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  • Italy uncovers European tax-avoiding fuel scam Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 11:51 AM ET

    ROME— Italian police and Europol say eight people have been arrested in a half-dozen European countries for allegedly operating a diesel import scam that avoided taxes by disguising the fuel as it transited across the continent. Italy's financial police said Thursday that the scam netted 5.7 million euros as some 4,000 tons of fuel entered the country to be...

  • ROME, March 26- Bond-buying by the European Central Bank will reinforce the euro zone's economic recovery, its president, Mario Draghi, said on Thursday, adding that there was already evidence that the scheme was taking effect. Draghi told lawmakers in Italy's parliament that recent data releases "are comforting about the contribution that monetary policy is...

  • Pressure rises on Greece as savers drain bank deposits Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 11:25 AM ET

    The central bank of Greece said Thursday that private and business deposits dropped to 140.5 billion euros by the end of February. Some feared the clash could push Greece to bankruptcy and even cause it to fall out of the euro, a move that would devastate the country's financial system in the short term. Greece has its back against a wall as it badly needs money— it...

  • BERLIN, March 26- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday that record low interest rates were causing considerable problems in Germany but added that he was not criticising the European Central Bank which needed to defend its inflation target. "We have an interest rate environment that is causing huge problems for us in Germany," he said at a...

  • DUBAI, March 26- Saudi Arabia has begun drawing down its foreign currency reserves for the first time since 2009 to cover a record state budget deficit caused by the plunge in oil prices, data from the Saudi central bank indicated on Thursday. It was the first year-on-year drop since February 2010, when Saudi Arabia was affected by the global financial crisis.

  • MOSCOW, March 26- Russia's top lender Sberbank said its profit fell 20 percent last year, hit by a steep rise in its loan-loss provisions due to an economic crisis. The bank's funding costs also jumped due to Western sanctions imposed on Russia- which limit its access to international capital markets- and central bank rate rises, while its profitability slipped...

  • PARIS, March 26- France cut its budget deficit target for this year on Thursday and said economic growth could beat the government's 1 percent forecast, after reporting a smaller-than-expected fiscal gap for 2014.. Finance Minister Michel Sapin said France, which has repeatedly missed its fiscal targets, is confident it will finally bring the deficit below an...

  • FRANKFURT, March 26- Now may be a good time to start normalising U.S. monetary policy, Federal Reserve policymaker James Bullard said on Thursday. In the text of comments delivered to an audience in Frankfurt, St. Louis Fed President Bullard said doing that would direct policy "so that it is set appropriately for an improving economy over the next two years."

  • FRANKFURT, March 26- Now may be a good time to start normalizing U.S. monetary policy, Federal Reserve policymaker James Bullard said on Thursday. In the text of comments delivered to an audience in Frankfurt, Bullard said: "Now may be a good time to begin normalizing U.S. monetary policy so that it is set appropriately for an improving economy over the next two years."

  • *Shipments to China -15 pct y/y, to U.S +5.1 pct. BANGKOK, March 26- Thai exports fell more than expected in February, showing that a key growth engine for the country is still sputtering, but imports surprisingly rose for the first time in five months. With disappointing exports in early 2015, "the outlook is not so good," said Sarun Sunansathaporn, economist with Tisco...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to April 8 Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 8:01 PM ET

    ROME- European Central Bank president Mario Draghi addresses the Italian parliament's finance and EU policy committees- 1200 GMT. LONDON- Bank of England to publish Financial Policy Committee statement- 0930 GMT. FRANKFURT- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard gives OMFIF Public Lecture on the economy and monetary policy- 0835 GMT.

  • Obama highlights benefits of trade on small businesses Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 5:59 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama met with mayors and owners of small businesses at the White House on Wednesday to highlight the benefits of trade on a broad swath of the economy. Participants included Mayors Michael Nutter of Philadelphia and Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Florida, as well as nine small-business owners from across the country.

  • LONDON, March 25- Three Bank of England policymakers said on Wednesday they saw little chance of a cut in interest rates in the face of tumbling inflation, distancing themselves from the position of the central bank's chief economist. BoE chief economist Andy Haldane surprised some observers by saying last week that a recent sharp slowdown in inflation meant...

  • Why we should watch Brazil 'very closely'   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 12:50 PM ET
    Bakkum: We should watch Brazil 'very closely'

    Maarten-Jan Bakkum, senior emerging market strategist at ING IM, talks about the current outlook for emerging markets, in particular, Brazil, due to its political status and reforms.

  • LONDON, March 25- Sterling fell against the euro on Wednesday, hitting a one-month low as investors pushed back expectations of interest rate hikes amid growing talk that inflation in Britain will stay low for sometime to come. Annual inflation in Britain dropped to zero in February and investors are factoring in the chance of a first rate hike in mid-2016,...

  • Europe finishes sharply lower as technology weighs   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 12:30 PM ET
    Europe finishes sharply lower as technology weighs

    European equities finished lower on Wednesday despite better-than-expected data from Germany, as technology stocks slid.

  • ESMA: Low rates create investor indiscipline   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 12:20 PM ET
    ESMA: Low rates create investor discipline

    Is the ECB's QE causing asset bubbles? Steven Maijoor, chairman of ESMA, discusses the low interest rate environment.

  • Warren Buffett uses 'Civil War' analogy on the euro Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 11:21 AM ET
    Warren Buffett

    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett tells CNBC the "odds are good" the euro will continue to exist, but it may need modifications.

  • Ukraine bondholders face haircuts and extensions Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 9:50 AM ET

    But Ukraine, as the country's finance minister points out, lacks the wealthy, albeit grudging euro zone backers that Athens has, and its $40 billion bailout is modest compared with the 240 billion euro Greek rescue. Creditors are preparing for battle, not least Russia, which is locked in conflict with Ukraine and holds $3 billion worth of the bonds.

  • MOSCOW— As the economic crisis sweeps through Russia, a dangerous trend is emerging in this heavy-drinking country: the rise in consumption of potentially lethal moonshine, medical alcohol or even cleaning products. Layoffs, wage cuts and price increases are combining to worsen the problem of alcoholism, which has long been a major public health issue, by...

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