By William Schomberg
LONDON (Reuters) – Global finance chiefs meet on Friday for the first time since Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump as U.S. president, vowing to rebuild bridges with allies to steer the world economy out of its deepest slump since the Great Depression.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, a familiar face to global policymakers from her days in charge of the Federal Reserve, will join her counterparts from the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations for the online discussions.
Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, who will co-chair the talks, wants the meeting to send a fresh signal that trillions of dollars of stimulus from G7 members will not be scaled back while COVID-19 vaccinations are still ramping up.
Biden has proposed a further $1.9 trillion in spending and tax cuts on top of Trump’s $4 trillion. Sunak is expected to say next month that he will extend his economic rescue programmes and fixing public finances will have to wait.
The meeting will try to revive attempts for a global approach to taxing giant digital firms, many of them American such as Amazon and Google, a test case for Washington’s return to engagement with the rest of the world.
The G7 was also likely to help low-income countries raise funds to fight the pandemic by backing a new allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s own currency.
The United States, the IMF’s dominant shareholder, is open to a new issuance of $500 billion in what would be another shift from the Trump administration’s stance, sources said.
As well as the United States and Britain, the G7 includes Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada whose finance ministers and central bank governors will be joined by the head of the European Central Bank and the IMF.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to host the first in-person summit of G7 leaders in nearly two years in June in a seaside village in Cornwall, southwestern England, which will focus on rebuilding from the pandemic and climate change.
Trump threw the G7 into chaos in 2018 when he said he was backing out of a joint communique after a leaders’ summit because of a trade dispute with Canada.
Britain wants to make climate change and biodiversity loss a top priority of it G7 presidency ahead of the COP26 conference it is due to host in November.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
Japan's economy grew less than estimated in Q4 – MarketWatch
Japan’s economy expanded slightly less than initially estimated in the October-December quarter due to weaker-than-expected domestic demand.
The world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China grew 2.8% from the previous quarter, the government’s revised data showed Tuesday. That compared with the 3% expansion in a preliminary estimate released in mid-February.
The revised data showed that capital expenditures rose 4.3% from the previous quarter, compared with an initial estimate of a 4.5% increase.
Economists say the country’s gross domestic product will likely decline in the current January-March quarter due to the government’s state of emergency.
Write to Megumi Fujikawa at email@example.com
Dow Jones Newswires
TSX rises 0.6% to 18,490.76
* The Toronto Stock Exchange‘s TSX rises 0.60 percent to 18,490.76
* Leading the index were Mullen Group Ltd <MTL.TO>, up 8.0%, Sprott Inc, up 6.5%, and Ero Copper Corp, higher by 5.4%.
* Lagging shares were Lightspeed POS Inc, down 7.4%, Ballard Power Systems Inc, down 5.5%, and Hudbay Minerals Inc, lower by 4.3%.
* On the TSX 138 issues rose and 79 fell as a 1.7-to-1 ratio favored advancers. There were 36 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 198.4 million shares.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Suncor Energy Inc, Air Canada and Cenovus Energy Inc.
* The TSX’s energy group fell 0.89 points, or 0.7%, while the financials sector climbed 5.15 points, or 1.5%.
* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 2.13%, or $1.41, to $64.68 a barrel. Brent crude fell 2.06%, or $1.43, to $67.93 [O/R]
* The TSX is up 6.1% for the year.
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