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Olaf Scholz seeks to end China’s lithium dominance in S America

Bloomberg Chancellor Olaf Scholz is using a trip to Latin America to help Germany secure additional supplies of the lithium that car giants like Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Volkswagen AG need for their electric-vehicle batteries. Chile is the world’s second-largest supplier of lithium after Australia and much of its output is currently gobbled up by China. Scholz, who met with ...

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Denmark plans extra $340 million inflation aid targeting seniors

  Bloomberg Denmark proposed to spend an extra 2.3 billion kroner ($340 million) on inflation aid, mainly targeting senior citizens. The government will now start talks with opposition parties in parliament to reach a broad deal and decide on the details, Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen told reporters in Copenhagen on Monday. Consumers in Denmark have been hit heavily by accelerating ...

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German recession risk rises after surprise contraction

  Bloomberg Germany’s economy shrank 0.2% at the end of last year — a worse outcome than previously flagged and one that makes a recession on the back of rising energy bills more likely after all. The figures Monday from the statistics office contrast with an estimate this month for output to have stagnated in the fourth quarter. They also ...

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Spanish inflation unexpectedly jumps after months of easing

  Bloomberg Spanish inflation unexpectedly quickened in January after a five-month run of slowing price growth, prompting traders to boost their bets on how high the European Central Bank will raise interest rates. Consumer prices advanced by 5.8% from a year ago, up from the previous month’s 5.5% increase, the statistics institute in Madrid said Monday. That’s well above the ...

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UK warns builders to sign ‘cladding pledge’

  Bloomberg Britain’s homebuilders have six weeks to sign a UK government contract that will commit them to repair unsafe cladding on apartment blocks — or face banishment from the housing market. The pledge will commit firms to spend an estimated £2 billion ($2.5 billion) to fix tall buildings they developed or refurbished over the past 30 years, according to ...

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Sunak says UK can’t raise taxes to end dispute with nurses

Bloomberg Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he cannot raise UK taxes to fund pay rises for workers in the state-run National Health Service. “Where we are with taxes at the moment, we can’t put them up,” Sunak told an audience of health-care workers in northeastern England, adding that government spending on the NHS is at a historical high. “The pie ...

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UK’s power switch-off shows future for cleaner energy grid

  Bloomberg For a few hours last week, British consumers were asked to make a choice: keep consuming power as normal or just turn the lights off. Hundreds of thousands of households took part in the effort to reduce electricity demand during a couple of hours when energy supplies were forecast to be particularly tight. There was a financial incentive ...

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Elon Musk faces SEC probe for role in Tesla self-driving claims

Bloomberg US regulators are investigating Elon Musk’s role in shaping Tesla Inc.’s self-driving car claims, the latest effort by watchdogs to scrutinize the actions of the world’s second-richest person. The review is part of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission probe of the company’s statements about its Autopilot driver-assistance system, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who ...

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Argentine leader expects Mercosur, EU to close trade agreement soon

Bloomberg The Mercosur trade group and the European Union will reach a trade agreement soon, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said in Buenos Aires, during German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to the South American nation. The trade bloc, which also consists of Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, is keen to finalize the long-negotiated deal, Fernandez said, adding that he has spoken to ...

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Chip controls won’t affect earnings: ASML

  Bloomberg Europe’s biggest semiconductor-equipment maker ASML Holding NV said an agreement between the Netherlands, the US and Japan to restrict exports of some advanced chipmaking machinery to China shouldn’t have a “material effect” on forecast it has published for this year. “In combination with the current market situation, we do not expect these measures to have a material effect ...

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