Farm Belt trade casualties Deere and Caterpillar cut jobs

Iowa farmers hit by bad weather & politics

The impact of China’s move to greatly curb purchases of U.S. livestock and crops during the ongoing trade war with the U.S. is rippling beyond farmers into the broader agriculture-industrial complex. 

Deere & Co., the maker of combines, tractors and other farm equipment, is indefinitely laying off more than 160 workers in Illinois and Iowa as demand for its farm equipment shrinks, Reuters reported. About 50 of those were cut from the Harvester Works plant in East Moline, Illinois, and some 118 additional workers in Iowa will be laid off starting Nov. 18, according to notices required by the state.

Farmers are struggling both because of bad weather and China’s retaliatory move to curtail, or entirely halt, purchases of soybeans, corn and other products in retaliation for tariffs President Donald Trump imposed starting last year. Under a preliminary deal currently under discussion, China would commit to buying between $ 40 billion and $ 50 billion a year in American farm products, according to U.S. trade officials. 

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Experts are skeptical such a goal is achievable, however, and the two sides have yet to clinch a final agreement.

Farmers reckon with the idea of “climate change” amid a changing climate

While farmers anxiously await a formal trade deal, makers of farming equipment are trimming their workforces amid sales declines. Caterpillar, which also makes farm equipment, earlier this month laid off 120 workers in Texas, citing market conditions and the trade war.

“Orders have sunk so low that I am lucky to have a job,” Devin Spencer, an employee at the Harvester Works plant, told Reuters this week. “What happens if we don’t get orders? I am out of the door.”

Deere in September downgraded its outlook for equipment sales for the year, citing “trade uncertainty” as a factor and weaker customer demand. Caterpillar in October also said it would cut equipment production because of diminished orders and lowered its outlook for 2019.

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World – CBSNews.com

Pres Trump: We will be doing a major, middle income tax cut

Trump speaking on healthcare plan

  • signed order and price transparency in healthcare 
  • order will force companies to compete 
  • rule will compel hospitals to publish prices 
  • consumer will have lots of choices regard to doctors hospital and price
  • insurance firms will need to show treatment costs

in addition to his healthcare comments, Pres. Trump has also said:

  • we will be doing a major, middle income tax cut
  • tax-cut will be subject to Republicans winning house

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Forex – Dollar Flat After Powell Plays Down Further Cuts; HK Eyed

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com — The dollar was mostly flat in early trade in Europe on Friday amid a lull in news ahead of more U.S. economic data later in the day.

The greenback is on course for a modest loss of around 0.2% this week, drifting as the world waits for China and the U.S. tie up an elusive trade truce.

The threat of a Chinese crackdown on unrest in Hong Kong is also keeping markets on edge. President Xi Jinping urged the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam to clamp down on protests on late on Thursday, urging “forceful actions . . . to punish those who have committed violent crimes,” according to the Financial Times.

However, the FT also cited people familiar with the matter as saying that China’s top official overseeing the territories of Hong Kong and Macau had delayed a visit to the city for fear of inflaming the situation further.

By 4 AM ET (0900 GMT), the , which tracks the buck against a basket of developed market currencies, was at 98.050, little changed from late Friday. and were both effectively unchanged at $ 1.1025 and $ 1.2880, respectively.

The dollar had received some support from two days of Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who made clear that there would be no further cuts to U.S. interest rates barring a major deterioration in the economy.

The modest uptick in last week along with weakening on Thursday clearly didn’t meet that requirement, but there is the chance that U.S. and data, both due later Friday, may send stronger signals of a slowdown.

Elsewhere, the global trend towards lower interest rates continued, with cuts by the central banks of both Mexico and Egypt. Both the and took the moves in their stride.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Fresh trade deal hopes gently lift dollar, Aussie

By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar and riskier trade-exposed currencies found some support on Friday as fresh hopes for a breakthrough in Sino-U.S. trade talks were tempered with caution.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late on Thursday that the two parties were getting close to a deal and the “mood music is pretty good”.

