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  • Spain emerged from recession in late 2013 and is now one of the European Union's fastest growing economies although its unemployment rate of 21 percent remains the EU's second-highest after Greece. The figures come as Spain heads toward fresh elections June 26, with the May 2 deadline for a new government to be in place following an inconclusive Dec. 20...

  • NEW DELHI, April 29- A flurry of complaints from Uber drivers about an unusually high number of canceled bookings was the spark that ignited a bitter legal fight with Ola, Uber's rival for dominance of India's $12 billion taxi market, according to court documents and a source with direct knowledge of Uber's case. Ola, an Indian company backed by Japan's SoftBank...

  • LONDON— Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca says first-quarter earnings fell 12 percent as it announced plans to cut costs so it can devote more resources to cancer drugs. AstraZeneca said Friday that income increased to $646 million from $550 million. AstraZeneca also says it plans to cuts costs by about $1.1 billion over the next two years as the company...

  • SYDNEY, April 29- The Bank of Japan's shock decision this week not to provide additional stimulus to the struggling Japanese economy has prompted some investors and traders to bet that policy makers are out of bullets, clearing the path for further gains in the yen. After BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Thursday dashed expectations of more easing, the yen has...

  • SHANGHAI, April 29- China stocks edged lower on Friday, capping a sluggish week, as investors mostly adopted a cautious stance ahead of the Labour Day holiday with risk appetite curbed by rising bond defaults and commodities price volatility. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent, to 3,156.75, while the Shanghai Composite Index also lost 0.1 percent, to...

  • LONDON, April 29- European equities fell sharply in early trading on Friday, with British Airways-owner International Airlines Group and Restaurant Group dragging the travel and leisure index lower after their updates. Britain's Restaurant Group, which operates chains like Chiquito and Frankie& Benny's, slumped 19 percent after warning on full-year...

  • *Venezuela output to fall, state may face default- analysts. *UAE oil field outages to end this month- Deutsche Bank. SINGAPORE, April 29- Oil prices edged to new 2016 highs on Friday, lifted by a weak dollar and falling production in the United States, although a looming rise in Middle East output capped gains.

  • AB InBev has already lined up Japan's Asahi Group Holdings to buy SABMiller's Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime brands for 2.55 billion euros and said on Friday that it has put up for sale SABMiller's activities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. AB InBev said in a statement that the disposal includes a number of top brands in their markets,...

  • MILAN— Italian gas and oil giant Eni says it lost 792 million euros in the first quarter on sharply weaker commodity prices. Given weak pricing, China's economic slowdown and eurozone uncertainty, CEO Claudio Descalzi confirmed a 20- percent reduction in capital expenditures for the year. Production of gas and oil grew by 3.4 percent to 1.75 million barrels of...

  • SINGAPORE, April 29- Gold jumped to a seven-week high and silver soared to a 15- month peak on Friday, as the dollar remained downbeat after the Bank of Japan surprised markets by standing pat on policy. Spot gold climbed as far as $1,280.60 an ounce, its highest since March 11. It had pared gains to trade up 0.4 percent at $1,271.10 by 0645 GMT.

  • BEIJING, April 29- The outstanding amount of China's dollar-denominated Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor programme stood at $80.996 billion as of April 29, from $80.95 billion at the end of March, the foreign exchange regulator said on Friday.

  • *First-quarter core EPS 95 cents vs consensus 94 cents. *Q1 revenue $6.12 bln vs $5.93 bln, boosted by deals. LONDON, April 29- AstraZeneca is increasing its focus on cancer treatments in a drive to streamline operations after underlying earnings, hit by drug patent expiries, fell 12 percent in the first quarter, broadly in line with analyst expectations.

  • LONDON— Royal Bank of Scotland says its net loss widened in the first quarter as the taxpayer-owned bank made its final 1.2 billion-pound payment to the U.K. Treasury as part of a deal to give the government first crack at any profits. The bank, which is 73- percent taxpayer-owned, on Friday reported a net loss of 968 million pounds, compared with 459 million pounds...

  • SYDNEY, April 29- The odds for an imminent interest rate cut in Australia shortened after a deflation scare this week, bringing the local dollar crashing down to earth after an extended rally that took it to a one-year peak. The Aussie's short-term trajectory now depends on whether the Reserve Bank of Australia cuts its cash rate at its monetary meeting on...

  • LONDON, April 29- British Airways-owner International Airlines Group said it would slow the plans it had to fly more routes in the short term, in response to weaker demand from high-margin business-travellers and a general slowdown after the Brussels attacks. "March revenue was affected by the timing of Easter and the Brussels terrorist attacks with the...

  • PARIS, April 29- French growth accelerated more than expected at the start of the year, as the strongest increase in consumer spending since 2004 and a pick-up in business investment offset a drop in exports, a boost to President Francois Hollande who has been struggling to convince voters their lives are "going better". In a preliminary reading of gross domestic...

  • LONDON, April 29- Pearson, the British education company struggling to cope with a downturn in its biggest markets, reported a 4 percent fall in first-quarter underlying sales, hit by the loss of high-profile testing contracts in the United States. Pearson, which sold the Financial Times and its stake in the Economist last year to concentrate on education, said...

  • SINGAPORE/ BANGKOK, April 29- France's Casino Group has agreed to sell its Vietnam unit to Thai conglomerate Central Group for 1 billion euros including debt, the retailer said on Friday confirming an earlier Reuters story. Central Group, controlled by business family Chirathivat with interests in real estate, department stores and retailing, beat rival Thai...

  • NEW DELHI, April 29- A flurry of complaints from Uber drivers about an unusually high number of cancelled bookings was the spark that ignited a bitter legal fight with Ola, Uber's rival for dominance of India's $12 billion taxi market, according to court documents and a source with direct knowledge of Uber's case. Ola, an Indian company backed by Japan's SoftBank...

  • LONDON, April 29- British Airways-owner International Airlines Group reported a forecast-beating rise in first-quarter profit, but said that it would moderate its capacity expansion in the short term in response to weaker overall demand. Sticking by its forecast for 2016 profit, IAG, whose portfolio also includes Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus, said that...