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The study found that ‘leaky walls’ were the main barrier to energy efficient English homes

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Fixing the ‘leaky walls’ of homes in England is the biggest challenge in improving energy efficiency, a leading think tank has warned, with ‘radical steps’ to help people least able to pay to insulate their properties.

Four out of every 10 or 9 meter homes have walls rated as poor or very poor, while five homes have roofs that are ineffective, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation published on Monday. The study found that the problem was worse in larger cities, and around two-thirds of all homes in London had “poor quality walls”.

It has estimated that it would cost an average of £8,000 to fit a three-bedroom, semi-detached property with solid wall insulation.

“Previous methods such as cheap loans failed to deliver improvements on a large scale, and the biggest barrier to energy-efficient homes has been largely ignored: our leaky walls,” said Johnny Marshall, chief economist at Resolution Corporation.

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Britain has some of the oldest and most energy-efficient housing in Europe, keeping buildings hot in summer and cold in winter. Researchers have stepped up calls this year for greater investment in efficiency measures to help lower gas and electric bills as energy costs rise.

Properly insulating the 29 million UK homes would also reduce carbon emissions from gas-fired heating systems, a step scientists have said is necessary if the UK is to meet its net zero target by 2050.

“England’s homes have a carbon footprint as big as our petrol and diesel cars,” Marshall said. The government must find a way to tackle the problem “without leaving poor families behind or burdening them with unaffordable costs”.

The non-profit group Friends of the Earth is urging the government to launch a free “street by street” isolation program in England.

In November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged £6bn of capital spending on an isolation scheme for the three years from 2025.

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But Resolution said plans for homes in England “must pick up speed” and focus on improving leaky walls rather than “easier” options such as lofts and windows.

The think tank said the government “must adopt tougher and more radical solutions than those that have been attempted in the past or are currently being proposed”.

This should include proven and targeted financial aid for those least able to pay, and a requirement for all homes to meet a certain level of energy efficiency by 2035, as recommended in the report.

For example, if the government paid families with assets less than £100,000 and incomes less than £30,000, the state would cover about a tenth the cost of insulating their homes, it estimates.

Wealthier families can get some support, the report said, but the rich must pay for home improvements themselves. He suggested that the cost of the improvements be added to existing mortgage agreements or home price negotiations.

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The government said it was investing £6.6 billion during this Parliament to make buildings more energy efficient because it was “the best long-term way to tackle fuel shortages”. It added that it set aside a further £6 billion for spending in its autumn statement last month.

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Dollar Tentative As Investors Evaluate Rate Hike Path By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US dollar banknotes are shown in this illustration taken on July 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar held steady on Monday as investors digested a raft of economic data released last week that boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of interest rate hikes.

Data on Friday showed US non-farm payrolls increased by 223,000 jobs in December, while average earnings rose by 0.3%, less than expected and less than the 0.4% in the previous month.

There were other signs of a slowing economy, with US service industry activity contracting for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years in December amid weak demand.

That, which measures the US dollar against six major currencies, led to a decline of 1.15% on Friday. On Monday, the index, which has gained 8% in 2022, rose 0.01% to 103,720.

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Investors pinned their hopes on the US central bank easing monetary policy. Fed fund futures now point to a 25% chance of a half point hike in February, down from about 50% a month ago.

However, analysts point to a still tight labor market that is likely to worry Fed officials.

“The December payroll report shows that the US jobs market is still too tight to allow the Fed to step down to a 25 basis point rate hike next month,” said Mansoor Mohiuddin, chief economist at Bank of Singapore.

“We expect the Fed to remain more hawkish than the market expects, which keeps us cautious about the near-term outlook for risky assets.”

With the next meeting of the Federal Reserve scheduled for the beginning of next month, investors will be focusing on the Consumer Price Index data due on Thursday.

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Citi said it expects another “softer” core CPI reading with some upside risk, but said core inflation could pick up again in early 2023.

