The European Central Bank says economic growth and inflation are picking up across the eurozone, and projected inflation of 1.7% is close to the central bank's target, but the ECB has left stimulus unchanged. All economic trends are headed in the right direction, President Mario Draghi says, but "an ample degree of monetary stimulus remains necessary".
The fate of the Republican tax bill became uncertain when US Sen. Marco Rubio said he would not vote for the measure unless the child tax credit is increased, a provision that would increase the cost of the bill. Under congressional rules, the bill can't increase the deficit during the next 10 years by more than $1.5 trillion if Republicans are to pass it without Democratic votes.
A firefighter died Thursday as crews continued efforts to contain the Thomas fire, but officials gave no further details and said an accident-review team is investigating. The wildfire has destroyed at least 970 buildings and is now the fourth-biggest in California's modern history, and firefighters battling it are likely to face windy, dry conditions this weekend.
Levees designed to protect properties in Texas from floodwaters were overwhelmed by the rains of Hurricane Harvey, and engineers and officials say future storms could lead to repeated breaches of flood defenses. "Given enough time, any levee will eventually be overtopped or damaged by a flood that exceeds the levee's capacity," the American Society of Civil Engineers says.
The European Central Bank says certain classes of unsecured bank bonds can no longer be used as loan collateral, as it seeks to transfer banking risk to bond investors.
The Bank of England says a recent breakthrough in Brexit talks, in which negotiators agreed to move on to trade discussions, should bolster the UK economy, which has flagged since the Brexit referendum. Meanwhile, the BoE has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged but has signalled a series of marginal increases in coming years.
A survey on how firms prioritise investment in compliance IT finds 47% of respondents think their firms are reactive, rather than proactive. "Firms that are failing to take a proactive approach to monitoring and managing compliance are taking a big risk," said Doug Morgan, CEO of Cordium, which commissioned the survey.
The Derivatives Service Bureau says exchange groups that operate numerous trading venues are not applying for as many International Securities Identification Numbers as expected. A number is required for regulatory reporting under Europe's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.
The European Commission is considering relaxing capital rules for smaller investment firms. The proposal would exempt most EU investment firms from the Capital Requirements Regulation.
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