Economic news digest

As the IMF joins calls for a stronger yuan, a Xinhua report on Saturday said the Chinese government would not allow the renminbi to appreciate against the dollar in the short term. Just hours before Obama was due to arrive in China, the authorities there warned that the Fed is fuelling speculative investments and endangering the global recovery through loose monetary policy.

Meanwhile, the US trade gap continues to widen in spite of the weaker dollar, the US pension agency says potential exposure to future pension losses more than trebled, and US consumer sentiment has dropped unexpectedly.

US data show smaller banks are disproportionately exposed to commercial real estate loans, comprising 44 per cent of community bank assets. Even global banks hold an average 18 per cent CRE. And commodity risks are rising: traded commodities are increasingly correlated with oil, so a portfolio with both commodities and oil is less diversified i.e. riskier.

And tensions continue to rise over water. The current Israeli-Palestinian dispute is one among many worldwide.

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