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Bullish U.S. retail sales brighten growth outlook

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales recorded their largest gain in 1-1/2 years in March in a decisive sign the economy is bouncing back from its weather-induced slumber. Monday's upbeat report was the latest to indicate growth was set to accelerate in the second quarter after an unusually cold and snowy winter hobbled activity early in the year.

Analysts see inflation trending higher in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Apr 14 (EFE).- Financial analysts have revised their 2014 inflation forecast for Brazil upward from 6.35 percent to 6.47 percent, the Central Bank said Monday. The new number is near the 6.5 percent upper range of the government's target. The inflation forecast was included in the Boletin Focus, a weekly Central Bank survey of analysts from about 100 private financial institutions on the outlook of the national economy.

Singapore keeps monetary policy tight, sees economy rebounding from weak first quarter

By Masayuki Kitano and Jongwoo Cheon SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's central bank stuck to its tight monetary policy stance on Monday despite weaker growth in the first quarter, saying core inflation will remain elevated as a sustained recovery in advanced economies spurs a rebound in the city-state.

BOJ Kuroda's meeting with PM Abe won't alter policy stance: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will revive their regular meetings this month, people familiar with the matter said, in a sign the government may be concerned about recent stock market declines and an uptick in the yen. Kuroda has remained bullish about the outlook for economic recovery and an escape from deflation, but the meeting with Abe could revive expectations of additional stimulus.

Euro down in Asia on Draghi easing comments

The euro weakened in Asia Monday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said policymakers may need to take action to stem the unit's rise. In Tokyo midday trade, the single currency weakened to $1.3848 and 140.62 yen, down from $1.3882 and 141.11 yen in New York Friday. The dollar also fell to 101.54 yen, from 101.65 yen in US trading. At the weekend, Draghi hinted at further policy moves after the ECB stood pat at its meeting earlier this month, while he also warned over the threat of deflation in the 18-member bloc.

Fed's Stein: Financial stability should inform policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top Federal Reserve policymaker on Sunday repeated his controversial assertion that financial stability should be an aim of U.S. central bank policymaking. Jeremy Stein, a Fed governor who is resigning next month, told an International Monetary Fund forum there is a need "in principle" to incorporate the aim of financial stability into monetary policies. Less clear, he said, is how to "operationally" incorporate it into policy.

ECB ready to use asset purchases if needed: Coeure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is ready to make asset purchases if it deems them necessary to counter a too prolonged period of low inflation in the euro zone, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Sunday. In a speech in Washington, Coeure added that the ECB would have to decide whether such asset purchases, or a form of quantitative easing, would be useful and comply with its mandate. Quantitative easing occurs when central banks print money to buy assets.

BOK mulling setting up team to study unification-related issues

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top central banker said Saturday that the Bank of Korea (BOK) is considering setting up a team to deal with currency and economic integration related to inter-Korean unification. BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol, speaking to reporters during his visit to Washington, D.C., said the central bank needs to play a role in studying unification issues from the economic perspective. Lee is visiting the U.S. capital to participate in a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20.

ECB says further euro strengthening would trigger looser monetary policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A further strengthening of the euro exchange rate would require more loosening in the European Central Bank's monetary policy to keep the overall policy stance as accommodative as it is now, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Saturday. Draghi said that euro appreciation over the last year was an important factor in bringing euro zone inflation down to its current low levels, accounting for 0.4-0.5 percentage point of decline in the annual rate, which stood at 0.5 percent year-on-year in March.

Draghi says a stronger euro would trigger looser ECB policy

By Jan Strupczewski and Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The European Central Bank will ease monetary policy further if the euro keeps strengthening, President Mario Draghi said on Saturday as world finance chiefs ramped up pressure on Europe to ward off deflation. In the clearest signal yet the ECB was prepared to launch a stimulative asset-purchase program, Draghi said the euro's exchange rate had become increasingly important to policy and would act as a trigger.
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