The Czech antitrust office approved the merger of German RWE Gas with Czech Transgas including eight gas distributors. However, RWE must meet three conditions. Restrictions calls for RWE not to take control of Moravske naftove doly, the only domestic competitor. As a minority owner in the mining company, RWE must not bloc its business decisions. RWE is not allowed to enter or build new units in the Czech electricity and heating market until the sector is privatized or for a maximum of five years.
Latest economic news from the USA does not seem to be optimistic. The rate of unemployment in the American economy jumped to 6.0%, the highest level since August 1994. March rate of unemployment reached 5.7%. Similar information provides another indicator. The index of economic activity (ISM) dropped to 55.3 points in April from 57.3 points in March.
European firms seem to be more optimistic. Business confidence index of European Commission remained almost unchanged in April (valued at -0.64). It reached its bottom during latest business cycle in November (-1.18). The inflation outlook in the euro zone looks positive as well: future inflation index (ECRI) remained in March at the level of February (91 points).
The Middle East tension loses its intensity somewhat and the oil price decreases consequently. Following the peak at the end of April (USD 27 / barrel of Brent oil), the oil price stands at USD 25 recently. Falling price will be influence by cancellation of Iraqi embargo on oil export on Wednesday.
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