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Asian stocks dip, euro stuck near one-year lows Monday, September 1, 2014 7:59 pm

A pedestrian looks at an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries outside a brokerage in TokyoThe index managed to carve out gains on Monday, brushing aside the Ukraine crisis and a downbeat China manufacturing survey. The common currency was expected to remain under pressure ahead of Thursday's European Central Bank policy meeting. While many market participants do not expect the ECB to take major easing steps this week, a few are seen braced for new policy measures with further central bank easing considered a matter of when and not if in the face of risks to euro zone growth posed by the Ukraine conflict and stubbornly low inflation. "This week may start to mark the biggest shift in global monetary policy since 'Abenomics' went into full steam on the appointment of Haruhiko Kuroda to head up the BOJ," equity strategists at Jefferies wrote in a note to clients.


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China's Li Ning stumbles from gold medal position to no man's land Monday, September 1, 2014 4:52 pm

File picture of a woman walking past a Li Ning sportswear store in HuaibeiBy Donny Kwok HONG KONG (Reuters) - In 2010, former Chinese gymnast Li Ning led a surging $4 billion sportswear business, a gold-medal pinnacle echoing his victories at the 1984 Olympic Games. Now, the Li Ning business is more reminiscent of the ex-sportsman's exit from the 1988 Olympics without a podium finish. As customers have turned to aspirational global brands like Nike Inc or cheaper local firms, Li Ning has racked up heavy losses, losing four-fifths of its market value.


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Hollande, Draghi agree on threat of deflation: official Monday, September 1, 2014 1:48 pm

French President Francois Hollande speaks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at the Elysee Palace in ParisFrench President Francois Hollande and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi agreed on Monday that deflation and weak growth were threatening the European Union's economy, an official in the president's office said. Draghi called last week for greater emphasis on fiscal stimulus over austerity - comments that irritated German leaders but were welcomed in France because they hinted at a shift away from a current emphasis on budgetary austerity. "I think the diagnosis is a shared one," an advisor to Hollande told reporters after an hour-long meeting between the Socialist president and Draghi at the Elysee presidential palace. The two men shared the view that weak growth and a threat of deflation in the European Union were problems that needed to be addressed, the advisor added.


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Twenty years on, Schaeuble pleads again for core Europe Monday, September 1, 2014 5:14 am

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attends a news conference at the Bercy Finance Ministry in ParisGerman Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble renewed a call for a core group of European Union countries to move ahead faster with economic and political integration, 20 years after his ground-breaking proposal fell on deaf ears in key partner France. In an article published in the Financial Times on Monday, Schaeuble proposed creating an EU commissioner with the power to reject national budgets that breach the bloc's fiscal rules, and establishing an inner-core parliament for the euro zone. "In order to make progress in all of these areas, we should keep using the approach that proved its mettle back in 1994: to establish cores of co-operation within the EU that enable smaller, willing groups of member states to forge ahead," Schaeuble wrote in the article, co-authored by fellow German Christian Democrat Karl Lamers. They acknowledged that many EU countries remain reticent about closer political union that would involve transferring more sovereignty to Europe.


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Factory activity in Europe, Asia cools; demand lull a concern Monday, September 1, 2014 6:57 am

An employee works at a machine manufacturing factory in HuaibeiBy Sumanta Dey and Wayne Cole BANGALORE/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Factory activity in Europe and Asia cooled in August after a strong July, as new orders dwindled in the face of escalating tensions in Ukraine and a patchy recovery in China, purchasing managers indexes showed. Despite euro zone manufacturers barely raising their prices, growth in the region slowed slightly more than initially thought, and activity in China's vast factory sector slackened on weak foreign and domestic demand, stoking speculation that further policy stimulus would be needed. "A concerted slowdown in the China, euro zone and UK manufacturing PMIs as the second quarter gets under way raises alarm bells about global demand conditions," said Lena Komileva, chief economist at G+ Economics in London.


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