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Financial Focus

European Union leaders will decide on additional aid for Greece by the end of June and have ruled out a total restructuring of the nation’s debt, said Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the euro-area finance ministers’ group.

US economic data to be released this week are expected to show further evidence that growth in the world’s biggest economy is slowing. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to rise by 185,000 workers in May, less than the 244,000 increase in April, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey before Labour Department figures to be released on June 3. Another report may show factory orders grew at the slowest pace in seven months.

MARKETS:

ASIAN stocks rose overnight, amid speculation European officials will sanction more assistance for Greece. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index made good ground overnight and is heading for its highest close since May 13. Last week, the index completed its longest string of weekly losses in two years as concern deepened over Europe’s debt crisis and amid speculation a slowing global recovery will crimp earnings.

THE MSCI Asia Pacific Index has lost 2.5% this year through yesterday, compared with gains of 5.8% by the S&P 500 and 1.1% by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

FUTURES on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6% overnight. US markets were closed yesterday for a public holiday. UK Markets were also closed for a holiday.

EUROPEAN shares are set to open sharply higher today, mirroring strong gains in Asia, with a report saying Germany was considering making concessions to facilitate a new aid package for Greece seen lifting sentiment.

CURRENCIES:

THE EURO climbed 0.6% to a three-week high versus the dollar on speculation European nations will pledge more funds to repair Greece’s finances. THE YEN dropped against all 16 major currencies after Moody’s placed Japan’s sovereign rating on review for a downgrade. THE DOLLAR Index dropped for a fourth day, sliding 0.4%, as Republican and Democrat leaders struggled to negotiate an agreement to raise the US’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

ENERGY:

OIL ROSE for a second day in New York, trimming the biggest monthly decline in a year, after a pump-station leak forced the shutdown of the Keystone pipeline that carries crude to the largest US storage hub. The pipeline was shut after “an issue with a fitting” caused a 40-barrel oil leak.

COMMODITIES:

WHEAT SANK the most in three weeks after Russia said it would allow grain shipments to resume, easing global supply worries. Copper futures dropped 0.5% to on the Comex in New York, which was closed for a holiday yesterday. Three-month delivery copper slid 0.3% on the London Metal Exchange, which was also shut yesterday for a holiday.

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