World Bulletin/News Desk
Greece has inched closer to nailing down the cuts required by its foreign creditors in exchange for financial aid, agreeing 10.8 billion of the 11.5 billion euros worth of cuts demanded, a government official said on Friday.
Finalising the 11.5 billion euros in savings due in 2013-15 is key to a positive review from its lenders, due in Athens next month for a final verdict on whether they will keep funds flowing to the austerity-bound country.
"We're on a good path. Measures worth 10.8 billion euros have been identified," a finance ministry official told Reuters after a meeting of government officials late on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official did not elaborate on where the cuts would come from and said talks to finalise the package would continue on Monday.
The Conservative-led coalition has broadly agreed on the measures but has been scrambling to specify the savings, expected mainly from state salaries and pensions, and up to 40,000 public sector layoffs.
The measures have to be approved by Greece's three ruling parties and then by the troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank officials.
Twice bailed-out Greece is dependent on a second, 130-billion-euro rescue deal agreed in March to give it the funds to keep paying public sector wages, pensions and bills.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will next week hold his first meetings with European leaders since taking office, striving to assure them Athens will keep its pledges for more austerity.
He is also expected to raise a long-standing proposal that the measures be spread over four instead of two years to soften their impact on a Greek populace enduring the country's worst downturn since World War Two.
Bourses in both Paris and Frankfurt dipped after a report from data monitoring company IHS Markit showed Eurozone private sector business activity slowed sharply in June while staying in expansion mode.
Analysts said that while the downturn in the headline readings was disappointing, the economy continued to put in a strong performance.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
Move estimated to save company $1B in investment costs
However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.
Equity traders have suffered a fraught week as the crisis engulfing Donald Trump picks up pace, technology firms tumbled from recent highs and energy plays were hammered by plunging oil prices.
"In May 2017, passenger car registrations across the EU increased by 7.6 percent to 1.387 million units," ACEA said in a statement.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,746.05 points, and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 5,243.53 compared with the close on Thursday.
Eastern Mediterranean gas deposits discussed at high-level meeting in Thessaloniki
While a "rebalancing of the market" was "underway," it was "at a slower pace than originally anticipated," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries wrote in its latest monthly oil market report.