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  • DUBAI, Feb 1- Large global sugar stocks built up during years of oversupply are finally beginning to shrink as low prices curb production and consumption edges higher but the industry's outlook remains challenging, participants at a major conference said on Sunday. The outlook for sugar refiners remains difficult, however, with the premium for refined over...

  • PARIS, Feb 1- Greece has no future outside the euro but it is legitimate for the country to want to discuss ways to reduce the weight of its debt, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said ahead of a meeting with his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis on Sunday. There is no future for Greece outside the euro, "Sapin said on French TV station Canal Plus.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 1- Some charities that have received money from U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein said they are reviewing their relationships with him or will decline to accept any future gifts from him in the wake of recent allegations he forced an underage girl to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew and other powerful men. Epstein, 62, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to...

  • TOKYO, Feb 1- The beheading of two Japanese citizens by Islamic State militants is fanning calls to allow Japan's long-constrained military to conduct overseas rescue missions as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for a more muscular security posture. Even some advocates of legal changes to make rescues possible, however, say Japan's military faces big...

  • In fewer than seven days, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's administration in Athens has halted several planned privatisations, started debt relief talks, took European partners to task over Russian sanctions and held a tough line with the first euro zone official to visit the country after last Sunday's elections. Athens finally ended the week on a...

  • LONDON, Feb 1- As West Africa's devastating Ebola outbreak begins to dwindle, scientists are looking beyond the endgame at the kind of next-generation vaccines needed for a vital stockpile to hit another epidemic hard and fast. Determined not to lose scientific momentum that could make the world's first effective Ebola interventions a reality, researchers...

  • BERLIN, Feb 1- A majority of Germans favour Greece remaining in the euro zone despite its new leftist government in Athens rejecting austerity, a poll for newspaper Bild am Sonntag showed on Sunday. The new government in Athens made clear from its first day in power last week that it would not back down on its election pledge to abandon the austerity policies...

  • In fewer than seven days, the new administration in Athens has halted several planned privatisations, started talks with European partners over debt forgiveness and held a tough line with the first euro zone official to visit the country after last Sunday's elections. Athens has also taken European partners to task over sanctions against Russia.

  • *China and euro zone PMIs in focus. BRUSSELS, Feb 1- The Federal Reserve's upgraded view that growth in the world's biggest economy is "solid", and so capable of withstanding an interest rate rise this year, will be put to the test by U.S. jobs data this week. Ructions over Greece's new anti-austerity government will also continue to grip markets, and could overshadow...

  • And the next likely regional Fed presidents are... Sunday, 1 Feb 2015 | 3:36 AM ET
    Matthew Rutherford, assistant secretary for financial markets at the U.S. Treasury

    A U.S. Treasury official and a director at the New York Federal Reserve are among those who have been considered to replace two hawkish Fed policymakers, according to people familiar with the searches.

  • HOUSTON, Jan 31- Union leaders and oil companies were unable to agree on a new labor accord on Saturday for workers at 63 U.S. refineries as a deadline passed that could lead to a strike. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the lead negotiator for U.S. refinery owners, has said it does not comment on details of labor negotiations. "We remain committed to resolving our differences...

  • Union strikes at 9 US refineries amid contract war Sunday, 1 Feb 2015 | 12:04 AM ET
    Tesoro's oil refinery in Los Angeles

    Union leaders called strikes on Sunday at nine U.S. refineries in a bid to pressure oil companies to agree to a new national contract covering workers at 63 plants.

  • BEIJING, Feb 1- China's factory sector unexpectedly shrank for the first time in nearly 2-1/ 2 years in January and firms see more gloom ahead, an official survey showed, raising expectations that policymakers will take more action to forestall a sharper slowdown. The official Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49.8 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics...

  • Despite woes, Russia optimistic on economic outlook Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 | 11:29 PM ET

    Russia's economy ministry said on Saturday it expected gross domestic product to fall 3 percent this year, more optimistic than many analysts' forecasts of a 4-5 percent drop.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 31- President Barack Obama's budget proposals will include a minimum tax of 19 percent on U.S.-based companies' future foreign earnings and a 14 percent tax on their stockpiled offshore profits, Bloomberg news said on Saturday, citing two people familiar with the budget. The planned taxes are part of a $3.99 trillion budget plan that will be...

  • GM and China's SAIC to push into Indonesia Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 | 11:08 PM ET
    General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra

    General Motors and Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp will soon announce a joint push into Indonesia, using their no-frills Wuling brand to establish a beachhead in Southeast Asia's biggest market and from there tackle other markets in the region.

  • Japan farming reforms a stiff test of Abe's resolve Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 | 10:15 PM ET
    Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's program to revive the nation's economy is set to meet perhaps its stiffest challenge, the nation's sclerotic farming industry.

  • China economy starts 2015 on the back foot Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 | 9:59 PM ET

    Activity in China's factory sector contracted in January for the first time in more than two years, an official survey showed, a far worse result than expected.

  • *Oil price decline, slowing China also a concern. SEOUL, Feb 1- South Korea's exports in January fell less than expected, but effects from a plunge in oil prices, a sustained slump in Europe and slowdown in China all clouded prospects for a turnaround in global demand. "Europe holds the key for South Korean exports because exports by many countries including China...

  • BEIJING, Feb 1- Activity in China's factory sector contracted in January for the first time in more than two years, an official survey showed, a far worse result than expected that will add to worries about the country's choppy economic outlook this year. The official Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49.8 in January from December's 50.1, the National Bureau of...