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  • March 30- Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc said on Monday it will shut its only remaining smelter in Brazil, the latest victim of a toxic mix of weak metal prices and high energy costs. The closure will cut Brazil's annual production to under 900,000 tonnes even as consumption is expected to grow as South America's largest economy prepares to host the 2016 Olympics.

  • *Test puts HSBC, Standard Chartered in the spotlight. "By assessing the resilience of the UK banking system against a major external shock we will improve further our ability to identify vulnerabilities and we will ensure that banks have plans in place to address a wider range of possible stresses," BoE Governor Mark Carney said on Monday. That leaves six banks and...

  • POLL-Oil prices to stabilise as demand rises Monday, 30 Mar 2015 | 6:00 AM ET

    *Brent to average $59.20, U.S. crude $53.60 in 2015. The survey of 34 analysts predicted North Sea Brent crude would average $59.20 a barrel in 2015, up from around $55 so far this year. Brent is expected to rise to $72.10 in 2016 and $78.70 in 2017, the poll showed.

  • POLL-Oil prices to stabilize as demand rises Monday, 30 Mar 2015 | 6:00 AM ET

    *Brent to average $59.20, U.S. crude $53.60 in 2015. The survey of 34 analysts predicted North Sea Brent crude would average $59.20 a barrel in 2015, up from around $55 so far this year. Brent is expected to rise to $72.10 in 2016 and $78.70 in 2017, the poll showed.

  • BEIJING, March 30- Activity in China's factory sector likely contracted for a third straight month in March, a Reuters poll showed, reinforcing expectations that Beijing will have to step up policy easing to support economic growth that may be on the verge of dipping below 7 percent. The flash HSBC/ Markit PMI released last week showed factory activity...

  • *More than 160,000 jobs lost across 24 banks in two years- data. LONDON, March 30- Top European and U.S. banks axed 59,000 jobs last year as they restructured and cut costs, with headcount expected to shrink further in Europe as bosses strive to improve profitability that has been hit hard by tougher regulation. "The screws will stay tight on headcount," said Aymen Saleh,...

  • Nikkei, Shanghai Comp end at new highs Monday, 23 Mar 2015 | 4:28 AM ET

    Equity markets in Tokyo and Shanghai outperformed the region to scale fresh multi-year highs on Monday, drawing strength from a strong finish on Wall Street last week.

  • *Orders from U.S. +9.1 pct y/y; China -8.1 pct. TAIPEI, March 20- Taiwan's export orders in February contracted from a year earlier, contrary to expectations, but strength in orders for the island's bellwether technology goods indicate last month's drop may be a one-off. Although the number of work-days last month was reduced by the Lunar New Year holiday, "orders for...

  • Will UK banks leave London as bank levy rises? Friday, 20 Mar 2015 | 4:52 AM ET
    London skyline

    Within days of the announcement of raised charges on banks in the U.K., talk of at least one London-based bank relocating elsewhere has emerged.

  • Europe closes mixed; FTSE rallies after Budget speech Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 12:30 PM ET

    European equities closed mixed on Wednesday as investors await the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.

  • Lafarge and Standard Chartered help European shares gain Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 11:53 AM ET

    LONDON, March 18- European shares rose on Wednesday, with Standard Chartered surging on broker upgrades and Lafarge leading the construction and materials sector higher on expectations that a merger deal with Holcim could be saved. Lafarge rose 5.7 percent after sources said the cement maker was seeking to save its merger with Switzerland's Holcim and the...

  • LONDON, March 18- European shares fell for a second day on Wednesday, with BMW leading carmakers lower after toning down its profit expectations and Greek banks falling on concern about the country's debt situation. The Greek banking index fell 8.4 percent, dragged down by a 12 percent fall in National Bank of Greece and an 8.9 percent slide in Alpha Bank.

  • PRETORIA, March 17- South Africa's current account deficit narrowed in the final quarter of 2014, although the economy and the rand remain vulnerable to shocks caused by capital outflows, the central bank said. The South African Reserve Bank, in its quarterly bulletin released on Tuesday, said rising exports helped shrink the current account deficit to 5.1...

  • JAKARTA, March 17- Indonesia's central bank, which surprised markets last month by cutting its benchmark rate, acted as expected on Tuesday and kept it unchanged on the eve of a key Federal Reserve meeting. Bank Indonesia said the current rate of 7.50 percent is consistent with efforts to contain inflation and the current account deficit. Tuesday's meeting...

  • HOLLYWOOD, Fla., March 16- Some banks that have non-prosecution agreements over failures to police transactions for criminal activity could see those deals withdrawn and be forced to plead guilty, a U.S. Justice Department official said on Monday. The Justice Department has since entered into non-prosecution agreements and deferred-prosecution...

  • WASHINGTON, March 12- Commerzbank AG has agreed to pay U.S. authorities $1.45 billion to resolve sanctions and other violations, the latest big European bank to acknowledge moving funds through the U.S. financial system for countries like Iran and Sudan. Commerzbank is the latest in a series of big foreign banks that have been penalized for sanctions-related...

  • WASHINGTON, March 12- Commerzbank AG has agreed to pay U.S. authorities $1.45 billion to resolve sanctions violations, the latest big European bank to acknowledge moving funds through the U.S. financial system for countries like Iran and Sudan. Commerzbank is the latest in a series of big foreign banks that have been penalized for sanctions-related...

  • HONG KONG, March 12- China is opening a free trade zone in Guangdong next week, part of its wider financial reforms that include moving to a fully convertible yuan currency and capital account liberalisation. In December, China said it would open three more FTZs- in Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin- and these would duplicate the Shanghai model. China kicked off its...

  • China Inc flocks to euro debt for funding Sunday, 8 Mar 2015 | 7:29 PM ET

    Chinese companies are ditching the renminbi for the euro to raise new offshore debt, as the launch of quantitative easing impacts global markets. The Financial Times reports.

  • *Greece funding uncertainty in focus. *Russia central bank seen holding rates at meeting. MADRID, March 8- China's cooling growth prospects and an interest rate decision in Russia will shift the economic agenda away from the euro zone next week, although Greece remains firmly in the spotlight because of its precarious funding outlook.