World Bulletin / News Desk
SWIFT, the inter-bank money transfer system, said Friday it has cut off the last North Korean banks on the network, as international pressure mounts on Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
"The DPRK banks remaining on the network are no longer compliant with SWIFT’s membership criteria. As a result, these entities will no longer have access to the SWIFT financial messaging service," the Brussels-based group said in a statement.
"Given the increased ongoing international attention on the DPRK, SWIFT has informed the Belgian and EU authorities," it said, referring to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the country's official name.
The statement did not say how many North Korean banks were involved.
The United States has led efforts to force Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, fearing that its ultimate aim is to be able to hit the US mainland.
US Secretary of State Max Tillerson warned Friday on a visit to South Korea that the North's ambitions had to be halted and that all options, including military, remained on the table.
"If they elevate the threat of their weapons programme to a level that we believe requires action, then that option's on the table," Tillerson said in Seoul.
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.
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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.
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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.