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Libya Central Bank Governor Fired over 'Irregularities'

The new parliament in Libya, where rival administrations are vying for power, announced Sunday the dismissal of central bank governor Seddik al-Kabir following allegations of financial irregularities.

"The governor was summoned to appear before parliament after allegations of financial irregularities. Mr Kabir did not appear so MPs voted to have him dismissed," Fradj Abu Hashem, spokesman for Libya's internationally recognized parliament, told Agence France Presse

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U.S. Stocks Retreat Despite Strong Apple Launch, Data

Wall Street stocks took a breather this week, finishing down from record levels despite solid U.S. economic data and a successful products launch by Apple.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 149.85 points (0.87 percent) to close the week at 16,987.51, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 22.17 (1.10 percent) to 1,985.54.

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Argentina Faces New Devaluation as Dollar Demand Grows

Recession-hit Argentines are flocking to buy dollars, nervous over the government's latest debt default and pressure from the business community to devalue the peso for the second time this year.

Officially, a dollar is worth 8.42 Argentine pesos.

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HSBC Paying $550M to Resolve Mortgage Bond Claims

British bank HSBC has agreed to pay $550 million to resolve U.S. claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed in 2007.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced the settlement Friday with HSBC. London-based HSBC is Europe's largest bank and also has extensive operations in the U.S. Its U.S. division has about $289 billion in assets, making it the 9th largest bank in the U.S.

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Chinese Output Growth Slows to Five-Year Low in August

China's industrial production growth slowed sharply in August to its lowest level for more than five years at 6.9 percent, official data showed Saturday, intensifying concerns for the world's second-largest economy.

The key indicator, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, slumped from a 9.0 percent year-on-year expansion in July and was the worst since 5.7 percent in December 2008, during the global financial crisis.

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Eurozone Industrial Production Recovers in July

Industrial output in the eurozone rose one percent in July, official data showed on Friday, offering a rare glimmer of positive news to a single-currency economy struggling with stagnating growth and low inflation.

The increase in factory output data was a turnaround from the previous month, when an unexpected 0.3-percent drop in industrial activity caught analysts off guard.

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Govt: China Bank Loans Nearly Double in August

China's bank lending nearly doubled in August from the previous month, central bank data showed Friday, rebounding towards what analysts described as a normal level.

Chinese banks granted 702.5 billion yuan ($114.5 billion) in new loans last month, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) said in a statement, nearly twice July's 385.2 billion yuan.

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IMF's Lagarde Says Women Vital for Global Recovery

Empowerment of women and equal opportunities are crucial for driving a stronger global economic recovery, and for revitalizing Japan, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Friday.

The global recovery is too tepid and too turbulent, IMF chief Christine Lagarde told a gathering organized by the Japanese government and business groups to support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's campaign to promote a stronger role for women in the economy.

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France Facing 'Hour of Recovery or Decline': Bank Chief

The crisis-hit French economy is facing its "hour of recovery or decline," the head of its central bank said Thursday, warning the economy would stay stuck if the government did not implement immediate economic reform.

"France is not beyond repair but this is the hour of recovery or decline. We have to choose and of course, we have to choose recovery," Christian Noyer told French radio.

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Saudi Oil Minister Plays Down Drop in Oil Price

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi Thursday played down the drop in oil prices saying this is not the first time crude prices slumped.

"Prices of oil always go up and down so I really don't know why the big fuss about it this time," Nuaimi told reporters ahead of a regular meeting for oil ministers of the energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Kuwait City.

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