“We still expect the Fed to rise by 50 basis points in February as underlying inflation pressures remain strong and further easing of financial conditions is likely not a desirable outcome.”

Elsewhere, the Brazilian real has not yet circulated after supporters of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro were arrested after invading the country’s Congress, presidential palace and supreme court.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.12% against the US currency, to 131.94 per dollar, while the British pound was last trading at $1.2099, up 0.06% on the day, after rising 1.5% on Friday.

The euro rose 0.11% to $1.0656, after closing 1.17% higher on Friday.

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The Australian dollar rose 0.17% against the US currency, to $0.689, while it rose 0.02%, to $0.635.

================================================== == ======

The currency bid prices are at 0128 GMT

Description RIC Last US Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

previous change

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session

EUR/USD 1.0660 USD 1.0645 USD +0.14% -0.51% +1.0668 +1.0640 USD

USD/JPY 131.8650 132.0700 -0.13% +0.51% +132.2500 +131.7400

EUR/JPY 140.57 140.58 -0.01% +0.19% +140.8000 +140.4600

USD/CHF 0.9275 0.9279 -0.03% +0.32% +0.9279 +0.9264

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GBP/USD 1.2104 1.2093 +0.12% +0.11% +1.2128 +1.2092

USD/CAD 1.3432 1.3448 -0.10% -0.85% +1.3444 +1.3420

AUD/USD 0.6891 0.6876 +0.28% +1.14% +0.6907 +0.6875

New Zealand 0.6348 0.6350 + 0.01% + 0.01% + 0.6372 + 0.6337

dollars / dollars

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locations in Tokyo

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Tokyo forex market information from Bank of Japan

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How strained relations between China and Australia affected trade in coal, barley, beef and wine by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The rim of the Mount Owen coal mine in Glencore and adjoining land rehabilitated in Ravensworth, Australia, June 21, 2022. The photo was taken June 21, 2022. The photo was taken with a drone. Photograph: Lauren Elliott/Reuters

(Reuters) – China is resuming coal trade with Australia after a three-year hiatus, following strained relations between the two countries over broader issues.

What happened between China and Australia?

Relations between China and Australia have been strained since 2018 when Canberra banned Huawei Technologies from its 5G broadband network.

The relationship deteriorated further in 2020 after Canberra called for an international investigation into the origins of COVID-19, which led to a series of trade reprisals by Beijing on Australian exports.

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What products are affected?

Apart from coal, exports of barley, beef, cotton, wine, lobsters and grapes were subject to varying restrictions during 2020.

However, China continued to purchase large quantities of iron ore, wheat and liquefied iron.

What did the rebellion involve?

China has given verbal instructions to buyers to avoid Australian commodities such as coal and cotton, and has imposed anti-dumping duties on barley and wine.

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An order in October 2020 to avoid coal from Australia sent prices down and left dozens of ships stranded outside Chinese ports. Beijing later said it found coal imports failed to meet environmental standards.

What products were the hardest hit?

Anti-dumping and subsidy tariffs on both barley and wine, applied for five years, all but wiped out imports of the products.

The total tariff on barley was 80.5% while the tariff on wine was 218% for some brands.

Wine exports to China, formerly Australia’s largest market, fell by $844m in the year to March 2022, the first year after the final tariffs were imposed.

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Barley trade with the world’s largest brewer was previously worth between A$1.5 billion ($1.01 billion) and A$2 billion a year.

What about other merchandise?

China also ordered cotton mills to stop buying Australian supplies or face a 40% tariff. China was the largest buyer of Australian cotton, accounting for about 60% of its supply, worth around A$900 million during the 2018-2019 crop season.

Five of Australia’s largest beef manufacturers have also been suspended from exporting to China in 2020 for reasons such as poor labeling and contamination with a banned substance.

Although other plants are still allowed to ship to China, importers have complained of long delays clearing Australian beef through customs. The trade value was A$3 billion in 2019.

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Meanwhile, lobster exports plummeted after Chinese customs said they would be subject to enhanced inspections.

