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Financial Focus

UK CHANCELLOR George Osborne yesterday came under renewed
pressure to define his economic vision as critics from all sides rounded on
the government’s record on promoting growth. Statistics due out on
Wednesday are expected to show that the UK economy has shrunk for the
third successive quarter, raising questions about the stalling financial

THE U.S. will make little progress tackling high unemployment before 2014
unless the Federal Reserve eases policy further, one of the central bank’s
leading officials has warned. The comments by John Williams show how
the weak economy is pushing the central bank towards action to support

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP faces the indignity of another cut price sell off
as buyers walk away from its £1.2bn Project Lundy auction. The statebacked
bank has had to cut the price of the loans from a proposed 70p in
the £1 to just 50p after failing to attract viable interest in a sale.

GREEK woes deepened over the weekend, with the country’s Prime
Minister saying it is now in a “Great Depression” similar to that of the 1930s,
while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reportedly considering
cutting off aid to the struggling state.

EUROZONE BANKS have retreated dramatically from the US over the five
years since the financial crisis began, cutting their assets in the country by more than a third, according to a Financial Times
analysis of Federal Reserve data. Bank failures, asset write-downs and the sale of loans and businesses have sent US assets
of Eurozone banks tumbling by $540bn from their $1.51tn peak in September 2007.

ASIAN SHARES slid and the euro hovered near multiyear lows in early trade this morning, as Spain sparked concerns about its
ability to stave off a sovereign bailout after two indebted regions sought financial assistance from the central government. Fears
that the Eurozone’s fourth-largest economy will be forced to follow Greece, Portugal and Ireland – which were thrown lifelines by
international lenders after their borrowing costs shot above sustainable levels – intensified a flight to the safety of US
Treasuries, pushing their benchmark 10-year yield to a record low early in Asia.

EUROPEAN SHARES are set to extend the previous session’s steep losses today on concerns Spain might need a full-blown
sovereign bailout and as bond yields in the heavily-indebted country climbed to their highest since the euro was created.

THE EURO touched the lowest level in more than 11 years against the yen as concern escalated that Europe’s debt crisis is
deepening. The 17-nation currency continued its decline against the dollar into a fourth day as a surge in Spain’s 10-year note
yields toward a euro-era record last week dimmed the outlook for a bill sale tomorrow. The yen and dollar strengthened against
most of their major peers on increased demand for a haven as Greece’s creditors assess the country’s progress in meeting its
bailout targets.

OIL DROPPED for a second day in New York amid speculation global fuel demand will falter as China’s economy slows and
Europe struggles to control its debt crisis. Futures slid as much as 1.7% after a Chinese central bank adviser said the nation’s
economy may cool further. Iraq resumed oil exports to Turkey after an explosion shut a pipeline that carries as much as 350,000
barrels a day, Sumaria News reported on July the 21st, citing an unidentified Iraqi official.

SPECULTAORS raised bullish wagers on commodities to a three-month high on mounting speculation that more stimulus
measures will boost demand for everything from oil to metals and crop prices will keep rising as drought spreads.

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