The EU said Friday that the International Monetary Fund's calls for debt relief for Greece are "fully compatible" with the agenda in Brussels for negotiating a third Athens bailout.
The IMF said Thursday that it would only join a new multi-billion euro rescue programme once Greece and the EU agree on conditions for medium-term debt sustainability, including possible debt relief and economic reforms.
"It is clear the IMF has a different set of procedures and a different timetable," said Mina Andreeva, spokeswoman for the European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation European Union.
"It is a two-stage process and this is line with what was discussed at the (July 12-13 eurozone) summit and the resulting statement, and is also fully compatible with the EU agenda," Andreeva told reporters in Brussels.
The EU aims to conclude negotiations for a third bailout "with the expertise of the IMF, and then to consider debt measures later in the year," she added.
Athens and Brussels hope the terms of the new bailout can be finalised by mid-August, with cash-strapped Athens facing a 3.2 billion euro repayment to the European Central Bank on August 20, and a 1.5 billion euro reimbursement to the IMF the following month.
Greece has signed up to tax hikes, a pension overhaul and privatisations that the 19-country eurozone demanded at the summit in return for the new bailout.
Experts from the EU, the ECB and the Washington-based IMF have been in Athens this week to discuss the bailout which could be worth up to 86 billion euros ($95 billion) over three years.
In an interview on Wednesday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece could expect debt relief from its creditors once the experts' assessment of its reform commitments is made in November.
The IMF said earlier it could not join in the bailout unless there was "dramatic" relief on Greece's debt to ensure its finances are "sustainable" over the long run.
The IMF was part of two rescue packages for Greece in 2010 and 2012 worth 240 billion euros, plus another 100 billion euros debt write-down for private sector creditors.
Germany, the single biggest creditor, has led opposition to any such "haircut" for the governments and EU institutions which now hold much of Greece's debt.
China's two stock exchanges have slapped trading limits on more than 20 accounts as the market regulator on Friday announced a crackdown on computerised "programme trading", which it blamed for recent volatility.
The moves are the latest steps by authorities to try to stem a market rout that has seen the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunge more than 30pc since mid-June, raising worries over reforms and the possible impact on the wider economy.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said it was investigating institutions and individuals for programme trading, which had amplified "big fluctuations" on the stock market, according to a statement on its website.
The practice typically involves automated transactions carried out by computer at high speed on a large number of stocks.
The Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges had put limits on 24 accounts for influencing stock prices and investors' decisions, the CSRC statement added, without naming the account holders or detailing the restrictions.
The CSRC has already announced probes into "malicious" short-selling - a bet prices will go lower - and what it called "concentrated" selling, which caused an 8.48pc plunge in the Shanghai market on Monday, the biggest one-day fall in eight years.
It is also asking financial institutions in Singapore and Hong Kong for stock trading records, sources with direct knowledge told Reuters, widening its pursuit of investors shorting Chinese stocks as Beijing struggles to stabilise queasy exchanges.
Other moves by China's authorities in the wake of the falls - which began last month - include banning shareholders with more than 5pc stakes from selling stock and funding the state-backed China Securities Finance Corp. to buy shares.
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Fearing the turmoil could spill over into the wider economy, which has already been cooling, the ruling Communist party has also enlisted commercial banks, brokers, fund managers, insurers and pension funds to buy up shares, or help fund their purchase, to keep the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets afloat.
Analysts say trading is likely to remain volatile with many expecting the benchmark Shanghai index to fall further.
China's benchmark CSI300 index, which comprises the largest listed firms in Shanghai and Shenzhen, dipped in morning trade, though it is still up around 7pc over what has been a roller-coaster 2015.
Wang Feng, chief executive of Alpha Squared Capital, a Chinese hedge fund, said the regulator was targeting automated trading programmes that involved the frequent cancelling of bids, though he added that his firm did not employ this tactic.
"The CSRC is only targeting those who use programme trading to frequently submit and then cancel bids, thus disturbing
"there's no need for any kind of safety whatsoever," .... oh my.
GDP in the US was hailed as a "recovery" with a 2.3% double (!!) seasonally adjusted figure. The fact remains the recovery has been incredibly weak by modern standards and is now incredibly long in the tooth. Market is, however, thoroughly convinced rate normalization is on its way so money pours into the US dollar and the stock market and out of precious metals. I'm still looking for one more flush in gold down to $1030, maybe even very briefly under $1000. The sentiment is nearly apocalyptic in gold with calls to $350 now entering mainstream press and virtually every article on the subject calling for sharp falls. The futures positioning is now record bearish beating both the 2008 bottom and the 2000 bottom. Even going back to 1940's the gold stocks have never been this hated. Luckily, CEY is such a low cost producer that she seems to be handling the blows to gold with aplomb. We should be getting a resource upgrade and divi announcement along with Q2 finals on the 9th of August.
Remember last week when somebody in the US government leaked that the FED wouldn't be raising rates, was that all part of a cunning plan to fool the markets? They will make their mind up soon,or perhaps not!
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Gold fell 1 percent on Thursday to a near a 5-1/2-year low as the dollar rose after data showed the U.S. economy improved in the second quarter, supporting views that the Federal Reserve would lift rates by year-end.
The U.S. Department of Commerce said gross domestic product expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate. First-quarter GDP, previously reported to have shrunk at a 0.2 percent pace, was revised up to show a 0.6 percent rise.
Spot gold (XAU=) dropped as much as 1.3 percent to a session low of $1,081.85 an ounce in earlier trading, not far from its cheapest since February 2010 at $1,077 hit after a selloff on July 20. It was down 0.7 percent at $1,089.11 by 2:07 p.m. EDT (1807 GMT).
With the stronger dollar and the likelihood of a rate hike by the end of the year, "there's no need for any kind of safety whatsoever," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker for RJO Futures in Chicago.
After a two-day meeting, Fed policymakers said the U.S. economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was "expanding moderately."
That buoyed the dollar, which was up 0.4 percent against a basket of leading currencies, making dollar-priced gold more costly for non-U.S. buyers.
U.S. gold for August delivery (GCcv1) slipped 0.4 percent to settle at $1,088.40 an ounce.
"As the focus is back on the dollar and its strength, the trajectory for gold is down until a hike actually happens," Citigroup strategist David Wilson said.
Mizuho Bank said in a note that it expected just one rate increase this year, with the Fed adopting a gradual pace of tightening. "And policy will continue to be conditioned on data," it added.
Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York's SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), were unchanged at 21.87 million ounces for a second day on Wednesday. That level is the lowest since September 2008. [GOL/ETF]
Spot platinum (XPT=) was up 0.1 percent at $983.24 an ounce, within reach of a 6-1/2-year low of $942.49 hit in the previous week. Palladium (XPD=) was up 0.2 percent at $617.25 an ounce, and silver (XAG=) dropped 0.1 percent to $14.72 an ounce.
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