Has it affected the Australian economy?

Despite the measures, Australia continued to record a trade surplus with China thanks to higher commodity prices, particularly iron ore.

Australia has also succeeded in shifting exports of coal, barley and other products elsewhere.

Barley growers also reduced the acreage under grain and planted more canola instead.

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Australia’s largest wine company, Treasury Wine Estates (OTC:), has shifted its strategy to produce wine in China to rebuild businesses decimated by tariffs.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) said in a Jan. 6 note that the overall economic impact of easing restrictions, while positive for affected sectors, is likely to be small.

Who benefited?

South African winemakers have seen a boom in demand, while barley exports from France, Canada, Argentina and Ukraine to China have soared.

Cattle farmers also benefited from the United States, as China sought an alternative supplier of high-quality grain-fed beef.

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What prompted the resumption of coal purchases?

Relations between Beijing and Canberra have improved following a shake-up in the Australian government, highlighted by a meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers in Beijing last month and letters between the two leaders.

Australia hopes China will also ease other import restrictions. Trade Minister Don Farrell said in late December that he was willing to visit China to talk about Beijing’s restrictions on barley and wine, currently the subject of an Australian complaint to the World Trade Organization.

($1 = 1.4797 Australian dollars)

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Ease of landing and reopening by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: People walk past a screen showing a Hang Seng stock ticker outside the Hong Kong stock exchanges, in Hong Kong, China July 19, 2022. REUTERS/Lam Yik // File Photo

Written by Jimmy MacGyver

(Reuters) – A look at the day ahead in Asian markets from Jamie MacGyver.

Asian markets are set to open the week with spring in stride Monday, bolstered by a rally on Wall Street on Friday, mounting hopes for a soft landing in the US, and optimism surrounding China’s reopening after the ‘zero Covid’ policy came to pass. End of this week.

Investors took Friday’s ‘Goldilocks’ US employment report as a sign that the Fed may win its battle against inflation without doing too much damage to the economy – US and global stocks, assets and risky bonds rose, which is likely. To set the tone in Asia on Monday.

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MSCI Global Equities – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/lbvggorymvq/MSCIGlobal.png

The relatively bland US backdrop — economic activity and inflation slowing enough to allow the Fed to end its rate hike cycle soon, and perhaps even reverse it later this year — is enough to spur investors’ appetite for risk.

Throw in increasingly positive signals from China, and the bulls could lead the charge on Monday.

Travelers (NYSE: ) began flocking to mainland China by air, land and sea on Sunday, as Beijing opened borders that have been virtually closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beijing’s sudden shift has led to huge waves of infections, but investors are hopeful that reopening will eventually pay off economically. China is in talks with Pfizer (NYSE:) is on a vaccine, and economists at several major banks are revising their GDP growth forecasts for the second half of this year.

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– Out and Wild – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/byvrlroneve/CNY.jpg

The increasing upward trend is reflected in China’s exchange rate. The yuan is its strongest since mid-August, as it moved further away from the 7.00 level for the dollar.

Hong Kong tech stocks have been on a tear lately – up a staggering 65% from an October low – but could open on a more cautious note Monday after news that Ant Group founder Jack Ma will relinquish control of the fintech giant. .

Analysts are divided on whether this clears the way for the company to revive its IPO plans, or will lead to further delays.

There is little economic data out of Asia on Monday, but the flow picks up later in the week. Among the key events to watch: new loans, consumer and producer price inflation, and trade data from China. Australian and Indian inflation and current account and Tokyo inflation figures from Japan.

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The South Korean central bank is also expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on Thursday, to 3.50%. Policymakers are divided on where the final interest rate should be – three out of six in November saw 3.50%, and two saw probability at 3.75%.

Three key developments could provide more direction to the markets on Monday:

Federal Reserve Chairman Bostic speaks

— Japanese Prime Minister Kishida meets French President Macron

Unemployment in the Eurozone (November)

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