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Interest rates, corporate earnings in focus this week on North American markets

TORONTO - Stock markets are likely in for another choppy week of trading as traders concentrate on Canadian interest rates and a number of U.S. earnings reports. The Bank of Canada makes its next rate announcement on Wednesday and analysts fully expect the bank will leave its key rate where it's been since September 2010 — at one per cent.

IMF, World Bank 2014 spring meetings in Washington on Saturday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The following are highlights of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings on Saturday in Washington, where finance ministers, central bankers and other top officials are gathering. EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT MARIO DRAGHI ON DEFLATION CONCERNS RAISED: "It was not only the IMF, no, we heard concerns about this low inflation also from other advanced countries ... It has to be placed in perspective, but at the same time I said we shouldn't be complacent."

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.

ECB would need to go beyond ABS market for potential QE: Draghi

By Jan Strupczewski and Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The European Central Bank could not rely solely on purchases of asset-backed securities (ABS) if it resorts to unconventional steps to boost inflation, given the limited supply of the securities, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Saturday. If the ECB starts injecting money into the economy using asset purchases, it is expected to choose a mix of government and private assets, including ABS, which collapsed during the financial crisis and are still recovering.

Bank of Canada's Poloz eyeing global deflationary risk

By Louise Egan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Policymakers are closely watching the risk of deflation in several advanced economies but they are encouraged by signs of a continuing improvements in the economic outlook, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said on Friday.

Bank of Canada's Poloz eyeing global deflationary risk

By Louise Egan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Policymakers are closely watching the risk of deflation in several advanced economies but they are encouraged by signs of a continuing improvements in the economic outlook, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said on Friday.

ECB's Weidmann: no sign deflation spiral will grip euro zone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Jens Weidmann said on Friday he saw no risk of a growth-destroying deflationary spiral taking hold in the euro zone, adding that the bloc's economy would pick up and therefore cause the inflation rate to gradually rise. Euro zone inflation is running at 0.5 percent - well below the central bank's target of close to but just below 2 percent. The ECB's latest staff forecast said inflation in the bloc would rise to 1.7 percent in the last quarter of 2016.

Consumer sentiment hits nine-month high in April

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April to its highest in nine months as both current conditions and expectations brightened, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary April reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 82.6, the highest since July, compared with the final reading of 80.0 in March. It was also above the median forecast of 81.0 among economists polled by Reuters.

Producer prices up; consumer morale at nine-month high

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. producer prices recorded their largest increase in nine months in March as the cost of food and trade services surged, pointing to some pockets of inflation at the factory gate. Other data on Friday showed consumer sentiment hit a nine-month high in April, strengthening views economic activity was regaining momentum after a weather-induced lull early this year.

US producer prices increase in March on gains for food, clothing, jewelry and chemicals prices

WASHINGTON - The prices companies receive for their goods and services jumped in March led by gains for food, clothing, jewelry and chemicals. The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.5 per cent in March, the Labor Department said Friday. Overall inflation remains relatively tame. Producer prices increased 1.4 per cent during the past 12 months.
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