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Price of gold soars on report of Arab states ditching dollar

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The price of gold struck an all-time high Tuesday as the dollar fell on a news report of a plan by Gulf states to stop using the greenback for oil trading.

Gold hit 1,045.00 dollars per ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange in late trades.

Hours earlier on the London Bullion Market, gold surged to 1,043.78 dollars beating the previous record high of 1,032.70 dollars an ounce struck in March, 2008.

Barclays Capital precious metals analyst Suki Cooper said dollar weakness appeared to be related to reported secret talks about oil being priced in a basket of currencies including gold rather than the dollar,

This “has added to concerns about the future role of the dollar in international financial markets,” Cooper said.

The dollar’s future as the world’s top currency was thrown into doubt on Tuesday as a report said Arab states had launched secret moves with China and Russia to stop using the greenback for oil trading.

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Arab states have launched steps with China, Russia, Japan and France to stop using the dollar for oil trades, British daily The Independent reported on Tuesday, but the report was denied by Kuwait and Qatar and reportedly by other nations.

The Independent’s Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk wrote in his paper: “In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning — along with China, Russia, Japan and France — to end dollar dealings for oil.”

They would instead switch “to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar,” added Fisk.

Gold, viewed as a safe-haven investment, has won back favour in recent months as the global economy struggles out of its worst slump in decades.

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The run-up in gold has been largely driven by weakness in the dollar, which makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of stronger currencies, boosting demand.

Gold also wins support from fears about higher inflation because the metal is widely regarded by investors as a safe store of value.

Precious metals consultancy GFMS last month warned that the current upward trend in gold may not be sustainable should global stimulus packages fail to boost flagging demand in the battered world economy and inflation fall as a result.

The Group of 20 leaders of emerging and developed nations recently agreed at a summit in Pittsburgh not to roll back massive stimulus measures that helped contain a severe global recession.

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Prosecutors debunk right-wing conspiracy theory in new legal smackdown of Roger Stone

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Federal prosecutors debunked a conspiracy theory pushed by the far-right in a new legal brief filed on Thursday.

Longtine Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone had argued federal investigators relied upon a report from the cyber research firm Crowdstrike to conclude that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee.

That contention, according to federal prosecutors, is "incorrect."

"While the prosecutors did not go into detail, they noted that the investigators gathered evidence of the Russians’ involvement independently, which led to the indictment last year of 12 Russian military officials in connection with the DNC hack," Politico reported.

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There is ‘no doubt’ that Ivanka Trump has violated federal law — according to this nonpartisan ethics watchdog

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Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of President Donald Trump, who also serves as a White House adviser, has allegedly violated the Hatch Act by using her Twitter handle for inappropriate political activity, a nonpartisan ethics watchdog organization claims.

"Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ('CREW') respectfully requests that the Office of Special Counsel ('OSC') investigate whether assistant to the president Ivanka Trump violated the Hatch Act by using her social media account @IvankaTrump to post messages, including President Trump’s campaign slogan: 'Make America Great Again," wrote Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), in a complaint filed Thursday with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

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Why Federal Reserve independence matters

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Should you care if the Federal Reserve loses its independence?

It’s become a growing risk in recent years as President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the U.S. central bank over interest rate policy and tried to appoint his political allies to its board. Most recently, he reportedly has explored removing Fed Chair Jerome Powell, whom Trump named to the post only last year.

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