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WireTap 1400 23/02/12

A round-up of the key stories across the specialist financial media, including news that the European Commission has announced that the Eurozone is undergoing a mild recession.

Europe slips into ‘mild’ recession

The eurozone is going through a “mild recession”, according to European Commission forecasts, and will contract by 0.3 per cent in 2012.

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S&P 500 gets 9% cheaper as record profit restores $3.2 trillion

Profits in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index are rising faster than its price, leaving the gauge 9 percent cheaper than it was in April even after American equities climbed within 6 points of last year’s peak.

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Hester defends RBS banker bonuses

Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, defended the pay of its investment bankers on Thursday as the state-controlled group posted a deeper annual pre-tax loss of £766m.

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JPMorgan places $72 billion bet on global homeowners

JPMorgan has more than tripled its holdings of mortgage securities without U.S. government guarantees to $72 billion as the nation’s biggest bank bets on borrowers from outside the country it calls home.

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Stock futures higher after claims data

S&P 500 stock index futures pared gains but recovered quickly after a report showed new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week, holding at the lowest level since the early days of the 2007-2009 recession.

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