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  • *Brent Crude rallies off 4 year low, but set for 15 pct Nov drop. LONDON, Nov 28- Brent crude fell to a fresh four-year low on Friday, sending oil-related shares and currencies lower, after OPEC decided to refrain from cutting output despite a supply glut. Brent crude touched a low of $71.12 a barrel after settling at a four-year closing low on Thursday, when Saudi Arabia...

  • EU won't sanction France, Italy on budget yet Friday, 28 Nov 2014 | 4:02 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union head office is opting not to sanction two of its biggest economies just yet for missing public finance targets and instead will give France and Italy until the spring to come up with better plans to cut their debts and deficits. France could have faced a hefty fine while Italy would have been forced into further budget changes and...

  • Australia out of step with new climate momentum Friday, 28 Nov 2014 | 1:24 AM ET

    CANBERRA, Australia— Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country isolated like never before on climate change as the U.S., China and other nations signal new momentum for action. For a nation of just 23 million, Australia has played a significant role in past talks, but...

  • Germany's DAX extends rally; OPEC sinks energy firms Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 | 10:32 AM ET

    *Energy shares under pressure as OPEC maintains supply. LONDON, Nov 27- European shares rose on Thursday led by the German DAX, which extended its recent sharp rally on the back of encouraging data and expectations of further stimulus measures from the European Central Bank. At the same time weak inflation data raised again the spectre of deflation in the region,...

  • *Clouds gather in Europe as lending shrinks, prices fall. HELSINKI/ MADRID, Nov 27- Failure to reform and shield weaker members threatens to divide the euro zone, the head of the European Central Bank warned on Thursday, amid fresh signs the currency bloc's economy is losing speed. "Lack of structural reforms raises the specter of permanent economic divergence...

  • Greece says under pressure for new austerity Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 | 9:56 AM ET

    ATHENS, Greece— A Greek official says the country is under pressure from rescue creditors to impose new austerity measures to resolve an ongoing budget disagreement worth a reported 2 billion euros. Negotiator Christos Protopapas, a former union leader and Socialist labor minister, said Thursday that international lenders remained at odds with Athens over...

  • BRUSSELS, Nov 27- The European Commission will tell France, Italy and Belgium on Friday their 2015 budgets risk breaking EU rules, but it will defer decisions on any action until early March. At that point, France could face a multi-billion euro fine and Italy and Belgium be put on a disciplinary programme. This gives the three more time to adjust policy before the EU...

  • European shares rise, boosted by Germany's DAX Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 | 7:34 AM ET

    *Energy shares under pressure ahead of OPEC meeting. LONDON, Nov 27- European shares rose on Thursday, adding to their recent sharp rally that has been fuelled by expectations of further stimulus measures from the European Central Bank. At the same time Spanish and Italian stocks rose as expectations mounted that the European Central Bank would buy bonds.

  • BRUSSELS, Nov 27- The European Commission will tell France, Italy and Belgium on Friday that their 2015 budgets risk breaking EU rules, but it but will defer decisions on any action until early March. This gives the three more time to adjust policy before the EU executive must decide whether to fine France for missing consolidation targets or put Italy and Belgium...

  • *Energy shares under pressure ahead of OPEC meeting. PARIS, Nov 27- European shares inched up in early trade on Thursday, adding to their recent sharp rally that has been fuelled by expectations of further stimulus measures from the European Central Bank. "The results are better-than-expected, thanks to sales from its liquor and spirits division, as well as better...

  • General strike shuts down services across Greece Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 | 2:54 AM ET

    ATHENS, Greece— A 24- hour general strike in Greece shut down services across the country, forcing flight cancellations and school closures and leaving state hospitals functioning with emergency staff, while tens of thousands of protesters marched in central Athens. Labor unions called the strike to protest continued austerity measures as Greece...

  • STRASBOURG, France, Nov 26- The European Commission presented a 300 billion euro plan on Wednesday to boost Europe's stagnant economy, but some doubted private investors would stump up the funds, 15 times the EU contribution, needed to make it work. France and Italy, which have been demanding action to boost economic growth, cautiously welcomed the scheme but some...

  • STRASBOURG, France, Nov 26- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented a plan on Wednesday to leverage some 300 billion euros of largely private new investment in the European Union, saying it was time to kick-start growth without adding to public debt. "Europe needs a kick-start and today the Commission is applying the jump leads," said...

  • EU proposes $380 billion investment plan Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 | 3:52 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union's executive has proposed a plan to boost investment in the bloc's flagging economy by 315 billion euros by attracting reluctant private investors with guarantees and seed money. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday that the long-awaited plan will use 21 billion euros in money from EU...

  • BRUSSELS/ STRASOURG, Nov 25- The European Commission agreed on Tuesday to set up a new fund with 21 billion euros of capital that it hopes can unlock some 300 billion euros of largely private investment over three years to create a million jobs. The European Fund for Strategic Investment will be presented to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday by...

  • Greek bailout talks resume in Paris Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 | 12:09 PM ET

    PARIS— Greece resumed negotiations in Paris with bailout inspectors on Tuesday, as officials in Athens said the country would seek a more gradual exit from the massive rescue program than previously hoped. Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis started the weeks-delayed talks with representatives from the European Commission, European Central Bank...

  • Searching for authenticity on my first cruise Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 | 9:07 AM ET

    ABOARD QUANTUM OF THE SEAS— I am the cruise industry's biggest problem: the avid traveler who is reluctant to sail. I've been lucky enough to have hiked glaciers in Iceland, visited ancient ruins in Cambodia and seen one of the world's largest waterfalls in Argentina. I just wanted to do other things with my precious vacation days— take a late-night stroll through...

  • Doubt grips Portugal after ex-premier is jailed Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 | 7:02 AM ET

    LISBON, Portugal— After he left office three years ago, former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates' home address was a smart apartment in Paris' classy 16th arrondissement. On Tuesday, he spent his first day in prison after a Lisbon judge ordered him detained while the ex-leader fights accusations of corruption, money-laundering and tax fraud.

  • France suspends delivery of warship to Russia Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 | 6:53 AM ET

    PARIS— France suspended the delivery of a warship to Russia on Tuesday, after months of speculation about what would be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to the Kremlin. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March. Russia's ambassador to France told The Associated Press on Tuesday that there's a grace period in the contract and Russia isn't demanding...

  • Global watchdog calls for more EU spending Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 | 6:21 AM ET

    PARIS— Europe must relax its fiscal rules and let governments spend more money or risk dragging down the global economy, a major international organization said Tuesday. The report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a gathering of the world's richest countries, found Europe has consistently underperformed economically and...