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Gulf Stocks Slide in August over Oil Price Dive

Saudi stocks dived 17.2 percent in August to lead a slide in other Gulf bourses which came under pressure from a sharp decline in oil prices and China's economic woes.

Global equities were hammered last week as risk-averse investors dumped shares on spreading panic that the flagging Chinese economy -- the world's second largest -- could spark a new worldwide recession.

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State Media: Chinese Journalist 'Confesses' to Market Chaos

China's main state broadcaster on Monday paraded a financial journalist "confessing" to causing the stock market "great losses" as authorities seek to rein in a rout on the exchanges.

Wang Xiaolu, a journalist with the respected business magazine Caijing, was held after writing a story in July saying the securities regulator was studying plans for government funds to exit the market.

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'Largest Ever' Mediterranean Gas Field Found Off Egypt

Italian energy giant Eni on Sunday announced the discovery of the "largest ever" offshore natural gas field in the Mediterranean, in Egypt's territorial waters.

The discovery, confirmed by Egypt's oil ministry, could hold a potential 30 trillion cubic feet (850 billion cubic meters) of gas in an area of about 100 square kilometers (40 square miles), Eni said in a statement.

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German Corporate Giants Suspected in Greek Corruption Cases

Siemens, Daimler, Rheinmetall -- the cream of German industry -- have been mired in cases of alleged corruption in Greece, the country that Berlin has repeatedly admonished for the parlous state of its economy.

No date has been set yet for 19 former executives of German engineering group Siemens to appear in Greek court, but it is expected to be one of the biggest financial trials of the decade in Greece.

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Chinese Tourists Unfazed by Currency Fall, Market Turmoil

China's currency devaluation and slowing economy have caused enormous turmoil in world financial markets, but they have not really bothered tourists like Henry Lee.

Not yet, at least.

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China Premier Insists Economy 'Within Appropriate Range'

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has issued assurances over his country's economy after global markets were roiled by concerns over its slowing growth, state media reported on Saturday.

Top global markets ended the week Friday largely recovered from China-induced panic selling, but market watchers remain worried the turmoil in the world's number two economy will drag down global growth.

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Fitch Lowers Ukraine's Rating on Debt Restructing Deal

Ratings agency Fitch has lowered its rating for Ukraine saying the debt restructuring deal Kiev struck with a group of creditors was tantamount to default.

Fitch lowered Ukraine's rating of long-term public debt from "CC" to "C," after the deal was announced Thursday because it led to major losses for the bondholders.

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Greek Economy Grew by 0.9% in Q2

Greece's economy grew by 0.9 percent in the second quarter, official date showed Friday, improving on the 0.8 percent figure reported in a flash estimate earlier in August.

"Seasonally adjusted data indicate that in the second quarter of 2015 (output) increased by 0.9 percent compared with the first quarter of 2015 against the increase of 0.8 percent that was calculated for the flash estimate," the state statistics agency said, as the country headed for early elections next month.

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China Agricultural Bank Reports Flat H1 Net Profit

The Agricultural Bank of China, one of the country's "Big Four" state-owned banks, said its net profit for the first half of 2015 rose only 0.3 percent year-on-year, citing the slowing domestic economy and growing bad loans.

Net profit was 104.32 billion yuan ($16.3 billion) in the first six months, against 104.03 billion yuan for the same period last year, it said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange late Thursday.

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Oil Prices Extend Gains on Strong U.S. Data

Crude extended gains in Asia Friday following a 10 percent price surge in the previous session fueled by strong US economic data.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery rose 66 cents to $43.22 while Brent crude for October gained 64 cents to $48.20 in afternoon trade. 

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