing order figures for the region spooked investors.The benchmark FTSE Eurofirst 300 sank 1.9 per cent to 1,020.33 points, its lowest point in ten days as soaring Greek and Portuguese government bond yields hit confidence in the eurozone.

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25 June 2010 8:57 AM | Tagged: wall street banks business
A year-long financial reform effort in the US approached the finishing line on Thursday with Wall Street banks braced for an expensive restructuring intended to prevent any repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.The final days’ arguments have centred on proposed limits for derivatives dealing and the Volcker rule that prevents banks from proprietary trading and restricts their relationships with hed

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25 June 2010 5:57 AM | Tagged: mohammad baqer business
The streets of Iran’s grey capital – the scene of bloody unrest against the Islamic regime last year – are being cleaned and beautified by new parks and public art, thanks to an ambitious mayor.Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, a pragmatic fundamentalist and noted opponent of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the president, is trying to bolster his reputation by improving life for Tehran’s 9m residents.

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25 June 2010 4:47 AM | Tagged: fiscal strategy business
So, is there to be a fight over fiscal frugality in Toronto or not? That appears to depend not just on whom you ask, but on which day you ask them.Heading in to this weekend’s meeting of the G20 heads of government in Canada, the scene appeared set for a battle over fiscal strategy between the US and most of the rest of the G20.