Global News May 04, 2018

  1. BBC
  2. Global News May 04, 2018

“Argentina Raises Key Rate to 40% to Prop Up the Peso.”

Argentina raised its key interest rate for a third time in a week, stepping up the fight against a selloff in its currency, after the peso posted its worst drop in more than two years on Thursday.
Policymakers raised the rate by 675 basis points to 40 percent from 33.25 percent on Friday, according to a statement sent by email. The central bank said it will continue to use all tools at its disposal to avoid disruptions in the markets and guarantee a slowdown in inflation. The central bank also said that it was reducing the requirement for bank holdings in foreign currencies to 10 percent from 30 percent, effective May 7.
The peso has dropped 17 percent this year against the dollar. And plunged 8.5 percent on Thursday, the worst decline since December 2015. The currency rebound on Friday after the bank’s announcement. It traded 0.6 percent higher to 22.24 per dollar at 9:15 a.m. in New York.
«The monetary authority took these decisions with the objective of avoiding disruptive behavior in the exchange rate, as well as to guarantee the disinflation process, and is ready to act again if necessary,» the central bank said in a statement.


“Democrats target union workers who regret Trump vote.”

Between March 2017 and March 2018, union members’ approval of Trump fell 15 points, to 47 percent. In more than two dozen interviews with union members, many blasted Trump’s tax cut, arguing most of the benefits will flow to corporations and wealthy people.
A loose coalition of union leaders, Democratic strategists and political action committees (PACs) aims to seize on that shift by directing money and campaign workers to about 30 competitive races union-heavy districts. The party needs to gain 23 seats to retake the U.S. House of Representatives.
But falling support for Trump is no guarantee Democrats can restore the party’s historic dominance of the union vote. Nearly half of members polled still approve of the president, and their support for congressional Democrats has declined slightly from two years ago.
Forty-seven percent of union members polled would support a Democratic candidate in November; 34 percent favored a Republican. That compares to 51 percent favoring Democrats and 29 percent supporting Republicans in March 2016.
The 2018 poll was conducted online, in English, and included more than 1,400 union workers nationwide. It has a credibility interval of 3 percentage points, meaning results could vary in either direction by that amount.
Union membership has fallen by half since the early 1980s, to 10.7 percent of U.S. workers last year. But members can still sway close elections because they are concentrated in specific regions and vote at high rates. In the 2014 midterms, 52 percent of union workers voted, compared to 39 percent of others, according to a study by Demos, a liberal think tank.
Democratic strategists are targeting blue-collar enclaves of the Midwest, along with districts covering California farmlands, New York industry towns and Montana wilderness. They aim to trash the Republican tax cut, along with Trump’s failure to back a minimum wage and his attempt to repeal Obamacare.


BBC News
“Kilauea: Hawaii emergency declared over volcano eruption.”

Kilauea volcano has erupted near a residential area on Hawaii’s largest island, prompting a local state of emergency and the mandatory evacuation of 1,700 residents. Streams of lava have been seen running through woods and bubbling on to roads.
Extreme levels of dangerous sulphur dioxide gas have been detected in the area, the Civil Defense Agency said. Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and the eruption follows a series of recent earthquakes.
«It sounds like a jet engine,» resident Ikaika Marzo told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. «It’s going hard.» Community centres have been opened to provide shelter for evacuees.
Talmadge Mango, the civil defence administrator for Hawaii County, said that power lines had melted off their poles in one area. «Seismic activity is still extremely high, so we feel that this might just be the beginning of things,» he said.
Officials had been warning residents all week they should be prepared to evacuate as an eruption would give little warning.
A volcanic crater vent – known as Puu Oo – collapsed earlier this week, sending lava down the mountain’s slopes towards populated areas.
Hawaii’s Governor, David Ige, says he has activated military reservists from the National Guard to help evacuate thousands of people.


“U.S. job growth rebounds modestly; unemployment rate hits 3.9 percent.”

U.S. job growth increased less than expected in April and the unemployment rate dropped to near a 17-1/2-year low of 3.9 percent as some jobless Americans left the labor force.
The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday also showed wages barely rose last month, which could ease concerns that inflation pressures are rapidly building up, likely keeping the Federal Reserve on a gradual path of monetary policy tightening.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 164,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. Data for March was revised up to show payrolls rising by 135,000 jobs instead of the previously reported 103,000. That was still the fewest amount of jobs created in six months and followed an outsized gain of 324,000 in February.
While cold weather in March and April probably held back job growth, hiring is moderating as the labor market hits full employment. There has been an increase in reports of employers, especially in the construction and manufacturing sectors, struggling to find qualified workers.
The drop of two-tenths of a percentage point in the unemployment rate from 4.1 percent in March pushed it to a level last seen in December 2000 and within striking distance of the Fed’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year. It was the first time in six months that the jobless rate dropped.
But 236,000 people left the labor force in April. The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, fell to 62.8 percent last month from 62.9 percent in March.