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By Richard Lough BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina faced a race against on time on Wednesday to avert its second default in 12 years, needing to either cut a deal by the end of the day with "holdout" investors suing it or win more time from a U.S. court to reach a settlement. Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof scrambled to New York on Tuesday to join last-ditch negotiations, holding the first face-to-face talks with the principals of New York hedge funds who demand full repayment on bonds they bought at a discounted rate after the country defaulted in 2002. The hedge funds are owed $1.33 billion, but an equal treatment clause in an agreement Argentina made with bondholders in 2005 would cost Argentina many billions more. Latin America's No. 3 economy has for years fought the holdout hedge funds that rejected large writedowns, but after exhausting legal avenues Argentina faces default if it cannot reach a last-minute deal.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth likely regained steam in the second quarter as activity picked up broadly, which would bolster expectations for a stronger performance in the last six months of the year. Gross domestic product likely grew at a 3.0 percent annual rate after shrinking at a 2.9 percent pace in the first quarter, according to a Reuters survey of economists. "I don't think the contraction we saw in the first quarter is reflective of what's truly going on in the economy," said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. Earlier in the second quarter, growth estimates were as high as 4 percent, but they were cut as trade, consumer spending and business investment rebounded from the winter slump by less than expected.