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Facebook's Libra coin likely to run a regulatory gauntlet






NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO(Reuters) - Facebook Inc will face unprecedented regulatory scrutiny over a new digital currency that the social media company hopes will become globally recognized legal tender within a year.

Since Facebook unveiled its cryptocurrency, called Libra, 10 days ago, Reuters has spoken with more than a dozen people withexperience in financial regulation, financial technology, payments or cryptocurrency. Few expected government agencies to proceed lightly.

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U.S. banks play cat-and-mouse game with Fed on capital returns






NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An annual stress test of banks introduced by U.S. regulators after the 2007-09 financial crisis to prevent taxpayer bailouts has become a fight over how quickly lenders can return capital to shareholders.

Helped by a buoyant U.S. economy, tax cuts and record profits, the country’s biggest banks are ramping up payouts to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. But their plans to return capital are pushing the boundaries of what regulators will tolerate, analysts and regulatory sources say.

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When controversies hit, wait-and-see no longer works, U.S. companies find






NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) held its annual meeting in April, activists insisted it stop financing private prison companies.

On Wednesday, Bank of America did exactly that, distancing itself from a sector that has triggered protests over its links to the Trump administration’s immigration policy and concerns about detention center conditions. Hector Vaca, one of the activists at the April annual meeting, declared victory.

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Wall Street wraps up its best June in decades as G20 convenes






NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street advanced in heavy trading on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow closing the book on their best June in generations, ahead of much-anticipated trade talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit now underway in Japan.

All three major U.S. stock indexes gained ground at the close of the week, month, quarter and first half of the year, during which time the U.S. stock market has had a remarkable run.

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Stocks advance to end first half as G20 in focus






NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global stocks climbed on Friday in advance of a meeting on trade between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as global equities notched their best first half since 1997.

Trump and Xi will meet during a Group of 20 summit this weekend in Osaka, Japan, for talks that could help resolve a yearlong trade war between China and the United States, as signs of its dampening effect on global growth have become more prevalent.

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Dollar little changed awaiting G20 trade news






LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar treaded water on Friday ahead of a meeting between the United States and China at the Group of 20 summit in Japan, shaking off light pressure from U.S. economic data that did nothing to derail speculation about a July interest rate cut.

The core U.S. personal consumption expenditure price index rose 0.2% in May, as expected, reinforcing investor expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut rates by at least 25 basis points at the next meeting.

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Facebook's WhatsApp hires senior exec from London remittances startup: sources






NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp has hired a senior executive from London-based money transfer startup WorldRemit, three people familiar with the matter said this week.

WorldRemit’s chief product officer, Alice Newton-Rex, will join WhatsApp’s product team later this year to work on the app’s messaging service, one of the people said.

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U.S. dominates second quarter global M&A as mega deals roll on






NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Mega deals set the pace for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) globally in the second quarter of 2019, as large U.S. companies defied trade row jitters and seized on strong equity and debt capital markets to agree on transformative combinations.

Global M&A volume reached $842 billion in the second quarter, down 13% and 27% from the first quarter of 2019 and second quarter of 2018 respectively, according to preliminary data from financial data provider Refinitiv.

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