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    European shares bounced back on Wednesday, tracking gains on Wall Street and Asia, with some investors still eyeing a positive outcome in Greece even after it became the first advanced economy to default on a loan with the IMF.

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    Greece will be fine, but the EU, the IMF, Angela Merkel will never live this down. Another weekend, another Greek knife's edge. As the markets close ahead of the weekend, they will be prepared for another couple of days of drama in the epic saga of the Greek debt crisis, looking to see whether the country will vote for or against the latest bailout package in a referendum scheduled for Sunday, and whether that in turn is the trigger its final exit from the euro.

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    Japanese government bond prices began the second half of the year on a slightly weaker tone on Wednesday, although the Bank of Japan's asset buying operations as well as wariness over developments in Greece's debt crisis underpinned the market. The benchmark 10-year JGB yield added 2.5 basis points to 0.475 percent, after earlier rising as high as 0.485 percent.

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    Japanese shares gained on Wednesday after a central bank survey showed big businesses intended to increase capital spending at their fastest pace in a decade, but caution over developments in Greece limited gains.

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    Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 42 points, or 0.6 percent higher, according to financial bookmakers. * The UK blue chip index closed down 1.5 percent at 6,520.98 points on Tuesday, its lowest level in around five and a half months.

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    Financial spreadbetters predicted Britain's FTSE 100 to open about 42 points higher, or up 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX to gain around 94 points, or 0.9 percent, and France's CAC 40 to rise 40 points, or 0.8 percent, on Wednesday. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 ended down 1.3 percent in the previous session to its lowest in more than a week.

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    Here are the latest trading levels for Asia's major stock markets: Tokyo up 0.3%; Hong Kong closed for holiday; Shanghai down 0.4%; Sydney up 0.5%; Seoul up 1.1%; Mumbai up 0.6%; Taipei up 0.8%.

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    The euro slipped in Asia on Wednesday with Greece's fate still hanging in the balance after it became the first advanced economy to ever be in arrears to the International Monetary Fund. The common currency eased 0.2 percent to $1.1128, having suffered a 0.8 percent drop on Tuesday. Against the yen, the euro stood almost flat at 136.38, after having fallen nearly 1 percent on Tuesday.

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    * Broader contagion risks from Greece will be limited - Goldman Sachs * Fast Retailing contributes hefty points to Nikkei index * Suzuki down on profit-taking after president change By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, July 1 - Japanese shares edged up on Wednesday as a central bank survey showed big businesses plan to increase capital spending at the fastest pace in a decade, but gains were limited as inve...

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    Global shares and peripheral euro zone bonds jumped on Wednesday as Greece's prime minister signaled he was prepared to accept the bulk of the spending cuts demanded by the rest of the euro zone to keep his country afloat.

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    * Asia holds nerve as Greece misses IMF loan payment. * Euro losses minor as markets still assume deal will be done. * China surveys show pick in services sector, shares erratic. By Wayne Cole. Asian shares made guarded gains on Wednesday as investors gave a resigned shrug to news Greece had become the first developed economy to default on a loan with the International Monetary Fund.

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    Japanese stocks opened to a good-news-bad-news market Wednesday, enjoying a higher open but quickly moving off those highs as many of the main sectors traded mixed. The Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.1% in early moves after a 0.6% gain the previous day, while the Topix was little changed from its last close. The yen was slightly higher, with the dollar buying Yen122.48 compared to Yen122.67 at the same time on Tuesday.

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    HONG KONG-- China's domestic stock markets may have bounced back Tuesday, but the damage from the panic despite interest-rate and reserve-ratio cuts at the weekend will take longer to heal. The big problem is that the People's Bank of China explicitly targeted the plunging stock market, and yet the Shanghai Composite kept falling, revealing that the PBOC was not in control. Even after Tuesday afternoon's sharp rebound, the index is still flirting with bear territory, taken as a 20%...

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    The euro remained on the defensive in Asia on Wednesday as Greece became the first developed economy to default on a loan with the IMF, setting the scene for another day of uneasy action in markets. Still, it surprised no one when the International Monetary Fund confirmed Greece had missed a payment on its debt, perhaps taking it a step closer to an exit from the euro.

