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The International Monetary Fund has urged the world’s leading economies to take bold action to boost growth, highlighting concerns that global market turbulence is starting to hurt the real economy. The call came ahead of Friday’s gathering of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Shanghai.

European equities were firmer following an energy-inspired rebound for Wall Street, but China’s stock market suffered its worst retreat in a month. This followed remarks by Zhu Guangyao, vice-finance minister, who said Beijing recognised “the risk the global economy faces”, highlighting concerns about China’s growth trajectory. (FT)

In the news

US warns banks off Russian bonds The US government has warned some top US banks not to bid on a potentially lucrative but politically risky Russian bond deal, saying it would undermine international sanctions, said people familiar with the matter. (WSJ)

Foxconn acquires Sharp The board of the Japanese electronics group has decided to accept a $6.2bn takeover offer from Taiwan iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn. The takeover is being described as a dream come true for Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou, but the original suitor for the struggling Japanese group was Korea’s Samsung. (NAR)

CEO email scam costs companies $2bn A con in which criminals impersonate executives has cost businesses more than $2bn in two years, with more than 12,000 victims affected globally, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (FT)

Johnson & Johnson to pay $72m in cancer suit A jury awarded the money to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using the company’s baby powder. (WSJ)

Ebola’s long term damage Evidence being presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Neurology offers a glimpse of the long-term health problems caused by Ebola. Initial analysis on 82 survivors showed most had had severe neurological problems at the height of the infection, including meningitis, hallucinations or falling into a coma. Six months later, new long-term problems had developed. (BBC)

It’s a big day for

European borders Home affairs ministers from EU and Balkan nations are meeting in Brussels to try to heal rifts over migrants that have plunged common policy into chaos. They will hear plans drawn up by Austria and eight Balkan countries that seek to restrict the numbers entering their borders. (BBC)

Food for thought

Picketty’s revenge Remember Thomas Piketty, the French economist who rode out of Paris in 2013 to assail rising inequality in the western world? The response among the Davos class was to look interested and raise vague doubts about his calculations. But the US election is starting to look like Mr Piketty’s revenge. Inequality in all its guises has become the driving theme for the leading candidates of both parties, and it is confounding the Democratic and Republican establishments. How America made Trump unstoppable (FT, Rolling Stone)

Chronicle of a crash foretold Some analysts describe the Chinese real estate market as the single most important sector in the global economy, and the biggest risk factor. This is less fantastic than it sounds when you consider that in two years, 2011 and 2012, China produced more cement than the US did in the entire 20th century. The boom of recent years has led to enormous excess inventory but the scale is impossible to estimate because developers and local governments under-report the problem. (FT)

This robot can take a punch A unit of Alphabet released a video showing a new version of its robot Atlas trudging through snow, walking out of its offices and being assaulted by its creators. (Gizmodo)

The British propensity to apologise The British are famous for how frequently they say “sorry” — even when they’re not at fault. But do the data hold up this stereotype? And is apologising so often really that bad? (BBC)

Video of the day

Brexit debated: Impact on UK economy Up for debate: ‘Brexit will boost the British economy’. Supporting the motion is John Redwood, British politician and Eurosceptic. Opposing the view is Martin Wolf, the FT’s chief economics commentator. (FT)

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