World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia's central bank on Friday decreased its key interest rate to 9 percent from 9.25 percent in line with its policy to gently invigorate the country's economy.
The board "notes that inflation is close to the target, inflation expectations keep declining, and economic activity is recovering," the bank said, adding that it will continue "moderately tough" monetary policy to keep inflation in line.
Annual inflation in May stood at 4.1 percent, inching down over the past months towards Russian government's target of four percent. Though Russians are in "savings behaviour patterns," the bank observed "signs of nascent recovery in consumer activity."
The bank added it considers mid-term inflation risks "elevated", adding that it is likely to maintain a tight monetary policy "for a long time to anchor inflation close to its target."
Russia's GDP grew 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2017, its statistics agency said last month, slowly recovering from a crippling economic crisis in the wake of the crash of oil prices and international sanctions in 2014, which diminished people's purchasing power.
The government expects growth to reach 2 percent this year.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.