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Procter & Gamble to Slash 5,700 Jobs

U.S. consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble said Thursday it would cut 5,700 jobs, or 10 percent of its global workforce, by the end of 2013 as part of a four-year restructuring aimed cutting costs by $10 billion.

About 1,600 jobs will be eliminated this year and 4,100 in 2012, for a savings of $800 million, P&G said at an investors conference.

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European Shares Mixed, Euro Higher Amid Bank Results

European stock markets diverged and the euro rose against the dollar on Thursday as traders reacted to mixed earnings from the region's biggest banks and varied Eurozone economic data.

Dealers were also tracking the latest developments surrounding Greece, as the nation's parliament focused on approving laws for a historic debt write down with private creditors, a condition for a new Eurozone bailout.

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Eurozone Faces Recession Throughout 2012

More bad news hit the Eurozone on Thursday as EU data predicted recession throughout 2012, with a 0.3-percent contraction compared to 0.5-percent growth and a likely downturn in the previous November forecast.

"The unexpected stalling of the recovery in late 2011 is set to extend into the first two quarters of 2012," the European Commission said on Thursday.

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Oil Price Hits Nine-Month Peak in London

The price of Brent crude oil surged to a nine-month high on Thursday, propelled by intensifying Iran concerns amid reports that Japan wanted to slash its Iranian crude imports, traders said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April soared as high as $124.09 per barrel, reaching a level last seen on May 3, 2011. It later pulled back to $123.81, 91 cents from Wednesday's closing level.

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Nissan Recalls 250,000 Cars Globally Over Sensor

Nissan said Thursday it will recall almost 250,000 vehicles worldwide over a loose sensor that could cause fuel leaks in the worst cases.

The recall of 249,522 vehicles covers seven models, a Nissan spokesman said.

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UAE's Etisalat Says Will Close India Telecom Operations

Abu Dhabi-based telecom firm Etisalat said Wednesday it was closing its Indian joint-venture mobile operations following a court ruling cancelling its license amid corruption allegations.

The Indian Supreme Court's decision earlier this month revoking licenses awarded by the government to a clutch of telecom firms "has removed Etisalat DB's ability to operate," the company said in a statement.

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Syria Currency Reserves to Run out Soon: Western Diplomat

Syria will exhaust its foreign currency reserves in three to five months, sparking crisis in an economy reeling from sanctions over its crackdown on protests, a Western diplomat said Wednesday.

"Foreign reserves are down, probably hemorrhaging up to $3 billion (2.3 billion euros) a month," the diplomat told reporters in London.

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Moet Hennessy to Produce Red Wine in China

Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits arm of France's LVMH luxury group, said Wednesday it will make red wine in China where a taste for the better things in life has boomed along with the economy.

Moet Hennessy said it had joined forces with VATS, a Chinese wine firm, to develop a vineyard of 30 hectares (74 acres) in Yunnan province, southeastern China.

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Peugeot and GM Discuss 'Strategic Partnership'

Leading French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is in talks with US giant General Motors on forming a "strategic partnership", French Labour Minister Xavier Bertrand said Wednesday.

Peugeot shares surged almost 15 percent on the Paris exchange in morning trading as news of a possible huge tie-up between two industry giants spread.

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Oil Prices Slip on Poor Eurozone Data

World oil prices dipped on Wednesday as weak economic data and fears over Greece sparked demand concerns, overshadow eding geopolitical concerns surrounding key crude producer Iran, dealers said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April fell 11 cents to $121.55 a barrel in London midday deals.

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