He offered no new details, but the sentiment was enough to reverse a little of the safe-haven Japanese yen’s overnight gain and to buoy the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

The yen fell 0.2% to 108.57 per dollar and dropped 0.3% on the rising .

The Australian dollar , which had tumbled on Thursday after an unexpected rise in the national unemployment rate, added 0.2% to $ 0.6795.

The New Zealand dollar rose 0.1% to $ 0.6388. China’s yuan rose 0.2% but remained just shy of strengthening past the 7-per-dollar level at 7.0076.

Against a basket of six major currencies () the greenback was steady at 98.140 as caution and the lack of concrete news in Kudlow’s remarks kept a lid on risk appetite.

“It may not be a game-changer,” said Terence Wu, a treasury strategist at OCBC Bank in Singapore. “Thus, we think any reversal in the risk-off trades may not see a good shelf-life.”

Mixed signals on trade negotiations have abounded in recent days while evidence of the damage the dispute is wreaking on the global economy has mounted.

The next scheduled economic updates are Eurozone trade and inflation data due at 1000 GMT and the New York Fed manufacturing survey due at 1330 GMT.

On Thursday, China’s commerce ministry said the two countries are holding “in-depth” discussions, while U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday a deal was close.

But the Financial Times, citing unidentified people close to the talks, said an agreement may not be reached in time to avoid a new round of U.S. tariffs taking effect on Dec. 15.

Sub-par growth figures on Thursday from China and Japan, followed by lackluster updates in Britain and Europe underlined the potential downside if a deal falters.

Few are game to make a decisive call either way.

“Until we’ve got the word from Donald Trump, no-one’s really willing to get in front of it,” said Jason Wong, senior market strategist at BNZ in Wellington.

The British pound, meanwhile, sat near peaks scaled overnight.

Sterling touched a six-month high against the euro and gained on the dollar as expectations that Britain’s ruling Conservative Party might win a majority in a Dec. 12 election fueled optimism the Brexit impasse will finally end.

The pound stood at $ 1.2880 and at 0.8559 pence per euro in Asian trade. “Markets now appear to be priced for a high likelihood of a majority Conservative government,” RBC Chief Currency Strategist Adam Cole said in a note.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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General election 2019: Labour pledges free broadband for all

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Labour has promised to give every home and business in the UK free full-fibre broadband by 2030, if it wins the general election.

The party would nationalise part of BT to deliver the policy and introduce a tax on tech giants to help pay for it.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC the “visionary” £20bn plan would “ensure that broadband reaches the whole of the country”.

The Tories said it was a “fantasy plan” that would cost taxpayers billions.

And the Lib Dems said it was “another unaffordable item on the wish list”.

BT chief executive Philip Jansen told BBC News he was happy to work with whoever wins the election to help build a digital Britain.

He added that the impact of any changes on BT pensioners, employees, shareholders – and the millions of investors via pension schemes – needed to be carefully thought through.

However, TechUK, which represents many UK tech firms, said the proposals would be a “disaster” for the telecoms sector and customers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised £5bn to bring full-fibre to every home by 2025.

But Mr McDonnell said the Conservatives’ funding plan for improving broadband was “nowhere near enough” and would leave the UK falling further behind other countries who already have fibre more widely available.

Broadband packages in the UK cost households an average of around £30 a month, according to broadband comparison site Cable – which people would no longer have to pay under Labour’s scheme.

The party claims it would “literally eliminate bills for millions of people across the UK”.

The BBC’s business editor, Simon Jack, said Labour’s proposal had caught BT “off guard”, as Mr McDonnell had said in July that he had no plans to nationalise the telecoms giant.

The company has disputed the cost of rolling out fibre broadband to every home and business, saying it would cost closer to £40bn than £20bn.

According to a report from regulator Ofcom earlier this year, only 7% of the UK has access to full-fibre broadband.

The government hit its target to bring superfast broadband to 95% of homes by December 2017 – at a cost of £1.7bn – but the internet speeds are significantly lower than those of full-fibre.

