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  • TOKYO, Sept 29- Brent crude oil fell below $97 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday, moving closer to a two-year low hit last week due to weak data from major buyer China and a stronger U.S. dollar. The London benchmark has fallen from $115 in June as geopolitical tension in the Middle East has failed to derail petroleum output, while concerns about slow demand have grown.

  • *Also tapping oil suppliers in Africa, Europe and Russia. SEOUL, Sept 29- South Korean refiners faced with weak margins want to cut costs by diversifying away from their traditional crude suppliers in the Middle East, and U.S. condensate could be an attractive option now that a long-standing U.S. export ban has been eased.

  • TOKYO, Sept 29- Brent crude oil fell below $97 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday, moving closer to a two-year low hit last week due to weak data from major buyer China and a stronger U.S. dollar. The London benchmark has fallen from $115 in June as geopolitical tension in the Middle East has failed to derail petroleum output and concerns about slow demand have grown.

  • TOKYO, Sept 29- Brent crude oil fell below $97 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday, moving closer to a two-year low hit last week due to weak data from major buyer China and a stronger U.S. dollar. The London benchmark has fallen from $115 in June as geopolitical tension in the Middle East has failed to derail petroleum output and concerns about slow demand have grown.

  • CAIRO, Sept 28- Egypt plans to invest $14.5 billion in developing its refining and petrochemicals sectors over the next five years, its oil minister said, as part of efforts to overcome an energy crisis that has led to near-daily power cuts and hit company profits.

  • For some gays abroad, social networking poses risk Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 | 12:10 PM ET

    In one chilling case earlier this year in Pakistan, police arrested a paramedic on suspicion of killing three men he had met via the gay social network Manjam, which is based in London but has many users in Asia and the Middle East.

  • Gaza war deals blow to Israel's tourism industry Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 | 11:54 AM ET

    JERUSALEM— It was supposed to be a record-breaking year for tourist visits to Israel. But all that changed when the 50- day war between Israel and Hamas prompted jittery travelers to cancel trips en masse, leaving empty hotel rooms and barren tourist sites in their wake. Israel and Hamas signed a cease-fire on Aug. 26.

  • LONDON, Sept 28- On one side of the Atlantic they're trying to refill the punchbowl. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last week laid bare Washington's long-standing frustrations with the reluctance of European governments to increase public spending.

  • California protesters block Israeli-owned ship Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 | 3:33 AM ET

    OAKLAND, California— Officials say a group of pro-Palestinian protesters are again blocking an Israeli-owned ship from unloading its cargo at a port in California.

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Sept 28- The United States and Russia see Islamic State as a common enemy but are failing to overcome deep mutual distrust and agree on how to tackle the threat together, making any role for Moscow in the U.S.-led campaign unlikely, say U.S. officials.

  • California protesters block Israeli-owned ship Saturday, 27 Sep 2014 | 8:25 PM ET

    OAKLAND, Calif.— Officials say a group of pro-Palestinian protesters are again blocking an Israeli-owned commercial ship from unloading its cargo at a port in California.

  • *Gross exits Pimco, joins Janus Capital; bond prices fall. News that Gross, a Pimco co-founder who managed the $222 billion Pimco Total Return Fund, will be joining Janus Capital Group pressured short- and intermediate-dated U.S. Shares of Janus Capital ended up 43 percent at $15.89, the stock's best one-day advance in its history.

  • CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets. The dollar stayed strong and the metals were mixed. Crude was up slightly, but the spread closed between WTI and brent crude.

  • HOUSTON, Sept 26- Brent crude futures ended flat on Friday as improving supply and concerns about tepid demand for oil in Europe and China offset concerns about the Middle East conflicts, while U.S. crude rose on supportive economic data from the United States.

  • CRUDE FUTURES EXTEND GAINS TO MORE THAN $1 ON SUPPORTIVE DATA, MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT.

  • ISIS fight widens as UK approves airstrikes Friday, 26 Sep 2014 | 12:39 PM ET
    British Prime Minister David Cameron

    Britain's parliament backs PM Cameron and votes to approve airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

  • *Air Berlin cancels orders for 18 737 s, 15 787 s. FRANKFURT, Sept 26- Loss-making German airline Air Berlin has cancelled orders for Boeing aircraft worth a total of $5 billion at list prices as it strives to curb spending and return to profit.

  • HOUSTON, Sept 26- Brent crude futures eased in choppy trading on Friday on improving supply and concerns about tepid demand for oil in Europe and China, while U.S. crude rose on supportive data from the United States. Slowing economic activity in Europe and Asia has dampened demand for oil, while supply is on the rise.

  • *Athens hopes to wean itself off bailout plan early. In Berlin earlier this week, Samaras for the first time publicly acknowledged that Athens hoped to wean itself off a 240- billion-euro EU/IMF aid package a year before its scheduled end in early 2016..

  • Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, former deputy general secretary at the United Nations, says only a political solution will counter the Islamic State in Iraq.