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  • Asian markets cagey after China data, eye on US jobs AFP - 12 hours ago
    Asian markets cagey after China data, eye on US jobs

    Asian markets swung Thursday morning after a surprise pick-up in Chinese factory activity that indicated stability in the world's number two economy but fuelled fears authorities will hold off fresh stimulus. Trading was cagey across the region following oil-linked losses in New York and ahead of Friday's closely watched US jobs report that could precipitate another Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The reading was sharply up from July's 49.9 and confounded expectations for a drop to 49.8 in a survey for Bloomberg News.

  • Apple case highlights huge untaxed profits of corporate giants AFP - 12 hours ago
    Apple case highlights huge untaxed profits of corporate giants

    The huge back-tax bill European authorities slapped on Apple has put a spotlight on $2.4 trillion in untaxed earnings parked offshore by US companies, a tempting target for governments seeking to strengthen their finances. While Washington lays claim to rights to tax the money, critics say it represents profits transferred out of other countries' jurisdictions by accounting tricks. On Tuesday the European Commission ruled that Ireland's deep tax breaks for Apple were not allowed under EU rules and told the company to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes.

  • China manufacturing index highest in nearly 2 years AFP - 12 hours ago
    China manufacturing index highest in nearly 2 years

    An official measure of manufacturing activity in China rebounded to its strongest level in nearly two years last month on improving production and demand, the government said Thursday, boding well for the world's second-largest economy. The official purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 50.4 for August, its highest since October 2014, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. It rose from July's 49.9 and was well ahead of the median forecast of 49.8 in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

  • Orange in tie-up talks with Iranian telecom titan: report AFP - 14 hours ago
    Orange in tie-up talks with Iranian telecom titan: report

    French telecom giant Orange SA is in early talks about buying into Iran's biggest cellular network operator, the Wall Street Journal reported. Such a deal could make history as the first time a Western firm has acquired a significant holding in a major Iranian company since Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program last year in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. Orange, which is part owned by the French government, is one of several European companies that have explored the potential of getting a stake in Mobile Telecommunication Co. of Iran, or MCI, the Journal said, citing people close to the matter.

  • IMF says it could lift Argentina censure in November AFP - 16 hours ago
    IMF says it could lift Argentina censure in November

    The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that it could remove its unprecedented 2013 censure of Argentina in November after the country improved its reporting of key economic statistics. The IMF Executive Board said that Buenos Aires had made "extraordinary efforts and important progress" in improving the accuracy of growth and inflation data that they are required to supply the Fund as a member. "Beyond the advances regarding the quality of the data, the Executive Board also commended the authorities' intention to strengthen the national statistics agency," they said in a statement.

  • Chelsea agree to re-sign Luiz, City clear decks on deadline day AFP - 18 hours ago
    Chelsea agree to re-sign Luiz, City clear decks on deadline day

    Chelsea agreed terms with Paris Saint Germain to re-sign Brazil defender David Luiz on Wednesday, while Manchester City allowed five players to leave on season-long loan deals as the transfer deadline approached across Europe. Luiz was sold by Chelsea to French side PSG for a world record fee for a defender when he joined the French club for £50 million ($65 million, 58 million euros) in 2014.

  • US, Cuba open up skies with 1st regular commercial flight AFP - 18 hours ago
    US, Cuba open up skies with 1st regular commercial flight

    The United States and Cuba took their efforts to build better ties into the skies on Wednesday, with the first regular commercial flight between the two countries in more than 50 years. JetBlue Flight 387 landed in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara a little before 11:00 am (1500 GMT), about an hour after leaving Fort Lauderdale in southeastern Florida with 150 passengers on board. Its departure from Florida was celebrated the same way.

  • Inaugural commercial flight from US lands in Cuba AFP - 19 hours ago
    Inaugural commercial flight from US lands in Cuba

    The first regular commercial flight in more than 50 years from the United States landed in Cuba on Wednesday, as the two nations took the latest step in their efforts to boost ties. JetBlue Flight 387 landed in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara a little before 11:00 am (1500 GMT), about an hour after leaving Fort Lauderdale in southeastern Florida with 150 passengers on board. Its departure from Florida was celebrated the same way.