Mr McDonnell told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg Labour would add an extra £15bn to the government’s existing £5bn broadband strategy, with the money to come from the party’s proposed Green Transformation Fund.

What are the plans?

The plan includes nationalising parts of BT – namely its digital network arm Openreach – to create a UK-wide network owned by the government.

“We’re putting the money in and therefore we should own the benefit as well,” said the shadow chancellor.

He said the roll-out would begin with communities that have the worst broadband access, followed by towns and smaller centres, and then by areas that are currently well served.

A Labour government would compensate shareholders by issuing government bonds. He said Labour had taken legal advice, including ensuring pension funds with investments in BT are not left out of pocket.

As with other planned Labour nationalisations, he said MPs would set the value of the company at the time of it being taken into public ownership.

Having already announced plans to nationalise water, rail and now broadband, Mr McDonnell said this latest plan was “the limit of our ambitions”.

A new entity, British Broadband, would run the network, with maintenance – estimated to cost £230m a year – to be covered by the new tax on companies such as Apple and Google.

“We think they should pay their way and other countries are following suit,” said Mr McDonnell.

Labour has not yet completed the final details of how the internet giant tax would work, saying it would be based “percentage wise” on global profits and UK sales, raising potentially as much as £6bn.

Mr McDonnell said that if other broadband providers did not want to give access to British Broadband, then they would also be taken into public ownership.

Broadband is now a major political issue, but on one thing all sides are agreed: The UK has fallen behind competitors in rolling out a fibre network – the gold standard where a fibre optic cable arrives directly into your home – and way behind countries such as Spain, Portugal and Norway.

When he was running for the Tory leadership Boris Johnson described the broadband strategy of Theresa May’s government as “laughably unambitious” and promised £5bn to hit what the broadband industry thinks is an extremely ambitious target.

Now, Labour has come back with a plan that may be more realistic in timescale but is far more expensive in terms of state spending.

What is not clear is what happens to the wider broadband market – from Virgin Media and Sky to the raft of fibre broadband firms that have sprung up in recent years.

Labour is indicating that the companies “may want to come on board” with its scheme – but it is hard to believe that after years of complaining about BT stifling competition they will be enthusiastic about competing with a state-owned monopoly.

The question for consumers may be who they should trust – broadband suppliers with patchy records on customer service or the state.

The shadow chancellor claimed such a scheme would also have positive effects on the environment, due to a reduction in commuting and enabling people to move out of cities to rural areas – and bring economic and social benefits.

But Conservative Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s fantasy plan to effectively nationalise broadband would cost hardworking taxpayers tens of billions.

“Corbyn is clearly so desperate to distract from his party’s divisions on Brexit and immigration that he will promise anything, regardless of the cost to taxpayers and whether it can actually be delivered. What reckless idea will be next?”

Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat shadow secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: “It might be a Christmas election, but this is getting silly. Another day, another unaffordable item on the wish list.

“Wasting billions of taxpayer funds to nationalise BT won’t solve the connectivity issues faced by so many of our rural communities.”

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The Tories say the full cost of Labour’s plan would be £83bn over 10 years, rather than the £20bn claimed by Labour, as they had greatly underestimated the cost of re-nationalising parts of BT, broadband roll-out and salary costs.

Julian David, chief executive of TechUK, which represents many UK tech firms, said: “These proposals would be a disaster for the telecoms sector and the customers that it serves.

“Renationalisation would immediately halt the investment being driven not just by BT but the growing number of new and innovative companies that compete with BT.”

Labour has costed its policy from a report produced by Frontier Economics in 2018, which was originally produced for the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport.

The report says that when Australia embarked on a similar scheme there was a lot of initial delay over contracts, lasting several years, before any rollout began.

However, once a rollout starts, Frontier says a nationalised programme can deliver relatively quickly.

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BBC News – Technology

Thailand’s ‘Fragile’ Economy Is Expected to Post Muted Recovery

(Bloomberg) — Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.

Thailand’s economic expansion likely accelerated modestly in the third quarter from the slowest pace in almost five years, weighed down by the strength of the country’s currency.

