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WireTap 1400 11/01/12

A round-up of the top stories from around the specialist financial media, including how stock index futures have dipped a day after top indexes hit a five-month high

Stock futures off after market hits five-month high 

Stock index futures dipped on Wednesday, a day after top indexes hit a five-month high, with pressure on the euro testing the recent view that the US market was decoupling from Europe.

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Europe's $39 trillion pension threat grows as regional economies sputter

State-funded pension obligations in 19 of the European Union nations were about five-times higher than their combined gross debt, according to a study commissioned by the European Central Bank. The countries in the report, compiled by the Research Centre for Generational Contracts at Freiburg University in 2009, had almost €30 trillion ($39.3 trillion) of projected obligations to their existing populations.

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EU fiscal treaty to include escape clause – draft

A new EU fiscal treaty is to include an escape clause that allows the suspension of a balanced-budget rule during a period of economic downturn or other exceptional event, according to a draft of the document obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

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Strong demand at German debt sale

Germany’s five-year bond auction attracted bids for more than double the targeted amount on Wednesday, underscoring the country’s status as the eurozone’s safest haven despite the country’s wilting economic growth.

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Germany's economic recovery stalls

Germany’s economic recovery went into reverse at the end of last year but the country still notched up 3% growth in 2011 – twice as fast as in the US and the rest of the eurozone.

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