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Apple Opens Hong Kong Store in China Push

Apple threw open the doors to its first store in Hong Kong Saturday, its latest push to tap the booming China market, as protesters accused the technology giant of supporting sweatshop labor.

The minimalist store spread over two floors in one of Hong Kong's most upmarket shopping malls is Apple's sixth outlet in China, launching just a day after the doors opened on another new branch in Shanghai.

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G20 Vows 'Strong' Response to Economic Crisis

The Group of 20 major economies have vowed to mount a powerful response to the rising challenges facing the world economy as it reels from a debt crisis in the Eurozone.

The pledge, made in an unexpected statement late Thursday, came after world leaders ramped up pressure on Europe to take decisive action to contain its debt crisis as markets spun out of control.

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Traders Rush to Dollar Haven Amid Turmoil

The U.S. dollar rose against the euro Thursday, as investors fled from the single European currency amid a widespread global market sell-off.

The euro fell to levels not seen against the dollar since January, fetching $1.3470 by 2200 GMT versus $1.3564 the day before, as fears grew of a global slowdown.

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Asian Markets Slump for Second Day

Asian markets fell for a second straight day Friday and the dollar rose amid growing fears that the global economy is on the verge of slipping back into recession.

However, most markets were off their earlier lows after G20 finance chiefs meeting in Washington promised to take collective action to stabilize the financial system.

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Swiss Lift Sanctions Against Libya Oil Firms, Airline

Switzerland said Friday that it has lifted sanctions against two Libyan oil firms -- National Oil Corporation and its affiliated Zueitina Oil Corporation, as well as Afriqiyah Airways.

The authorities announced the changes in a decree which entered into force Friday.

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Booming China is Number One Bordeaux Importer

The booming Chinese mainland is now the largest importer of Bordeaux by volume, driving a jump in exports of the French wine, an industry body said.

Exports from the French winegrowing region rose 34 percent in value and 23 percent in volume between July 2010 and June 2011, the CIVB Bordeaux Wine Council told a press conference late on Wednesday.

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Italy Lowers Growth Forecasts for 2011, 2012

The Italian government lowered its growth forecast sharply on Thursday, while insisting that the austerity plan adopted last week is sufficient to balance the country's budget by 2013 as planned.

Italy now forecasts a 0.7 percent growth in 2011, 0.6 percent in 2012 and 0.9 percent in 2013, compared to previous forecasts in April of 1.1 percent, 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent, the finance ministry said.

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U.S. Fed Plan Sends Asia Stocks Diving, Dollar Gains

Asian stock markets slumped on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest multi-billion-dollar move to shore up the American economy was met with worldwide disappointment.

The dollar strengthened against regional currencies as investors sought its safe-haven status after the U.S. central bank warned of serious downside risks for the global outlook.

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Samsung Wins $2.1 Billion Order in KSA

South Korean builder Samsung C&T said on Thursday it has secured a $2.1 billion deal to build a thermal power plant in Saudi Arabia.

Samsung said it would build the 4,000 megawatt plant in Qurayyah by 2014. The deal was part of a Saudi project to build six power plants by 2018.

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Oil Prices Mixed; Brent Close to $111

World oil prices diverged on Wednesday as the market was torn between growing expectations of more stimulus measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve and gloomy IMF growth revisions, analysts said.

Brent North Sea oil for delivery in November rose 11 cents to $110.65 a barrel in early afternoon London deals.

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