Gross domestic product likely rose 2.8% in the three months through September from a year earlier, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The data will be released Monday.

Exports and tourism have taken a knock from the baht’s 9.2% climb against the dollar in the past 12 months — the strongest in emerging markets — as well as a global economic slowdown sparked by U.S.-China trade tensions.

“The negative impact from weak exports has spread to local investment and consumption,” said Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist at Bank of Ayudhya Pcl in Bangkok. “The economy is actually more fragile now. Any shock, even a small one, can derail the economic recovery.”

The Bank of Thailand has cut interest rates twice this year and last week eased rules on capital outflows, seeking to limit currency strength.

Companies ranging from flag carrier Thai Airways International Pcl to coal miner Banpu Pcl have blamed the baht for making business conditions harder.

“Baht strength is bad for us as we use the dollar as our functional currency, and the baht strengthened a lot in the third quarter,” Somruedee Chaimongkol, Banpu’s chief executive officer, said in a Nov. 13 presentation.

The government has said it will implement more stimulus if needed, adding to a package of steps already announced worth more than $ 10 billion.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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European major indices close the day mostly lower

Yields are mixed 

The major European stock indices are closing the day mostly lower. The provisional closes are showing:

  • German DAX, -0.32%
  • France’s CAC, -0.11%
  • UK’s FTSE 100, -0.67%
  • Spain’s Ibex, -0.17%
  • Italy’s FTSE MIB, -0.41%

A look at the benchmark 10 year yields is showing a mixed picture with Germany France and UK yields moving lower, while the more risky Spain Italy and Portugal moving higher.

Yields are mixed 

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Global Economy on Thin Ice With Frail Trio From China to Germany

© Reuters.  Global Economy on Thin Ice With Frail Trio From China to Germany © Reuters. Global Economy on Thin Ice With Frail Trio From China to Germany

(Bloomberg) — Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify (NYSE:) or Pocket Cast.

The vulnerability of global growth to trade conflicts and dependence on U.S. momentum were exposed as Asia’s biggest economies faltered and Germany barely dodged a recession.

A triple whammy of dreary data on Thursday began with sharp slowing in Japanese growth to a fraction of forecasts, before China reported the smallest increase in fixed-asset investment in at least two decades. In Europe, Germany posted surprise growth — but only after a deeper contraction than previously estimated.

The frailty signaled by the reports underscore the world’s need for a China-U.S. trade deal that could remove the uncertainty depressing factory output. It also highlights the risk that the U.S., where consumer strength has supported growth, might become the sole crutch of global momentum.

“We are in a manufacturing recession,” Saker Nusseibeh, chief executive officer of Hermes Fund Managers, said on Bloomberg TV. “Even in the U.S., there’s contraction in manufacturing. The difference is that the consumer in the States has been carrying the day in a far stronger quantum than the consumer in Germany.”

Weak global demand weighed on Japan, where annualized growth dropped to just 0.2% in the third quarter, compared with a 0.9% median forecast. Izumi Devalier, head of economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:), reckoned forthcoming data might get even worse.

“We do think that fourth-quarter GDP numbers will be quite weak,” she told Bloomberg Television. “We wouldn’t be surprised at all if we had a sizable contraction.”

China had a similar theme, with both industrial output and retail sales missing estimates. Fixed-asset investment grew just 5.2% in the first 10 months of the year, the least since records began in 1998.

For now, the government and central bank in China have refrained from pumping major stimulus into the economy, preferring to make smaller adjustments to try and boost growth without a massive expansion in debt. The weakness revealed on Thursday raises the prospect that such restraint may not hold.

“We are very close to the Chinese government’s bottom line,” said Larry Hu, an economist at Macquarie Securities in Hong Kong. “When the downward trend will turn around depends entirely on when the government will step up their stimulus efforts.”

While Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, defied expectations of a recession with surprise growth in the third quarter, the pace was only 0.1% and investment in machinery and equipment fell. The contraction in the prior period was revised to 0.2%, larger than originally reported.

Growth in the euro zone as a whole was just 0.2% in the quarter. Nusseibeh described the region’s momentum as “incredibly weak.”

