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  • Belarusian leader issues tough warning to Moscow Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 12:38 PM ET

    MINSK, Belarus— New cracks emerged Thursday in a Russia- led economic alliance, with the president of Belarus warning that his nation may opt out of it. "Those who think that the Belarusian land is part as what they call the Russian world, almost part of Russia, forget about it!" Last month, he accused Moscow of damaging Belarus' economic interests with moves to restrict...

  • BEIJING— For years, Alibaba faced complaints it failed to stamp out sales of counterfeit goods on its e-commerce websites. Given the company's expanding role in China's state-dominated economy, "It's not a surprise that Alibaba finds itself under the spotlight in much the same way that many foreign firms have," said analyst Ben Cavender of the China Market...

  • Belarus president rules out "shock therapy' for economy Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 4:41 AM ET

    MINSK, Jan 29- President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday Belarus would find a way out of its financial problems, exacerbated by economic turmoil in Russia, but ruled out "shock therapy". "The way of shock therapy for Belarus is unacceptable," Belta quoted him as saying. "They would come from all sides to teach us a lesson, to start' Maidans'," he said, referring to the...

  • HONG KONG, Jan 29- China's efforts to raise the global status of its currency are paying dividends, with the yuan breaking into the top five world payment currencies for the first time and offshore trading volumes catching up with those onshore. "Daily trading volume in CNH spot, forward and swap markets have already reached $30 billion, among which $10 billion is...

  • *Sale of stake in Greece's biggest utility halted. ATHENS, Jan 28- Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised "radical" change on Wednesday as his new government swiftly moved to roll back key parts of Greece's international bailout, prompting a third day of losses on financial markets. Even before the first meeting of the new cabinet, ministers had hit the airwaves to...

  • Russia's economy has been battered by lower energy prices, a collapse in the value of the ruble and Western sanctions over its involvement in Ukraine. Russia's GDP is expected to decline by 4-5 percent this year, the first drop since 2009. The ruble has lost half of its value while the Standard& Poor's ratings agency downgraded Russia's credit rating to a...

  • China's yuan joins top 5 most-used global currencies Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 10:18 PM ET

    BEIJING— China's yuan has become of the five most widely used currencies in global payments, an international financial transactions agency announced Wednesday. Beijing is gradually easing controls on the yuan and encouraging its use abroad in an effort to reduce costs for its traders and increase Chinese companies' role in the global economy.

  • What the credit downgrade to 'junk' means for Russia Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 3:45 AM ET

    Standard& Poor's on Monday cut Russia's rating to BB+, a non-investment grade the country last held in 2004, when it was still recovering from a painful financial collapse in the 1990 s. It noted Russia's financial system is weakening, and that the central bank will increasingly have trouble supporting it. Russia's economy is expected to contract by 4 to 5 percent...

  • *China pushing for greater recognition of yuan. LONDON/ WASHINGTON, Jan 26- China is expected to make another push for the inclusion of the yuan in the International Monetary Fund's in-house currency basket in a review later this year- and this time round its G20 partners may be willing to listen. One Asian G20 source said it would be welcomed by those like South...

  • Tumbling oil prices and Western sanctions over Russia's role in Ukraine have pushed the rouble to record lows and fuelled price rises. "Unlike during the 2008-2009 crisis, now there is a significant decline of real disposable incomes in Russia so food budgets will most likely fall," said Ekaterina Lipatova, an analyst at Moody's Investors Service.

  • BRASILIA, Jan 23- Brazil's inflation rate spiked to its highest in more than three years in mid-January as local and federal authorities raised electricity tariffs and bus fares to balance government finances, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday. Key producing regions in Brazil, the world's largest exporter of coffee, sugar, soy and beef, have received much...

  • DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 23- Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, isn't worried about slowing Chinese economic growth, he told a meeting of business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland. China should pay attention to the quality of the economy, "he said in a question-and-answer session at the World Economic Forum.

  • Top official: Russians will 'eat less' for Putin Friday, 23 Jan 2015 | 6:51 AM ET

    DAVOS, Switzerland— Russian Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, on Friday warned the West against trying to topple President Vladimir Putin and said that Russians are ready to sacrifice their wealth in Putin's support. Russia has for the past year been sliding into recession amid a slump in its energy export prices as...

  • *China factory activity contracts for 2nd month. LONDON/ BEIJING, Jan 23- Businesses across Asia and Europe have slashed prices at the start of the year to drum up trade, surveys showed on Friday, vindicating the European Central Bank's decision to print money in a bid to revive inflation. Euro zone firms cut prices at the fastest rate in nearly five years and Chinese...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 23- China's yuan posted its biggest single-day loss since Dec. 8 on Friday after the central bank set a weaker midpoint in response to the fresh round of quantitative easing announced by the European Central Bank announced a day earlier. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.1342 per dollar prior to market open, weaker than the...

  • Jan 23- Hong Kong shares extended a global rally on Friday to reach their highest level in more than four months after the European Central Bank launched a landmark bond-purchasing stimulus programme to support the euro zone economy. Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were China National Culture Group Ltd, up 30.1 percent at HK...

  • *China factory activity contracts for 2nd month. BEIJING/ SEOUL, Jan 23- Chinese factories were forced to cut prices for the sixth straight month in January to sell their products, while economic growth in South Korea slowed sharply, raising the prospect of more policy easing from major central banks in Asia. The weak manufacturing reading from China added to...

  • *HSBC/ Markit Flash Manufacturing PMI at 49.8 in January. BEIJING, Jan 23- China's manufacturing growth stalled for the second straight month in January and companies had to cut prices at a faster clip to win new business, adding to worries about growing deflationary pressures in the economy, a private survey showed. "Today's data suggest that the manufacturing...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 23- China's yuan weakened on Friday after the central bank fixed its midpoint 0.2 percent weaker, the biggest single-day weakening in 10 months, in response to the fresh round of quantitative easing announced by the European Central Bank overnight. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.1342 per dollar prior to market open, weaker...

  • BEIJING, Jan 23- China's central bank said on Friday it will maintain prudent monetary policy through timely fine-tuning. The People's Bank of China said in a statement it would seek to promote healthy economic growth, while at the same time defusing financial risks. Chinese economic growth hit a 24- year low, data showed on Tuesday, raising the question of what...