Jobless levels among young people are particularly harsh, at 24 per cent in the euro zone and just shy of that in the wider EU.
More than 59 per cent of the youth work force in Greece is unemployed, and almost 56 per cent in Spain.
"At the last count, 12 of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect a 25-basis-point cut," Kit Juckes, the chief of foreign exchange at Société Générale, said of the anticipation for a rate decrease by the ECB Thursday.
"Far more expect 'something.' At least one person on twitter has suggested a 50-basis-point move. Market rates have fallen sharply, peripheral spreads have tightened, credit spreads ditto. The market is bulled-up and hoping for something, then! The risk of disappointment is severe."
- Sharp euro zone inflation fall, joblessness, point to ECB rate cut
- Italy's new PM rips up austerity plans
- ECB moves closer to rate cut as euro zone recession deepens
Suncor unveils big dividend hike
Shares of Suncor Energy Inc. climbed today after last night's announcement of a hefty dividend increase and robust share buyback.
The Canadian energy giant hiked its dividend by 54 per cent, to 20 cents from 13 cents, and said it planned a $2-billion share buyback, which chief executive officer Steve Williams "underscores our commitment to returning cash to shareholders and reflects our confidence in the company's future earnings and cash flow."
Suncor profit slipped in the first quarter to $1.1-billion or 72 cents a share from $1.4-billion or 93 cents a year earlier amid a $146-million after-tax foreign exchange loss, while operating earnings rose.
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