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FT markets round-up:“Efforts by global central bankers to reassure markets that there would be no rush away from accommodative policies helped fuel fresh gains for equities and a rally in US government bonds, although gold sank to its lowest level in nearly three years. Indeed, the gold price tumbled $53, or 4.3 per cent, to $1,224 an ounce, while silver fell 5.5 per cent to $18.56 amid further fretting over Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments last week about “tapering” the central bank’s quantitative easing programme. The dollar, meanwhile, maintained its firmer tone, rising 0.4 per cent against a basket of currencies, with the euro below the $1.30 mark for most of the day after Mario Draghi, ECB president, said the eurozone economic outlook still warranted accommodative settings. His remarks echoed similar comments from David Miles and Sir Mervyn King of the Bank of England.” (Financial Times) Sluggish growth data give Fed cause for caution on tapering: “The US economy grew at an annualised pace of 1.8 per cent in the first quarter, significantly slower than previously thought, which could give the Federal Reserve some reason for pause as it weighs slowing its support for the recovery. The surprisingly sharp downward revision – from an earlier projection of 2.4 per cent first-quarter gross domestic product growth – offers evidence that US growth remained quite sluggish even as the Federal Reserve began contemplating tapering the tempo of $85bn in monthly bond buys.” (Financial Times)

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Comment, analysis, and other offerings from Tuesday’s FT, Gideon Rachman: America and Europe sinking togetherIn Washington they are arguing about a debt ceiling; in Brussels they are staring into a debt abyss. But the basic problem is the same, says the FT’s Gideon Rachman. Both the US and the European Union have public finances that are out of control and political systems that are too dysfunctional to fix the problem. America and Europe are in the same sinking boat. The debt debates underway in the US and the EU are so inward-looking and overwrought that surprisingly few people are making the connection. Yet the links that make this a generalised crisis of the west should be obvious.Sir Martin Jacomb: Greece has no future within the eurozoneThe Greek parliament has voted, but the crisis goes on. The European Union’s current policy has been driven by the political imperatives of preserving the euro and avoiding another banking crisis – but it will not yield an enduring solution, says Jacomb, chairman of Share plc and former chancellor of the University of Buckingham. The EU’s future depends on enabling its poorest member countries to regain their competitiveness – and this requires a very different approach. Everyone knows that lending more money to someone who is already heavily indebted, and has few realisable assets and woefully inadequate income or earning power, creates problems. Putting the repayment date off for 30 years simply ensures that no one in authority today will be around when the time comes.

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