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  • *Varoufakis says Athens willing to consider tax commission. RIGA, April 24- Greece offered some concessions on Friday on reforms demanded by international lenders in return for new funding before Athens runs out of money, but euro zone creditors said negotiations needed to speed up to get a deal by June. Merkel, in a comment seen as underlining the determination...

  • FRANKFURT, Germany— A closely watched survey of optimism among German businesses shows that confidence grew for a sixth straight month in Europe's biggest economy. Analyst Carsten Brzeski at ING said that "the German economy is in decent shape" and that "the first months of the year point to a good, though not excellent, growth performance in the first quarter.

  • TOKYO, April 24- The Apple Watch launched globally on Friday with a small queue of Japanese tech-addicts lining up in Tokyo for Apple Inc's first wearable gadget, but there was no sign of the excitement usually attached to the company's product rollouts. Buyers can take the smartwatch home from a handful of upscale boutiques and department stores, including The...

  • PARIS, April 24- Foreigners are set to take over several French blue chip firms this year and will largely do what they want with their prizes- showing the limits of new laws passed in the name of "economic patriotism." Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron spoke last month of "the determination and the ability of the state to use all weapons available to investors" to help...

  • Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here's how to use it Friday, 24 Apr 2015 | 12:36 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Apple Watches are arriving Friday to the first group of people who had ordered one two weeks ago. Those who haven't ordered one yet will likely face a wait. Maxfield in Los Angeles is carrying the watch, along with boutique and department stores in Paris, London, Tokyo and Berlin and authorized resellers in China and Japan.

  • TOKYO, April 24- The Apple Watch launched globally on Friday with a small queue of Japanese tech-addicts lining up in Tokyo for Apple Inc's first wearable gadget, but there was no sign of the excitement usually attached to the company's product rollouts. Buyers can take the smartwatch home from a handful of upscale boutiques and department stores, including The...

  • Apple Watch goes on sale worldwide amid supply shortage Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 | 5:04 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO, April 23- The Apple Watch goes on sale around the world on Friday, the final stage of a protracted launch of Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook's first new product, capping months of publicity and a frenetic two weeks of pre-orders. Buyers can take the smart watch home from a handful of upscale boutiques and department stores, such as The Corner in...

  • Chicago Bridge & Iron beats 1Q profit forecasts Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 | 4:51 PM ET

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands _ Chicago Bridge& Iron Co. on Thursday reported first-quarter profit of $132.2 million. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.14 per share. Chicago Bridge& Iron shares have risen 22 percent since the beginning of the year.

  • *Merkel wants to keep Greece in euro zone, avoid default- EU aide. BRUSSELS, April 23- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday everything must be done to prevent Greece running out of money before it reaches a cash-for-reform deal with its international creditors amid heightened concern that Athens is nearing the brink. Their talks came a day before euro...

  • NEW YORK, April 23- The dollar was knocked lower on Thursday by a decline in U.S. new-home sales fanning worries about U.S. economic growth, while the euro rose more than 1 percent on waning fears of a Greek default. "What we have seen so far is a mixed data bag," said Mazen Issa, senior currencies strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. The euro, which has been sliding for...

  • Business events scheduled for the coming week Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 | 1:43 PM ET

    Restaurant Brands International Inc. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens. WASHINGTON— Standard& Poor's releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for February, 9 a.m.; The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for April, 10 a.m.; Federal Reserve policymakers meet to set interest rates. WASHINGTON— Commerce...

  • LONDON, April 23- Deutsche Bank traders sent casual messages to colleagues politely asking them to rig global interest rate benchmarks, as a six-year criminal campaign of fraud became routine practice at Germany's biggest bank, British regulators said on Thursday. While other banks have already been implicated in rate rigging- including Britain's Barclays,...

  • Business events scheduled for Friday Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 | 1:10 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases durable goods for March, 8:30 a.m. Eastern. BERLIN— Germany's Ifo institute releases its monthly business confidence index, a key indicator for Europe's biggest economy. RIGA, Latvia— European Union finance ministers gather in Riga for two-day meeting.

  • Renault says 1st quarter sales up 13.7 percent Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 | 12:24 PM ET

    PARIS— France's Renault says its revenue rose 13.7 percent in the first quarter as Europe's recovering car market helped offset slumps in Russia and Brazil. Renault reported revenue of 9.39 billion euros for the January-March quarter thanks to demand in Europe, where sales of its Clio and Twingo compact cars and the Captur crossover helped lift new car...

  • LONDON/ NEW YORK, April 23- U.S. and British authorities fined Deutsche Bank $2.5 billion, accused Germany's largest lender of obstructing regulators and ordered it to fire seven employees in the eighth global settlement of alleged benchmark interest rate rigging. U.S. regulators fined Deutsche Bank $2.12 billion and UK watchdogs imposed a $340 million...

  • PARIS, April 23- French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron has written to Renault boss Carlos Ghosn to defend the government's surprise stake increase in the carmaker and reject claims it endangers the Renault-Nissan alliance. France's stake in Renault and influence over Nissan, which is 43.4 percent- owned by the French carmaker, has long been a sensitive...

  • *Merkel wants to keep Greece in euro zone, avoid default- EU aide. The leftist Greek premier met the conservative German leader before an emergency European Union summit on migration, a day before euro zone finance ministers meet in Riga to review progress-- or the lack of it-- in slow-moving negotiations between Athens and its international lenders.

  • Study: Self-driving 'taxibots' could replace 9 in 10 cars Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 | 10:54 AM ET

    BERLIN— Transportation experts say car-congested cities could become a thing of the past, provided people are prepared to ride-share with a robot driver. A study published Thursday by the Paris- based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development suggests that widespread use of "taxibots" could cut by 90 percent the number of cars needed to perform...

  • BERLIN, April 23- Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech denied he planned a second attempt to get rid of Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn after a rift between the two plunged Europe's biggest carmaker into crisis. Earlier on Thursday, broadcaster NDR reported that Piech did not feel bound by last week's decision and was seeking support within the ruling...

  • BRUSSELS, April 23- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a speeding up of the process to conclude a reform-for-cash deal with euro zone creditors after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, a Greek official said. The official said the short meeting on the sidelines of a European Union summit in Brussels- their first since Tsipras...