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European stocks higher ... Upbeat Wall Street anticipated ... South Korean response

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TOKYO (AP) — Shares edged higher in early European trading today, tracking gains in Asia after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress the central bank may slow the pace of its interest rate increases. Dow futures were 0.1 percent higher and S&P 500 futures climbed 0.2 percent, suggesting an upbeat start for Wall Street.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman has responded to a U.S. request for talks on the two countries' free-trade agreement by saying it's unclear if the pact is causing a growing imbalance. The spokesman told reporters the U.S. and South Korea should consider revising the trade agreement only after reaching a consensus on the need for a change.

BEIJING (AP) — China's foreign ministry has defended its purchase of North Korean iron ore and says it is enforcing sanctions imposed in hopes of stopping the North's nuclear weapons development. A ministry spokesman says the imports are allowed under U.N. sanctions and generate no profit for North Korea's weapons program.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese trade growth accelerated for a second month in June in a positive sign for global demand and the world's No. 2 economy. Exports rose 11.3 percent to $196.6 billion, up from May's 8.7 percent rate, according to customs data. Imports gained 17.2 percent to $153.8 billion, up from the previous month's 14.8 percent growth.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare are set to deliver their annual warning about the long-term finances of the government's two largest benefit programs. Last year, the trustees said Social Security had enough trust fund money to pay full benefits until 2034. They said Medicare's trust fund for inpatient care would be exhausted in 2028.

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The Associated Press


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