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ISTANBUL: In this image taken from Security Camera footage obtained by Turkish TV company DHA, showing two women as they attack police in Istanbul yesterday. The two women attacked the police with gunfire and a grenade Thursday and then fled the scene to hide inside a building before being killed by police, an official said. — AP
ISTANBUL: In this image taken from Security Camera footage obtained by Turkish TV company DHA, showing two women as they attack police in Istanbul yesterday. The two women attacked the police with gunfire and a grenade Thursday and then fled the scene to hide inside a building before being killed by police, an official said. — AP

Istanbul police kill two leftist female militants in standoff

PARIS, France: The Paris CAC 40 stock index set a new record during trading on Tuesday as equity markets are buoyed by hopes that central banks will begin to cut interest rates early next year. At 1055 GMT the CAC 40 hit 7,582.11 points, climbing more than 11 percent from the low point it struck in October. It had set its previous record high in April. European stock markets climbed at the start of trading Tuesday following gains in Asia and on Wall Street, as traders awaited US inflation data due later in the session.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.3 percent to 7,570.67 points, as the latest UK unemployment data boosted hopes of a cut to British interest rates by the middle of next year. Global equities have won support in recent weeks on hopes that major central banks will next year start to cut interest rates as inflation cools. Asia’s main stock markets closed higher following gains Monday on Wall Street where the Dow index ended at the highest level in two years. The dollar retreated before the consumer price index (CPI) reading that comes a day before the US Federal Reserve’s final policy meeting of the year. The Fed outcome will be closely followed by investors hoping for an idea about decision-makers’ plans for potential interest-rate cuts. —AFP

A string of data pointing to a slowdown in US inflation and a softening of the labor market -- but at a pace suggesting the economy will not tip into recession -- has seen a surge in bets on the Fed cutting borrowing costs as many as four times in 2024.

“Investors sense they are nearing touchdown on the soft landing economic glide path, positioning for a benign inflation print or at least one that won’t upset the market’s bullish dynamics,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.

As well as the CPI figures, traders are also awaiting the release of data on US producer prices, retail sales and manufacturing. Fed officials, including boss Jerome Powell, have insisted for months that although inflation continues to come down they will still keep rates elevated for some time and be guided only by data.

“There’s so much to come over the next few days,” said Craig Erlam of OANDA. “The Fed decision on Wednesday is unlikely to be controversial, but the forecasts, dot plot (of rate projections) and press conference that accompany it may well be.” The European Central Bank and Bank of England give their latest interest-rate decisions on Thursday. –AFP

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