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  • *Germany's Helpling buys Britain's Hassle.com. But whereas Airbnb and Uber quickly built the scale to dominate their markets, online cleaning services is a more open field, with U.S. pioneer Homejoy apparently in retreat after a rapid expansion in the United States, Canada and then Europe. The Homejoy site no longer accepts bookings in Canada, France or Germany,...

  • LONDON, July 3- Europe's vast service industry expanded faster than initially thought last month, surveys showed on Friday, speeding ahead despite warning signs that Greece might crash out of the euro zone. "While the economic situation is actually progressing and seems to be fairly stable you can't help thinking that there could be a significant reversal in...

  • *China wants inclusion in MSCI's Emerging Market Index. "The psychology of the Chinese authorities is to control things, but opening up capital markets requires them to lose a lot of control," said Charlie Awdry, China fund manager at Henderson Global Investors. The near-30 percent stock market plunge comes as Beijing is lobbying for its domestic shares to be...

  • NEW ORLEANS— More than five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history fouled beaches, coated seabirds in thick goo and threatened delicate marshes, BP has agreed to pay a record settlement to affected states in hopes of bringing an end to a legal drama that has cost the company billions. Federal and state government officials touted the...

  • *Flooding stalled mining in Chile. MELBOURNE/ TOKYO, July 3- Supply of high quality copper concentrate shrank more than expected in the first half of this year due to output delays in top miner Chile, squeezing the pipeline for metal producers and likely supporting prices later in 2015, traders said. Production from two of four mines in Chile that churn out clean,...

  • LONDON, July 3- European bonds and stocks traded cautiously at Friday's market opening before a Greek referendum on EU-prescribed reforms that could determine the country's future in the euro zone and which polls suggest could go either way. Supporters of Greece's bailout terms have taken a wafer-thin lead over the "No" vote backed by the leftist government, 48...

  • China uses more than a billion tonnes of iron ore a year to make steel- 14 times the consumption of the United States- but Beijing's efforts to shift the economy to consumer-led growth means steel consumption is peaking faster than expected. "It's clear China can no longer consume all the iron ore that's out there, so something's got to give," said James Wilson, a...

  • LONDON, July 3- Euro zone business activity expanded at its fastest pace in four years last month as the European Central Bank's stimulus package more than offset fears Greece could crash out of the currency union, surveys showed. Speculation that Athens would miss a 1.6 billion-euro repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday heightened...

  • NEW YORK— Deal makers from New York to London had a busy first half of the year, and mega-mergers drove the frenzy. Companies around the world announced mergers and acquisitions worth $2.3 trillion, according to figures from data provider Dealogic, the second-best half-year total on record and the highest amount since 2007, when $2.6 trillion of deals were...

  • HONG KONG— World stock markets mostly drifted lower Friday ahead of Greece's weekend austerity referendum, while China's main stock benchmark plunged as much as 7 percent as government market stabilization measures failed to reassure panicky investors. Britain's FTSE 100 edged 0.1 percent lower to 6,622.15. The government says a "No" vote will put it in a...

  • SHANGHAI— A complete bootlegged copy of Michael Lewis' bestselling book about Wall Street, "Liar's Poker," was hosted on the official website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, the agency responsible for intellectual property protection in China, The Associated Press has found. China has a long and troubled history with copyright infringement.

  • CHICAGO, July 2 (Reuters)- Technology has long benefited Chicago's futures exchanges, historians say, even though electronic trading is the final blow for its human brokers, rendering obsolete the "open-outcry" futures pits on the trading floor where they have worked for generations. The rough-and-tumble times of the floor were an iconic part of Chicago, and...

  • *Greece concerns hang over markets. Across the Atlantic, Greece was headed to a referendum on Sunday that could decide its future in the euro zone. Days after Greece defaulted on part of its IMF debt, the Fund said Greece needs an extra 50 billion euros over the next three years, including 36 billion from its European partners, to stay afloat.

  • *First rise in U.S. oil rig count since December- Baker Hughes. *Some caution prevails over long July 4 weekend, Greece and Iran. Pulling crude futures off highs was the latest data on the U.S. oil rig count from Baker Hughes.

  • *Greece concerns hang over markets. NEW YORK, July 2- The U.S. dollar index fell from a three-week high on Thursday as chances of a U.S. interest rate hike as soon as September took a hit following a weaker-than-expected U.S. payrolls report, while Wall Street and world stock markets also ticked down. Across the Atlantic, Greece was headed to a referendum on Sunday that...

  • LONDON, July 2- Tom Hayes, a former trader on trial in London on Libor-rigging charges, said he must have been either stupid or untroubled by his business practices because he left reams of evidence, according to documents presented to the court on Thursday. In the first trial of an individual accused of benchmark interest rate manipulation, the court heard that...

  • HOUSTON, July 2- BP Plc will pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states to resolve nearly all claims from its deadly Gulf of Mexico oil spill five years ago in the largest corporate settlement in U.S. history. Under the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the states, BP will pay at least $12.8 billion for Clean Water Act...

  • LONDON, July 2- In all the huff and puff over Greece in the past month, a number of major banks and investors have decided the main driving force behind the dollar's 18- month surge against the euro is evaporating. But with some money market interest rates implying a full percentage point increase in official U.S. rates by the start of 2017 and the European Central...

  • LONDON, July 2- BP's $18.7 billion settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill draws a line under years of uncertainty to allow it to focus once again on growth but could make it an acquisition target. The British energy giant, whose shares are still some 35 percent below their value before the largest offshore spill in U.S. history, still faces headwinds from the...

  • The International Monetary Fund certainly thinks so, according to a new report in which it argues Greece should get help. But Germany, another major creditor to Greece, is resisting, even though it knows better than most what debt relief can achieve. The 1953 agreement, in which Greece and about 20 other countries effectively wrote off a large chunk of Germany's...