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    * Asia cautious as Greece misses IMF loan payment. * Euro losses minor as markets still assume deal will be done. * Eyes on China as stocks show signs of stabilising. By Wayne Cole. The euro remained on the defensive in Asia on Wednesday as Greece became the first developed economy to default on a loan with the IMF, setting the scene for another day of uneasy action in markets.

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    If you blinked, you might have missed it. But last November, there was a moment of good news for Greece. New economic data revealed that Greece's economy had actually stopped shrinking at the beginning of 2014. It was the end of a six-year-long recession. Those were the halcyon days—yes, there was more than one—of economic growth, 25.9 percent unemployment, and a euro zone that seemed to have survived the worst.It turned out, however, that Greece's depression was still nowhere near done. Its unemployment rate is basically the same as it was back then, the country is back in recession, and it is expected to default on a debt payment in a few hours, perhaps triggering an exit from the euro zone within a few days.It is possible, but extremely unlikely, that Greece will find a way not to default. Even if it doesn't, though, it could still reach a new agreement with Europe to avoid an even worse crisis. But they only have a few days to do that. The Greeks are heading to the polls on Sunday to decide whether they want to accept new cuts to pensions and higher sales taxes in exchange for more-of-the-same from Europe—and if they vote No, they might all but get kicked out of the euro.Whatever happens, though, it is impossible not to recognize that the Greek story will be one of economic tragedy that far surpasses what modern Western civilization has ever experienced. You can see all this easily enough in the chart above, which I've modified from The Economist. It compares Greece the past few years with what used to be the gold standard of economic catastrophe: the U.S. during the Great Depression.Now, Greece's economy fell marginally less than America's did back then — around 27 percent at its worst — but the biggest difference between the two is the slope of the recovery. The U.S., as you can see, rocketed back once FDR devalued the dollar and started spending more. Only the double whammy of premature fiscal andmonetarytightening knocked it off track in 1937.Greece, though, has gotten nothing but fiscal and monetary tightening. It doesn't really have anyone to blame but itself for that first part. The Greek government, after all, wasn't forthcoming about how much it was spending during the boom, so it's had to cut its structural deficit -- that is, before interest payments -- by 20 percent of potential GDP. (As point of comparison, the U.S. "only" cut its around 3 percent over the same period).But equally problematic  has been the European Central Bank's see-no-depression, hear-no-depression approach to policymaking. Every step of the crisis, it's debated whether to do too little too late or too late too little, before deciding: yes. And that's not counting the times it's made things actively worse by raising rates, like it did twice in 2011, to stamp out inflation that was already passing. Things are better now that it's started to buy country's bonds, but even this hasn't helped Greece since they've been excluded from the program.It's all been barely enough to keep the common currency together, but not out of a Japanese-style lost decade. Indeed, Greek prices have been falling for over a year now, which has been both a cure and a disease. That's because lower wages have helped Greece regain a measure of competitiveness, while at the same time making debts harder to pay back. If the ECB would just keep inflation around 2 percent, so Greece could get its relative wages down without having to actually cut them, the country could actually recover within a generation.But that's not the world the live in, which is why the European Commission thinks that Greece's comeback, like its collapse, will be nasty, brutish, and long. As you can see in the dotted line, the Commission projects that Greece's economy will still be 24 percent below its pre-crisis peak by the end of 2016. At that pace, it could take till 2024 or so for Greece to get all the way back to where it was in 2007.In other words, Greece is only halfway through its Greatest Depression.This story was adapted from a November 2014 article. 




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    The euro got off to a cautious start in Asia on Wednesday with Greece's fate still hanging in the balance after it became the first advanced economy to ever be in arrears to the International Monetary Fund. The common currency eased 0.2 percent to $1.1128, having suffered a 0.8 percent drop on Tuesday.

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    Just as Sony (SNE) had repaired its frayed friendship with shareholders, it goes and asks them for a big fat favor, without much of an explanation why. The electronics giant shocked investors Tuesday by announcing a $3.6 billion capital raising, made up of a combination of stock and convertible bonds. Shares fell 8% in response.