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QFINANCE: financial news roundup (June 20 - 26, 2014)

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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 June 26

Barclays has been accused of deceiving investors in its specialist “dark pool” trading system, by misrepresenting its protection measures. The Guardian cites New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who criticizes the bank for allowing “predator” high-frequency traders into the dark pool's supposed “safe waters”. The lawsuit follows the recent Libor-rigging scandal, which continues to mar the bank’s reputation.

Related article: Libor manipulation scandal may yet bring profound change to financial world

South Africa’s biggest platinum mining firms have agreed to implement wage increases, to end the nation’s longest running strike. According to the Financial Times, the lowest paid workers at platinum giants Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum will gain a salary rise of around 1,000 rand per month over the next three years.

Wednesday June 25

New data from the US Commerce Department revealed that the nation’s economy shrank in the first quarter, with GDP falling to a 2.9% annualized rate. Bloomberg reported that this is the worst US reading since the same three months of 2009, yet analysts are still predicting growth of 3.5% over the second quarter.

Related article: Can inequality be reduced without harming growth?

Italy’s Alitalia has agreed to sell a 49% stake of its business to Abu Dhabi's state-owned Etihad Airways, the BBC reported. The deal is seen as a way for Alitalia to “reverse its troubled fortunes”, following threats of bankruptcy last October.

Tuesday June 24

Despite its GDP contraction, the US manufacturing sector grew faster than predicted in the past month, reaching its highest level in the past four years, the Guardian reported.

Related article: Can inequality be reduced without harming growth?

European stocks saw an early drop on Monday, reported Reuters, with downbeat readings of eurozone business activity reviving worries over the pace of the economic recovery in the bloc.

Monday June 23

With oil production in Iraq seemingly unaffected by the nation’s civil unrest, the Wall Street Journal reported that oil futures saw a marked decrease early this week. Oil prices have recently climbed to nine-month highs over fears that insurgency in the country could disrupt oil output, but these concerns appear to be subsiding.

Related article: How rigged are the markets? Libor, ISDAfix, and now the oil price...

The Guardian reported that global investors are betting on a “substantial property boom” in the UK, while conflicting views raise the point that property is currently overvalued in many countries.

Friday June 20

In Germany, Deutsche Bank was warned and advised by regulators to deploy more efforts to ensure that traders cannot manipulate commodity prices, the FT reported. The news came soon after announcements that Deutsche Bank was scaling back its commodities arm amid increased regulatory costs which made the business “unattractive”.

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

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