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Financial Focus

Eurozone leaders put off a deal on Greece’s aid again yesterday, saying they could not decide whether to pay out to Athens next 12bn tranche of aid until the result of a non-confidence vote in the drachma tonight.

The UK private sector remains on course to create more than enough jobs to offset planned government sector cuts, with highly trained people most in demand. Nearly a third of private sector companies expect to boost their recruitment over the next six months. “In 2011 and 2012 private sector job creation is forecast at 85,000 to 180,000 respectively,” the Confederation for British Industry said.

FOR the second time since the bull market began, profits are surging and stocks are falling. S&P 500 index companies will earn 18% more this year than in 2010, according to Bloomberg analysts. Higher profits haven’t stopped the gauge from falling 6.8% since April, pushing valuations to the cheapest in 26 years. Even if companies posted no growth, p/e ratios would be lower than on 96% of days in the past two decades.

MARKETS:

SINGAPORE shares rose by 0.6% by midday today local time, helped by bargain hunting in property stocks and on hopes policy makers will soon find a solution to avoid a default by Greece. In Hong Kong and China have posted mild gains so far today, but continued weakness in Chinese banking shares kept the benchmark rooted in oversold territory.

EUROPEAN shares are set to edge higher today, mirroring gains on Wall Street and in Asia, as investors bet that the euro zone policy makers will agree on a solution to save Greece from defaulting.

CURRENCIES:

THE DOLLAR fell against the majority of its most traded peers before a report forecast to show homes sales dropped in May to this year’s low, keeping pressure on the Federal Reserve. The greenback touched a one week low versus the euro before the Fed policy makers begin a two day meeting amid the signs that the world’s largest economy is losing momentum.

ENERGY:

OIL advanced for a second day ahead of a report that may show U.S. crude stockpiles dropped for a third week. Oil for July delivery rose as much as 74 cents to $94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

COMMODITIES:

AUSTRALIA, the world’s largest shipper of coal, iron ore and wool, raised its forecast for export earnings 2% to a record for the next fiscal year, driven by expectations of higher production and export prices. Rising incomes and economic growth in emerging markets including China and India are fueling demand for energy, metals and farm products. The S&P GSCI Index of 24 raw materials has rallied 5.6% this year as commodities from silver to corn advance.

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