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QFINANCE: financial news roundup (November 29 – December 5, 2013)

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Each week brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.

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Thursday December 5

France’s unemployment figures reached a 16-year peak in the third quarter, newly published figures revealed. The average unemployment rate for that period reached 10.5% in continental France, and 10.9% including French nations overseas, Le Figaro reported.

Related article: Hollande and the French fairyland of 'happily ever after'

One of the most important events in the UK’s economic calendar, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is being announced today. George Osborne will update the government’s taxation and spending plans according to the latest predictions for the economy, with the BBC predicting “a fresh round of spending cuts for Whitehall departments”.

Wednesday December 4

Spain’s economy is improving according the rating agency Moody’s, the BBC reported. After Standard and Poor’s upgraded Spain’s position last week, Moody’s also raised its outlook from "negative" to "stable".

Related article: How to use rating agencies

Thailand’s economy is at risk following demonstrations in Bangkok to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, which have been described as the “most violent anti-government clashes” in more than three years, Bloomberg reported. Foreign investors sold a net $1.5 billion of Thai shares last month, the most among the 10 Asian markets that Bloomberg tracked.

Tuesday December 3

The renminbi is now the second-most used currency in trade finance, according to financial messaging service Swift, Euromoney reported. The Chinese currency has overtaken the euro as usage surged from 1.89% of global share in January 2012 to 8.66% in October 2013.

Related definition: Progress in internationalizing the renminbi

Brazil’s economy contracted in the third quarter, the BBC reported. The country’s output shrank by 0.5%, despite analysts at The Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (IBGE) predicting a contraction of only 0.2%.

Monday December 2

India's Economy Is a Little Less Awful Than Before” was Bloomberg’s headline earlier this week, as the rupee stabilizes. Despite the currency’s strong fall over the summer, it seems that investors are returning to the country’s equity markets. This is a result, in part, of the Reserve Bank of India’s tightening measures that have increased rates by 50 basis points since September.

Related article: India opens door to foreign banks in bid to reinvigorate economy

In the UK, a new survey confirmed fears that the property market is becoming overheated. Demand for housing made a jump of 10.2% in the last six months, with supply shrinking by 0.6%, the Independent reported.

Friday November 29

Despite newly published figures showing a slight improvement across the eurozone bloc, high unemployment and low inflation are persisting in the region, the FT reported.

Related article: No quick fix for the eurozone

The “Big Four” accountancy groups are likely to suffer from “institutional prejudice” for another decade, BDO’s managing partner Simon Michaels told The Independent last week.

Come back next week for another report on the world of business and finance.

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Tags: banking , central banks , China , emerging markets , European Central Bank , financial crisis , fiscal stimulus , inflation , regulation , sovereign debt , UK
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