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U.S. warns China its currency is still undervalued

By Patrick Temple-West and Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday warned Beijing that its currency was too weak and expressed doubt over the Asian giant's resolve to let market forces guide the value of the yuan. In a semiannual report to Congress, the U.S. Treasury stopped short of declaring China a currency manipulator, but singled it out among large U.S. trading partners for its currency practices.

U.S. Fed falling short on inflation and job goals, Kocherlakota says

FARGO, North Dakota (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve is coming up short on its goals for both inflation and employment, a top Fed official said on Tuesday, and the central bank ought to do more to ensure they return to healthier levels. Inflation is "well below" the Fed's 2-percent goal, and looks likely to remain there for several more years, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota said in brief remarks prepared for delivery to a town hall in Fargo, North Dakota.

China's economic growth forecast at five-year low in first quarter

By Adam Rose BEIJING (Reuters) - China is expected to report its slowest growth in five years on Wednesday, a Reuters poll shows, with signs of waning strength in the first quarter of 2014 already prompting government action to steady the world's second-largest economy. Authorities have ruled out major stimulus to fight short-term dips in growth, and some analysts think the economy will continue to lose momentum into the middle of the year.

Fed's Rosengren calls for more explicit rates guidance

BANGOR, Maine (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should "explicitly" state that it will keep interest rates near zero until the U.S. economy is within one year of reaching the central bank's employment and inflation goals, a top Fed policymaker said on Tuesday. Floating yet another suggestion in the U.S. central bank's sometimes confusing attempts to telegraph its policies, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said the verbal guidance should, as time passes, be linked to how quickly the economy reaches the dual goals on employment and inflation.

Yellen says Fed mulling stricter rules for Wall Street

By Jason Lange ATLANTA (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve is considering further steps to force big banks to hold more capital, and sees a case for other stability-enhancing measures for more shadowy areas of Wall Street as well, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday. The Fed has been pushing banks to strengthen their balance sheets since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, and last week joined other regulators in requiring the eight largest U.S. banks to increase their capital levels by some $68 billion in total.

3M board opposes proposal for shareholder actions without vote

(Reuters) - Post-it notes maker 3M Co <MMM.N> said its board opposed a proposal by shareholder James McRitchie to allow investors holding enough shares to take a particular action through written consent without putting it to a vote. McRitchie and his shareholder activist ally John Chevedden proposed that such actions be approved without prior notice to other stockholders or the company, 3M said in a letter to stockholders. (http://r.reuters.com/seq58v)

Rising food, housing costs push up U.S. inflation

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices firmed a bit in March, as food and housing rental costs rose in a possible sign that a disinflationary trend had run its course. The increase should allay concerns among some Federal Reserve officials that inflation was running too low, although the rise was mild enough to suggest the central bank could keep benchmark interest rates near zero for quite some time.

European parliament adopts financial markets rules

The European Parliament adopted new rules Tuesday to tighten the regulation of financial markets in order to stop rampant speculation, including on foodstuffs. The European Union's Financial Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier first pushed for the new rules, known as MiFID II, in 2011 at the height of the eurozone debt crisis and in the wake of the global economic meltdown.

Yellen says rules might need to be strengthened further to bolster largest banks

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the largest U.S. banks might need to hold additional capital to withstand periods of financial stress. Yellen told a banking conference in Atlanta that current rules on how much capital banks must hold to protect against losses don't address all threats. She said the Fed's staff is considering what further measures might be needed.

UK inflation hits new four-year low, house prices continue rise

By Ana Nicolaci da Costa and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - British inflation fell to its lowest in over four years in March, easing pressure on living standards and raising the prospect that prices may now be rising by less than wages for the first time in years. The sharp decline in Britons' living standards since the financial crisis - due to a mix of tax rises, high inflation and meager wage growth - has become a key political battle ground, a year before national elections.
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