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While you were sleeping: Global bank tax mooted

While you were sleeping: Global bank tax mooted, U.S. jobless soar

Nov. 9 (BusinessWire) – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown proposed a global financial transactions tax as a way of extracting an insurance levy from banks.

Brown was speaking at the weekend meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 nations. U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner subsequently said America could not support a financial transaction tax.

Brown also suggested an insurance fee that reflects the risk of banks and a pool of funds to ensure an orderly process when banks fall into bankruptcy.

The G20 agreed by November 2010 to progress a framework to achieve “sustainable and balanced” global economic growth.

The U.S. House approved sweeping changes to American health-care which will force all people in the U.S. to get insurance cover while tightening the rules for insurers, changes estimated to cost US$1 trillion over 10 years. The measure was approved by 220 votes to 215.

The changes “make real the promise of quality, affordable health care for the American people,” President Barack Obama said.

The unemployment rate in America rose to a higher-than-expected 10.2% last month, the most since 1983. Labor Department figures showed non-farm payrolls fell by a greater-than-expected 190,000 in October. The data suggests consumer sentiment will be frailer than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2% to 10023.42 on Friday in New York and the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.3% to 1069.30. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3% to 2112.44.

European equity markets followed a similar pattern. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 rose 0.2% to 241.06. Among national benchmarks, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3% to 5142.72, Germany’s DAX 30 gained 0.1% to 5488.25 and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.1% to 3707.29.

The dollar gained against the euro after the U.S. jobless rate jumped more than expected, eroding investors’ risk appetite.

The greenback rose 0.1% to US$1.4839 per euro while the yen strengthened almost 1% to 133.41 per euro. The dollar fell 0.8% to 89.85 yen.

India will pare back its fiscal stimulus starting next year amid “clear signs of an upturn” in economic growth speeds to more than 7%, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Like other countries we resorted to a significant stimulus and we will take appropriate action next year to wind this down,” Singh said at an economic summit in New Delhi.

New Zealand’s economy is also accelerating, Prime Minister John Key told state-owned Television New Zealand. Growth will be helped by recovery in Australia, he said.

Copper fell after the U.S. jobless rate outpaced expectations, amid doubts demand for the metal can be sustained.

Copper futures for December delivery slipped 0.2% to US$2.9525 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday.

Crude oil for December delivery fell 2.8% to US$77.43 a barrel in New York.


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