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  • *Deal sidelines far-right Sweden Democrats. STOCKHOLM, Dec 27- Sweden's mainstream parties reached a deal on Saturday that will allow the minority centre-left government to remain in office and sideline the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who hold the balance of power in parliament. Sweden's normally stable politics were thrown into turmoil in...

  • TOKYO, Dec 27- Japan's government approved on Saturday stimulus spending worth $29 billion aimed at helping the country's lagging regions and households with subsidies, merchandise vouchers and other steps, but analysts are sceptical about how much it can spur growth. The government said it expects the stimulus plan to boost Japan's GDP by 0.7 percent.

  • JAPAN GOVERNMENT SAYS STIMULUS SPENDING EXPECTED TO PUSH UP JAPAN'S GDP BY 0.7 PCT.

  • JAPAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES ECONOMIC STIMULUS SPENDING WORTH 3.5 TRILLION YEN.

  • *Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats hold balance of power. Sweden's normally stable politics were thrown into turmoil in December when the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats voted against the government's budget, backing an alternative finance bill tabled by the opposition. The Sweden Democrats- the third biggest party after September's general...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 27- China will dramatically expand the size of a free trade zone in Shanghai to include the city's commercial centre where major multinational companies and Chinese banks have their headquarters, state media reported. The official Xinhua news agency cited the conclusion of the 12th meeting of the National People's Congress on Friday, but it did...

  • STOCKHOLM, Dec 27- Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven will later on Saturday call off a planned snap election, Swedish daily Expressen reported on its website citing sources. Lofven's Social Democrats, junior coalition partner the Greens, and centre-right opposition parties the Moderates, the Liberals, the Christian Democrats and the Centre Party called a...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 27- China will dramatically expand the size of a free trade zone in Shanghai to include the city's commercial center where major multinational companies and Chinese banks have their headquarters, state media reported. The official Xinhua news agency cited the conclusion of the 12th meeting of the National People's Congress on Friday, but it did...

  • Thailand's economic growth view goes under the knife Saturday, 27 Dec 2014 | 12:19 AM ET
    Thai baht banknotes

    Thailand's central bank said the country's economy will barely grow this year and cut its 2015 forecast, mainly on expectations exports will remain lackluster.

  • *Overall sector's November profits -4.2 pct y/y. SHANGHAI, Dec 27- Chinese industrial profits dropped 4.2 percent in November to 676.12 billion yuan, official data showed on Saturday, the biggest annual decline since August 2012 as the economy hit major unexpected headwinds in the second half. Despite last month's drop, profits for January-November were 5.3...

  • Doubts deepen over Chinese-backed Nicaragua canal Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 10:45 PM ET
    Thousands of demonstrators march against the 173-mile Interoceanic Grand Canal that they say will negatively impact the environment, communities and Nicaraguan sovereignty, in Managua, Nicaragua December 10, 2014.

    Skepticism is growing over a $50 billion project to build a canal across Nicaragua, a project spearheaded by a little-known Chinese businessman.

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 27- Chinese industrial profits dropped sharply in November, official data showed on Saturday, falling 4.2 percent from a year earlier, the biggest annual decline since August 2012. In October, profits slid 2.1 percent compared with the same month in 2013.. The report from the National Bureau of Statistics highlights the depth of economic weakness...

  • LOS ANGELES, Dec 26- "The Interview" took in more than $1 million in a limited Christmas Day release, a solid showing that could be quickly eclipsed by the money Sony Pictures makes with its groundbreaking online debut of the raunchy comedy. After large movie theater chains refused to screen the comedy following threats of violence from hackers who opposed the...

  • BERLIN, Dec 27- Any new Greek government would have to respect austerity pledges made by the current and past ones and the country's debt situation would not change in the event of a snap election, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday. In an interview with Bild newspaper, Schaeuble said Greece has made "enormous progress" since 2009 in...

  • BERLIN, Dec 27- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble expressed his reservations against the European Central Bank launching a bond buying stimulus programme and praised Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann's arguments against such moves. ECB President Mario Draghi has thrown the door open for further measures to bolster the euro zone.

  • In 2013, some 2 million express packages were left stranded on Christmas Eve, according to shipment-tracking software developer ShipMatrix Inc. The reasons given were, in part, a surge in demand triggered by last-minute online promotions and bad weather. The four retailers with the most aggressive cutoff date of Dec. 23- Apple Inc, Dell Inc, Nordstrom Inc and...

  • -Lipper@ NEW YORK, Dec 26- Investors in U.S.-based funds poured $36.5 billion into stock funds in the latest weekly period, marking the biggest inflows on record as U.S. stocks surged to record highs, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Friday. The massive cash commitments for the week ended Dec. 24 were the biggest since Lipper's records began in...

  • Dec 26- U.S. retail sales rose 5.5 percent from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve as solid demand for women's apparel, jewelry and casual dining offset surprisingly sluggish sales of electronics, MasterCard said in its holiday spending report. The report, which tracks spending by combining sales activity in MasterCard's payments network with...