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Europe is moving in the right direction, but still cautious


24 May 2021

Italy, which holds the annual presidency of the G20, on Friday welcomed a proposal from the US Treasury Department for a global corporate tax of at least 15%. Washington offered to accept the new rate during international negotiations, significantly below its proposed 21% minimum for U.S. multinational firms.

Eurozone finance ministers were upbeat on Friday about the prospects of economic recovery from the pandemic-induced slump but said Europe would have to work hard to avoid long-term economic damage and not to fall behind China and the United States. European Commission forecasts show the 27-nation EU will reach pre-pandemic growth levels around the middle of 2022, with some, like Germany and France already there at the end of this year and others, like Italy or Spain only at the end of 2022.

Oil prices rose on Friday after three days of losses, but were on track for a weekly fall as investors braced for the return of Iranian crude supplies after officials said Iran and world powers made progress a nuclear deal. Brent crude rose, however, it fell about 4% on the week – the biggest loss since March – after Iran’s president said the United States was ready to lift sanctions on his country’s oil, banking and shipping sectors.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Friday, It is still too early for the European Central Bank to discuss winding down its 1.85 trillion euro emergency bond purchase scheme, less than two weeks ahead of a crucial policy meeting. Lagarde’s comments are likely to be aimed at fighting market speculation that ECB policymakers will decide to, or least discuss, slowing the pace of the ECB’s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) when they meet on June 10.

Beset by rising regulatory pressure, bitcoin hovered around $40,000 on Friday, pausing its attempt to recover from this week’s massive plunge. The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday called for new rules that would require large cryptocurrency transfers to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve flagged the risks cryptocurrencies posed to financial stability.

Fundamental breakdown

#source

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