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Spanish Jobless Figure Drops as Economy Picks Up

Spain's unemployment rate dropped to 23.7 percent in the third quarter from 24.5 percent in the previous three-month period thanks to a recovering economy and a bumper summer tourism season, official statistics showed Thursday.

The number of jobless people fell by 195,200 July through September, leaving the total number of unemployed at a rounded 5.4 million, Spain's statistics institute said. That's down from 5.6 million in the second quarter.

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Survey: Eurozone Business Activity Picks Up, Worries Remain

Business activity in the 18-nation eurozone strengthened slightly in October, a key survey showed Thursday, but overall the economy remained weak with new orders low and pressure on prices.

Markit Economics said its Composite Purchasing Managers Output Index (PMI) rose marginally to 52.2 points in October from a 10-month low of 52.0 points in September.

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Survey: Manufacturing Moving from China to U.S.

Large manufacturers are increasingly moving production back to the United States from China, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group released Thursday.

In the third annual survey of U.S.-based senior executives at manufacturing companies with annual sales of at least $1 billion, the number of respondents who said their companies were currently reshoring to the U.S. from China increased 20 percent from a year ago.

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As Brazil Poll Looms, Moody's Downgrades Petrobras

Ratings agency Moody's downgraded Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras' debt rating Tuesday, in a new blow for the government's economic reputation five days before presidential election.

The agency cut the highly-leveraged firm's rating one notch from Baa1 to Baa2, and said it expected to keep it on a negative outlook -- a warning of future further downgrades -- until 2016.

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Yahoo Profit Surges on Alibaba Divestment, Mobile

Yahoo said Tuesday its quarterly profit surged with its sale of shares in Chinese Internet powerhouse Alibaba, and that it was seeing signs of life in its mobile Internet initiatives.

Net profit jumped to $6.8 billion, which included $6.3 billion from its Alibaba shares. But profit was stronger than expected, and pumped up Yahoo shares by 3.1 percent in after-hours trade.

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Falling Oil Prices Stretch Venezuela's Books to Limit

Sliding oil prices are deepening the budget crisis facing the Venezuelan government, which is already struggling to fund its lavish subsidies and rigid exchange-rate controls, analysts say.

Venezuela, which sits atop the world's largest proven crude reserves, relies on oil sales for 96 percent of its budget.

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In Emerging Beauty Markets Like Brazil, New Products Key

In Brazil, women primarily wear their hair long, and need to tackle the country's generally hot, humid climate when they style it. They also demand a wide range of sun protection creams.

Beauty industry giants such as L'Oreal, Unilever and Procter & Gamble that are looking to crack key emerging markets like Brazil are quickly adapting their product lines to suit local tastes.

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Total: Global Oil Giant, Pride of France

Total, left without a leader after the death in a Moscow air accident of chief executive Christophe de Margerie, is a top global oil group and the biggest company in France in terms of sales and profits.

A major player on global oil and gas markets, the group moved quickly on Tuesday to announce that its board would meet on finding a successor, and that it would press ahead with its goals.

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EU Calls for Comment on Air France, KLM, Delta Fare Remedies

The European Commission called on Tuesday for public comment on measures by Air France, KLM and Delta Airlines to meet concerns about possible overcharging on key international routes.

"Extensive cooperation between Air France/KLM, Alitalia and Delta in the framework of the SkyTeam alliance ... may result in higher prices," said the Commission, which polices European Union fair competition rules.

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Fed Warns Big Banks to Reform or Face Breakup

The Federal Reserve delivered a stark warning to the largest U.S. banks Monday that they could be forcibly broken up if they do not reform their ways.

New York Federal Reserve chief William Dudley said that after paying well over $100 billion in fines in the past six years for bad behavior, banks should recognize the imperative to reform.

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