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Factbox: Highlights of a modest U.S. budget deal

(Reuters) - The two-year U.S. budget deal approved by the U.S. Congress Wednesday gives both Democrats and Republicans something to brag about, starting with the mere fact that they did it. Congress had not approved an annual budget measure since 2009 amid seemingly intractable partisan divisions over fiscal policy and brinkmanship that has plunged congressional approval ratings to new lows in public opinion polls.

Tokyo stocks close 2.02% higher

Tokyo stocks ended 2.02 percent higher on Wednesday as the yen weakened hours before the US Federal Reserve makes an announcement on stimulus programme. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 309.17 points to 15,587.80, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.48 percent, or 18.18 points, to 1,250.49. Investors have been focused on the Fed's policy committee meeting that wraps up later in the day, with opinion split on whether or not it will announce a wind-down of its $85 billion a month bond-buying programme.

Fed meets with taper on tap

The Federal Reserve began a two-day policy meeting Tuesday that will debate whether the US economy is strong enough to scale back its huge stimulus. The Fed has stressed that any taper of its $85 billion a month asset-purchase program was data-dependent, and so far the data has been decidedly mixed. Encouraging economic indicators recently have led some analysts to expect the Federal Open Market Committee will announce a trim on Wednesday.

Fed meets with taper on tap

The Federal Reserve opened its last policy meeting of the year Tuesday to decide whether the economy is strong enough to scale back its huge stimulus. The Fed has stressed that any taper of its $85 billion a month asset-purchase program was data-dependent, and so far the data has been decidedly mixed. Encouraging economic indicators recently have led some analysts to expect the Federal Open Market Committee will announce a trim at the end of the meeting Wednesday.

Japan's initial FY 2014 budget to total record-high 96 tril. yen

Japan's initial general-account budget for the fiscal year starting next April is likely to total a record-high 96 trillion yen ($931.0 billion), government sources said Monday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet plans to approve the fiscal 2014 draft budget on Dec. 24, after making arrangements with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, headed by Abe, and its coalition partner the New Komeito party.

Highlights of a modest U.S. budget accord

(Reuters) - The modest U.S. budget deal approved in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday gives both Democrats and Republicans something to brag about. Republicans can say they did not increase taxes and found additional ways to reduce the deficit. Democrats can say they found relief from forced spending cuts on education and other domestic spending programs, while avoiding major changes to Medicare and Social Security benefits for the elderly. And both sides can say they helped the military avoid deeper cuts.

Abe's Cabinet OKs 5.47 tril. yen extra budget for stimulus steps

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved Thursday a 5.47 trillion yen ($53.2 billion) supplementary budget for fiscal 2013 to fund economic stimulus measures designed to minimize the potential negative impact of a sales tax hike next April. The stimulus package mapped out last week, centering on prompting new infrastructure investment ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and post-quake reconstruction work, will be intensively implemented in early fiscal 2014.

Japan cabinet approves $53 billion extra budget to fund stimulus

By Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet approved on Thursday a $53 billion extra budget for the current fiscal year to fund stimulus steps announced last week aimed at offsetting the blow from a planned increase in the national sales tax. The size of the supplementary budget comes to 5.46 trillion yen ($53.3 billion), following a 13.1 trillion yen extra budget compiled in January to stimulate the economy, according to the Ministry of Finance.

US government runs $135.2 billion budget deficit in November, 21.4 per cent below a year ago

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government ran a much smaller deficit through the first two months of the budget year than the same period last year, signalling further improvement in the nation's finances. The November deficit — the gap between what the government takes in and what it spends — totalled $135.2 billion, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. That's 21.4 per cent lower than November 2012. And through the first two months of the budget year the deficit totalled $226.8 billion, or 22.7 per cent lower than the same period a year ago. The budget year begins on Oct. 1.

U.S. federal government runs 135.2 bln USD deficit in November

U.S. federal government runs 135.2 bln USD deficit in November WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. federal government registered a budget deficit of about 135.2 billion U.S. dollars in November, the second month of the 2014 fiscal year, the U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday. The federal government raked in a revenue of 182.5 billion dollars last month, about 12.8 percent higher than the year-ago level.
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