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Report Italian Police Probe more Vatican Bank Transfers

Italian police have found 13 suspicious money transfers through the Vatican bank, a newspaper said Tuesday, reporting that a senior cleric arrested last week allegedly offered his own accounts to transfer money for his friends.

The Corriere della Sera daily said that the suspect operations which have triggered money laundering controls totalled more than 1.0 million euros ($1.3 million) and were similar to a larger 23-million-euro transfer that led to an investigation that is shaking up the bank.

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Report: Abu Dhabi to Invest $50bn in India Infrastructure

Abu Dhabi has promised to invest $50 billion in India's cash-hungry infrastructure at a time when growth in Asia's third-largest economy has sharply slowed, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The pledge by Abu Dhabi was the key factor in pushing New Delhi to approve a bilateral deal to increase flights between the two countries, an Indian official told the Indian Express.

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Merkel Hosts Leaders to Fight Youth Unemployment

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts European leaders on Wednesday in a bid to tackle sky-high youth unemployment which has left more than half of under 25-year-olds out of work in several southern countries of the eurozone.

Merkel, who faces elections this year, has repeatedly warned of the threat of a "lost generation" in Greece, Spain, Italy and elsewhere even as her critics at home and abroad charge that it is her push for austerity that worsened the crisis.

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Oil Prices Jump Amid Bloodshed in Egypt

Oil prices rose sharply in Asian trade Wednesday on growing concerns that the escalating political crisis in Egypt could affect the rest of the Middle East and disrupt world crude supplies, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in August, was up $2.25 at $101.85 a barrel in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for August gained $1.13 to $105.13.

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U.S. Home Prices Rise in May by Most in 7 Years

U.S. home prices jumped 12.2 percent in May from a year ago, the most in seven years. The increase suggests the housing recovery is strengthening.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices rose from a year ago in 48 states and fell in only Delaware and Alabama. And all but three of the 100 largest cities reported price gains.

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Spain Hails Summer Jobs Boom

The number of Spanish jobless benefit claimants took a record plunge in June as an avalanche of summer jobs opened up, government data showed Tuesday, a rare glimmer of hope for the recession-hit economy.

But when the figures were corrected to strip out seasonal variations, the number of people registering as unemployed actually edged slightly higher, the Labor Ministry report showed.

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Japan, Canada Pension Funds in $2bn U.S. Power Deal

A Japanese pension fund is joining a Canadian partner and other firms in the $2.0 billion purchase of a U.S. power plant, a company involved in the deal said Tuesday.

The Pension Fund Association, a federation of employees' pension funds, and several other Japanese firms have tied up with Canada's OMERS to buy the Midland Cogeneration Venture in Midland, Michigan.

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Cyprus Completes 1-bn-Euro Debt Swap

Cyprus said on Monday it has completed a one-billion-euro ($1.3 billion) swap of government bonds for new ones with longer maturities under its bailout deal with international lenders.

Last week's announcement of the swap prompted a downgrade by ratings agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

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Eurozone Crisis Cools, but Unemployment Hits Record

The economic crisis in southern Europe may be easing, a key survey signalled on Monday, but unemployment figures showed the eurozone jobless rate hit a previous record-high of 12.1 percent in May.

The Eurostat figures offered little hope of a quick end to the social fallout from austerity seen in many countries, with the unemployment rate for the entire European Union being unchanged at 10.9 percent.

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HSBC: China Manufacturing Index Hits Nine-Month Low

Chinese manufacturing activity contracted further in June, data showed Monday, with a closely watched survey hitting a nine-month low and adding to signs of weakness in the world's second-largest economy.

HSBC said its final purchasing managers' index (PMI) reading came in at 48.2 last month, down from 49.2 in May and the lowest since September. It was also weaker than the bank's preliminary June figure of 48.3.

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