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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-10-02

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] ECB: Possible Cuts in Interest Rates
  • [02] Scotland Yard Chief Resigned
  • [03] Oil Drops to $94

  • [01] Germany

    ECB: Possible Cuts in Interest Rates

    02 2008 19:51:00

    Sources: NA

    The European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday but discussed a cut as financial market turmoil and slowing economic growth has caused inflation risks to ease, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said. "With the weakening of demand, upside risks to price stability have diminished somewhat, but they have not disappeared," Trichet told his monthly news conference. The ECB raised interest rates to their current of 4.25 % as recently as July. Trichet said the ECBs decision to do so had helped the bank to regain control of market inflation expectations, which had risen as inflation surged to a record 4 % in July and August. But since then, financial markets have taken a sharp turn for the worse, with the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September sparking a wave of bank rescues in Europe and the United States. Euro zone inflation has also fallen to 3.6 %, though it remains well above the ECBs target of just below 2 %.Trichet said ECB policymakers recognised "the extraordinary high level of uncertainty stemming from latest developments" on turbulent financial markets and the credit crunch. "Economic activity in the euro area is weakening with contracting domestic demand and tighter financing conditions," he said. Responding to reporters questions, Trichet said the Governing Council had discussed cutting interest rates at its monthly policy meeting on Thursday. "To make our decision we had examined two options, to keep interest rates unchanged or decreasing interest rates," he said. "Our conclusion is that we were right in keeping interest rates as they are."

    All 81 analysts polled by Reuters last week had expected the ECB to keep rates at a 7-year high of 4.25 % for the third month in a row on Thursday, due to its concerns about above-target inflation.

    In response to his view on a rescue plan for European banks similar to Polson plan in the US, Trichet said that the EU does not have a federal budget therefore the US rescue plan does not apply to European political structure. He said, however that there are cases where we need government decisions, explaining that this concerns special cases where financial stability is the target and the ECB has done whatever it could.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [02] Britain

    Scotland Yard Chief Resigned

    02 2008 19:18:00

    Sources: NA

    Britains most senior police officer resigned on Thursday following criticism of his leadership and his handling of major investigations including terrorism cases and accusations of racial discrimination. Ian Blair, 55, commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, said he was stepping down 16 months before his five-year contract, which was due to expire in February 2010, because he felt he had insufficient backing from Londons new mayor, Boris Johnson. "I have today offered my resignation as commissioner to the Home Secretary, which she has reluctantly but graciously accepted," Blair told a news conference

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] In World Markets

    Oil Drops to $94

    02 2008 18:11:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: NA

    Oil fell more than $4 towards $94 a barrel on Thursday, as the U.S. dollar rose and as the U.S. Senates approval of a $700 billion bailout of the financial sector failed to allay concerns over weakening fuel demand in the worlds top energy consumer. Specifically in NY Stock Market, U.S. light crude for November delivery fell $4.39 to $94.14 in the early afternoon. London Brent was down $4.33 at $91.00.The dollars advance to a near 13-month high against the euro and a basket of major currencies put pressure on oil, which is priced in dollars. But oils fall also reflected a shift in sentiment to focus more on falling demand in industrialised countries.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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