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- Qatar said on Monday it was quitting OPEC from January to focus on its gas ambitions, taking a swipe at the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and marring efforts to show unity before this week’s meeting of exporters to tackle an oil price slide. Doha, one of OPEC’s smallest oil producers but the world’s biggest liquefied China will need to drop its steep tariffs imposed on a range of American farm products earlier this year before it can fulfill its pledge to buy a “very substantial” amount of U.S. goods, said Chinese traders on Monday. China and the United States agreed on Saturday to refrain from setting additional tariffs that would further escalate a months-long trade war that has roiled global markets and halted sales of American soybeans to the world’s top buyer. natural gas (LNG) exporter, is embroiled in a protracted diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia and some other Arab states.
- Champions of coal say the superabundant fossil fuel can be made environmentally friendlier by refining it with chemicals – a “clean coal” technology backed by a billion dollars in U.S. government tax subsidies annually. But refined coal has a dirty secret. It regularly fails to deliver on its environmental promises, as electric giant Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) found. Duke began using refined coal at two of its North Carolina power plants in August 2012.
- Federal Reserve vice chairman Randal Quarles said the Fed’s increasing “data dependence” does not mean it will react to every change, but only to “significant changes in direction.” After a week in which markets have swung in their interpretation of where the Fed is heading, Quarles said in remarks in New York that “we should be data dependent but not reacting to every wavering of the needle across the dial…We have described in all the communications tools a path that is pretty clear.”
- The Bank of Canada will next raise interest rates early next year, according to a strong majority of economists polled by Reuters who still say two more rate rises will follow by end-2019. As recently as late October there was a minority view that a rate rise might come in December. But a huge plunge in the price of oil – Canada’s main export – along with evidence of household budget strain has largely erased those expectations.
- China was the driving force by a 30 percent leap in global trademark applications in 2017 as innovation turns into the main battleground among competing world economies, the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization said on Monday. Figures issued by WIPO showed trademark applications hit 9.11 million last year while patent applications rose 5.8 percent to 3.2 million, with 2018 data showing the trend was continuing, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry told a news conference. Asia now accounted for 65.1 percent of patent applications, 66.6 percent of trademark applications, and 67.9 percent of design applications.
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