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WireTap 1400 13/03/12

A round-up of the key stories across the specialist financial media, including news that the EU and Japan have joined the US in asking the WTO to settle a dispute with China over controls on exports.

EU, U.S., Japan launch rare earth WTO case against China

The European Union, United States and Japan formally asked the World Trade Organization on Tuesday to settle a dispute with China over Beijing's restriction on exports of raw materials, including rare earth elements critical to major industries.

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Whistleblowers drawn by tip-off payouts

Informants tempted by the prospect of multimillion dollar payouts are rushing to US regulators to take advantage of a new programme that can make whistleblowing on wrongdoing lucrative.

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Spain agrees to EU budget demands

Spain will comply with the additional budget cuts the European Union has demanded of it, likely ending a dispute over its 2012 budget that has been regarded as a key test of ambitious new rules for the euro currency bloc.

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Bundesbank reports sharp fall in profits

Germany’s Bundesbank has reported a sharp fall in profits after substantially increasing reserves set aside to cover risks associated with the European Central Bank’s massively expanded liquidity operations.

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Brent crude hits record highs in sterling, euros

Brent crude oil rose to fresh record highs in euro and sterling terms Tuesday, as oil ticked higher ahead of a key Federal Reserve decision on interest rates and expectations of positive economic data from the US lifted the dollar.

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