  • US names powerful board to shepherd Puerto Rico economy AFP - 21 hours ago
    US names powerful board to shepherd Puerto Rico economy

    US President Barack Obama named a powerful new oversight board for Puerto Rico Wednesday charged with helping restore the finances of the debt-mired Caribbean island. The White House said the seven members of the Financial Oversight and Management Board would be charged with helping the government of the US territory restructure its $70 billion in debts and restore economic growth after a decade of recession. The seven include a mix of figures from the banking industry, government and legal sector, four of them selected by Republicans in Congress who had fought giving Puerto Rico the right to declare bankruptcy, and three from the Democrats.

  • US moves to block Deere purchase of Monsanto unit AFP - 22 hours ago
    US moves to block Deere purchase of Monsanto unit

    The US Justice Department on Wednesday said it was suing to prevent farm equipment maker Deere from acquiring Precision Planting, a subsidiary of the biotech giant Monsanto. Combining the two Illinois companies, which together control 86 percent of the market for high-speed precision planting systems, would leave US farmers exposed to higher costs without price competition, the department said. "If this deal were allowed to proceed, Deere would dominate the market for high-speed precision planting systems and be able to raise prices and slow innovation at the expense of American farmers who rely on these systems," Renata Hesse, acting head of the Justice Department's anti-trust division, said in a statement.

  • Markets cautious ahead of US jobs data AFP - 23 hours ago
    Markets cautious ahead of US jobs data

    Caution reigned on most stock markets Wednesday as traders reacted to mixed regional data ahead of key US jobs numbers due later in the week. Wall Street stocks were trading modestly lower after the ADP ...

  • Oil sands fires send Canada GDP reeling in Q2 AFP - 23 hours ago
    Oil sands fires send Canada GDP reeling in Q2

    Forest fires in Canada's oil sands region that disrupted production have pummeled the country's economy, sparking the biggest quarterly decline in GDP in seven years, according to government figures released Wednesday. Gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter amid continued weakness in oil prices, said Statistics Canada. The government statistics agency pointed to a significant drop in oil production as 100,000 residents of Fort McMurray and nearby facilities in the heart of the Alberta oil sands region were evacuated in May to escape encroaching forest fires.

  • Manchester City clear decks as transfer deadline nears AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 3:37 PM AEST
    Manchester City clear decks as transfer deadline nears

    Manchester City allowed Joe Hart, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony to leave on season-long loan deals on Wednesday as the transfer deadline approached across Europe. England goalkeeper Hart completed his move to Italian side Torino, French midfielder Nasri joined Europa League champions Sevilla and Bony pitched up at City's Premier League rivals Stoke City. Spending by Premier League clubs has broken through the one billion pounds (1.17 billion euros, $1.3 billion) barrier in one window for the first time and English sides remained busy on deadline day.

  • Obama to press China on steel at G20, Lew says AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 3:26 PM AEST
    Obama to press China on steel at G20, Lew says

    US President Barack Obama will call for broader fiscal stimulus from other economies and press Beijing to limit steel capacity during his final G20 summit this weekend, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Wednesday. "The president will call on his counterparts to follow through on the G20's commitment to use all policy tools -- including fiscal policy -- to achieve robust and inclusive growth," Lew said at the Brookings Institution.

  • Maiden commercial flight from US to Cuba takes off AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 2:47 PM AEST
    Maiden commercial flight from US to Cuba takes off

    Cuba and the United States took the latest step in their efforts to boost ties Wednesday when the first regular commercial flight from America to the communist-ruled island in more than 50 years took off. JetBlue Flight 386 left Fort Lauderdale in southeastern Florida shortly after 10:00 am (1400 GMT) with 150 passengers on board. After less than an hour in the air, it will land in central Cuba's Santa Clara, 175 miles (280 kilometers) east of Havana.

  • EDF board members sue to overturn Hinkley Point plan AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 2:36 PM AEST
    EDF board members sue to overturn Hinkley Point plan

    Five employee representatives on EDF's board have filed a lawsuit to overturn the French power company's controversial decision to build nuclear reactors in Britain at Hinkley Point. The employee representatives believe that EDF's chief executive "did not communicate crucial information about a major project" he was aware of before the July 28 meeting at which the board of directors approved the £18 billion project ($23.6 billion, 21.2 billion euro) plan to build Britain's first new nuclear reactors in decades, their law firm said Wednesday.