That leaves the U.S. as the bright spot in the global economy. Household sentiment there improved for a third month in November, according to a University of Michigan index. The labor market remains robust, with employers adding 128,000 new jobs in October.

In tune with that resilience, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday stuck to his view that interest rates are probably on hold after three straight reductions. Manufacturing and business investment are under pressure though, just as elsewhere, showing how prospects of a trade deal remain crucial to providing confidence.

The latest talks are currently centering on a U.S. demand that China detail how it plans to reach as much as $ 50 billion in agricultural imports annually, according to people familiar with the matter. Chinese negotiators are resisting a proposal for monthly, quarterly and annual targets for purchases, and also insist that the two sides must agree to rollback tariffs in phases if a deal is reached, the people said.

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‘Mandalorian’ creator Favreau teases more ‘Star Wars’ surprises

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau and cast members debuted the “Star Wars” series on Wednesday at a red-carpet event for fans and promised more surprises following the reveal of an unexpected new character in the first episode.

“The Mandalorian,” which runs on Walt Disney (NYSE:) Co’s new Disney+ streaming service, is the first live-action series set in the galaxy far, far away that was first seen on screen in the 1977 movie “Star Wars”.

The series stars Pedro Pascal as a bounty hunter sent on a sensitive mission. The first season will run for eight episodes.

“There are lots of surprises in the show. Part of what is fun about doing eight episodes is that each one could have a surprise and twist,” Favreau said in an interview at the premiere in Hollywood.

The audience was composed largely of fans, some of whom carried bounty-hunter helmets.

The first episode, released on Tuesday, ended with the Mandalorian finding a character that looks like a baby version of the Jedi Master Yoda from “Star Wars” films.

It was unclear how the baby may be related to Yoda or fit into the story, sparking debate among fans.

Favreau and cast members did not shed much light at Wednesday’s premiere. Disney is releasing “Mandalorian” episodes weekly starting on Friday.

“You have to see the shows to figure out who this baby Yoda really is, and what he is all about, or even if he is really a baby Yoda,” said Carl Weathers, who plays Greef Carga, a man who gives bounty assignments to the Mandalorian.

“He has his own name, and he is very interesting and very knowledgeable and very cute,” Weathers said. “I never use that word, but he is a cute little guy.”  

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Forex – Yen, Swiss Franc Higher in Risk off Trade; Aussie Hits 1-Month Lows

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The yen and the Swiss franc pushed higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday as weak Chinese economic data and doubts over whether the U.S. and China will be able to reach a preliminary trade deal underpinned demand for safe haven assets.

Against the , the dollar was down 0.2% at 108.58 by 04:16 AM ET (09:16 GMT). The greenback was down 0.2% against the at 0.9873.

U.S.-China trade negotiations have ‘hit a snag’ over farm purchases, with Beijing not wanting a deal that looks one-sided in favor of the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Adding to pressure on risk appetite, Chinese retail sales, industrial output and investment data were weaker than expected, sending the , already knocked by soft local employment data, to a one-month low of 0.6793.

The unexpectedly downbeat China data highlighted continued pressure on the world’s second-largest economy and subsequent risks to global growth.

The yen showed little reaction after data overnight showing that Japan’s economy slowed sharply in the third quarter, growing just 0.2% as exports fell amid ongoing trade tensions.

The was little changed at 1.004 after hitting a one month low of 1.0995 in U.S. trade.

In the Eurozone, data showed that Germany escaped a recession in the third quarter, as the economy grew 0.1%, but a global slowdown, Brexit uncertainty, and fallout from the U.S.-China trade war continued to cloud the outlook.

The edged down to 98.18 from a one month high of 98.30 reached in the previous session.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday told Congress that the negative interest rates sought by Trump aren’t appropriate for a U.S. economy with ongoing growth, a strong labor market and steady inflation.

Meanwhile, was little moved at 1.2852, stuck in a tight range this week, in a limbo ahead of a Dec. 12 election.

–Reuters contributed to this report

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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