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U.S. Stocks Open Lower after Thursday's Big Rally

Stocks edged lower in early trading Friday after appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. said it will cut 5,000 jobs, citing weak demand and higher costs for materials. Whirlpool slumped 11 percent, the most in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

The modest decline followed a surge Thursday that put the Dow Jones industrial average on track for its best month since 1987.

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U.S. Tech Firms Lead List of Best Multinational Workplaces

U.S. technology companies, led by Microsoft, topped a league table of the world's 25 best multinational workplaces released Thursday by a human resources consultancy.

"Microsoft is at the top of the list because it believes that spreading a trust-based culture is the right way to do business, independent of size, national culture or industry," said Jose Tolovi of Great Place to Work.

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European Stocks Slip Back

European stock markets slipped back Friday as investors took a more critical look at the Eurozone debt rescue plan which drove massive gains the previous day in a euphoric relief rally.

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AFED Report: Green Change to Lift Arab Economy

Under the auspices of President Michel Suleiman, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development held its annual conference Thursday at the Habtoor Grand Hotel where it stressed how green energy can lift the economy in the Arab world.

Environment Minister Nazem al-Khoury represented Suleiman at the conference which was attended by more than 20 parliament members, as well as around 500 delegates from Arab and international countries.

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Asian Shares Rise as Europe Announces Debt Plan

Asian stock markets and the euro rose on Thursday as European leaders announced a deal to tackle the region's crippling sovereign debt woes.

After 10 hours of painstaking talks in Brussels, banks holding some of Greece's mountain of debt agreed to take a 50 percent "haircut" on their holdings, breaking a deadlock many hope will help end the two-year-old crisis.

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Peugeot Aims to Double Production in Brazil

French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to double production in Brazil by 2015, part of a global shift towards emerging economies hastened by the downturn in Europe and the United States.

Peugeot aims to produce 300,000 vehicles per year and increase its production of engines from 280,000 to 400,000 per year by then, its head of Latin American operations, Carlos Gomes, announced Wednesday.

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Bank of China to Issue American Express Credit Cards

Bank of China will begin issuing American Express credit cards, the state-owned banking giant's first credit card designed for its private banking customers, the financial firms said Wednesday.

Under the terms of their new partnership, BOC, one of China's "big four" banks, will issue a credit card for the affluent branded Bank of China Private Bank American Express(R) Card.

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Spain Wins Saudi Rail Contract for Pilgrim Route

Spanish companies beat French rivals to a contract to build a high-speed railway on the Muslim pilgrim route between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, authorities said Wednesday.

The 6.7-billion-euro contract went to the Al-Shoula Consortium of 12 Spanish companies, including state rail operator Renfe and Saudi firms Al Shoula and Al Rosan, the Spanish government and the state Saudi Railways Organization said.

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IMF Lowers Lebanon Growth Forecast to 1.5%

The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it has revised down its forecast for economic growth in Lebanon to 1.5 percent in 2011 after many years of robust expansion, due to political uncertainty and unrest in neighboring Syria.

The drop revealed in the IMF's Regional Economic Outlook, released in Dubai, is the second this year after the fund lowered its expected growth to 2.5 percent in the spring.

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Report: Berlin May Stop Sale of Sub to Israel over Settlements

Germany is reconsidering its sale of a sixth submarine to Israel in the wake of new tensions over Jewish settlement construction, an Israeli newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Yediot Aharonot said Berlin was rethinking the deal because of German frustration over Israel's decision to approve new settlement building in annexed east Jerusalem, which has raised tensions between the two countries.

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