  • First commercial flight in more than 50 years departs US for Cuba AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 2:27 PM AEST
    First commercial flight in more than 50 years departs US for Cuba

    The first regular commercial flight in more than 50 years from the US to Cuba departed Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday -- the latest step in the post-Cold War thaw between the two nations. JetBlue Flight ...

  • Canada GDP fell 1.6% in second quarter AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 1:16 PM AEST
    Canada GDP fell 1.6% in second quarter

    Canada's gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter amid continued oil sector weakness and wildfires, the government's statistics agency said Wednesday. Statistics Canada pointed to a large drop in oil production caused by May wildfires in the heart of the Alberta oil sands region.

  • India growth slows sharply to 7.1% in April-June quarter AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 1:04 PM AEST
    India growth slows sharply to 7.1% in April-June quarter

    India's economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter of the 2016-17 financial year, official data showed Wednesday, missing expectations but raising hopes of an interest rate cut. Gross domestic product expanded 7.1 percent year-on-year in the three months from April-June, down from the stellar growth of 7.9 percent in the preceding quarter, according to the statistics ministry. The numbers also fell short of economists' expectations, with most having predicted a slight slowdown in GDP growth to around 7.6 percent for the quarter.

  • Canada to apply to join China-backed infrastructure bank AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 12:49 PM AEST
    Canada to apply to join China-backed infrastructure bank

    Canada will apply to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Ottawa's finance department said Wednesday, in a coup for Beijing after Washington had tried to dissuade US allies from signing up. "Canada is always looking for ways to create hope and opportunity for our middle class as well as for people around the world," Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement issued in Beijing.

  • Nigerian economy in recession with 'record' low foreign investment AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 12:41 PM AEST
    Nigerian economy in recession with 'record' low foreign investment

    Nigeria's economy nosedived into a recession, official data showed Wednesday, with oil production hammered by militant attacks on pipelines and foreign investment at a "record" low. Output in the three months to the end of June was -2.1 percent with the oil sector reporting a double-digit decline following a wave of attacks by rebels in the oil-producing south. The slowdown was recorded across many sectors in a sign that Africa's economic giant is wrestling with deeper structural issues than just the low price of crude.

  • Joe Hart seals Torino move amid transfer scramble AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 12:28 PM AEST
    Joe Hart seals Torino move amid transfer scramble

    Joe Hart completed his loan switch to Torino on Wednesday and several international stars were reportedly poised for moves as the clock ticked down towards Europe's transfer deadlines. Spending by English Premier League clubs has broken through the one billion pounds (1.17 billion euros, $1.3 billion) barrier in one window for the first time, fuelling transfer activity across the continent. England goalkeeper Hart joined modest Italian side Torino on a season-long loan after being frozen out by new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

  • India's economy grew 7.1% in April-June quarter: ministry AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 12:27 PM AEST
    India's economy grew 7.1% in April-June quarter: ministry

    India's economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter of the 2016-17 financial year, missing expectations, official data released Wednesday showed. Gross domestic product expanded 7.1 percent year-on-year in the three months from April-June, down from the stellar growth of 7.9 percent in the preceding quarter, according to the statistics ministry. The numbers also fell short of economists' expectations, with most predicting a slight slowdown in GDP growth to around 7.6 percent for the quarter.

  • Cyprus, Egypt sign gas export pipeline deal AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 11:56 AM AEST
    Cyprus, Egypt sign gas export pipeline deal

    Cyprus and Egypt signed a deal on Wednesday paving the way for detailed negotiations on a submarine pipeline to export natural gas from the Mediterranean island to its energy-starved neighbour. Cyprus has been eager to secure alternative ways to exploit its offshore reserves after proven finds so far were insufficient to make a planned liquefied natural gas plant on the island's south coast financially viable. Cyprus Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis, and Egypt's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla signed the agreement clearing the way for further negotiations on construction of the pipeline from offshore fields in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone to Egypt, where the gas will be used either for domestic consumption or re-export.

  • European stocks diverge on mixed data AFP - Wed, Aug 31, 2016 11:16 AM AEST
    European stocks diverge on mixed data

    European stock markets diverged on Wednesday with traders reacting to mixed regional data ahead of key US jobs numbers due later in the week. Around 1030 GMT, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was 0.3 ...